The next time you complain about the pigeons and sparrows eating food around your table, consider the challenge of eating at Wordsmith, the cafe connected to the bookstore in the middle of the University of Queensland campus. The noisy minor (about twice the size of a sparrow), sitting on the chair next to my table, waits patiently to see if I will eat all of my croissant.
But my eyes are on the Australian brush turkey on the table behind the noisy minor. The turkey (about two feet long) is a protected species and is found everywhere on campus.
But then comes the Australian white ibis that also wants its share of the food. It’s slightly bigger than the turkey, with a very impressive beak. Note that the packets of sugar are inside traditional sugar dispensers — the only why to keep the birds from tearing the packets apart. If you forget a fork to eat your food, you best do without or risk the possibility of losing your food to the birds. Better yet, always eat in pairs, so one of you can guard the food. In the end, the birds seem to win. The turkey gets his espresso for the day and the noisy miner gets the croissant.