Feeding Birds

To: 'Denise Goodfellow' <>, 'birding-aus' <>
Subject: Feeding Birds
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 07:59:02 +0000
Almost every TV animal documentary that shows snakes, likes to show them
being caught and handled by people. This is rather different to the way most
animals are shown. This is across several nations and presumably cultures.
This is not about love or respect or food. Mainly that film makers like to
do this.


-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
Denise Goodfellow
Sent: Sunday, 31 January 2016 3:48 PM
To: birding-aus
Cc: Jennifer Neil
Subject: Feeding Birds

A few years ago Kunwinjku relatives and I participated in the making of a
documentary on my sister’s country in western Arnhem Land.

To the surprise of my relatives, the presenter, a Perth snake-catcher called
Bruce, tried to catch every reptile he came across, and they asked me to
question him about his motives.  Bruce told me that he liked to catch snakes
in particular because he ‘loved’ them.  Djedje Reverend P. Nganjmirra, whose
mother was a senior custodian for that country, had Python Dreaming, meaning
he saw those snakes as relatives, and I had once seen him cry when a water
python was mishandled during the making of a previous documentary.  So I
told Bruce that catching snakes as he was simply scared them and was no way
to show love.  Instead he should do as Kunwinjku did unless they were
hunting for food, that was to leave snakes alone and to show love and
respect by simply caring for their country.

And that went for most wildlife.  Elders did not want any visitors on my
sister’s country who might disturb wildlife in their desire to see or
photograph a certain species.

By the same token Kunwinjku relatives living in Gunbalanya had no issues
with people feeding birds or other wildlife around their homes; they did so
themselves at times.  What’s more Kunwinjku elders understood why people
identified with the wildlife in their gardens - after all that’s what they
did with dreaming animals.  And they empathised.

Denise Lawungkurr  Goodfellow
PO Box 71
Darwin River, NT, Australia 0841
043 8650 835

PhD candidate, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Founding Member: Ecotourism Australia
Nominated by Earthfoot for Condé Nast’s International  Ecotourism Award,

With every introduction of a plant or animal that goes feral this continent
becomes a little less unique, a little less Australian.

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