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RE: hand feed...
- To: "bird (E-mail)" <email@example.com>
- Subject: RE: hand feed...
- From: "Armstrong, Craig" <CraigArmstrong@PerformanceInc.com>
- Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 10:15:06 -0500
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your ideas but I do not agree. And I'm not acting out of ego
here or trying to be stubborn, I think we just look at things from a
>Your post seems to suggest that hand feeding wild birds is necessarily a
My post does not just seem to suggest that hand feeding is a good thing, it
is saying that for me handfeeding is indeed a good thing. I can certainly
see your hesitance to think hand feeding is good out of fear for harm coming
to the birds, but you do not know the state of thanksgiving and ultimate
respect in which I approach our bird brothers and sisters. You see, every
entity on this earth is equal to me, I am no better than a bird and likewise
a bird to me and we are all connected. Therefore every single thing on this
earth is capable of being a teacher. When you come to understand this and
respect it you do all that you can not to harm any living thing in your life
or on our earth. This might sound a little weird, but the main point is
that I approach the birds with complete respect and understanding that they
have much to teach me and in many ways are smarter than myself.
>I think otherwise... I would suggest that hand feeding or handling wild
>birds (or for that matter any wild animal) except under the most unusual
>circumstances (wild life rehabilitation or under strict scientific protocol
>for instance) is not a responsible act. Wild life is "wild" life, and are
>not pets, and are not present in our environment for their entertainment
Entertainment value has nothing to do with my attempt to hand feed birds.
Of course it's an amazing feeling when a bird touches you or even comes near
you, that's just how it is. But that feeling comes from being part of the
oneness of nature. And you say you feel it's okay to handle wildlife for
scientific protocol? So to further education of a species it's okay to
handle them? If that is the case then you should agree with what I am
doing, as my sole goal here is to learn. Stillness is a huge part of it.
It takes an incredible stillness for a bird to approach you. This is
something that takes time to acquire and helps one to learn of their own
body control and power over ones own mind. As well as being a lesson in
patience and ability to deal with distractions of the mind. Similar to
meditation. When you are standing in the middle of your yard holding seed
in your hand (which when you can remain completely still is really no
different than a feeder holding seed there) your mind will come up with a
million other things you could be doing, just as encountered with people
starting out in meditation. This is just your mind attempting to distract
you from your task of hearing your inner voice, your true self. Again,
might sound a little out there, but there is much truth involved here. It's
just hard sometimes to explain one's full philosophy on a subject in such a
limited arena such as email. I assure you I do not look at the birds that
frequent our feeders as pets and am completely aware of the "wildness"
involved with them.
>There is clearly no benefit to the animals gained by this behavior. On the
>contrary, it is likely that hand feeding and handling wild animals may
>likely be - for several reasons - detrimental to their well being.
I don't see it as being any more detrimental than most "scientific protocol"
for instance. True there is no immediate gain for the bird at hand so to
speak, only to help further my education of them. Is that not the same gift
they would give to a scientist... more knowledge? And I can assure you it
is no more detrimental to a birds well being than their feeding from a
hanging feeder. It is essentially the same thing. Are you against
providing seed for wild birds to feed on?
>I suggest that there is far too much anthropomorphism going on in our
I agree, although I do not see how that applies here? I am in no way
imposing human traits to another object or animal? I am taking my feeders
down for a short period of time and in their place putting myself with an
extended hand full of seed.
I believe I see where you are coming from Jack. For fear of the birds well
being you feel hand feeding is an improper task to take on? If I'm wrong
there I apologize, that's just the feeling I gain from your post. Well fear
for the well being of the birds is not a fear you need have with me, I have
no intention of bringing any harm only a closer relationship with myself and
our feathered friends.
Sorry for the lengthy reply, but there is probably a lot more left unsaid to
lead you to an understanding of my respect for the birds and my intention
with hand feeding.
Chapel Hill NC
At 04:18 PM 1/14/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>I was just wondering if anyone on the list has had much experience with
>handfeeding wild birds. I got a good book about it recently written by
>Alfred G. Martin called Hand-Taming Wild Birds at the Feeder, here's a link
>Pretty good book, very simple writing with interesting stories. I haven't
>gone about hand feeding in the same manner as Alfred, but for the most part
>it's taking your feeders down and standing there with seed in your hand.
>There is much to be learned from his book though, the advice not to swallow
>if a bird is looking at your as well as to talk to the birds the whole time
>and way more.
>The other day a white breasted nuthatch finally perched on the tips of my
>fingers. He would come climbing down the large ash tree by our feeders
>staring at me the whole time, he really wanted the seed I was holding.
>he would do fly-bys, either trying to scare me away so I'd put the feeders
>back up or maybe to get a glimpse at the seed in my hand? And then he
>perch on the cedar branch that our feeders normally hang from and work his
>way as close to the seed in my hand as possible, glancing back and forth
>between the seed and my eyes and trying to stretch his beak close enough to
>snag a seed without having to jump to my palm. Cute little guy, then he
>finally worked up the gusto to hop off the cedar branch and land right on
>fingers. He didn't take any seed (weird), just sat there and looked at it,
>then at me, and back to the seed before he flew off back to his perch on
>ash and eventually out of sight into the woods. Was a pretty amazing
>feeling, his small cold feet on the tips of my fingers, and he was sooo
>incredible light you could barely feel him there at all. A red breasted
>kept coming to the cedar log to check things out too but never took the
>to go for the seed. Same with the titmice and chickadees. All in time
>though, I just have to earn their trust.