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We are fortunate to live in a part of the world that is a biodiversity hot spot, with many opportunities to see native birds and other wildlife in our parks and backyards.

Bird Biodiversity

There are over 100 native species of birds in the shire. This includes some threatened species such as the Peregrine Falcon, Forest Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo, Carnaby's Black Cockatoo and Baudin's Black Cockatoo.

Many residents maintain birdbaths and put water out for wildlife through summer, adding sticks or rocks to help small animals to climb out. Water should be changed a couple of times per week to keep it clean and prevent mosquito breeding.

Feeding native birds is not good for them because it can cause hidden health issues and disturb their normal behaviour. Putting bird seed out will feed pest species that are not originally from this area, such as pink and grey galahs that compete aggressively for precious nesting hollows in habitat trees.

Owl Friendly Mundaring

Car Bumper Sticker that says Owl Friendly Mundaring

Sadly, owls are being poisoned by eating rats and mice that have eaten baits. This is called secondary poisoning, and it is killing owls as well as affecting pets and other animals.

Some types of rodenticide baits are much riskier - more likely to cause secondary poisoning, and the poisoned animals are harder for vets to save.

Being Owl Friendly means choosing less harmful alternatives for rodent control. This includes removing rats’ food sources and using lower-risk baits or traps. In places with lots of wildlife, live-catch traps are better so you can identify what you’ve caught before it is harmed.

Sometimes people mistake young quenda or other small native animals for rats, so check carefully. If you definitely have a rodent problem and need to use traps or baits they should be placed safely out of reach of pets and wildlife.

** If you choose to use baits for rodent problems then look for products containing Warfarin, Coumatetralyl, Diphacinone or sodium chloride as the active ingredients. These are still effective on rats and mice but less likely to cause secondary poisoning of owls. If used in block form (rather than pellets) in a tamper-proof bait station they are also less likely to be eaten by other animals.

The rodenticides that are much higher risk for secondary poisoning are ‘second generation anticoagulant rodenticides’ or SGARs. You can find more information about them and how to make your place a safe home for birds from Birdlife Australia.

Watch our How to be Owl Friendly video for more tips and information.

Injured Birds

Before approaching any injured or sick animal, your first priority is to keep yourself and others safe. Injured birds may think you are attacking them and can cause serious injury. Be careful of claws, beaks and wings if approaching or handling injured birds. Keep pets and young children away.

Parents may leave their fledglings (feathered baby birds) while collecting food. Only move fledglings if you are certain they have been injured or abandoned. You can call the Wildcare Helpline for advice on 9474 9055 or find more information in this short guide on Basic First Aid for Wildlife.

Creating Bird Habitat

Planting a native garden and caring for bushland on your property provides important habitat. Local native plants naturally provide food and shelter for native birds. The Shire’s Landscaping and Revegetation Guide will give you some great garden ideas, or ask your nursery about local native plants.

Nesting boxes installed in trees can provide a safe haven for breeding and roosting. Different birds have different nesting box needs, and boxes that are in full sun in the afternoon can get too hot. You can find more information about nesting boxes and other bird habitat tips from ReWild Perth.

Adding birdbaths with approach perches at different heights provides an important water source, especially in dry months. A birdbath can let you see many more birds in your garden, but it is important to change the water often to keep it clean and prevent mosquito breeding. The birdbath should also be safe from pets.

Domestic cats will instinctively hunt and kill or injure many more birds than their owners see. Keeping cats indoors or safely contained in a catio helps protect both cats and birds. You can find out more from the RSPCA’s guide to Safe and happy cats.

Cats and Wildlife

Embracing responsible cat ownership not only safeguards your beloved companion but also plays a vital role in preserving native birds and wildlife.

Unfortunately, cats that are allowed to roam away from their family home can become victims of trauma and abuse, with WA veterinarians regularly treating cats that are hit by cars, or attacked by dogs, other cats or even people. Cats often hide when they get injured or sick, delaying treatment.

Roaming cats also hunt birds and wildlife and can become a source of conflict when your neighbour’s property becomes their litter tray or hunting ground. The best way to avoid all these issues is to prevent your cat from roaming beyond the borders of your home or property.

Keeping Your Cat Happy and at Home

With their distinct personalities and quirky behaviours, cats can make wonderful additions to the family. With a bit of preparation, cats can be kept happily on your property. Research shows that bringing your cat indoors will increase its lifespan and strengthen your owner-cat bond!

Keep Your Cat Safe Using Fence-toppers, Catios & Enclosures

How you keep your cat contained on your property will depend on the size of your dwelling, whether you own or rent, your DIY skills and budget, and whether the Shire needs to approve any modifications. We suggest you carefully plan your cat-modifications and search online for ideas and inspiration. Pros and cons for some of the most commonly used cat containment options are outlined below.

Fence-toppers (for smaller residential properties)

One way to prevent your cat from roaming is with the suspension of cat-proof netting along your property’s fence line. Fence-toppers allow your cat to freely access the whole backyard, with the added advantage of keeping other roaming cats from jumping into your yard. Ensure the fence is in good repair and structurally adequate before attaching netting.

Catios & cat-runs

If fence-toppers are not an option for your property then you may wish to consider turning a patio into a ‘catio’. Or it may be more practical to enclose an area along the side of your house for use as a ‘cat-run’. Upstairs balconies can also be enclosed with cat-netting or wire mesh to provide an outside area. Catios and cat-runs can be constructed so that your cat can enter and exit the space via a pet door or window. The cost will depend on the size and shape of your outdoor space and whether you want a permanent structure or an enclosure that can be dismantled and rebuilt if you move. The popularity of catios and cat-runs is on the rise in Australia, with many landlords and local governments supporting their installation.

Free-standing enclosures

The most popular cat containment option in Australia is currently the installation of ‘free-standing enclosures’. These enclosures do not attach directly to your house or fence-line and can be wire mesh or netting and must be strong enough to withstand weather and have places for your cat to shelter within. Installing a free-standing enclosure makes you entirely responsible for deciding when your cat goes in and out of the enclosure and this may not suit your cat’s timetable! Fashioning a tunnel between the enclosure and a door or window in your home will allow your cat to decide when he goes outside.

If this is a major change for your cat, try to make the enclosure a safe and desirable place that your cat wants to spend time in by incorporating the features listed below.

What a cat needs to be happy at home

While you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to give your cat a great outdoor experience, you also don’t want to waste money on an outdoor space that your cat won’t use. We suggest you include as many of the following features as possible in your backyard, catio or free-standing enclosure for contented cats.

Vertical space

Most cats like to view their territory from a height. A tall, stable cat-tree or a series of shelves attached to your outdoor walls (must not wobble!) allows curious cats to climb up high and get a view of their surroundings. To ensure that your cat uses the vertical space, arrange the shelves or tree so that your cat has a view of an area with lots of activity (e.g. overlooking the neighbour’s yard or facing up the driveway towards the road).

Hidey holes

Cats enjoy spying on the world from a hidey-hole. While cats like to watch our comings and goings, sometimes there is too much activity and they may want to hide until the action dies down. You should provide your cat with as many safe hiding spaces as possible. Cardboard boxes are cheap and easy to replace, and can double as a ball-pit when your cat wants to play.

Sunning Spots

Cats originally evolved in deserts and today your pet still needs a sunny spot to lie in regularly to boost their metabolism and stay healthy. Your cat should also be able to move out of the sun into the shade to avoid sunburn or overheating.

Scratching posts

It’s a fact, cats need to scratch objects! Scratching sharpens their claws but also makes cats feel good by stretching their muscles and marking their territory, which makes them feel safe. Provide your cat with heavy blocks of natural wood or pieces of carpet attached to the floor or walls to encourage scratching behaviour outdoors.

Litter trays

Cat are very particular about their toileting habits. Provide an outdoor litter tray with a roof so that your cat feels safe when it goes to the toilet. Sand pits should be avoided as they quickly become smelly and are difficult to keep clean. You should provide one litter tray plus one extra for every cat you own, so if you own two cats then use three litter trays in three different locations etc. Cats need to be able to smell where they have gone to the toilet previously so whilst you should remove waste and change litter regularly to prevent unpleasant odours, don’t use heavy chemicals (bleaches) or citrus/eucalyptus scents when cleaning litter trays, or your cat will look for somewhere else to use as a toilet.

Cat grass

Your outdoor area should be an oasis for both you and your cat. Although cats do not eat plants for nutrition, they do eat plants for fibre to push furballs through their gut. On hot days cats also like sleeping amongst vegetation and digging in soil, so fill your garden and new catio/enclosure with cat-friendly plants, especially cat-grass. Consult your local nursery or internet for a list of plants that should be avoided (e.g. lilies can be toxic for pets).

Microchipping and registration

It is State law (Cat Act 2011) that all cats have to be microchipped, sterilised & registered with the Shire by six months of age. Cats must also wear a collar with a name tag and the Shire’s registration tag, to ensure that lost cats can be reunited with their owner. However, preventing your cat from leaving your property is the best way to ensure your cat never goes missing.

The Shire welcomes the installation of fence-toppers, catios and enclosures on private properties. Most will not need any permit form the Shire but you can check with the Building Service on 9290 6666.

Containing your cat on your property will also ensure your cat does not become a neighbourhood nuisance and will protect our remaining wildlife from predation. This includes the many native birds and resident bandicoots or ‘quenda’, which are frequently spotted in Mundaring bushland & backyards.

Even if kept in a catio you will need additional permits to keep more than two cats, or to breed cats, so contact the Shire if you are wanting to expand your furred family.

More information:

Visit the Shire of Mundaring website at For enquiries about cat registration, contact Community Safety Rangers on 9290 6629

The RSPCA’s website has lots of great information on keeping cats, including a free booklet ‘Keeping Your Cat Safe and Happy at Home’ that you can download or view online at

Visit Cat and Dog Registrations for more information. 

Bird Watching

There are many benefits to bird watching, including the opportunity to exercise, as well as improve your wellbeing.

With around 118 native species of bird and numerous trails to pick from, the Perth Hills is the place to be for bird watching.  You can find some handy booklets and books on local native birds and birdwatching at the Mundaring Visitor Centre.

Below are bird watching sites, including available facilities and the types of birds you might see:

  • Mundaring Town:
    • Railway Reserves Heritage Trail
    • Mundaring Golf Course
  • Lake Leschenaultia (see the Bird Bingo sheet below)
  • Mundaring Weir Road
    • South Ledge
    • Fred Jacoby Park
    • Mundaring Weir / Lake C Y O’Connor
  • Perth Hills Discovery Centre
    • Bibbulmun Track
    • Mundaring Weir View Walk
    • Grevillia Mycumbene, C Y O’Connor Trail and the Kep Track
  • Glen Forrest Superblock
  • John Forrest National Park & Rocky Pool
    • John Forrest National Park, Hovea
    • Swan View Station & Rocky Pool
  • Greenmount National Park
  • Mountain Quarry & John Herington Memorial Picnic Area
  • Broz Reserve, Helena Valley

Guided bird watching walks may be organised in Shire reserves by groups like BirdLife WA or the WA Naturalists Club.

Handy Bird Watching Publications

Bird Watching Around Perth Hills Mundaring (PDF)

Bird Bingo

Related Pages

 Local Native Animals