Feeding fruit to Native Birds and Geckos.
Want to attract more native birds to your backyard, but still dont have enough native plantcover that is providing food for the winter season?
All birds need high-energy food because it takes a lot of energy to fly and their body temperature runs higher than ours. Hyperactive birds like tui and bellbirds feed almost constantly. When they are not feeding, they are chasing, or being chased by other nectareaters from their favourite flowers.
The best foods to attract native birds are fruit and sugar-water. Be aware it may take a while for birds to find the food you put out, but once its been found.
Fresh fruit (including fresh bruised fruit) such as apple, pear, orange and banana, cut up, attracts native species such as silvereye, bellbird, and tui (and also kaka and hihi where they are present). It also attracts unfortunatly introduced species such as blackbird and starling. Tui and bellbird will however chase these away.
Kiwifruit is not be feed to birds to prevent its seeds being distributed into native bush as it easily germinates and becomes a weed.
Sugar-water attracts the native silvereye, bellbird, and tui (and also kaka and hihi where they are present). Make a sugar solution of one part sugar to four or five parts water (e.g. 150–200 g of sugar in a 1 litre container). Most people use white sugar but Zealandia (www.visitzealandia.com) recommends using brown sugar or raw sugar. Some people recommend boiling the solution briefly to sterilize and dissolve the sugar crystals. If you do this, make sure the solution is cold before giving it to the birds. Put the sugar-water in open containers on a bird table or in special bird feeders hanging from tree branches or other structures. See below for different types of bird feeders for sugar-water.
Both fruit and sugar water feeder can be hanged up in a tree of from balcony, out of reach from cats and other pests as mice and rats.
And nighttime when birds are asleep geckos, skinks and weta will take their part and feed on the leftovers.