Backyard bird photographers: is your feeder killing birds?

Macroramphosis

Jack of Spades and an unfeasibly large wheelbarrow
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
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1,943
Location
Charente Maritime, western France
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Roddy
My mum, who was both an avid birder and old enough to have seen off Mr Hitler when she was a FANY (if you insist on sniggering that's fine), always told me that the only time to put food out for the birds about the house was when there was snow or ice on the ground. She never fed them the rest of the year. I think her advice was pretty sound, really. It's the way I've always fed my birds anyway.

And this Phocal fella - what does he know about bird feeders? He's never had to use one himself, he just photographs the birds on his neighbour's feeder. Perhaps even his neighbour's neighbour's feeder. :D
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
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Brisbane, Australia
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Angus
Plenty of water bowls specially, Angus. The bees need them too, with a rock in the middle to help prevent bees drowning. Very necessary around swimming pools.
Yeah I always put (clean) rocks in them so small birds and bees don't drown.

Hanging bird feeders over bird baths, on the ground too, particularly if your neighbourhood has a lot of cats roaming about.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
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Brisbane, Australia
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Angus
Our cats have always been 24/7 indoors, but some cat owners are just bloody irresponsible.
I'm not a cat person, but I respect other's rights to have a cat. But agreed, I have no time for people who let their cats be a nuisance.

I just moved, if I see cats around, I'm getting a(n RSPCA approved) trap and taking it to the pound. I want my place to be a safe space for native wildlife.
 

John King

Member of SOFA
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Apr 20, 2020
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Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
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John ...
I'm not a cat person, but I respect other's rights to have a cat. But agreed, I have no time for people who let their cats be a nuisance.

I just moved, if I see cats around, I'm getting a(n RSPCA approved) trap and taking it to the pound. I want my place to be a safe space for native wildlife.
I don't know the rules where you are, Angus, but cats are allowed outside here between an hour after sunrise to an hour before sunset.
 

PhotoCal

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
392
Yeah I always put (clean) rocks in them so small birds and bees don't drown.

Hanging bird feeders over bird baths, on the ground too, particularly if your neighbourhood has a lot of cats roaming about.

Putting rocks in a bird bath is also a good idea. You want to discourage birds from bathing (and defacating) in the water, yet allow them to take a drink.

Encouraging birds to use natural sources for bathing (puddles and such) is healthier for the birds.

Also, having an overhang for feeders and water is beneficial so the birds can be somewhat sheltered from hawks, etc., when eating/bathing.

Otherwise, your feeder/bath is just acting as bait, and that could lead to the deaths of animals you are trying to attract.

Whenever I'm out birding/photographing birds I never stop unless I'm underneath cover. This serves two purposes:
1) keeps me in the shade, which is more enjoyable and offers protection againt skin cancer
2) Makes me less likely to divulge the location of a bird/nest to other animals that might eat a bird/egg.
Animals are smart. They will observe human behavior to help them find food. If you don't believe me, I suggest you visit your local park and watch pigeons/geese/squirrels approach humans.
 
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