Leaving food for kookaburras could be damaging their health.
While it’s common to leave mincemeat for the laughing bird, it doesn’t provide the nutrients kookaburras need.
In an article published on the Australian Geographic website, mincemeat is described as being similar to “a late night cheeseburger.”
Kookaburras are carnivores, feeding on mice, snakes and small reptiles. Becoming reliant on other sources food left by humans means they could be missing out much-needed calcium.
“Kookaburras are adapted to eat whole prey items and that prey package includes everything. When you feed them mincemeat you’re missing all of the bones that provide the kookaburra with calcium,” Michelle Shaw, a nutritionist at the Taronga Animal Nutrition Centre told the publication.
“Metabolic bone disease is typical in urban kookaburras. If they don’t get calcium from a food source they’ll pull that calcium out of their bones in order to use it for other functions,” she adds.
So what can you feed a kookaburra?
Well, Michelle advises against feeding carnivorous birds altogether. Instead, she says providing fresh water is more beneficial for birds.