Suffocating gum!

To: <>
Subject: Suffocating gum!
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2010 23:54:52 +1100
People come up with some nonsense ideas. Actually there is little wrong with the occasional nonsense idea but to carry it through beyond the first minute thereafter ........  Do they really think all Australian birds have long, curved bills. Maybe that will stretch Geoffrey's skills at finding a photo (genuine unaltered of course) to comment on that conundrum.
-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Davey [
Sent: Wednesday, 31 March 2010 11:15 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Suffocating gum!

For interest I have copied below an extract from an email that the COG office received the other day.  Both Sandra Henderson and I have replied to the email correcting the mis-conceptions.
We are an organization, Hills Conservation
> Network in Northern  California, that is trying to save as many
> healthy trees as possible.  We live in the area that burned in the
> 1991 Oakland/Berkeley Tunnel fire, and most of us survived that fire.
> After the fire, the non-native trees, especially the eucalyptus, in
> this area were scapegoated for spreading the fire even though there
> were many causes--mostly involving the incompetence of our local fire
> departments.
> Various native-plant organizations in this part of California have
> reported erroneously that eucalyptus flowers suffocate small-billed
> birds because of the "gum" in their nectar. They say that Australian
> birds do not have this problem because Australian birds have long,
> curved bills.
> I have written an article about birds and eucalyptus that attempts to
> disprove that idea. One point, of course, is that many Australian
> birds have very small bills--and that is why I want to use your photo
> of the weebill.
> I believe that the gum in the term blue gum eucalyptus refers to the
> type of tree that it is, but could you tell me: Is there any "gum" on
> euc flowers or leaves that could suffocate birds?


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