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Feeding the birds? Fun or folly?

By johnboy - 9 October 2012 28

bird woman

Petrie Plaza’s bird woman had the full attention of Civic’s avian population this lunchtime.

But I do worry for anyone coming along later without intending to feed the birds.

Harmless fun or a bad idea? Your thoughts?

What’s Your opinion?


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28 Responses to
Feeding the birds? Fun or folly?
TallBoy 11:21 pm 09 Oct 12

FioBla said :

Teach homeless how to catch birds and cook them. It’s the Ciiiiircle of Liiiife.

Charity (to animals), fat fed animals, personal responsibility, no regulations, less waste. It’s all win win win.

Ahh yes… Give a homeless man a bird and he eats for a day. Teach a homeless man to catch birds and he eats for a lifetime… Some day we’ll all look back and wonder why this wasn’t done sooner.

kakosi 10:24 pm 09 Oct 12

OMG how ridiculous is the world now when people can’t even throw a few “breadcrumbs” without being judged.

If you really want to worry about wildlife getting out of hand visit the lake and check out the nice population explosion of fruit bats complete with rabies-type virus. No people feeding them.

Jivrashia 8:04 pm 09 Oct 12

RSPCA_Comms said :

RSPCA ACT would like to see signage erected around lakes and ponds in Canberra advising people of the do’s and don’t’s of feeding waterbirds because most people simply don’t realise how dangerous it can be.

Please spread the word!

Try free screenings of Hitchcock’s movie.
It worked for me.

RSPCA_Comms 5:39 pm 09 Oct 12

Previous comments have pretty much covered the issues with feeding native birds, but here is some more detailed information.

*(From a previous RSPCA ACT Facebook post) A common misconception is that waterbirds can eat bread and are often fed leftovers of peoples lunches. But the truth about bread is it can have horrible effects on these birds, and often we see them suffer or perish from malnutrition. Bread is devoid of the nutrients waterbirds need to survive. It gives the birds a false sense of fullness, stopping them from seeking out their natural foods. This leaves them with nutritional deficiencies and abnormalities. This can cause them to become weak and unable to forage for food on their own, leaving them even more dependent on humans. We had a case where a waterbird had eaten bread on land, then moved to the water to have a long cool drink, causing the bread to swell. The bird unfortunately suffocated as the bread expanded in its throat.

There are still many great foods you can feed to waterbirds instead, such as lettuce, silverbeet and spinach. These foods more closely mimic their natural diet, and contain essential nutrients. So next time you go to a lake to feed the birds, grab a head of lettuce, not a loaf of bread.The birds will be forever grateful!*

RSPCA ACT would like to see signage erected around lakes and ponds in Canberra advising people of the do’s and don’t’s of feeding waterbirds because most people simply don’t realise how dangerous it can be.

Feeding birds in your backyard also poses problems, particularly for parrots. You can read a blog post about it here http://rspca-act.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/killing-with-kindness.html

The photo of the bird on a wire was taken in my own backyard, and it was a terrible sight to see, knowing that this bird would likely starve to death.

Please spread the word!

Thanks,

RSPCA ACT

Overheard 4:39 pm 09 Oct 12

astrojax said :

Overheard said :

And admittedly, the last time I did this, I got cornered by two black swans and while one held me down the other hissed in my face, “Beat it, wise-guy. We been workin’ this corner o’ Kingston Foreshore for two years an’ we don’t need no do-good hippie types ruinin’ a good thing. Capiche?”

i thought the swan mafia was nearer the adelaide avenue bridge, south side…?

The Crips have got the Acton Ferry Terminal, and the Bloods have just moved in on the Lennox Gardens patch. I have very engaging chats with the magpies in Garema Place. Most of them are quite engaging on how the area has evolved over time. I’ll ask them about their dietary predilections next time I’m over there.

c_c 4:26 pm 09 Oct 12

Well I would say in this case, urbanised magpies and pigeons, that the harm is already done, has long ago being done, and she probably isn’t doing much more harm.

Same thing with the seagulls at Bateman’s Bay who had a taste for hot chips… and as I found on a few occasions would soon crowd the promenade 50 deep when I walked by with said chips.

But I would generally advise against it.

astrojax 4:21 pm 09 Oct 12

Overheard said :

And admittedly, the last time I did this, I got cornered by two black swans and while one held me down the other hissed in my face, “Beat it, wise-guy. We been workin’ this corner o’ Kingston Foreshore for two years an’ we don’t need no do-good hippie types ruinin’ a good thing. Capiche?”

i thought the swan mafia was nearer the adelaide avenue bridge, south side…?

PM 4:19 pm 09 Oct 12

Overheard said :

Jungle Jim said :

Terrible idea. Not only is it bad for the birds (wrong food, dependence on humans rather than foraging) but, as you said, the next poor sucker sitting down there for a bite is going to be swamped as if they were eating a bucket of chips at the beach.

My biggest problem is the what. I’ve yet to find loaves of Tip Top or Sunblest ultra-processed white bread growing wild.

I’ve reached that time in my life where if I see people by the lake feeding the ducks and swans with processed bread I’ll utlra-politely inform them of the shocking lack of wild-growing White Hi-Fibre Family Loaf. Surprisingly, it usually gets a good response and thanks for pointing this out to them. Whether it results in any behaviour change is debatable.

And admittedly, the last time I did this, I got cornered by two black swans and while one held me down the other hissed in my face, “Beat it, wise-guy. We been workin’ this corner o’ Kingston Foreshore for two years an’ we don’t need no do-good hippie types ruinin’ a good thing. Capiche?”

Haha – gold 🙂

Still can’t tell if the woman in the photo is actually feeding the birds or whether she’s been cornered by them!

I guess if you don’t like a person, you could tail them, then run up and dump a whole bag of chips over them!

Overheard 4:13 pm 09 Oct 12

Jungle Jim said :

Terrible idea. Not only is it bad for the birds (wrong food, dependence on humans rather than foraging) but, as you said, the next poor sucker sitting down there for a bite is going to be swamped as if they were eating a bucket of chips at the beach.

My biggest problem is the what. I’ve yet to find loaves of Tip Top or Sunblest ultra-processed white bread growing wild.

I’ve reached that time in my life where if I see people by the lake feeding the ducks and swans with processed bread I’ll utlra-politely inform them of the shocking lack of wild-growing White Hi-Fibre Family Loaf. Surprisingly, it usually gets a good response and thanks for pointing this out to them. Whether it results in any behaviour change is debatable.

And admittedly, the last time I did this, I got cornered by two black swans and while one held me down the other hissed in my face, “Beat it, wise-guy. We been workin’ this corner o’ Kingston Foreshore for two years an’ we don’t need no do-good hippie types ruinin’ a good thing. Capiche?”

astrojax 4:10 pm 09 Oct 12

what jim said – this is disastrous for the birds’ dietry needs and habits and the practice should be outlawed.

i admit i fed a maggie the other day – but while mowing; threw a snail to it which i’d found in the lawn…

FioBla 4:06 pm 09 Oct 12

Teach homeless how to catch birds and cook them. It’s the Ciiiiircle of Liiiife.

Charity (to animals), fat fed animals, personal responsibility, no regulations, less waste. It’s all win win win.

Diggety 4:05 pm 09 Oct 12

S*** everywhere.

PM 4:01 pm 09 Oct 12

My good friend likes to feed the birds. I don’t.

But I’ll never forget the time we were on a rooftop beer garden and the publican came over to politely ask him to not feed his chips to the birds.

My friend’s response was that he’d paid for the chips so he could do with them what he liked.

The reaction from the publican was priceless 🙂

Baldy 3:49 pm 09 Oct 12

I hate it when people do this (and that goes for the lady that feeds the cats in Woden if she still does).

For the native wildlife it teaches them bad habits and makes them lazy. For the non-natives it gives them an edge over any native species that don’t parttake in the overly processed delights (i’m talking pidgions here).

People who think with their hearts and not their intelligence when it comes to animals should be barred from interacting with any animal at all.

Jungle Jim 3:47 pm 09 Oct 12

Terrible idea. Not only is it bad for the birds (wrong food, dependence on humans rather than foraging) but, as you said, the next poor sucker sitting down there for a bite is going to be swamped as if they were eating a bucket of chips at the beach.

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