During COVID many people took advantage of their own back garden, discovering the joy of gardening and getting their hands dirty growing their own vegetables and herbs. A consequence of being out in the garden was seeing all the birds around and they wanted to know more!
Is the bird local to the area? Is that the bird that makes the sound of a child being murdered (probably the curlew!)? How do I know if it is a male or a female? As luck would have it there are apps out there for just this sort of thing and one of the most comprehensive is Merlin Bird ID
Merlin Bird ID
The beauty of this app is that is so simple to use.
Spot your bird, follow 5 simple steps (the first 2 are about location and date of sighting) and voila! A list of likely birds will be returned.
What if you can't find your bird?
The App offers a number of solutions if you can’t find the bird you are looking at. From changing the size of the bird or adding or removing a colour option. But sometimes there haven’t been enough sightings of your bird in your region so you can visit eBird and submit your sighting. eBird is the platform from where all the bird data comes from, it is the largest worldwide database of bird sightings and it is run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
You can also identify bird song. Record the bird sound through the app and you will get a number of suggestions and recordings to play so you can confirm the bird.
So armed with your Yates Garden guide and your Merlin Bird ID app you can now confidently name that plant disease and identify the birds in your surrounding area.
Birds we identified
Creating a bird friendly garden
The key to attracting birds to your garden is knowing what birds like to eat and then you can plant the appropriate trees and shrubs.
Seed eating birds such as cockatoos, parrots, pigeons and finches will be attracted to your garden if you have tea-tree, wattles, Lomandra and native glasses.
Honey eaters (wattle birds, friar birds and spinebills) love the nectar of Banksias, grevillias and bottle brushes.
Insect eating birds like dense vegetation and enjoy many of the same plants as our honey eaters.
To attract birds native to your area it is wise to grow plants that are also native to the area. Gold Coast Council has information about native plants here on the Gold Coast, a visit to the Botanic Gardens will also give you a good idea of what grows well.
When you plan your garden:
- make sure there are plants at different heights to create a multi-layered environment.
- look at what you have already got and note which birds are using them and build around those plantings.
- add a birdbath.If there is readily available water the birds will use it.
- consider plants that will flower at different times of the year.