This one’s for the birds – and you, too

  • “The Birds at My Table: Why We Feed Wild Birds and Why It Matters,” by Darryl Jones

Here’s a New Year’s Resolution: Learn something unexpectedly new!

“The Birds at My Table: Why We Feed Wild Birds and Why It Matters,” by Darryl Jones, is certainly one way to start!​

When this book came into our inventory, it immediately captured interest. Who knew anyone ever researched this kind of activity?​

Sure, many people, including ourselves, have fed wild, free-roaming birds. As this book points out, the history of humans feeding birds dates back thousands of years. We seem to get a nearly automatic pleasure of out it, and, well, the birds are pleased with the easy meal, too.

In fact, you should see the cyclone of excited chickens at the golf course in Kalaheo when the red vehicle drives in to drop off their anticipated food scraps! ​

“The Birds at My Table” goes quite a bit further actually than just the good feelings of feeding birds. Indeed, author Darryl Jones, Professor and Deputy Director of the Environmental Futures Research Institute at Griffith University, reveals the fascinating results and effects that our feeding birds has not only on the human side, but on the birds themselves: their behaviors, their interactions with their environments, even how they interact with each other compared to the birds in the wilds that have little no feeding interaction with humans.​

Interestingly, even our singular act of feeding a bird or a small group of birds actually has an effect greater than we would think!​

Jones’s research into this subject is truly quite impressive, as the references in the back of the book spans 20 pages. Yet, even with this level of deep-research revealing the results of our interactions with our feathered friends, the author has managed to present this depth of study in a very readable and entertaining way.​

(See? Learning something new already!)

•••

Ed Justus and Cynthia Lynn are owners of The Bookstore in Hanapepe.

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