While backyard bird feeders are a well established garden addition in the northern hemisphere, here in Australia we are generally discouraged from providing food for wild birds, other than through growing bird attracting plants.
Among the arguments against backyard feeders are:
- It encourages larger birds, reducing diversity in the area.
- It can open birds up to predation by habituating them to the urban environment.
- Birds may become dependent on the easy food source and become less inclined to forage.
- The food may not be of sufficient quality or variety to provide adequate nutrition.
- Diseases can be transmitted at feeding stations.
However I do put out food on occasion for the Rainbow Lorikeets. I buy wild-bird nectar and also put out grapes, watermelon and other soft fruit. Generally I only do so if the birds gather in my trees of a morning, and often I won’t see them for weeks so I assume there is plentiful nectar and pollen in the area. The are the clowns of the bird world, and it is great to see them in in the garden. Eventually my shrubs will have grown to where they can provide all the birds’ needs.
We have had a week of very heavy rain, and this morning there was a huge flock waiting when I went outside, so I put out some thick nectar porridge and a selection of grapes and blueberries.