05 September 2005

Feeding flying canetoads and starving native birds

All over Manly people feed birds. Most try to attract the beautiful native birds to their balconies with sugar water or other inappropriate or dangerous offerings. Some even actively feed known flying pests, such as Indian Mynas with dog food, bread and bought seed mixes. In public places, people feed fast food to gulls and pigeons. These areas are caked in avian faeces. People eat in them, sit there or park right in it.

A search on 'attracting birds' offers all the commodities that make the pet industry thrive, but leads to malnutrition, sickness and finally death to the endemic birds. Mice and rats are also attracted.
Where is the pleasure in creating dependent relationships? Is there no knowledge in the act of 'giving', that starves the bird of necessary nutrients and social behaviour?

It takes a lot to allow the 'bush' to co-exist in which birds can thrive even close to human habitats. Earnest devotion, care and resources are required to bird-scape a yard/garden. This is no longer cheap thrill, but a setting aside of one's urban footprint to further the existence of native flora and fauna. It means not having that BBQ-temple, the 4th car space or the white fluffy thing etc.

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