Habitat is a natural environment in which a bird lives, including all associated plant life, land forms, climate and other wildlife. Different species of birds suit different types of natural habitat. Although there is much overlap in the resources that different habitats provide (e.g. insect food), some habitats are rich in certain resources.
A habitat includes all four necessities for a bird’s survival – food, water, shelter and nesting areas though these features can vary greatly between different type’s habitats.
Grains, seeds, fruits, nuts, nectar-producing flowers and prey such as insects, fish, mammals, reptiles and other birds.
Any source available for drinking or bathing, including rivers, swamps, lakes, streams, bays, estuaries and oceans.
Coniferous or deciduous trees, shrubbery, caves or rock niches, overhanging banks or snags.
The needs of birds aren’t much different than our own. Food and water are absolute basics, but so is shelter or cover to serve as protection from the weather and a safe place to raise a family.
Many backyard birds are insect eaters, but will supplement their diet with nuts, seeds, fruit, or nectar, depending on the species. Increase the array of foods you offer, and you will increase the diversity of birds you will attract and support. Check also: Foods and Treats For Bird.
All birds need water for drinking and for bathing. By providing a clean, fresh source, you will attract more species than will visit bird feeders
The creation of these water elements will take some work but, done well, they can attract many species. Ponds for birds should be shallow, with gently sloping shorelines.
The sides should incline gently to a depth of no more than two to three inches. The surface should be rough for better footing. To protect vulnerable bathing birds from lurking predators, locate the bath some distance from cover, about 15 feet is a good distance. Change the water every few days and keep the bath scrubbed clean. Birds are attracted to the sound of running water and a drip or misting feature will increase the number of visitors.
Birds need places where they can hide from predators and inclement weather. Trees, shrubs, meadows, and even rock walls provide such shelter.
Create a brush pile from fallen branches and leaves. Or toss your discarded Christmas tree a few feet away from the feeder, far enough so that a lurking cat can’t pounce from behind it onto a ground-feeding bird but close enough for the birds to find speedy cover. A dry stone wall, with its nooks and crannies, or simply small piles of rocks can also provide hiding spots, as can a pile of logs. You can also erect boxes designed specifically for roosting, with the entrance hole near the bottom so that heat doesn’t escape. Mount the box in a sheltered area, preferably facing south.
A major feature of birds is that they lay eggs, and for the vast majority of species this involves building a nest.
Three important elements of the design of most nests are that they are robust, provide good insulation and are well camouflaged.
Sticks, bark and grass commonly provide the support structure, and these items are usually abundant.
Most eggs that are produced by birds are eaten by predators (typically 70%) so there is a high demand for concealed nest sites. Many small birds nest in the understory where the vegetation is often thickest.
Some species also show a preference for nesting in spiky shrubs, and several examples are listed in the Gardening section. Some species, notably parrots, nest in tree hollows, so old (greater than 100 years) gum trees which have started to form hollows are particularly valuable resources for birds (as well as native mammals).
Different species of birds suit different types of natural habitat. Although there is much overlap in the resources that different habitats provide (e.g. insect food), some habitats are rich in certain resources.
Heathlands usually occur on infertile soils. Around Sydney, they are primarily found near the coast where they are subject to wind and salt spray. Heathlands do not support tall trees: most heathland plants are less than two meters tall.
Heathlands are very dense habitats and because most heathland plants are hard-leaved, they form a prickly structure that provides good shelter for small birds. Many heathland plants (e.g. banksias) belong to the plant family Proteaceae, and the flowers of these species are often rich in nectar.
Woodlands are a habitat type dominated by trees, but with a relatively low canopy cover of less than 30%. Eucalypts dominate the canopy and the under story is relatively open, often containing native grasses. In the Sydney Basin, woodlands used to be common in the western parts which have more fertile soils. However, most of this habitat type has now been cleared, first for farmland, and more recently for housing.
Includes boreal regions, temperate woodlands and tropical jungles
Forests are a habitat dominated by trees, with a canopy cover of between 30 % and 50 %. There are two main types of forest in Australia, both of which are dominated by eucalypts.
forests have a canopy that is taller than 30 metres and generally have a soft-leaved understorey, often including tree ferns.
forests have a canopy between 10 metres and 30 metres tall, and generally have a hard-leaved understorey with wattles, peas and boronias.
Rainforests grow on deeper, more fertile soils with moister soil conditions. They have a canopy greater than 30 m in height which is relatively closed (greater than 70 % canopy cover). Rainforests around Sydney often include some eucalypts in the canopy but also have species such as figs, red cedar and cabbage-tree palms.
Includes marshes, bogs and swamps .Wetlands are low lying areas that are at least periodically inundated with water. There are both freshwater and saline wetlands around Sydney that provide habitat for a range of species that are not present in other habitats.
Coastal habitats include beaches, headlands, estuaries and rock platforms that are home to many species of sea bird in Australia.
Includes meadows, prairies, plains and scrub regions
With varying degrees of aridity and drought-tolerant vegetation
Circumpolar regions with light and temperature extremes
Pelagic zones that include offshore islands and aquatic regions
Regions associated with humans, including major cities
Many birds are threatened by habitat destruction and fragmentation that eliminates the necessary undisturbed environments. Developmental activities that most impact habitat include:
Habitat conservation is the single best step anyone can take to help protect birds, and fortunately it is also one of the easiest.
The easiest way to provide safe habitat for birds is to protect the habitats birds already use. Protection, preservation, conservation – they all mean the same thing, keeping habitat in good shape to meet the needs of wildlife. For birds, that means habitat must be able to provide nutritious food, clean water, safe shelter and secure nesting sites
Minimizing pruning or cutting down trees, avoiding excessive chemical use, leaving leaf litter intact and allowing snags to stand are all easy ways to keep a backyard habitat productive for birds.
Choosing a low-emission vehicle, reducing water and electricity use, minimizing your carbon footprint, recycling regularly, carpooling and other common sense steps all help protect habitat that birds and wildlife need.
Chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides should always be used responsibly, not overused in ways that may contribute to excessive run off in the environment. Other potential contaminants such as motor oil, soaps and medications should be disposed of safely so they cannot affect habitat and wildlife.
This means staying on marked trails so delicate plants are not crushed, picking up all litter and not fiddling with new buds or growth on nearby trees or shrubs. Flowers should be allowed to bloom rather than be picked, and pets and children should be carefully supervised so they do not accidentally damage habitat.
Birds see nature reflected in the window or mistake houseplants inside the building for outdoor plants and fly into the glass. Putting up curtains or window decals helps make the window visible to birds. Protect Birds from Pets Unleashed dogs and outdoor cats can harm birds by disturbing, chasing, and even killing them.
Dirty feeders can spread disease. Disinfect and clean out old seed from feeders frequently and put fresh water in your bird bath every day. For more product about your birds just click here aviariesdepot.com.au.
Selling wild-caught birds as pets is illegal. Buy only captive-bred birds. Make certain that the breeder or pet store is reputable.
Birds that mistakenly eat plastic trash can become ill or even die. Avoiding plastic bags and bottles reduces plastic pollution and conserves resources.
Talk to your friends about birds and start a club in your community to teach people about the challenges birds face. The more people know, the more they can do to help.
Native plants provide food, nest sites, and cover for birds
You can appreciate the bird habitat near your home. Find a local park and go for a walk or just stroll around your neighborhood.
Join a bird club or other conservation organization to learn more and contribute to protecting birds. Volunteer with organizations that preserve habitat and help birds
Birds may accidentally eat pesticide and herbicide pellets or prey that have been poisoned. This can kill a bird or have toxic effects on their own health and that of their growing embryos, including deformation or suppressed immune systems.
Everyone can help to assist in smart bird conservation. Here are a few things you can do right now and every day to help protect birds.