Feed the birds – ABC Counterpoint interview with Darryl Jones

By: Michael Fox

Grey Butcherbird - lunch 2 - 6 May 2013 crop

Grey Butcherbird with mantis lunch

I just listened to a fascinating Radio National Counterpoint interview with Associate Professor Darryl Jones, Deputy Director of the Environmental Futures Centre at Griffith University.

The question – “To feed or not feed native birds.”

Key points:

  • choose food close to normal diet – Amanda feeds mealworms to Magpies
  • no evidence that birds become entirely dependent on human feeding
    • adults will come for a snack but do not use the human food chicks
  • the mix of Australian birds visiting for food different to places like England
    • we tend to get larger meat eating birds – Magpies and Butcherbirds as well as some parrots coming for seed
    • in England tiny birds will come to feeders
  • seed balls sold in pet shops usually designed for Europe not Australia
    • ok but of limited value
    • avoid seed balls with too much millet – hard red seed
  • Citizen Science – valuable research resource in UK
  • Insect eating birds like Superb Wren will be attracted by habitat not feeding

Listen to the interview online.

Water is another excellent way to attract birds and add colour and song to our backyards.


Scaly-breasted Lorikeets at birdbath

About Mt Gravatt Environment Group

Mt Gravatt Environment Group is restoring a unique piece of Australain native bushland only ten minutes from Brisbane CBD.
This entry was posted in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve, Pollinator Link, Wildlife of Mt Gravatt Reserve and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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