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Turn your garden into a native bird restaurant

14 November 2006 - Auckland

Forest & Bird media release for immediate use

Turn your garden into a native bird restaurant with Forest & Bird

No, we don’t mean you eat the birds! Forest & Bird’s display at Ellerslie International Flower Show will show visitors how they can attract native wildlife into their own garden.

Every home gardener can increase native biodiversity in their community by creating a wildlife haven in their own backyard, no matter how small or urban – and the friendly and knowledgeable team at Forest & Bird’s exhibit will show them how.

Birds and animals rely on the miniature garden habitats we create for shelter, nesting and food. Although the limited size of gardens prevents them from being complete habitats, it is surprising how many species can live in a small space if the right conditions are created.

Native birds, such as tui, bellbird, silvereye and even kereru, native butterflies, native skinks and geckos, and beneficial insects can all be attracted to your garden by offering suitable habitat for them to live in and find food.

Providing a garden haven for these species helps create healthy biodiversity, and brings the enjoyment of their presence – and beautiful birdsong - to homes and communities.

Visitors to Forest & Bird’s site at Ellerslie can learn how to:
 Plant native trees, shrubs, ground covers and grasses that attract native wildlife with their flowers, fruit and nectar. Plant lists show how to plant for year-round food sources for native birds.
 Supplement the natural nectar sources (such as flax and kowhai flowers) of nectar-feeding birds with an attractive sugar water feeder, and bird “muffins”.
 Build lizard and invertebrate “hotels” from rocks, logs and driftwood.
 Incorporate threatened plant species into garden designs – 20% of our native plants are threatened with extinction, but many, such as kakabeak, thrive as garden plants.
 Eco-source plants to grow plants sourced from local wild origins. By planting these forms gardeners can keep local diversity alive.
 Avoid planting species that can turn out to be invasive pests. Find out which environmentally friendly alternatives gardeners can plant to replace these bio-nasties.
 Eliminate animal pests such as rats and possums, and make sure pets don’t prey on native wildlife.
 Use eco-friendly alternatives to poisonous chemicals.
 Plant native hedges, or a native lawn – it will require less mowing and watering and produce interesting texture and flowers.
 Plant native deciduous trees to provide garden shade in summer and let in light in winter.

Forest & Bird will also be giving away a free eco-sourced native plantto every visitor to our exhibit who joins Forest & Bird or Kiwi Conservation Club, our children’s conservation organisation.

Forest & Bird will be in the Hort Galore Marquee at the Ellerslie International Flower Show, November 15-19 at the Auckland Botanic Gardens.


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