RE: Re: [BIRDING-AUS] Back Yard Birds: A few comments

To: (Kiran Krishna)
Subject: RE: Re: [BIRDING-AUS] Back Yard Birds: A few comments
Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 22:42:24 -0400
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 
'natural' balance.
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 
northern hemisphere.
I, for one, cannot conceive an environment without birdsong, and I would even 
prefer the 'pest' species' calls to no calls at all. 


Your favorite stores, helpful shopping tools and great gift ideas. Experience 
the convenience of buying online with

Get your own FREE, personal Netscape Mail account today at

Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • RE: Re: [BIRDING-AUS] Back Yard Birds: A few comments, terathopius <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU