Love native plants

Create a natural habitat for birdlife by loving and using our native plants.

It isn’t necessary to have a forest to feed the birds – a few of the right plants will provide a place for birds to eat and to rest and if your neighbours also have a few plants, then across the city a corridor is formed to support a healthy bird population.

Small gardens can attract birds as well as large ones, especially over winter months when food is scarce for our native birds who will travel a long distance to find flowers and fruit.

Some of our birds feed off the fruit of trees, others enjoy the nectar from flowers, and most will eat insects.

Bird

Fruit

Leaves

Nectar

Insects

Lizards and Rodents

Tui

 x

 

 x

 

Bellbird / Korimako

 x

 

 

 

Fantail / Piwakawaka

 

 

 

 

Silvereye / Waxeye / Tauhou

 

 

Kaka

 

 x

 

Kereru

x

 

 

 

Morepork / Ruru

 

 

 

You can plant some of the birds’ favourite where you can enjoy watching their antics, but avoid planting so close to the house that birds are confused by reflections in windows. Kereru in particular are susceptible to striking windows with this being a common cause of their demise. You can try hanging something in front of the window, or using a decal, to alert birds to your window not being part of their flight path.

What to plant in Nelson gardens

There are many plants local to the Nelson area. You can find a wealth of information in our Living Heritage Guide including what to plant to attract wildlife (link). Some commonly available plants suitable for smaller gardens that will help feed our birds are shown below – not all these plants are native to the Nelson area.

Trees and shrubs under 6 metres

Aristotelia serrata

Wineberry

Red fruits

Brachyglottis repanda

Rangiora

Yellow flowers

Coprosma rhaminoides

Coprosma

Crimson fruits

Coprosma robusta

Karamu

Orange fruits

Coprosma grandifolia

Kanono

Orange fruits

Corokia species

Korokio

Orange, yellow or red fruits

Leptospermum scoparium

Manuka

White or pink flowers

Myrsine australis

Mapou

Black fruit

Phormium tenax

Swamp flax

Yellow flowers

Sophora microphylla

Kowhai

Yellow flowers

Shrubs to 1.5 metres

Astelia nervosa

Astelia

Orange fruits

Clianthus puniceus

Kaka beak

Red flowers

Corokia cotoneaster

Korokio

Red fruits

Hebe species

Hebe

Flowers of different colours

Libertia grandiflora

NZ Iris

Orange seed pod

Phormium cookianum

Mountain flax

Yellow flowers

 Low growing plants up to 0.5 metres

Coprosma acerosa

Sand coprosma

Blue fruits

Coprosma brunnea

Sand coprosma

Blue fruits

Fuchsia procumbens

Fuchsia

Red fruits

Hebe species

Hebe

Flowers of different colours

Libertia species

NZ Iris

Orange seed pods

Muehlenbeckia axillaris

Creeping pohuehue

White flowers

Parahebe species

Parahebe

White flowers

Pratia angulate

Creeping pratia

Purple / red fruits

Leave areas of leaf litter around your garden

Some birds prefer to feed on insects – the fantail and silvereye for instance. Leaving sources of leaf litter for beetles, works and spiders and to encourage insects will keep these birds happy. That friendly fantail following you around is looking for the insects that you are stirring up as you go. Kingfishers and morepork also enjoy insects as well as larger prey like mice or lizards.