Nesting Group

Nesting group

The nesting group is not strictly speaking a grouping of plants or trees within the garden, but these should be planted throughout the garden to provide nesting sites and encourage more birds to become residents.

Birds are very particular about their nest sites ensuring that it is well protected and often well hidden. Most birds prefer dense shrubs or thorn trees that provide ample anchorage and protection from predators. Providing impenetrable shrubbery is quite easy, and some of our indigenous plants provide this with some additional benefits. Thorn trees are favoured for the same reason as dense shrubs and have the added merit of being good insect trees.


Kei Apple (Dovyalis Caffra) –

This is a very dense shrub with wicked thorns. It makes great security hedges and has the advantage of being a desirable nesting shrub, Grey Go-away Birds and bulbuls love the fruit and it makes delicious jam.

Kei Appple at PLantzafrica

Num Num (Carissa Sp)

Both the Big Num-num (Carissa macrocarpa) and the Num-num (Carissa Bispinosa) are good shrubs in the garden. The Big Num-num is more suited for nesting sites, but given time and good conditions the Num-num can grow into a five meter shrub. Again both these have delicious fruit for both birds and humans.

Carissa bispinosa at Plantzafrica

Carissa macrocarpa at Plantzafrica

All Acacia species –

I am here referring specifically to our indigenous species.  To me the must have acacia is the Fever Tree (Acacia xanthophloea). The beauty of the tree is an asset to any garden and it is also host to many insects. I have come across specimens that looked like a high rise apartment building with numbers of nests all over.

 Fever Tree on Plantzafrica


Kei Apple

2 thoughts on “Nesting Group”

  1. Hi, to be able to “sustain” nectar feeders i guess i should be able to have flowers all year around. What would you recommend me to plant, (trees, shrubs, aloes etc.) I live at a smallholding (8ha), so space is abundant. In Polkwane / Pietersburg, thus, mild frost and rather dry in winters, only 550mm summer rain anually. Very hot summers up to 35+ degrees celsius. Thank you Fanie

    1. Hi Fanie,

      Most nectar feeders do not feed exclusively on nectar, and therefore will not necessarily feed the whole year on nectar. Most sunbirds are quite active hunters if insect often hawking them from the top of tall shrubs and trees. But you can plant some aloes for winter feeding such as Krantz Aloe and the stunning Mountain Aloes(Aloe marlothi) that grown in your area. For summer you can plant Pride-of-the-cape, Honeysuckle and some of the new non-perennial Wild Dagga that are now available at nurseries.

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