An interesting read - Why do we feed wild animals?

To: Laurie Knight <>, Birding Aus <>
Subject: An interesting read - Why do we feed wild animals?
From: Greg and Val Clancy <>
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2016 00:26:24 +0000
We can achieve the same contact with wildlife by converting our gardens into
natural habitats and by providing a bird bath which doesn't cause the
problems that feeding wildlife does such as spreading disease, concentrating
predatory birds in the one area for long periods of time, disrupting the
natural behaviour of wildlife and making some dangerous to humans by losing
their natural fear.  A number of Pied Butcherbirds were being fed regularly
near the nest of an Eastern Osprey at Yamba, NSW.  On two occasions, a year
apart, the fledglings on their first flight were viciously attacked by these
butcherbirds and both lost the sight in one eye due to being stabbed by a
butcherbird's bill.  If the butcherbirds weren't being fed they would have
been foraging throughout their territory and not waiting around for the next
handout from a human.  The bottom line is that people feed wildlife for
their own satisfaction and joy not for the benefit of the wildlife, although
I am sure that some people may mistakenly believe they are helping the
wildlife.  Wildlife species survived quite well before humans started
artificially feeding them.

We don't feed wildlife in our garden but we have a great amount of enjoyment
having King-Parrots drinking at the bird bath, Satin Bowerbirds drinking out
of a water dish and a myriad of other species feeding on the insects and
nectar that the local native plants provide.  The water in bird baths can
became contaminated so it should be changed regularly.  The Robust Velvet
Geckoes and Martins Skinks in the house do a wonderful job of cockroach

I published a paper on how we developed our garden at Coutts Crossing, north
coast New South Wales, into an ecologically friendly space.  The response by
the wildlife has been incredible with over 130 vertebrate species (birds,
mammals, reptiles and amphibians) having been recorded in or low over the
yard.  If anyone is interested in reading it I can email you a copy.


Dr Greg. P. Clancy
Ecologist and Birding-wildlife Guide
| PO Box 63 Coutts Crossing NSW 2460
| 02 6649 3153  | 0429 601 960

-----Original Message-----
From: Laurie Knight
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2016 6:34 PM
To: Birding Aus
Subject: An interesting read - Why do we feed wild animals?

The last sentence sums it up "And that is why many of us feed animals — not
merely because it’s satisfying to feel we have helped them, but because it
surrounds us with creatures that know us, are able to forge bonds with us,
have come to regard us as part of their world.”

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