Lens Bird Information Page
Attracting birds into your garden can be a benefit and an added attraction, the benefits arrive from attracting the meat eating birds,as they help control your grasshoppers, moths and caterpillars.
The purpose here is not to replace any birds natural diet but have them come and visit, and not to become dependent on your food supply.
And a birdbath is essential to give them a good supply of clean drinking water, the frog statuette is to ensure no birds get trapped in the deeper bath.
Feeding The Meat Eaters
The meat eaters you will most likely attract to your yard will be Butcher Birds, Kookaburras, Magpies and Pee Wee's. Over time they will become less timid around you. Feeding Magpies tends to show them that we are not aggressive towards them and this can have the effect of making the birds less likely to attack during the breeding season. Our pair did not launch any attacks at all, although their nest is in a Gum tree that overhangs the footpath and road, and is only about 60 feet away from our yards. It will generally be found that Magpies near schools are fairly aggressive this is probably due largely to the treatment meted out by school children during the off season, I have seen school children charge at the birds with their bikes, and I think it is this type of action that tells the bird that we are aggressive towards it.
The best form of meat is a good quality steak with out the fat cut into thin strips resembling worms, as most of the meat eaters like to pound their catch against the ground or a tree branch etc.,. If it is not convenient to provide steak use the best quality low fat mince from your local butcher, I have found that the mince from larger stores tends to go sour very quickly. With the mince break it into small quantities and freeze that which you are not going to immediately use.
To start attracting these birds you could construct a bird feeding table under the trees and place meat out and wait for the birds to find it. I found that by throwing food to the birds when they are in the yard is a more predictable way of letting them know that there is a free feed on.
Feed only once a day generally in the morning and feed them only when they are in the yard, this way they will not tend to become dependent. Try not to feed them at other times of the day when they appear as they will train you to feed them on appearance. DO NOT FEED THESE OR ANY BIRDS BREAD, this could cause them digestive problems and lead to deformities in their young.
It is best to discourage the Crows and Ibis's.
Feeding The Seed Eaters
Seed eating birds include Crested Pigeons their introduced cousins the Laceneck Doves, Lorikeets and Galahs not to mention the pesky Sparrows and Starlings (how you distract these birds is anyones guess). I have found the Galahs to be irregular visitors and therefore of no trouble, but on the other hand I don't recommend feeding Cockatoos or Corellas, as they can be vandals in your and your neighbours yards.
Hang a couple of those earthenware feeder dishes available from your larger supermarket chain, in the trees put in some seed and the birds will do the rest. again here the process is not to take over from the birds natural diet, so put out about 2 to 3 cups a day, in the morning. I don't put seed out in wet weather and once they've eaten what's there they know not to look for anymore.
Use Grey striped Sunflower seed and Small Parrot Mix (Peach Face Breeder Mix), it is generally cheaper to purchase these from your produce agency (they sell small quantities), I have found buying the 30 kilo bags to be more economical. I found that by using the regular Wild Bird Mix from the larger stores, the birds tended to waste a lot as they do not eat all the grains in the mix, yet there is only miniscule wastage with the Small Parrot Mix.
Feeding The Nectar Eaters
Rainbow Lorikeets, Scaley Breasted Lorikeets will be the main varieties that will come to feed. The Lorikeets turn on quite a show at these feedings, and you will attract more of the birds.
The ingredients needed are Honey, Bread and 'Lori Dri Mix'.
Mix as follows blend 1 tablespoon of Honey to each cup/mug of warm water, break/cut up the bread and add keeping the mix very wet in consistency, before placing into trays and then on the feeding table sprinkle a good amount of the Lori Dri over the top, this provides vitamin and mineral supplement. These birds will also eat pieces of fruit such as grapes, bananas and strawberries.
Here again try to feed only once a day, although on special occasion when you have visitors over and you want to show off a little another session is good for photo taking etc.,.
Lori Dri can be purchased from the better pet shops at about about $6 per kilo bag.
I usually try to buy my honey from the local beekeeper, as I have found that the cheaper honey from larger stores turns the trays black, which leads me to think that maybe the honey isn't as pure from the bees as the label would indicate, although there could be another explanation for this.
As you will find feeding bird is a great family activity as it gets the kids close to our native birds and makes them aware of the birds place in our world.
your feed back is welcome
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