To: Robyn Charlton <>
Subject: feeding
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2008 01:45:03 +1100
Hi Rob,

It is not a good idea to use honey in bird feeding mixes as it can carry pests and diseases that affect bees. European and American Foul Brood disease spores can survive for years in honey and are very common in commercial honey. The spores are easily picked up by foraging bees and carried back to the hives. In NSW and I believe most if not all other states, it is an offence with a fine of up to $1100. So, please advise your friend to modify their mix. Malt syrup or molasses is a good substitute. The Apiary industry has had a hard enough time during the drought without another potential source of diseases around. If you wish any further details, please do not hesitate to contact me off list.

As for the problem of the freeloading natives, the only cure is to deny access to the feed. This can be done by re-positioning the feeders in the aviary, so as to reduce the escape of feed to areas accessible to the natives or double cage the aviary, with the outer cage wire about 1m out from the aviary. Once wild birds find a free feed, it is very difficult to dissuade them.


Carl Clifford
On 03/01/2008, at 12:44 PM, Robyn Charlton wrote:

Greetings all,

I've just spent the Christmas/New Year Season looking after a friends aviary birds. The interesting thing is that of course the 'wild' birds were in for a feed too. Feeding all the birds was an elaborate affair: the wild birds
accessing oats, honey and rice milk; bread; seed mix and any thing the
aviary birds dropped. The main wild birds that came in ( and the area is south Lake Macquarie) were Rainbow Lorrikeets, Magpies, Noisy Miners, Indian Mynahs Spotted Turtle- Doves, Crested Pigeons and a Grey Butcherbird. And while it was delight to see many of the Natives come in, I can't help to think that it isn't the best idea to 'feed the birds'. Magpies can become very impatient for starters. Then there are nutrition and dependency issues. Personally I prefer providing a ' natural' feeding habitat for them and
offer areas where water can be found.

Thoughts anyone?


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