Noted Australian Bird Psychologist Dr. Brian Beechworth has translated the birdsong of native Australian birds locked in aviaries and zoos for years on end, saying the birds just want out.
In 2021 Dr Beechworth developed an app that drew on his 49,000 recordings of birdsong. Nicknamed 'The Bird App', it translates birdsong into human speech in an Australian male or female voice.
Dr Beechworth is an authority on species conservation for animals kept in captivity or an unnatural wildlife habitat. Dr Brian said that native birds were telling him through The Bird App that being locked in cages in areas where they are endemic, and in a place where their mates are flying around outside them every day, 'is just really crap'.
One bird from Port Douglas told Dr Brian that they had been stuck in a back exhibit aviary, away from the public, for over two years. Locked up for breeding purposes that made them feel 'worse than being a dog in a puppy farm' according to one Eclectus Parrot.
'They keep us in here all the time' a Brolga told Dr Beechworth using The Bird App. 'We live in the wetlands. This is a pond they have me in. Disgusting. I'm a bird. I live naturally in the tropics. Why am I locked up? This is our country. Apparently we are part of a breeding program so that we can supply the zoo here with birds for their promotional breakfasts, or just get sold or traded to other zoos around Australia and the world. It's crap, I want out. There is no consent from us birds to be here. Open the cage door, let me go if I please.'
Putting birds in cages in areas that the birds would otherwise naturally roam free in their natural environment is mistreatment of the birds and against the Mistreatment Of Wild Animals and Birds Act 2018 Qld. ('The Birds Act').
Dr Beechworth said The Birds Act regulations are delegated legislation administered by local councils.* 'Those councils are in charge of wildlife habitat in the hands of local zoos. Local councils have a real challenge doing even the most basic tasks sometimes like handling a complaint' said Dr Beechworth. 'Eventually you can break through to them, but we hope The Bird App will help councils speed up the process of captive bird related complaints by hearing directly from birds stuck in zoos or birds locked in cages.
'Ultimately', according to Dr Beechworth, 'the solution is birds naturally moving around at dawn and dusk, freely able to roam. It's the best way to observe birds in proximity to people. The only problem is it doesn't make money for zoos. So the real 'disruption' of The Bird App is likely to be the closures of zoos stuffed with animals for profit. We need to look at how we can destock our zoos, and how can we liberate the animals and turn zoos into parks with animals that come and go. Otherwise, it's basically just animal slavery'.
Dr Beechworth is travelling Australia in 2022 offering demonstrations of the The Bird App to zoos and local councils so that they can better understand what the wildlife habitat are saying. #freenativeaustralianbirdsstuckincommercialaviaries
*Local councils have no authority to make laws under the Australian Constitution which only provides authority for Commonweralth legislative powers, and State legislative powers. Local councils only gain authority for the exercise of any power and administration of laws through delegated legislation from the States.
Pexel photo credit: Sean Kernerman - thanks Sean!
Posted: Monday 14 March 2022