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We love keeping an eye out for animals that visit our garden, and watching how the diversity of animals visiting our yard has increased since we turned our lawn on it's head and created an urban food paradise. 

Since June 2007 vistors and residents of our back yard include:


  • Firetails (Red brown finches)
  • Lewin's Honeyeaters
  • Superb Fairy Wrens
  • Satin Bowerbirds
  • Spotted pardalotes
  • Little wattlebirds
  • Eastern Spinebills
  • Willy wag tails
  • Grey fantails
  • Silver eyes
  • Yellow (little) Thornbill
  • Black faced cuckoo-shrikes
  • Rainbow lorikeets
  • Laughing kookaburras
  • Sulphur-crested cockatoos (let sunflowers go to seed and they will know about it!)
  • King Parrots
  • White-faced herons
  • Magpie-Lark
  • Bulbuls 
  • Sparrows 
  • Indian myna birds
  • Starlings 
  • Turtle doves 
  • Rock Doves 
  • Sea gulls


  • Brown Marsh frogs 
  • Perrins tree frog


  • Water skinks 
  • Blue tongue lizards
  • Garden skinks 


  • Earthworms
  • Lady beetles 
  • Diamond Weevil
  • Honey Bees 
  • Blue banded native bees
  • Wasps
  • Cicardas
  • House flies
  • Hover flies
  • Praying Mantis
  • Cabbage white butterflies
  • Orchard butterflies
  • Blue Triangle butterflies
  • Common blue grass butterflies
  • Monarch butterflies
  • Common Jezard butterflies
  • Bogong moths
  • Giant wood moths
  • Flower spiders
  • Leaf curling spiders
  • Jumping spiders
  • Huntsmen spiders
  • Garden spiders
  • Daddy Long legs
  • Red back spiders
  • Black ants
  • Christmas beetles
  • Cockroaches
  • Stick Insect
  • Bronze orange bugs
  • Cotton Harlequin Bugs
  • Garden snails
  • Centipedes

Helpful sites for identifying fauna in your backyard are:

It's funny how we often think of wildlife belonging in ‘protected areas’ and in ‘the bush,’ when our suburbs, gardens and cities are so alive with wildlife.

Life in the suburbs has plenty of perks for wildlife that loves open spaces, the range of different trees that provide nectar and fruit year round, and all the nooks and crannies in houses, buildings, bridges and drains. But for others, life in the suburbs is a constant challenge, with sparse vegetation that stops and starts in different places, degraded water ways, busy roads and intimidation from more aggressive animals.

The way we design our gardens and cities has a huge impact upon what wildlife will thrive and what wildlife will  become another name on the threatened species list. And as we change the landscape, some wildlife is affected positively and others negatively. My grandma used to have bandicoots in her backyard in Wollongong, and now they’re rare indeed. On the other hand, rainbow lorikeets, galahs and many of the large birds we see are relatively recent newcomers to the Illawarra.

There's plenty we can do to encourage wildlife in our cities. Some of the things we've done include:

  • Planting layers of trees, shrubs and ground covers, especially locally indigenous species and fruits trees.
  • Growing some of our own food, and supporting sustainable agriculture, given that so much wildlife is having a hard time because of the way food is produced.
  • Having well mulched gardens, and leaving some old branches, pipes or old pots in quiet corners for habitat 
  • Creating frog ponds and placing bird baths in the garden
  • Learning about our local wildlife and sharing stories about wildlife
  • Steering clear of chemical garden sprays – they aren’t good for anyone, wildlife included!
  • Using public transport instead of the car as much as we can
  • Leaving dead trees, as they can form hollows which are valuable nesting places, or be useful viewing posts for birds
  • Volunteering with local conservation groups 

Enjoy creating habitat for local wildlife and let us know about anything exciting that moves into your garden!