Is bamboo bird habitat? - inner Sydney

To: "'Chris Melrose'" <>, "'Chris King'" <>
Subject: Is bamboo bird habitat? - inner Sydney
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Fri, 3 May 2013 17:56:52 +1000
It depends what is the intended use. What Chris King wrote does not indicate
that the developer has any intention that the plantings be of value to
birds, so I would prefer to address that question first. Otherwise what is
the point?

I hope I am not generalising too much here: Bamboo are species of grass and
thus they are flowering plants, so it has flowers, but as grass is wind
pollinated, the flowers are small. I think the point from Christine Melrose
is that the flowers don't have nectar, so that honeyeaters won't use them. I
don't know about all bamboo but many large grasses produce large seed heads
that many birds such as House Sparrows like to use as nest lining (Pampas
grass in particular though I don't know if that is a bamboo -probably not).
As far birds go, bamboo, once it is big enough is a good overnight roosting
site for communal species such as House Sparrows, Common Mynas and Common
Starlings. That is not a good bird option and you can well suggest that as a
deterrent, that it will very likely attract noisy and dirty activities of
birds that most people don't want (dusk noise, lots of poops).

I can't think of any benefit that bamboo would bring to the area in terms of
helping with native birds. But is that the intent of the developer? There
are many other considerations. A food source for pandas in case Taronga zoo
ever gets them again?


-----Original Message-----From: 
 On Behalf Of Chris Melrose
Sent: Friday, 3 May 2013 3:16 PM        To: Chris King  Cc: Birding Aus
Subject: Is bamboo bird habitat? - inner Sydney

Hi Chris
I'm an old bush regenerator and know that bamboo provides a habitat for
nothing because it doesn't flower- it's in the grass family. Running  bamboo
is a terrible weed and if that's what they were going to plant it would be
out of the pot before you could blink an eye. 
Go for bottlebruhes, tea tree and wattle. Honeyeaters love the bottlebruhes
and you may be lucky enough to get some rosellas or king parrots in after
the wattle seed. They will take about 3 years to mature but well worth it.  

Christine Melrose

On 03/05/2013, at 14:37, Chris King <> wrote:

> A new development is nearing completion over the road from me. The 
> developer was talking to me about what they will plant in large 
> planter boxes at the back of the row of new houses. These will be on 
> concrete and he needs plants to screen the back fence, but not too 
> bushy. He wants to plant bamboo but I have never seen any birds use 
> bamboo. Birds in Backyards says the Australian reed-warbler uses 
> bamboo thickets but there is no water or reed warblers around here 
> (apart from the former creek which is now in a concrete drain).
> I am next to the proposed Greenway, so we have some planted bush we 
> would like the development to connect with. Its been suggested to me 
> that wattles to provide quick coverage planted together with a local 
> leptospermum would be a good solution, but I would like some 
> confirmation that bamboo would not provide habitat.
> Thanks,
> Chris
> ===============================


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