Mallards, paradise shelducks and pūkeko gather round a visitor at Ngā Manu reserve, Waikanae, hoping for food. People often enjoy feeding birds for a chance to see them close up. It is best not to give them bread, as their digestive systems do not cope well with yeast and processed flour. Grain and seeds such as wheat or sunflower seeds are preferable, as are cereal-based layer pellets, from pet shops. Feed smaller birds on a raised table so they are less vulnerable to cats. An apple skewered on a handy branch attracts fruit-eating birds.
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Photograph by Simon Nathan
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