A snapshot of my friends in the garden
Mating lady birds. A few species feed on plants or mildew but most ladybirds eat aphids (greenfly) or scale insects. Both are garden pests and this is why so many people love to see ladybirds. The seven-spot ladybird can eat 5000 aphids during its year long lifespan.
Bees, beetles,birds, bugs, and insects. Our friends in the garden. The things that help our food grow.
6 years ago when we built, we had nothing but red dirt, no plants, no trees, no grass, no anything. Our place was desolate land. So the first thing we did was set too and plant trees, as many as we could and 6 years later we are still planting trees. Why?
Because they bring life to the place, they also bring work, but the benefits far outweigh the work. And then comes the birds and the bees and the butterflies and so on.
All these photos are taken in our garden, and they show how beneficial it is to have them around.
We hear so many people complain that they do not like the magpies or the butcherbirds, or the spiders, or the paper wasps and many more other things. But since they have been coming to our place and have witnessed first hand the benefits of their handy work.
Things like the spiders are greatly reduced. I know. When I started to do macro photography I could always find spiders to photograph, but now, it is a hunt to find them. We sit on the porch and watch the red lobed wattle bird eat them and the butcher bird does the same. And so do the magpies. The magpies are awesome hunters, grass hoppers, curl grubs, spiders, mice, yes you read that correctly. They run down and catch mice. We have seen it often. And speaking of mice, we hardly ever see them now. Only when the weather starts to get cooler do we see the odd one. The magpies and the butcher birds and the black shouldered kite do a great job of keeping them under control.
They are natural pest control. They bring balance to the land. We do not believe in spaying chemicals when we have friends that will do it for us.
These are photos are best viewed full screen, so please do click on the photo to enlarge.
Bees, the pollinators. Honey Bees eat nectar and pollen from flowers. Nectar is the liquid in a flower, and pollen is a powdery substance which must be transferred from one flower to another to make more flowers. Larvae eat honey. Queen bees eat royal jelly.
Frogs and toads are carnivores, which means that they will eat meat. Small to medium sized frogs eat insects such as flies, mosquitoes, moths and dragonflies. Larger frogs will eat larger insects like grasshoppers and worms. Some large frogs will even eat small snakes, mice, baby turtles, and even other smaller frogs!
A few species feed on plants or mildew but most ladybirds eat aphids (greenfly) or scale insects. Both are garden pests and this is why so many people love to see ladybirds. The seven-spot ladybird can eat 5000 aphids during its year long lifespan.
Praying-Mantis. In the final instar as a rule the diet still includes more insects than anything else, but large species of mantis have been known to prey on small scorpions, lizards, frogs, birds, snakes, fish, and even rodents; they feed on any species small enough for them to capture, but large enough to engage their attention.
Crimson rosellas forage in trees, bushes, and on the ground for the fruit, seeds, nectar, berries, and nuts of a wide variety of plants, including members of the Myrtaceae, Asteraceae, and Rosaceae families. Despite feeding on fruits and seeds, rosellas are not useful to the plants as seed-spreaders, because they crush and destroy the seeds in the process of eating them. Their diet often puts them at odds with farmers whose fruit and grain harvests can be damaged by the birds, which has resulted in large numbers of rosellas being shot in the past. Adelaide rosellas are known to feed on dormant cherry flower buds. Rosellas will also eat many insects and their larvae, including termites, aphids, beetles, weevils, caterpillars, moths, and water boatmen.
Willy wagtails eating a white butterfly. Willy Wagtails eat a wide variety of arthropods, including butterflies, moths, flies, spiders, centipedes, beetles, weevils, fly larvae, sugar ants, grasshoppers, crickets, millipedes, cockroaches, earwigs, ladybirds, caterpillars, ants, cicadas, bees, termites, lacewings and mosquitoes, wasps and bees.
Red lobed wattle bird Hunting for insects in my grapevine. One of the most common (and raucous) birds in the Gardens is the Red Wattlebird. They are generally seen feeding on the nectar of the many banksias, waratahs and grevilleas. Red Wattlebirds (named because of the red lobes of skin, called ‘wattles’, at the side of the neck) also feed on insects and fruit. They occur naturally in native forests and woodlands of southern Australia and are common in parks and gardens.
The Crested Pigeon’s diet consists mostly of native seeds, as well as those of introduced crops and weeds. Some leaves and insects are also eaten. Feeding is in small to large groups, which also congregate to drink at waterholes. Birds arrive in nearby trees, and often sit for long periods before descending to drink. Drinking and feeding are most common in morning and evening, but can occur at any time.
This photo is taken by my husband, and as you can see this butcher bird has caught a mouse in my veggie patch. Grey Butcherbirds are aggressive predators. They prey on small animals, including birds, lizards and insects, as well as some fruits and seeds. Uneaten food may be stored in the fork or a branch or impaled. Grey Butcherbirds sit on an open perch searching for prey which, once sighted, they pounce on. Most mobile prey is caught on the ground, though small birds and insects may be caught in flight. Feeding normally takes place alone, in pairs or in small family groups.
All spiders are carnivorous, Most spiders eat insects but a few of the larger species are big enough to prey on small vertebrate animals like mice or small birds. Most spiders’ jaws work from side to side. They have toothed edges used in breaking up the prey during feeding.
The Eastern Spinebill feeds on insects and nectar while perched or while hovering. Nectar is obtained from a wide array of flowers, including grevilleas, but its beak is particularly well-suited to extracting nectar from tubular flowers such as epacrids.
Magpies are omnivorous. They feed mainly on the ground, eating a wide range of food, e.g., beetles, seeds, berries, small mammals, small birds and their eggs, nestlings and even reptiles.
Eastern spinebill, a pretty bird
Paper wasp When we think of beneficial insects that inhabit the garden, the paper wasp is not very likely to be a critter that would first come to mind to most home gardeners. In fact, it is not likely to make any lists! Adult paper wasps are efficient predators, mostly of caterpillars. They carry them back to the nest and feed them to the developing larvae. They will collect large numbers of caterpillars from the area around the nest during the course of a season. Adult wasps typically prey on a wide variety of caterpillars including corn earworms, armyworms, loopers, and hornworms. Adult wasps also utilize beetle larvae and flies as food for their young.. Adult paper wasps primarily feed on nectar or other sugary solutions such as honeydew and the juices of ripe fruits. Adults also feed on bits of caterpillars or flies that are caught and partially chewed before presenting to their young.
A busy bee.
The Yellow-rumped Thornbill feeds mainly on insects, but may sometimes eat seeds. It is primarily a ground-feeding bird, more so than most other thornbills, but stays near tree cover and will sometimes feed in shrubs or trees. Often seen in mixed flocks with other thornbills and birds such as Speckled Warblers and Weebills.
Baby magpie feeding time, and another beetle getting devoroured for dinner
Eating danelions see heads from the veggie patch
A Red lobed wattle bird just getting out of the bath.