birds in inner Melbourne
Mon, 31 Aug 1998 13:55:39 +11EST
I am an artist & design academic developing an (unusual?) artwork for
the Melbourne Festival (mid October to early November) which will
involve the making of a large sculpture with approximately 750kilos of
bird seed (something like a giant birdy-bell). It will be placed on grass at
the corner of Flinders and Swanston streets to be slowly (or quickly)
eaten away over the three week duration of the festival. I expect it will
easily attract a lot of pigeons, and probably a bit of media attention. I
plan to make a time elapse film capturing the birds eating away the
Interestingly enough I notice that Birds Australia ?Bird Week? coincides
with the festival.
I have a few queries which I hope readers of this list may be able to assist
me with, or be able to direct me further.
1. I would like the sculpture to attract a range of birds if possible ?
particularly indigenous birds. I plan to use a variety of seed ? pannicum,
millet, milo / sorghum, wheat and sunflower. What birds do you think I
might expect to attract? Any suggestions on how I might get the
pigeons to move aside and best attract indigenous birds (eg those
migrating at the time?)
I believe that it is standard practice for birdy-bell manufacturers to use
a diluted PVA glue (standard wood-working or craft glue) to bind
together seed into larger shapes (casein for smaller shapes). I am
told that the PVA on the husk ?goes through as roughage?, or some
birds eat only the seed kernal after de-husking it. Can you offer - or
advise me as to how I might gain ? confirmation that PVA (poly-vinyl-
acetate) will not have negative effects on birds who may encounter
it. I beleive it is the chloride in Vinyl (ie PVC - poly-vinyl-choride)
which is the risk.
Thanks for your time, and hope you may be able to assist me.
Dept of Architecture and Design
please note change of contact numbers:
phone: +61 (0)3 9925 5326
fax: +61 (0)3 9925 5342
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