The importance of gardens near Dunedin Town Belt

24 04 2008

Mandy and I went to see Fiona Todd a while back. We had such fun! Fiona Todd has lived next to the Dunedin Town Belt since her parents bought two acres of land there in the 1950s. Her house is situated at the end of a long drive hidden by trees. Her family began feeding the native birds then and Fiona has continued the family tradition for over 50 years. Word has gotten around in the bird community and when you enter the garden, it is bustling with birds. Birds chatter in the smaller trees near the feeders and wait their turn for a feed. Even the sparrows have decided they like sugar water.

Fiona has been involved in science and ecological education for almost as long as she has been feeding the birds. She keeps track of bird numbers and over time has become aware of dips and surges in the native and nonnative bird populations. She sees more Tuis and Bellbirds in the winter when their food sources are scarce, and she is encouraged by their calls in the summer from the town belt nearby, which she suspects is because they are now nesting in the town belt. In the old days, they would nest out of town, and she would not see them much in the garden during the summer. Listen to our Podcast and Videocast from our visit with Fiona Todd.

Jill

Tui in Fiona\'s garden, March 2008
Tui in Fiona’s garden, March 2008

Podcast, Birds in Dunedin Town Belt

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