Re Backyard bird feeding

To: Carl Clifford <>, Peter Woodall <>
Subject: Re Backyard bird feeding
From: John Gamblin <>
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2004 10:43:37 +1100 (EST)
Bless you Peter Woodall ....

Carl Clifford <> wrote:
Peter Woodall wrote:

> I always wonder why putting out water for the birds is deemed OK by
> the "authorities" but not food.
> Can anyone explain the difference?
> To me, they are both resources that are often limiting, as evidenced
> by the way birds will often flock to water,
> and both can affect the "subtle ecological balance", etc etc
> Peter
> At 05:31 PM 5/11/2004 +1100, you wrote:
>> While it is tempting to attract birds to our backyards by providing
>> food of various types there are a number of reasons for not doing
>> so. The problem of dependence on artificial food is only one, minor,
>> reason. Concentrating birds in unnatural aggregations can make them
>> more prone to predation, can favour large aggressive birds that
>> dominate the yard, can upset natural behaviour, can upset the subtle
>> ecological balance (which has already been disturbed by creating the
>> garden) and can assist with the spread of disease. On the NSW North
>> Coast species like Noisy Miners, Blue-faced Honeyeaters, Rainbow and
>> Scaly-breasted Lorikeets, Australian King-Parrots, Australian
>> Magpies, Pied and Grey Butcherbirds and Laughing Kookaburras are
>> birds that are frequently fed in gardens. The large honeyeaters and
>> lorikeets are also attracted to gardens because of extensive
>> plantings of 'bird attractant" grevilleas and bottlebrush. Who are
>> the losers? The small birds that are becoming increasingly scarce
>> due to habitat loss - that's who. Feeding birds in gardens isn't the
>> only problem. Developing gardens that attract larger birds to the
>> detriment of the smaller birds also plays its part.
>> There is a compromise. Providing clean water and a garden full of
>> locally occurring native trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and grasses will
>> be a much greater help to our birds than by artificially feeding
>> them. Remember, if you are feeding birds you are doing it for your
>> benefit - not the birds.
>> Regards
>> Greg
> --------------------------------------------
> Birding-Aus is now on the Web at
> --------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message 'unsubscribe
> birding-aus' (no quotes, no Subject line)
> to
Hear, Hear Peter. Even establishing gardens that are beneficial to all
of the local species of birds in an urban environment creates micro
refugia which can disapear at any time, due to events such as change of
owner. Whatever we do, if any thing, can be be seen as deleterious to
the local avifauna, even mowing the lawn or controlling weeds. So
perhaps it is best to just do what makes you feel warm and fuzzy, after
all birds as a whole have shown themselves to be very adaptive to
changes in environment.


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

JAG waddles off singing:
"Owl can I live with sorry?"
"Owl can I live until tomorrow,"
"Owl can you mend a broken heart,"
"Owl can you stop the rain fall lynn,"

Bee Gees for ever

Find local movie times and trailers on Yahoo! Movies.
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

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