Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Feed the Birds RANT

Please don't do it; do not feed the birds.

At least please think carefully about how and what you feed them AND the effects.

This is hard to do, because the effects are not immediately apparent.

These birds are being fed bread.
Not only is it bread, but it is far too much and far too often.

They come almost every day with this kind of thing, flying from across the valley, and if I do get it from them in time, they fly right back and get more, and return.

They bring lumps of bread and other kitchen refuse (sorry leftovers) like waffles,

It isn't simply a matter of dipping it in the water and flying back "home" to eat it.
They bring it here and stay until they have eaten enough, so the feeding people never know.

They work it ... tearing it apart; stamping on it ... and so they foul the water.

The pity is that this is a "hot topic".

Most who do feed free birds never see the resulting damage, which often doesn't show up until the next generation.
Wildlife rehab people see them though, because they receive them  ... birds with too bendy beaks that cannot dig into the earth for worms themselves, for starters.

More significantly for this block, the little free birds begin to get a taste for it and will peck it out of the water trays.
By the end of a day, if I have been away, the water that they all NEED is slimey.

If I am not here for a few days it gets absolutely foul.
In summer, what could have been a lifesaver is a serious health hazard.

AND the balance of bird species shifts, to favour the big and/or assertive ones.

Somewhere here I have photos taken three years ago of a Currawong feeding lumps of bread to nestlings,, one of which could neither swallow it nor spit it out. The adult spent a long time pushing it in, and then, finally pulled it out.

If I get around to finding it I will post it here.

Of course, I do not know how many feeding people there are ... I find it hard to believe any one family would have so much excess bread.
This goes equally for over-feeding seeds to birds like parrots and  mixtures for honey eaters with permanently set up feeding stations.
There is lots of info on the web; perhaps this is a good start.

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