Remember British artist and designer William Morris and his famous Strawberry Thief design? Those thrushes ended up in homes around the world. I’m sure Mr Morris forgave them for raiding his garden by the stripling Thames.
I don’t grow strawberries, but I do have lots of feathered thieves in my Blue Mountains garden. They are most welcome, but only because I don’t bother trying to grow fruit or vegetables (except for a cooking apple tree and basic herbs.) I am willing to share my flowers because there are plenty to go round and the birds give me so much joy.
The satin bowerbirds, both green juveniles and glossy blue/black adult males, steal anything blue to decorate their bowers. Their favourite is a beautiful little groundcover called lithodora.
I’m sure that in a court of law this behaviour would be considered a minor misdemeanor rather than theft.
King parrots concentrate on camellia and magnolia blooms.
Crimson rosellas prefer the Australian native correa flowers. I catch them in the act through my kitchen window.
Oh, and grevillea is almost as popular.
Those sweet lithodora flowers seem to appeal to the rosellas as well.
Some birds just swipe a bit of nectar. Wattle birds can’t wait for the beautiful waratahs to bloom. And when they finish? How about dipping into red hot pokers?
The fuchsia pictured below left is so attractive to the Eastern Spinebill that it’s known as the Spinebill Fuchsia. Surely the native correas were designed specifically to cater for these charming birds.
But oh, what a feast is the Banksia Serrata. The little fellow below just doesn’t know where to start.
The theft of wattle seeds might be problematic if I wanted to harvest ‘bush tucker’, but would I want to compete with a gorgeous King Parrot? Not really……I know my limits.
Tulip tree seeds are like breakfast cereal for birds. Forget rolled oats or cornflakes.
Is there a point where I draw the line? Well yes….house theft. If a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo nibbles on my cedar window frames it’s an indictable offence!