Exotic Introduced Plants That Attract NZ Native Birds

Exotic Introduced Plants That Attract NZ Native Birds

NZ native birds create that special dimension to New Zealand gardens that are typically a combination of both New Zealand native plants and exotic introduced plants. It’s good to encourage more planting of New Zealand native plants, but we would be missing a wealth of useful and beautiful plants if we just planted native plants, so there is a compromise position that can be reached that incorporates both native and introduced plants that can create a glorious combination that most gardeners are striving for.

NZ native birds are attracted to the introduced plants listed below. These plants also attract many introduced birds that can be fascinating to watch.

Consider planting some of the introduced plants listed below or some of our native plants that attract New Zealand native birds listed here. If you want to attract NZ Native Birds to your garden.

Common NameBotanical Name Evergreen/DeciduousHeightNectar,Fruit &/Or Seed
Low growing
Aloe (various
Aloe
E

50cm+
N
Canna lilyCanna
E
to 1m
N
Cosmos annual
Cosmos bipinnatusCosmos annual

50cm+
S
French marigold
Tagetes patula
annual 30cm
S
Kangaroo paw AnigozanthusE
1m+
N
Lavender (various)
Lavendula spicaE

50cm+
S
Love-lies-bleeding
Amaranthus caudatus
annual
to 1m
S
Phygelius
Phygelius aequalis
E
1m
N
Red hot poker (various)Kniphofia
E1m+
N
Sunflower (giant)
Helianthus
annual 1m+
S
Trees & Shrubs
Banksia (various)
BanksiaE
to 8m
N
Bastard jasmine
Cestrum purpureum
E
3m
N
Bottlebush (various)Callistemon E
to 5m
N
Brazilian coral tree Erythrina crista-galliD
5m
N
Camellia (various
Camellia
E
3m
N
Chinese lantern
Abutilon
E
2m+
N
Chinese hollyMahonia lomariifoliaE
3m
N,F
Coral treeErythrina sykesii
D
15m
N
Crab apple
MalusD
5m
F
Elderberry
SambucusD
5m

F
Eucalyptus (various)Eucalyptus
E
to 15m
N
Firewheel tree
Stenocarpus sinuatusE
6m
N
Grevillea (various)
GrevilleaE
Grevillea (various) to 3m
N
Irish strawberry
Arbutus
E
3m+
F
MulberryMorus nigra
D
5m
F
Phoenix palm
Phoenix canariensisE
6m
F
Shad bush
Amelanchier canadensis
D
4m
F
Strawberry guava or cherry guavaPsidium cattleianum E
6m
F
Taiwan cherry
Prunus campanulata
D
6m+
N,F
Tree lucerneCytisus proliferus E
3m+Leaves
Waratah (various)
TelopeaEto 4mWaratah (various) Telopea E to 4m N
Climber
Chilean bell flowerLapageria rosea
E5m
N
Limited space?

There’s a number of both introduced and native plants species that can be grown in containers or hanging baskets to attract NZ native birds.

The diet of common NZ native birds are:

Bellbird – nectar,fruit, insects

Fantail – insects

Kaka – nectar, fruit, insects

Kingfisher – insects, small rodents, lizards

Morepork – insects, small rodents, lizards, birds

Tui – nectar, fruit, insects

Silver/White/Waxeye – nectar, fruit, insects

Insect habitat

You can see from the list above many common NZ native birds eat insects, so consider creating habitats for insects by using natural mulches such as bark, compost, relocate leaves that pile up up unwanted places, a thin layer of lawn clippings ( around 25mm thick each time you mow, if you make a layer of lawn clipping too thick it can develop a putrid smell ).

Mulching has the added advantages of acting like a blanket so reducing weeding, and trapping moisture and warmth in the soil.

Consider bird saftey

If you have a bird bath try to have it away from cover where a cat may hide for a quick ambush attack.

Nesting & roosting

As well as growing suitable plants that attract and feed NZ native birds, they also need nesting and roosting trees nearby, so if you’ve got the space consider planting some of the larger trees.

Poisonous plants

Warning- Try to avoid planting Rhododendron near your nectar plants, especially if the flower colour is similar, because Rhododendron are deadly poisonous to Tui and other nectar feeding birds. The bird rescue service have to deal with Tui that have been poisoned by Rhododendron each year.

wood pigeon nz

A New Zealand native wood pigeon ( Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae ) eating the fruit of a Peruvian guava ( Psidium cattleianum ).

So see if you can create a wonderful garden teaming with NZ native birds for you and your loved ones to enjoy, with some of the plants listed above.

Happy gardening!

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NZ native birds

Exotic Introduced Plants That Attract NZ Native Birds

Here’s A list Of Exotic Introduced Plants That Attract NZ Native Birds, So You Can Enjoy The Thrill Of Seeing And Hearing NZ Native Birds