Bird feeders

To: "michael norris" <>, "L&L Knight" <>, "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Bird feeders
From: "Peter Shute" <>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 06:41:59 +1000
Interesting that this article, from a country where feeding is generally 
accepted, finds that it can be harmful. And then Darryl Jones's article in 
Wingspan, in a country where it isn't generally accepted, finds that it isn't 
as harmful as previously thought.

I was surprised by Jones's finding that birds tend to treat feeders as snacks 
rather than being dependent on them.  This might be true of native birds, but I 
have witnessed my local Spotted Turtle-Dove population increase 10 fold in 
response to one person providing unlimited food for them, and then seen them 
desperately searching for food when he went on holidays.

This is an extreme, but not necessarily uncommon example.  Had this person 
limited the time the food was available, as suggested in Michelle Plant's 
article in the same issue, the effect on the birds would probably have been 

Peter Shute

-----Original Message-----
From:    on behalf of michael norris
Sent:   Wed 9/04/2008 9:43 PM
To:     L&L Knight; Birding Aus
Subject:        Bird feeders


But no one has mentioned those 4 brilliant articles in the last Wingspan 
about feeding or caring for birds in urban areas.

They are a real challenge to purists - and to people who moan about losing
species but do not do the right thing in their gardens and neighbourhoods.

Anyhow, many thanks - aren't we Birding-Aussers so lucky to have people like
you scanning the Web for interesting stuff!

I see what the authors mean on

But it was surprising to see their picture shows three European species -
House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Greenfinch - but on a quick scan I did not see 
encouraging exotics as an issue.

If feeding has down sides - but the up side of favouring interest in and 
care for birds - what should we do ?

Michael Norris

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