Fresh water anytime for our fine feathered friends
Birds around the Town of Victoria Park have been enjoying a drink from innovative bird waterers that help our feathered friends sustain themselves over Perth’s long hot summers. The original concept, designed and developed by Town employees, was to create a safe, clean, and low maintenance water source for the many bird species that visit our unique urban bushland.
The original design was a three-metre metal pole bolted to a concrete foundation and topped by two water troughs with wooden perches that allow four birds to be perched at any one time. A new design, unveiled in September 2020, has been extended to four metres high with two additional troughs and bigger perches to cater for more birds. The water is automatically refilled twice a day to ensure fresh water especially on hot summer days.
Visitors to Kensington Bushland, Harold Rossiter Park and Rayment Park do not have to wait long to see singing honey eaters, red wattle birds, willy wag tails, ravens and even red-tailed black cockatoos happily drinking from the waterers.
The two new and improved bird waterers that were installed at Kensington Bushland and Harold Rossiter Park were funded jointly by a Community Conservation Grant to the Friends of Jirdarup Bushland from the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife and the Town of Victoria Park.
The waterers are manufactured locally. The Town has supplied six of these new designs for our neighbours at the City of South Perth. The Friends of Jirdarup Bushland and the Town’s Natural Areas team monitor and evaluate these bird waterers throughout the summer months. The design team see this natural habitat enhancement as a benefit for many urban and rural habitats, from small community gardens to much larger conservation areas.
Kensington Bushland and the surrounding revegetated areas was renamed Jirdarup Precinct, which is the Wadjuk Noognar name for ‘Place for Birds’ in 2015. Bird watchers travel from far and wide to visit this inner-urban sanctuary of surviving banksia woodland, where they may find over 50 different species thriving in their natural habitat. The bird waterers give the many birds in the Jirdarup precinct a secure drink at a time when it is even harder to find water in a drying climate.
Advantages of the bird waterer design:
- The troughs, unlike baths, accumulate less debris and leaf litter and therefore require little to no cleaning.
- It is refilled via a battery-operated irrigation control valve to compensate for use, evaporation and maintaining clean water.
- The water is located three to four metres above the ground, so that predators and people can’t interfere with the birds or water.
- Provides an ideal place of attraction for bird watchers.
- The wooden perches provide a surface for black cockatoos to sharpen their beaks and maintain their claws.
- Manufacture is simple and cost effective. The most expensive part can be supplying fresh water to a natural area. The installation and connection to a new water meter at any urban location will cost upwards of $5,000.
- They are a genuine enhancement to an area of surrounding diverse local flora that attract local birdlife.
Project Manager: Stephen Szydlowski, Town of Victoria Park
Community Conservation Grant: Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife
Concept design: Gregor Wilson, Town of Victoria Park
Manufacturer: Kel Steel Construction
Wrought iron signs: Martin Jaine Sculptures
Ornithologic advice: Ron Johnston, WA Museum