I heard the author being interviewed on ABC this morning.  I wasn’t very impressed.  There was not one mention of the fact that birds are more vulnerable to cat attack when they come down to feed tables.  Most of the birds I had in care when I was a wildlife carer were from cat attack at bird feeders.  The birds become so tame that they forget to be cautious and look out for danger.  Also I have seen parrots with badly damaged feathers from fighting over feed at a bird feeder.  As the author said – birds in the wild rarely feed shoulder to shoulder – and that is what causes fights.

 

I will continue to maintain my opinion that bird feeders are very harmful to wildlife unless they need feeding after a disaster event like a cyclone or fire.  All my wildlife carer friends are of the same opinion.  The do gooders don’t have to nurse mangled birds back to health after they have been attacked by a cat at a feeder.

Later:

The more I think about feeding birds the more angry I get.  Bread should never be fed to birds because of the yeast in it which can cause fungal problems in birds.  I know several well educated people who feed stale, mouldy bread to birds and when I ask them not to do this because of the potential harm to birds all I get in reply is “the birds like it and I like feeding the birds’.  The author also said that birds knew which was  junk food and didn’t feed it to their young.  Wrong.  I was asked to solve the problem of magpies losing all their young on a cattle property.  What I found was that the parent birds were stealing dry dog food from the family pet’s bowl and feeding it to their young.  Without access to a lot of water, the young were dying from dehydration from the dry food.  When I showed the owners what was happening they were horrified and then decided to feed the dog inside so the Magpies couldn’t access the food.  The Magpies have since reared a healthy brood.  I can give you even more examples but you  must be sick of me by this.

 

I think that the author should do more research into this stupid practice.  People should plant trees and shrubs that encourage insects and that produce flowers for nectar.  I have no problem with people providing water for the birds so long as it is situated where a cat cannot sit in a bush waiting to pounce.  Cats should not be allowed to roam freely at all, whether it is daytime or nightime.

 Sorry about my spray, Steve, but this has been my bugbear for many years.  People basically want everything tamed, not wild.  It is much nicer to see a bird in the wild than fighting at a bird feeder.

 Maureen Cooper