Shop­ping lists all for the birds

Whanganui Midweek - - News - WITH ELLA GRANT

When peo­ple en­ter the Cheep Shop they get a lit­tle lec­ture about what we are try­ing to do here. Some, of course, come in when we are hav­ing smoko or are talk­ing to other cus­tomers, and they are spared. The oth­ers are told the rea­son we are here is Bird Res­cue Whanganui Manawatu and that we work to sup­port the peo­ple who res­cue the ac­tual birds. We may not be mak­ing mega-bucks, but it frees up time for the res­cuers, time that would other­wise have to be spent rais­ing funds.

Be­low is a weekly shop­ping list from a cou­ple of years ago. It hasn’t changed much, only the price tags! It looks like the list for a school camp, and of course the birds have to have the same qual­ity food as ev­ery­one else! Only chooks can live on scraps.

So, once a week the trol­ley gets loaded up with: 7kg of frozen mixed vegeta­bles, 7kg of frozen peas, 7kg of frozen ker­nel corn, 4kg of brown rice, 8 x 410g cans of pears, 8 x 410g cans of peaches, 2 bananas, 2 ap­ples, 3 2.5l bot­tles of Janola, 1 bot­tle of dish­wash­ing liq­uid, 3 packs of pa­per tow­els, 20 rub­bish bags, 1 loaf of brown bread (for grow­ing meal worms), 1 bot­tle of hand sani­tiser, 1 box of dish­washer tablets (22s).

Kereru get vegeta­bles and rice, about half a kilo per bird per day! Tui and bell­bird get canned pears and peaches. And in­sect-eaters get meal worms. Watch­ing a squirm­ing mass of mag­gots and the black bee­tles that are the par­ent gen­er­a­tion is not for peo­ple of a del­i­cate dis­po­si­tion.

And that’s only a part of it, king­fish­ers get ox heart, sea birds get fin­ger­lings from a fish farm and birds of prey get the un­wanted male chick­ens from the egg in­dus­try. At least the fish and the chick­ens are ben­e­fit­ing New Zealand’s na­tive birds in this way!

In a good week the Cheep Shop pays for the gro­ceries, but in a bril­liant week we also con­trib­ute to the power bill, and the diesel, and the road user charges, and the phone. And you sup­ply the bril­liance!

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