What makes a species a "garden bird"?

To: Laurie Knight <>,
Subject: What makes a species a "garden bird"?
From: Sonja Ross <>
Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 21:29:32 +1000
Hi Laurie,

An interesting proposition to think about!

Won't that vary a bit depending on where the bird was born?    Just thinking 
about my local area in Melbourne, we have both Eastern and Crimson Rosellas 
visit the gardens in our street and in the linear park along the local creek 
for much of the year, but then there would surely be birds in the country which 
would rarely be in a garden.

Any birds seen on a regular basis within a big city would surely have to 
quality, but these probably vary according to geographical location?

People living at the beach or some country towns probably have gulls on their 
lawn/roof fairly regularly, but I struggle to think of a Silver Gull as a 
garden bird!

It will be interesting to read other responses.


On 08/05/2012, at 9:15 PM, Laurie Knight wrote:

> Today's weather was lovely and fine - 100% azure sky, slight breeze, temp in 
> the mid 20s - just what you expect in Brisbane in May.  You have to go out at 
> lunch time when conditions are like this.
> As I was perambulating around the Roma St Parklands taking in the floral 
> displays set up for Mother's Day, I observed a Buff-banded Rail fossicking 
> through the garden beds.  This led me to reflect on how much time / 
> proportion of lifecycle must a species spend in gardens to qualify as a 
> "garden bird"?  (This begs the question as to what is a "garden bird"?)
> Clearly, species that breed in and spend extensive proportions of their lives 
> in urban parks and gardens qualify as garden birds.  By this measure, Bush 
> Thickknees and Turkeys are garden birds.  So are Pacific Black and Maned 
> Ducks, Eurasian Coots, Dusky Moorhens and Aus Grebes.
> Tawny Frogmouths would be garden birds, but what about Boobooks and Powerful 
> Owls?  Do species that periodically visit gardens (like Cassowaries) qualify? 
>  What about migrants (such as Koels) that frequent gardens when they are in 
> town?
> Regards, Laurie.
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