Patrick: the birdman

Every morning while Cardiff gets ready for a regular work day, Patrick Duggan hikes down at 7 A.M. to meet his friends with a bag full of fruits and leftovers from last night’s meals.

A quarrel of sparrows, a worm of Robins and squirrels who enjoy the mixed bag breakfast of bananas, stale bread, and apples. Be it the cold or the sun, Patrick dresses in his trademark attire suit and the hat with colorful feathers. Playing low music every once in a while, he has his own way of naming his friends as he breaks off their breakfast into tiny pieces and feeds them.
Patrick spends his entire day sitting on a bench feeding his birds, and calling them by names he has given them according to their personalities. He has given each one of them names such as crazy and chestnut by which they respond to.

Image: Loulwa Roda (right) & Patrick Duggan (left) Credits: CNP

Loulwa Roda (right) & Patrick Duggan (left)                                                                                                                                                             Credits: CNP

Patrick says “I put them on diet according to what I think is healthy for them. I feed them bananas, pear, and apples. They like bread but I don’t feed them much of it because it’s not good for their health.”

However, that isn’t always the case, as they are also fed unhealthy food.

He continues, “They eat pizzas fish kebabs hotdogs lasagna they love pizza and not so many cakes but doughnuts because they like sweets.”

Depending on what you people feed the wild birds at parks, it can be very unhealthy for their health.

Image: Sparrow in Bute Park

Sparrow in Bute Park. Credits: CNP

Professor Robert Thomas from Cardiff University says, “Just as humans the type of food they eat influences its health just like us they need a wide range of nutrition but its likely that the food that is being provided at bute park is just a little of their daily energy requirement.”

Feeding wild birds familiarizes them to human presence and makes them dependent on humans for food. It also changes their behavior and may reduce their ability to find food on their own in the wild.

Robert continues, “Here in Cardiff we had some problems with overfeeding in Roath Park people come down with bread to feed the ducks it accumulates in the environments and isn’t healthy and sustains population of rats which is unpleasant.”

In many parks around the world, it is illegal to feed wildlife animals. Even though parks in Cardiff do not impose such rules however it is important to take care of the type of food we feed animals and how it could impact their health

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