Feed a Bird How Absurd!

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					                                                                  Observe so they don’t know you are there…
                                                       ng birds
Bird watching tips:

                      Do not touch nests, eggs or you
                      Stay on trails, paths, boardwalk
                      Move slowly with little noise
                      Keep your distance

                                                                                                              Contact City’s Environmental Services Department

                                                                                                              for more busy bills and fancy feet watching tips!

                                                                                                              City of Cockburn
                                                                                                              9 Coleville Crescent                                 Feed a Bird?
                                                                                                                                                                   How Absurd!
                                                                                                              Spearwood WA 6163
                                                                                                              Phone: 9411 3444

                                                                                                                                                                   Why we should let birds feed themselves.
                                                                                                                       Printed on 100% recycled paper, as part
                                                                                                                       of the City of Cockburn’s commitment to
                                                                                                                       creating a more sustainable future.

                                                                                                                       This document is available in alternative
                                                                                                                       formats on request.
 Why let birds feed themselves?                                  Food Dependency                                    •   Decreases in water quality;
When we feed birds in our local wetlands we                      Birds can become dependant on human                •   Reduction in dissolved oxygen leading to
can unintentionally harm them and pollute their                  feeding and can concentrate in high numbers            fish kills and other fauna deaths; and
homes.                                                           around wetlands and lakes. This reliance can       •   Reduced animal and plant diversity
Water birds in particular are adapted to their                   lead to aggressive behaviour, overpopulation
watery homes with specialised beaks or bills for                 and even delay migration patterns. Young birds     Interaction without Interference
feeding. Foot design can also tell us a lot about                can die as they lack skills to forage for food.
                                                                                                                    If you are interested in interacting with our
a bird’s diet.                                                   Overpopulation then leads to over grazing,
                                                                                                                    wetland birds why not try the following:
                                                                 disease spread, loss of offspring and crowding
Wild birds are meant to look after themselves
                                                                 out of other species’ breeding sites.              Bird Watching!
for a number of reasons relating to their health,
survival and their natural environment.                                                                             Use the map in this brochure to locate wetlands
                                                                 Impact on Lakes and Wetlands
                                                                                                                    for bird watching in the City of Cockburn.
 Impact on Birds                                                 Did you know bird feeding can lead to unhealthy    Grab some binoculars and get spotting!
                                                                 wetlands and lakes? The main impact relates
Feeding birds bread or other food matter in
                                                                 to a reduction in water quality and subsequent     Plant a Native Garden!
your local lake or wetland can be detrimental
                                                                 environmental degradation.
to a birds’ survival. The main impacts relate to                                                                    Native gardens full of flowers are one of the
sickness or disease and food dependency.                                                                            best ways to attract birds. Flowering plants
                                                                 Water Quality
                                                                                                                    attract insects also which encourages even
Sickness and Disease                                             Uneaten decaying bread and other food              more birds!
                                                                 matter can cause a build-up of nutrients
Just like humans birds have an inability to digest
                                                                 (eutrophication). It only takes 1-2 grams of       Build a Bird Bath!
particular foods. Eating ‘human’ food like bread
                                                                 phosphorus from bread to turn a lake the size of
rather than natural food sources like insects,                                                                      Bush birds like honeyeaters love to frolic in
                                                                 a backyard pool nutrient rich. Excess nutrients
snails and worms can cause malnourishment                                                                           bird baths. Remember to locate the bath off
                                                                 and overpopulation can also be linked to:
and sickness. Rotting bread in the water can                                                                        the ground away from predators and clean it
lead to additional sickness and disease spread.                  • Algal blooms (including toxic blue-green         regularly!
                                                                    algae) and aquatic weeds;
                                                                                                                    Please help our birds feed themselves!
                                                                 • Botulism and other bird diseases spreading
                                                                    between wetlands;

Photos: Friends of Cockburn Wetlands Education Centre.
Illustrations: Adapted from Wetland Birds of Southern Australia, Gould League

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