Kiran Krishna <> wrote:
> It would be great if people who are informed would educate people
>about the benefits of not feeding birds at all. Almost universally, it
>does more harm than good.
I understand from this that you mean 'Almost universally, people feeding birds
does more harm than good.'
This sounds a little sweeping in spite of the use of 'Almost'. I consider that
I feed native birds by planting in my garden native plants that provide
flowers, nectar, and seeds, and also attract lerps and other small creatures.
Given the reduction of natural habitat, and therefore the reduced number of
food sources available in urban areas, I don't think I am unduly disturbing the
Elsewhere in the world feeding birds can be seen to be well intentioned
attempts to right some of the wrongs of the past, and some of the consequences
of social improvements.
In southern Africa, animal carcasses have been deliberately made available by
farmers and others for vultures, whose natural food sources have been
drastically reduced by the reduction in numbers of game animals, the restricted
ranges available after the development of farming, the effects of poison baits
placed out in the farming areas, and improved sanitation measures put in place.
In North America and in northern Europe, feeding garden birds is a popular
pastime, and it appears to be encouraged by responsible ornithological and
birding organisations. Again, with the wholesale destruction of habitat in
those areas it seems to me entirely worthwhile to try to redress that
imbalance. Of course some species appear to be able to take advantage of the
provided food sources better than others. I find it interesting, however, that
people who are dedicated bird feeders spend much time in debate regarding ways
to discourage some of the 'pest' species while attracting those species thought
to be in most need. Perhaps these people are, after all, educated, and are
concerned about the negative effects of their actions.
I understand that different climatic conditions may dictate different
approaches to providing for our urban birds, but I have wondered, and still do,
whether the widespread feeding of birds in the northern hemisphere has the
additional effect of creating, in the general population, more awareness of
wild birds and a greater appreciation of the need for their conservation.
Certainly, there seems to be a perception that attracting young people to the
birding fraternity is more difficult in Australia than it appears to be in the
I, for one, cannot conceive an environment without birdsong, and I would even
prefer the 'pest' species' calls to no calls at all.
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