General News

What do NZ birds like to eat?

We often get asked about what to feed birds. So here is a bit of info from Nicole of Sisterhouse Tree Earrings, that might be useful. It is based around the birds that visit Wellington gardens but should cover most you commonly see. Tui and Bellbirds or Koromiko mainly feed on nectar from many native and introduced plant species so will feed on sugar water from bird feeders. They also eat fruit and they glean invertebrates like insects and spiders.

Wax Eyes in Perch Pendant

If Hihi or Stitchbird visit, they feed on fruits and nectar but also on invertebrates.

Silver eye or Wax eye are omnivorous and feed on fruit and berries, nectar and a wide range of insects. They visit bird feeders more than any other species in NZ, where they eat fruit and voraciously feed on fat or lard, especially in winter.

Chaffinch come to the feeders for seed, cereal and fat especially in winter. They eat bugs, aphids, beetles, moths, cicadas and spiders. Chicks are fed almost entirely on invertebrates.

Yellowhammers eat the seed from grasses and also eat invertebrates. They will feed on seeds from bird feeders.

Green finches are mainly seed and cereals but again eat some invertebrates.

House sparrows feed on seeds and cereals, fruit and buds. Again a portion of their diet are invertebrates especially for the nestlings.

For Wellingtonians lucky enough to see Kaka in the garden its best to leave them to their natural diet of grubs, berries, seeds and the nectar of kowhai, rata and flax. Feeding kaka things like cheese, cake, chocolate and biscuits can affect the chicks. Some have been found with metabolic bone disease which is thought to be caused by an unhealthy sweet diet.

You would be very lucky to see Kakariki in Wellington but the eastern rosella parakeet are around and feed on seeds, fruit, flowers, buds and invertebrates.

Fantails are omnivorous and mostly hawk for invertebrates on the wing. They sometimes come to feeders for fruit.

For the Kereru, foods include the buds, leaves, flowers and fruits of introduced and native species, I have never seen them in bird feeders.

Starlings mostly feed on earthworms, caterpillars, beetles etc but do eat fruit and nectar. They take food scraps in towns and I have seen them at the bird feeders, especially when fat balls are on offer.

Blackbird in Perch Nectar Ring Red

Blackbirds like Starlings, forage on the ground and in leaf litter eating worms, slugs and snails and other insects and spiders. They eat fruit and berries and are often in the bird feeders, usually after the fat balls, I think.

My rule of thumb is fruit and nectar for the native birds and include fat for the Wax eyes. Seeds and cereal for the introduced birds. I like to feed them all.


See the full range at SisterhouseTreeEarrings or in our shop

Eco Interiors, Interiors, organic fabric

New Zealand designed fabrics

Did you know that we have a large selection of New Zealand and even Wellington designed fabrics?

Anthea one of our potters is also a fabric designer. We have a few of her fabrics and homewares in store.

They are all made with organic and hemp fabrics!

One of the few NZ fabric houses that we regular source from is Hemptech. They regularly engage NZ and Australian artists to design fabrics for them. The result is a lovely cohesive and timeless range that stands the test of time. One of the best things is the designs are all printed here in NZ on 100% Eco Linen – mostly grown and woven in Belgium where the worlds best quality linen comes from.

Eco Linen is ecological due to the way it is grown and processed. Linen requires very minimal pesticides and fertilisers and requires no extra irrigation. When the fibre is processed, it is dew retted. Meaning they harvest the linen and leave it on the ground for the fibre to be ‘rotted’ out of the leaf. This usually takes weeks rather than days for this process to occur. Cheaper linens on the market quicken this process by using chemicals.

What do you think? I think we certainly have some talented designers within our shores!

You can view samples of all of these fabrics in our shop. Or we are slowly adding them to the Verdant Living website.