Flora for Fauna Information Sheets:
Feeding birds in your garden
Information courtesy of: The Gould League
Bird feeding is fun and an enjoyable way of getting to know local native birds at close-range. In Australia, birds don't really need extra feeding as they can readily find their food ? especially if gardens have native plants providing nectar, seeds, berries and insects. If you really want to feed birds, It makes good sense to put out only just a little bird food - enough to enjoy an occasional bird feeding spectacle.
Feeding birds is controversial (among people not the birds). These are some of the problems that can occur when putting food out for birds:
- Lots of bread will attract introduced birds and eventually mice and rats.
- Excessive seed will also attract introduced birds and eventually mice and rats.
- Excessive feeding can sometimes lead to pigeon problems for you and your neighbours.
Putting out seed will always bring some uninvited guests. Using sugar water will only attract honeyeaters. Half a cup of any sugar mixed with boiled water will make a very desirable food for Lorikeets and Honeyeaters. By mixing a teaspoon of Complan - a product that can be purchased from chemists, the food source will also provide vitamins and minerals.
- Attracting Birds to your Garden in Australia, by John Dengate (1977)
published by New Holland Publishers. This book devotes several pages to feeding birds and includes some recipes.
- The Australian Bird-Garden. Creating Havens for Native Birds, by Graham Pizzey (2000)
published by Angus & Robertson. This book includes information about feeding birds and recipes.
- Bird feeders are sold at most good garden centres.