Darryl Jones is a professor of ecology based at Griffith University in Brisbane. He has been investigating the process of urbanisation and its effects on biodiversity for over three decades, with a special focus on why some species are successful in cities and others are not. These studies led to the alarming discovery that cities are also full of people, and that there were many ways in which humans and wildlife interact. Some of these encounters are negative and even dangerous (think magpies in spring), while others were mutually beneficial and even profound.
His recent investigations of bird feeding uncovered plenty of evidence of both. Feeding birds is extremely controversial in Australia (but not elsewhere) and is strongly opposed by most bird and conservation groups. Despite this, people here participate in feeding at the same levels as in countries were the practice is actively promoted.
Understanding the origins of this very popular pastime around the world, the reasons why people feed birds and the ecological and social implications of all that bird food has resulted in the first book to look at this intriguing topic.