Tūī feeding on flax
Image: Sabine Bernert | ©


Birds and bugs such as spiders, moths, beetles, earthworms and stick insects like green backyards. They move in. Use our checklist to find out how 'green' your garden is.

Step outside your house and look around your garden. Give yourself one point for each item from the checklist below that you find in your garden.


The more you've got the greener you are:

  • Mulch or leaf litter on the garden where insects, spiders and other invertebrates like to live.
  • Lots of friendly creepy crawlies like spiders, moths, beetles, earthworms and stick insects.
  • Places for invertebrates to hide or live in such as rotting woodpiles, cracks and holes, old concrete or low thick growing plants like coprosmas where lizards can hide.
  • Lots of worms in the soil.
  • Spiders' webs.
  • Water for birds in places that are safe from cats.
  • Plants like flax and kowhai with nectar that birds love.
  • Plants like wineberry and karamu with fruit that birds love.
  • Bigger trees for birds to sit and nest in.
  • Plants that birds like to feed on, growing in places where the cat can’t get them!

Tally up your total score and check it below.

Check your green score

1 – 3 point(s): Light green
The bugs and beetles will visit but try some more of the activities in this section if you want more to stay.

4 – 7 points: Medium green
Insects and birds will like your backyard. Little things like woodpiles will bring in even more.

8 – 10 points: Dark green
Wow! Your backyard is an amazing place for birds and invertebrates.

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