Feeding birds

To: "birding-aus (E-mail)" <>
Subject: Feeding birds
From: Peter Morgan <>
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 2016 04:45:52 +0000
I was reluctant to get involved in this after Greg Clancy was accused of "utter 
claptrap", and following the recent complaints about spelling and grammar, and 
posting reports, I didn't want to contribute to raising the temperature again.

However I offer this for what it is worth:
Twenty years ago, we moved on to a bush block and I scattered seed over a large 
area.  I did not use a feeder which concentrates the birds.  I thought that was 
the best way to do things.
And it was great. We had Butcher Birds, Magpies, Galahs, King Parrots, Rainbow 
Lorikeets, Crows. All the time.

After a while, I stopped putting seed out, and most of those birds became less 
frequent visitors.  But what we found was an increase in Blue Wrens, Red-browed 
and Double-barred Finches, various honeyeaters - Black-chinned, Brown, Fuscous, 
White-throated, Scarlet, Little and Noisy Friarbirds, the occasional Red-backed 
Fairy Wren, Eastern Yellow Robin ...
Two of the migratory species, Rufous Fantail and Eastern Spinebill and the 
Restless and Leaden Flycatchers might not have have had a connection to our 
stopping feeding and putting out a birdbath. But we started to see them when we 
did do that.

So, we're with Greg on that.

The other thing that makes us believe that it is better not to feed is at our 
other house.  There were a few Rainbows about, and people liked that.  So a lot 
started throwing out seed and bread.  When the numbers increased to huge 
flocks, the screeching annoyed these same people who then wanted "something 
done".  Eventually they stopped feeding, the numbers have reduced, and people 
are happy.

For us, while it might be anecdotal, we are convinced the that creating/keeping 
natural habitat, and providing water, is the best way to keep a diversity and 
more natural mix of birds.  We initially fed the birds for those "good" 
reasons, but ultimately it was mostly for our own enjoyment.
It is paradoxical that when we stopped putting out seed, our enjoyment 
increased simply because we had a greater diversity of birds.  We still see the 
occasional King Parrot with yellow where it shouldn't be, and we rightly or 
wrongly put that down to others along the lane who do feed large numbers on 
their verandah.

While we prefer not to feed birds, we accept that many do it, and that there is 
a range of views on this.

Peter Morgan

The conservation battle is never finally won; the  development battle is.
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