The Shoalhaven Avicultural Society have been learning about how the bushfires have affected wild bird populations on the South Coast.
Their March 10 guest speaker was Yolande Cozijn, who spoke about creating a bird friendly garden.
Yolande is a member of the Shoalhaven branch of Bird Life Australia which has 200 members in the Shoalhaven.
Bird Life Australia is an independent not for profit organisation and their aim is to achieve outstanding conservation results for native birds and their habitat.
Yolande explained their current project in the Shoalhaven was surveying the burnt and unburnt sites to see how birdlife has been affected. Yolande said many small birds species are declining.
Birds such as finches, fairy wrens, silvereyes and small honeyeaters are becoming less in numbers due to loss in habitat. This is mostly due to development, and homes with gardens that do not support bird life.
Simple open gardens provide shelter and food for all types of birds.
A slide show was shown on the benefits of developing thick vegetation with layers in growth eg tall trees and shrubs, medium types and then ground covers.
This allows small birds to escape predators.
Dense shrubs planted close together form protective thickets.
Native shrubs provide a range of foods, nectar, seeds, fruit and habitats for insects which many birds enjoy.
When designing gardens Yolande explained that bird friendly gardens don't have to be neat but thick to provide shelter and food.
Birds need fresh water, so we should place bird baths under trees for protection and shade and they should be able to fly up into the trees if they feel threatened as they are vulnerable when bathing and drinking.
Hidden near the edge of the garden is a good spot.
Small birds are also susceptible to attacks from kookaburras and magpies.
To find out more info on birds in your garden or park you can visit this website www.birdsinbackyards.net.
If anyone is interested in coming along to a Shoalhaven Avicultural Society meeting, please ring Ray Faulds, club president on 44234475