Our native flora and fauna have evolved in association with one another and therefore are inter-dependent. Birds, more than any other group of animals, depend on trees for shelter, nesting, perching and food. In turn, many of the trees need native birds for insect control, seed dispersal and most importantly, pollination.
If you dream of a garden filled with birds, you will be please to know that the needs of these creatures are nowhere as diverse as the entertainment that they will provide you. Use native plants that provide nectar, seeds and fruit. Nectar producing plants can attract insects which also provide food for many bird species.
You can add in a water bath for the dry season, when water sources for birds are scarce, make sure it is high so Cane Toads cannot breed. You can also water moderately near your house or in a specific area where you have native woodland. Over time this will support the natural introduction of rainforest species that support more bird life.
If you are planting a garden, when designing your bird attracting garden, mimic a forest around a clearing. This may be as simple as several different sized trees around a lawn or entertainment area. Plant shrubs and grasses around the edges of the space and the birds will imagine they are on the edge of a forest. Make sure some of the shrubs are dense, to provide shelter and hiding away places. Dead trees or hollow logs will provide nesting sites for kingfishers, rosellas and owls.
(Photos above by 1) ALice Buckle, 2) Alice Buckle 3) Melina Mcdowell)
Some good bird attracting native trees and shrubs in the Top End are:
Acacia species (Wattles)
Corymbia bella (Ghost Gum)
Erythrina variegata (Coral Tree)
Eucalyptus species (Gums)
Ficus species (Figs)
Melicope elleryana (Euodia)
Schefflera actinophylla (Umbrella Tree)
Syzygium species (Bush Apples)
Tamarindus indica (Tamarind)