King parrot (female, you can tell by the green head), near Bellthorpe National Park in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, November 2018.
This handsome gal is a wild bird, but clearly used to people as I was able to get quite close to her. The owners of the place where @ and I were staying put out (wild bird) seeds for them.
Feeding wild birds is controversial in Australia. Here, mild winters mean that wildlife can generally find enough food to survive on their own.
In fact, the common wisdom in Australia is that feeding wild birds can do more harm than good. It can lead to dependency if birds become reliant on provided food rather than foraging for themselves. It spread disease if feeders that aren’t regularly cleaned, and because of closer-than-usual contact between the birds sharing the feeders, which can spread infection. And it can cause poor nutrition, if birds are being fed the wrong kinds of foods or aren’t getting a balanced diet as they would if foraging for themselves.
But Darryl Jones, an urban ecology expert and a Professor and Queensland’s Griffith University, has different views.
In his book on the subject - The Birds at My Table - he looks at the benefits of feeding birds, including allowing people living in urban environments to interact with nature, as well as the right way to do it, so as to avoid harm.
Interesting read, changed my thinking🇦🇺
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