Building Requirements to Promote Wildlife – A Good Idea for Australia?

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What’s Good for the Goose (UK) May Not Be Good for the Gander (Australia)…

In the UK, certain councils are enacting planning laws requiring that all new buildings have bricks that attract birds and bees. Sounds like a poem, doesn’t it?

These measures are a wonderful idea in the UK, where native bird species are declining, but it’s probably not feasible here in Australia.

The UK does have troublesome invasive animal species, but in Australia, invasive birds like the Indian Myna and the Starling have wreaked significant havoc on local ecosystems. Introducing new building codes to help native birds in Australia might actually benefit these alien species, and do more harm than good.

So what kind of home measures should you implement? What can you do to help your local native wildlife? Here are a few tips!

Why We Should Focus on Discouraging Invasive Species

In reality, one of the best ways to support native species is by suppressing invasive ones.

The Indian Myna, for example, forces native birds out of their territory, very literally stealing their nests and pushing out their eggs.

Other non-native species, like Pigeons and Starlings, will also push out native birds purely by adding competition for resources like food and nesting territory. There is also the tendency of invasive species to attract other invasive species, which makes things even worse for local birds.

So by finding ways to reduce and drive away invasive species, you can actually help your local habitat.

Ways to Discourage Invasive Species

There are a few great ways to control pest birds and keep them away from your property:

  • Install bird spikes on flat areas where birds might land.
  • Block entry points that could be used as nests.
  • Install gutter guards to prevent invasive species from nesting in your gutters and roof cavities.
Kookaburra eating a worm in an Australian backyard
The laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) can help keep snails and snakes out of your backyard

What Can Be Done to Encourage Native Species

There are a lot of other things you can do as a homeowner to encourage your local native animals to thrive.

  • Loss and modification of habitat is a significant threat to native species and biodiversity. So the best thing you can do is plant native species in your garden. Opt for a few different types of indigenous plants at varying heights, including trees, dense shrubs, and nectar-bearing flowers. Check with your local council or nursery that the plants are suitable to your local area, climate and conditions, and that they will attract native fauna.
  • Make sure to keep your pets (especially cats) indoors, since they often cause their own ecosystem disruptions by culling native birds.
  • Install special nesting boxes or artificial hollows designed to attract native species, like these nesting boxes from the Nangak Tamboree Wildlife Sanctuary’s retail shop at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Providing sanctuary for native wildlife makes it less likely for them to seek out nesting places in buildings.
  • Consider putting in a fish pond in your yard with edible plants and fish, if appropriate for where you live.
  • Building bee and insect hotels will encourage beneficial insects, which in turn may discourage unwanted insects like mosquitoes and flies.
Banksia integrifolia
Planting indigenous species like Banksia integrifolia will attract honeyeaters and native insects

What you can do if you have invasive birds nesting in your roof and gutters

The most harmful invasive birds are often also pest birds. They like to nest in roofs, eaves, and gutters. Aside from harming local species, they can also transmit disease and cause property damage.

If you have pest birds living on your property, you may need the help of a professional. Grayson’s bird control services include cleaning out nesting debris from an infestation and installing all kinds of prevention measures like bird spikes, screens, and gutter protection. We’ll also happily give you suggestions and tips for other ways to prevent pest birds!

Reach out to us for a quote or free call us for more information on 1800 GUTTER (1800 488 837).