Native Plants That Attract New Zealand Native Birds

Native plants That Attract New Zealand Native Birds.

Have a look at this video that explains how to attract these beautiful Tui birds.

Below is a list of New Zealand native plants that provide food and/or habitat for New Zealand native birds.

We’ve also got a list of introduced plants that attract NZ native birds here.

The link above opens a new window so you can easily compare your options.

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Native Plants That Attract New Zealand Native Birds

One of the most pleasant aspects of having a garden can be observing and enjoying the bird life that can inhabit your garden.

In order to provide the most attractive garden for birds it’s best to have the following components in your garden:

Food – This includes nectar, fruit and seed bearing plants, whether native or introduced. Also many birds eat insects, spiders and other invertebrates such as earthworms, beetles and moths. These invertebrates need a suitable habitat to thrive in which includes mulch, leaf litter, holes and cracks.

Feeding – In winter it’s possible to attract a number of tui’s to many suburban gardens by placing a bird feeder on a platform, preferably more than 1.5 metres from ground level and away from places where cats can easily hide and ambush feeding birds. I’ve used a plastic bird water dispensing container I bought from a pet shop for about $10. It did eventually attract ants to the tree it was in, but since it was well away from the house they weren’t a problem. I used a mix of one cup of raw sugar into 1 litre of boiling water in a saucepan then stirred till dissolved. Let it cool to luke warm then pour into the bird feeder and place it on the bird feeder platform. My platform was a piece of wood about 200mm x400mm nailed into a fork on a tree. I initially made a yellow flower shape out of electricians insulation tape, stuck to the sides of the bird feeder to attract the tui’s attention. Once they found it they would sit in the tree singing their heart out which attracted even more tui’s, until their was often over a dozen tui’s swooping around for their share of the sugar water. I found winter ( June, July, August ) the best time of year for sugar water feeding, when the Kowhai started flowering they lost interest in my sugar water.

Water – Such as a bird bath that is out in the open and above ground to give the birds time to fly before a cat can pounce on them.

Trees – The larger the better. Trees provide perching and nesting sites for birds.
Some people provide nesting boxes in their trees, which can look attractive as a garden feature, but I’ve yet to see a bird nest in them in a residential garden. Although I have seen nesting boxes used successfully on Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf by the Department of Conservation. I expect the positioning the nest box in the appropriate place on a tree, ( i.e. sheltered and concealed ) and nest box entrance hole size are important factors in attracting a bird to use these boxes.

Some of our New Zealand native birds have a magnificent song such as the Bell Bird and the Tui. Tui’s and Wood Pigeons are reasonably common visitors to many suburban gardens when you provide attractive food plants for them. New Zealand native birds have a good memory when they locate a food source and will return regularly to harvest fruit as they mature.
I’ve found both children and adults are often captivated by the sight of New Zealand native birds, so have a go at attracting New Zealand native birds, they add an extra feature to your garden.

New Zealand Tui Bird

Tui’s can be attracted to your garden with a bird feeder with sugar water in it.

Warning – If you have Parapara, commonly called ” Bid catcher tree ” Pisonia brunnonianum, there is a risk that birds will become ensnared in the sticky seed pods. As well as the seed pods can attach to your hair then you’ve got to cut them out! So I recommend cutting off the seed pods after flowering before they get to the sticky stage.

Happy gardening!

My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather. ~Terri Guillemets

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