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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

A bird in the bush

Herb lady Karyn fed me well for my birthday, I was shouted lunch at the mall, a free meal voucher at a restaurant AND a wild bird seed bell feeder. I have hung up the bird seed bell on the peach tree. Speaking of food, according to our Auckland biodiversity speaker at last night's Floral Circle meeting, there are some foods you shouldn't feed birds, unless you want to attract rats with wings (pigeons), indian mynahs, sparrows and cuckoos. What, aren't those birds? Well yes but they are 'undesirable' birds. What we really ought to be feeding, is the natives, and they don't like to eat your tip top bread crusts and mouldy scones. Isn't that racist about birds? Hmm maybe.

See the problem is this, just like our Auckland housing crisis, our native birds have a housing crisis too, because they can't afford to live in the city either, due to lack of decent trees. Trees that have lucious fruit and nectar dinners and warm cosy cavities for nesting in. Solution - plant more trees? Even though they take years and years to grow? Maybe...

I don't think the immigrant birds are crowding them out. They are used to roosting on powerlines and nesting in nasty phoenix palms. Scavengers would make their home anywhere, but natives are a rare breed and set in their ways and maybe just a little bit fussy. Or more discerning. If you've always lived in a Kauri or Puriri and suddenly these trees are dying or being cut down and no new ones being grown, well yes I think that sums out the current housing crisis. They don't want to move to...Australia. Heaven forbid! Can you imagine living in Australia, with Australians? No neither can I.

And there is a slight problem with our native birds. Some are flightless and some just can't fly that far.  I don't know if they afraid, but like me they get a bit woozy on a long haul flight. Besides, there is no place like home...if nobody demolishes it to make a high rise apartment block.

Thankfully we can provide temporary accommodation with nesting boxes if there are no trees available, but these trees and shrubs are recommended growing for native birds.

Kauri
Puriri
Kowhai
Cabbage Tree
Pohutukawa

Some of the native birds - tuis, fantails, riflemans, warblers, kereru, bellbird have taken a liking to fancier hotels and restaurants in exotics accommodations such as..

Loquat
Cherry or Plum
Bottlebrush

I walked near through Tui Glen yesterday, or former Tui Glen, I am sad to say I have never heard any tuis there in all the time I've walked or biked through that park. I recall that place has quite a few phoenix palms (WEED!)  though, so a better name for it would be Pigeon Glen, because that's what they attract.  But I am going to remedy that by establishing more natives and bird friendly trees in my garden. Which I could rename Tui Selina. My sister Glennis already has way too many places named after her already.