Bird Hides

To: "Alan Morris" <>, <>
Subject: Bird Hides
From: "Penelope Drake-Brockman" <>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 16:44:37 +1100
I would strongly support Alan in his comments below. We visited a hide at a bird lake in South Eyre Peninsular, SA, last September. It was facing over a huge sheet of water studded with various water fowl, all of which could be easily seen from walking around the lake. However the other side of the road not overlooked by the hide, had the most interesting birds on it, Cape Barren Geese, herons, egrets, various waders etc.. This hide was built with a seat for 3; when sitting on it you faced the wall above a narrow slit which had a shelf attached to its lower lip. One was not able to rest one's elbows or hands on this and look out using 'bins, one also couldn't kneel and look out. It was extremely well built but quite useless - must have cost hundreds of dollars. It's only use was to shelter one from wind, rain or sun.
Some places do need hides but perhaps as Alan says, more like a shelter and sitting spot than a hide as usually Australian birds are not greatly worried by humans viewing them (except for crakes etc). Overseas, ie: Mai Po in Hong Kong, the UK, wetlands, hides may be essential but do need to be well placed by people who fully understand how they are to be used.
Gluepot Reserve in SA had in September last year put up the first of its intended series of hides overlooking water troughs, well built with roof insulation against the heat, and providing a comfortable viewing platform for those tired of trudging through the mallee. And close enough to the water trough for people to get good photos of birds bathing and drinking.
Yes encourage authorities to maintain the habitat well, use vegetation as screens in suitable places and perhaps put in a few seats in the shade.
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