Home Lifestyle & Nature Are you feeding our wildlife in the backyard?

Are you feeding our wildlife in the backyard?

Stop feeding the wildlife bread and junk food. It's killing them!

Are you feeding our wildlife in the backyard? Then read on, you might want to stop.

“Lots of Australians are feeding wildlife at their homes. LOTS of people. More than a thrid of households do it and they do it big time with all sorts of foods” (Ref:  Earth Garden 197 2021) Dr Barry Traill.

We must take a responsible approach to feeding wildlife. The junk food is killing them.


“It’s bad. It’s killing them. Don’t do it.” That’s the words from Dr Barry Traill ‘Doctor Wildlife.'(National Wildlife Campaigner.)

But as human nature has it and we think it brings us closer to nature, we slip them some tucker from our picnic table or Macca’s in the park.

It makes you feel better. It’s a special moment you’ve shared with nature’s little creatures.

I bet every one of you readers know that moment you’ve thrown the seagulls or the magpies a chip. At any point do you feel guilty? I have. Because it’s the general consensus that feeding wild life is bad.

Then there is the backyard feeders that aren’t feeding the junk food but laying out the bird seed and grains to bring them in like ‘kids to the candy store’. Soon they are there waiting to be given their easy treat.


So with one third of households feeding wildlife in their back yards,  anything from white bread, minced meat, bits of pizza, lean beef and specially purchased seed mixes for the sole reason it makes them, the ‘people’  feel better.

The expression is “ it brings some balance back to the damage humanity causes.” It justifies the action because we are giving something free back to a wild creature.

Well, we are making them dependent on this ‘tucker’. They don’t have to naturally forage. Dependent is the big term here. The wildlife rather than just top up their young are loading up their young with these “ free’ foods.

So the why not is that we are altering natures way for these young to learn to forage. We are intrinsically altering their genetic makeup to become reliant on supplied food.

It might help in times of scarcity, but not in normal times.

The quality of the food we feed them can be seriously detrimental to their health.

Feeding predators along with the prey is only going to be advantageous to the predator bird. Like feeding butcher birds that never knew where the Willy Wag tail nest was until you started feeding them under the verandah and the next day the babies are gone.

Kookaburras and butcherbirds are scroungers. These guys are predators and will naturally still attack nests of their prey.

Don’t feed Magpies and Kookies mince. Mince lacks calcium and therefore can cause deformities. Lean beef is best.

Maggies as insect foragers and thankfully they love fresh insects, so feed worms, mealy worms fresh from the garden. But they will hang around for a free feed, so remember no mince and no bread!

Also there’s the hygiene factor. Birds flock together so they “crap together”, and this spreads disease by congregation. Fatal disease. So, clean up where you feed.

Here’s some simple ways to feed where you enjoy the wonders of the wildlife by being up close and personal but also feed responsibly.

  1. Clean up. Sweep Up the left overs
  2. Spray the area with vinegar. Dry and put clean recommended feed out
  3. Don’t feed ducks, geese or any water fowl if away from your home. Definite NO
  4. Make sure it’s nutritious. No Junk food No bread. Only feed whole seeds and fresh fruit. Un processed meat for the meat eaters.
  5. Feed as a snack not a main meal
  6. Have a bird bath and keep it clean. They love to drink and bathe.
  7. Enjoy it because you’re feeding them for your pleasure not for their benefit
Mealy Worms are perfect fpr Magpie feeding. Source The Magpie Whisperer


Professor Darryl Jones Brisbane Zooligist.

Dr Barry Traill “Doctor Wildlife” Earth Garden contributor.

VIAGarden Earth Quarterly Jounal. 197
SOURCEProfessor Darryl Jones Brisbane Zooligist.
Previous articleSlow Cooked Shredded Beef Sliders


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here