Summer life in the bush

With the lack of rain over the summer months you’d be forgiven for thinking that the bushland must be lifeless. However, you’d be wrong.

There are some plants that put all of their energy into flowering over the summer/autumn period. At this time of year there is less competition from other plants for the attention of pollinators. Insects and birds are attracted to those plants that do flower to gain sought after pollen and nectar.

Having a sequence of nectar producing plants flowering at different times of the year has enabled Australia’s honey-eating birds to stay in one location. Birds in some other places migrate to find food when the plants in their current area stop flowering. But ours can form permanent territories due to the constant supply of nectar in the flowers.

However, this constant supply of food can be broken if too much bushland is removed. If one link in the sequence of flowering plants is removed the birds won’t have the food they need and they will leave – possibly never to return. To keep the birds we need to keep the plants.