Feeding Birds

To: 'Lloyd Nielsen' <>, "" <>
Subject: Feeding Birds
From: Mike Carter <>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2016 22:14:59 +0000
My experience and sentiments are similar to yours Lloyd, so thanks for
saying so. And now my wife and I have moved to a retirement village where
feeding and attracting wild life is forbidden, it is gloomier than it
otherwise might be!

Mike Carter, 03 5977 1262
181/160 Mornington-Tyabb Road
Mornington, VIC 3931, Australia

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
Lloyd Nielsen
Sent: Thursday, 4 February 2016 9:43 AM
Subject: Feeding Birds

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
(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 battles.

Lloyd  Nielsen
Mt Molloy, Nth Qld

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