Understanding the Study
Australia is usually referred to as “Land of the birds” because of its great diversity of avian life- the greatest in the world. In fact, most of the birds in the world can trace their ancestry to Australia. The continent is so blessed with varieties of fascinating, colourful, noisy, clever, innovative species of bird that we have ever seen grace the surface of the earth. Which Aussie does not like Aussie birds?
Australians are bird lovers, and one of the ways we interact with birds is through providing food and water. This activity is called bird feeding and watering. It is among the most common type of human-wildlife relationship and interactions among the general public.
Aussies see the feeding and watering of birds in their private gardens as a means to interact with birds up close while also promoting their welfare. The quality of this activity or interaction has a significant impact on bird diversity and abundance. The research carried out in 2016, the Australian Bird Feeding and Watering Study confirmed this.
Aussies who keep birds often try to attract wild birds to domestic locations like their gardens or backyards. This involves providing suitable habitat and supplying the birds with food and water to aid their survival. The food provided can be seeds, bought food mixes, peanuts, kitchen scraps, fat, etc.
In Australia, meat is customarily fed to species such as butcherbirds Cracticus spp., kookaburras (Alcedinidae), and Australian magpies that are somewhat large species abundant in various urban areas. Furthermore, a birdbath and sand can be provided. Sand? What is its usefulness or importance? This helps them with digestion.
Even while doing good to our loved ones, we sometimes end up hurting them. Should we, by any means, hurt our birds? To prevent hurting our birds while fending for them, we have to follow certain guidelines. These purpose guidelines ensure that people who feed birds do so with minimal risk to the birds.
This is what the Australian Bird Feeding and Watering Study sets out to achieve. The study aims to gather quantitative data on the effects of supplementary feeding and providing water to birds and why people provide food and water.
The feeding and watering of birds is an important activity for many Australians because it is a major way of connecting with nature. Consequently, it is vital to understand the population, behavioural, and ecological impact of bird watering and feeding within Australia. Why is this important? It is important because almost all the available information in other continents do not apply to Australia. Australia is unique.
Furthermore, diseases can be spread in private gardens or backyards because of birds’ interactions at feeders, especially when the feeders are not frequently and thoroughly cleaned. These diseases include Avian Pox and salmonellosis, which highlights the necessity of frequent and thorough cleaning of feeders when feeding these birds. Hence, there is a need to educate people on how to keep things clean.