SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Feeding wild birds

Animals in the Wild

SPCA advocates for people to engage in activities that respect wild bird welfare, including their health, and the health of their environments.

SPCA recognises the importance of humans caring for and appreciating wild birds in our communities. We envision human- wildlife relationships that nurture a sense of guardianship over the animals themselves and their environments within which they live. SPCA advocates for people to plant native plants that are food source for birds as an alternative to providing foods in feeders. Native plants can also serve as habitat for nesting and roosting. Where water baths are provided, the water must be changed, and the container cleaned regularly to avoid disease spread.

SPCA opposes the feeding of wildlife which leads to detriments to their health and welfare.

Feeding human foods such as bread and nuts can lead to physical harms to birds such as bone and beak deformities. Feeding food such as bread also adds nutrients to the waterways which can contribute to outbreaks of disease such as avian botulism and overgrowth of algae. Feeding of wildlife can also encourage the spread of disease at bird feeders, increase competition among species, increase risk of predation, and attract unwanted wildlife leading to human-animal conflicts.

(see Pest Control for more information)

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