Where do honeyeaters nest?
One of my recent readers asked the question: “Where do honeyeaters nest?” Well – that wasn’t the exact question but I have broadened the question somewhat. Gary was after information about New Holland Honeyeaters especially. He wanted to plant species native to his home state of Western Australia to encourage the honeyeaters in his garden.
My wife and I always applaud and encourage people who want to move from exotic to Australian species. Many of our endemic plant species are well adapted to drought conditions and many parts of Australia are in severe drought at present. If we want attractive gardens we need to consider drought tolerant plants. My wife has written a series of articles on drought tolerant plants on her blog Mallee Native Plant Nursery.
Getting back to Gary’s question, the choice of plants for nesting sites for honeyeaters is really wide. Many honeyeaters, species such as the Red Wattlebirds, will use a range of eucalypt trees for nesting sites. They particularly like the mallee forms but will use smaller bushes as well. Many species enjoy the relative safety of banksia bushes and trees; the dense foliage provides a screen from the eyes of predators. Having a ready supply of nectar from the flowers is an added bonus.
Honeyeaters also like the dense foliage of the following species: acacias, eremophilas, callistomens, hakeas and melaleucas. Most of these produce an excellent food source for the birds while they are nesting. They also attract insects which also provide a valuable food source. This is also true of many other Australian plants so the choice for gardeners is very wide.
- New Holland Honeyeater nest – with a photo.
- Red Wattlebirds nesting – with photos
- Babies, the Birds and the Bees – with links to many other articles.