Sugar-water Bird Feeding Project

Feeding birds in backyards is a popular pastime in New Zealand. More and more people provide sugar water to support native birds. But, little is known about how this practice might affect our native birds – does it help them or harm them?

The main goal of this project is to determine the effect of residential garden sugar-water provisioning on the behaviour and health of native New Zealand avian species, such as tūī (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae), bellbirds (Anthornis melanura) and silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis). Also, we will investigate to what extend omnivorous introduced species such as house sparrow (Passer domesticus) use sugar-water feeders.

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