Feeding Birds

To: "" <>
Subject: Feeding Birds
From: Lloyd Nielsen <>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 22:42:47 +0000
First let me say I have been feeding birds all my life. I see nothing
wrong with it as long as it is done responsibly.

Just a few points.

Creating a garden which will attract birds is the ultimate BUT how many
people have the ability, the inclination, the knowledge, the
opportunity, the time or a suitable block of land to do it? Very few I
would think. As an ex-nurseryman I would have loved to have done it but
have never had the time or the opportunity. There would be nothing
better. In the district in which I now live I know of only two gardens
created to attract wildlife but I know of many many people who have a
feeder or water in their gardens just for the birds. And as far as
planting a garden of native plants for wildlife, that is fine but it is
only the dedicated (converted) who will do that. Most people love that
massive colour that exotics and some natives provide around them - just
watch the ABC TV Gardening Australia programme on a Saturday night. When
I was in the industry, we could sell 100 azaleas to about 10 grevilleas.
(A considerable number of the azalea buyers will still have a feeder or
water in their garden though).

As far as disease goes, I have never seen a single example of a diseased
bird at or near any of the feeders I have used over the years. But then
I have always lived in the country and have fed birds responsibly. (I
presume it may probably be more of a problem in the cities).Surely some
of these diseases can be spread naturally. I have a Callistemon not far
from my front door which flowers profusely. It attracts probably 10
species of honeyeaters, lorikeets, and others as well as beetles,
butterflies and many other insects by day. By night, fruit bats give it
a thorough going over and probably many other nocturnal life forms such
as smaller mammals, moths and so on. I should think it would be so easy
to pass disease on when so many creatures visit it.

Do people really feed cockatoos and other obnoxious species? They
certainly don't get a look in at my place.

There was a great story on our local ABC radio a week or so ago. An old
fellow had just retired and someone gave him a bird feeder. He knew
nothing about birds but was amazed at the birds it attracted. He bought
himself a field guide and now sits on his patio for a couple of hours
each morning watching and identifying the birds that come to the feeder.
Best thing he has ever done was his comment. And there are many more
like him out there! Isn't it better to advise him of the correct way to
do it rather than say "Sorry mate - you shouldn't feed birds",
especially in this day an age when our wildlife is still getting a
walloping with habitat still being destroyed at an alarming rate and
giving way to urbanisation, agriuculture and so on? Turning the general
public away from feeding birds surely must be a backward step. We need
all the support from the general public that we can get from a
conservation point of view. We should be fostering their interest which
in turn will add some support, especially when fighting conservation

Lloyd  Nielsen
Mt Molloy, Nth Qld

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