Tameness of Australian Birds

To: Dean Cutten <>, aun tiah <>, Ian R <>, Keith Johnson <>, Mark Fanthorpe <>
Subject: Tameness of Australian Birds
From: Laurie Living <>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 22:20:39 +1100

It may be important to consider the danger we put Australian wild birds in when we 'tame' them.

Having birds feed from our hands is usually not 'good' for the birds in terms of self sufficiency and enables other less scrupulous people [bird dealers and smugglers] to capture them and turn them into a commodity.


Dean Cutten wrote:


The recent thread on the tameness of rails has prompted me to report a
general observation on some Australian birds around the area I live in.
After having spent 14 years living in Alabama, USA returning in 2003 I have
that many Australian birds are much quieter than those I observed in AL. I
am mainly refering to those birds approached in a backyard environment but
my observations are not confined to that area. It was rare to get close to
birds that frequented our backyard in AL (Red-breasted Nuthatch was
sometimes an exemption to this) whereas here in my current location a number
of species can be approached. The
ultimate here is that I have had 3 backyard species feed out of my hand,
namely, Silvereye, White-browed Scrubwren and Superb F-W with the Silvereye
commanding the most respect from the other  2 species. The Gray
Shrike-Thrush has taken food just inches from my hand. Several Honeyeater
species and Striated Thornbill will allow you to approach them quite closely
while they are feeding in the shrubs. I have had a Gray Fantail land on my
leg while sitting in a chair.

In the field I have noticed that frequenting the same areas regularly some
species don't fly off as quickly when walking up to them. One species in
particularly that does this is the Purple Swamphen. The Australian Magpie is
another species that quickly becomes less intimitated the more frequently
you walk past them.

Dean Cutten

Victor Harbor,  SA

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