I've been feeding the birds in my backyard for years. Won't they starve while I'm away?
No. Birds and animals don't lose their innate skills so quickly. Wild animals still forage for natural foods even while humans feed them. As when a natural food source goes out of season, animals move on to find food elsewhere. Just make sure that you aren't putting out too much food.
Is it OK to feed kookaburras and butcherbirds, or brushtail possums, on my back deck?
Probably not, for several reasons. Kookaburras and butcherbirds can become aggressive to each other, to less-dominant species, and even to humans when they get used to being fed. Brushtail possums become very demanding.
Is it OK to feed any birds on my back deck?
No. Some birds, such as parrots and lorikeets, carry diseases that can be passed to humans. In addition, birds will defecate wherever you feed them, so you should feed them away from where you eat. Another reason not to feed birds close to your own home is to reduce their direct contact with humans so that they don't lose their natural fear of people.