Food for Thought

To feed birds or not to feed birds in the garden is an interesting debate. If you are going to put out feed to attract birds we ask you to consider the following information from the Bird Observers Club of Australia.

  • Supplementary feeding increases the numbers of any single species in the garden, but does not necessarily increase the variety of different birds you will see.
  • Planting a mixture of trees, shrubs and ground covers is more beneficial to birds than a bare lawn with one specimen tree and a feeding tray.
  • Birds don’t need artificial nectar feeders – there are many nectar-bearing shrubs available.
  • Artificial nectar feeders attract honeybees and wasps, can ferment in warm weather making birds ill, can be taken over by aggressive birds and can make birds ill and unhealthy if they only eat nectar and not a mix of food groups.
  • Never provide so much food that the birds become dependent on it. If, for any reason, you are suddenly unable to feed them for a few days, some may die.

Wherever you live, feed only as much as will be eaten within half an hour and every now and again deliberately miss a day. Place birdbaths and feeding stations near a dense, perhaps prickly bush where the birds can quickly hide from predators such as cats and hawks.

Summarised from the Bird Observers Club of Australia with permission.

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