Re: birding-aus SIlver Wattle attractiveness

To: Nigel Sterpin <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus SIlver Wattle attractiveness
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Sat, 07 Aug 1999 21:13:38 +1000
Nigel Sterpin wrote:
> Does anyone know which birds tend to be most attracted to or make use
> of Silver Wattle? Furthermore, do these trees grow up to 10 metres and
> what type of flowers do they produce?
> Uroo, Nigel Sterpin
> email: 
 In suitable places, Silver Wattle can be a very big tree, on the east
side of the Baw Baw plateau about 60 ft, at a guess. It's in flower
right now all along the Yarra - sprays of small golden balls, covering
the tree. The leaves are feathery. (If you don't have one, get a copy of
Leon Costermans' small book on tree recognition at once and start using
What birds *dont* they attract would be easier to answer!
They carry high insect populations and so get all sorts of insect
hunters checking leaves, twigs and bark and crannies, from Thornbills to
Yellowtailed Black Cockatoos splitting great chips out in search for
woodboring grubs.
They are wonderful understorey cover for smaller birds.
Nectar flows from glands on the twigs in flowering season. The branches
are visited by insects and birds -maybe bats too- for the nectar. Many
parrots fairly chew the leafstems to pieces for it - I've seen both Musk
Lorikeets and Eastern Rosellas at work.
The seeds are nutritious and many seedeaters come for them - under a
wattle is the place to look for parrots and pigeons once the seed starts
to fall. The wattle plantings of the Yarra Valley Park have brought
Common Bronzewings back in recent years.
Do get out and have a look at them. Keep a lookout for the shrub
Hymenanthera aka Tree Violet, also in flower just now, tiny cream bells
along the stems and a heavenly scent.
Best wishes, Anthea Fleming in Ivanhoe.
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