Backyard bird feeding

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Backyard bird feeding
From: "Nevil Lazarus" <>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 10:41:31 +1100

A couple of years ago I happened to be driving through Sawtell, and stopped
the car suddenly when a male Regent Bowerbird flashed past. At the same time
a Spangled Drongo settled on the overhead wires.  A friendly local saw me
get out my scope etc, and asked what I was doing.  He referred me to the
local expert birdman over the road, and so I came to meet up with Murray.
Murray came to Sawtell 30 years ago, a retired farmer from Armidale, and
bought a little house adjacent to the tidal creek. There were no trees and
no birds, so Murray and his wife planted and planted and planted, and
started putting out breadcrumbs and water. At first the sparrows and feral
pigeons were the only takers, but Murray swears that the native birds take
heed of what the ferals are doing, and gradually interesting birds started
coming to the garden that was now flourishing.  Don Burke visited Murray a
decade ago to bear witness to his astonishing and bird friendly garden, and
featured it on his TV show.  I have spent some marvelous hours chatting to
Murray and his wife who is now unfortunately blind, but still calls in the
birds and knows individuals by their calls. Regent and Satin Bowerbirds,
Catbirds, Drongos, Lewins, White Cheeked, Both Wattlebirds, Friarbirds,
Figbirds, Koels, ScrubWrens, Kookaburras, Pied Butcherbirds, all flock to
this little oasis.  There are trays of fruit, dishes of sugar water, minced
ox Heart, delicacies that the birds take delight in consuming. He even has
remarkable footage of a Mangrove Heron (he calls it Pedro the Black Bittern,
and I have not had the heart to tell him otherwise) fishing in the creek at
the back of his garden, dropping pieces of bread into the water, and then,
as it floats down with tide, with fish feeding on it, the Heron helps
himself to the fish!.  The Heron also walks through the garden.

Now, with Murray and his wife getting so much pleasure, attracting
generations of local birdlife to a garden that was a nothing before their
efforts, who can comment in the negative?

Best wishes to all,

Nevil Lazarus

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)

<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