Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

December 26th 2002
Feeding animals

They certainly are cute and pretty plentiful but if you want to feed them it is important to understand that many foods we enjoy and ones animals may readily accept, are quite harmful to them.

Bread, for instance should never be fed to wildlife at all. The yeast in it will lead to serious dietary problems.

It is common for people at restaurants to offer the resident curlew or possum scraps from their meal.

Many cooked human foods such as sausages, cooked meat with sauces and spices, salads with dressings, potato chips, processed foods, pizza, dairy foods, salami, snack bars etc will cause nutritional deficiency diseases.

Other serious health problems include obesity, reduced breeding success, viral and bacterial infections.

Most animals occupy their time finding food. If food is presented to them regularly there is little else for them to do - except maybe to bug the next person for handouts!

If you must feed our native wildlife here are some acceptable supplementary diets as well details on their natural diet and habits.



Curlews
The bush Stone-Curlew or Bush Thick-knee has disappeared from many areas of the Australian mainland. These birds are also under pressure on the Island due to loss of lowland habitat, traffic and from domestic pets.

Curlews ground feed on various invertebrates such as beetles, grasshoppers, small frogs, worms and insects.

Supplementary diet: Raw lean meat cut into small cubes, lean pet mince and small strips of raw fish only. If feeding on a regular basis add a couple of drops of infant Pentavite (available at the local Chemist) to the meat twice a week.

Kookaburras
Magnetic Island has both varieties of Kookaburras on the Island, the blue winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii) and the laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae). Both species are very gregarious and inhabit open forests and woodlands. The slightly smaller blue winged Kookaburras are more predominant on the Island.

Their natural diet consists of mainly insects and small invertebrates as well as small snakes, frogs, lizards, rodents, and the occasional small bird. They have also been known to flip cane toads over and eat the toad's insides out while cleverly avoiding the toad's poison sacks.

Supplementary Diet: Raw lean meat strips, lean pet mince only.

Drongos
The spangled drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus) is often seen and heard after rain, catching flying insects on the wing.

Supplementary Diet: Raw lean meat strips, lean pet mince only.

Rainbow lorikeets
In the wild rainbow lorikeets feed mainly on pollen, which is very high in protein. The protein is needed for growing new feathers after moulting each year. Sugar and honey contain very little protein, sadly birds feed on this diet lack the protein needed to grow new feathers. Every year hundreds of rainbow lorikeets are found with feathers too short for successful flight. The birds that cannot fly fall prey to cats and dogs as they cannot get away.
Rainbow lorikeets also feed on fruits, buds, leaf tips, blossoms, insects, seeds and berries are also consumed in varying amounts according to the season.

Supplementary diet: Paw-paws (or papaya), grapes, mangoes, pears, apples, oranges, rock melon, sweetcorn and silverbeet.

If you must feed Rainbow lorikeets on a regular basis do not feed them honey or sugar water. They can have their natural diet supplemented with the following mixture.

Mix the following ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

1packet rice cereal (baby food Heinz or Farex)
2 packets of high protein cereal (baby food Heinz or Farex blended cereal)
1 kg raw sugar (must be raw sugar not castor or icing sugar)
200g jar of Horlicks


Feeding animals
 
2 comments
 
michaela
May 20th 2008
i thought that your website is really good and that i has all the information on the curlew

WELLDONE i would rate your websit 9 out of 10

:-)
 
Steve L
August 9th 2008
Thank you. The information was exactly what I was looking for. I see the Wallabies here on Magnetic Island being fed bread and I tried to give them a carrot but they were not interested at all.They come up to the glass door of my room every day at dawn and dusk and they are quite lovely.


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