When the sun shines and the air is cool, the birds like to eat their salads.
But when the heat hits, the bird loves to devour the meat from the salads too.
The birds’ diet of meat is a little different to humans, says Mark Egan from the University of Queensland’s Department of Ornithology.
“We’re eating meat and not fish and so they’re eating more fish than us,” he says.
“But we also eat vegetables that are low in protein, so that’s good too.”
The birds also eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.
But while the birds eat lots of fruits, they also eat small amounts of grains.
“When we go to Australia, we usually buy a lot more fruit than we would in the Western world,” Mr Egan says.
While we eat more fruit, it’s only about a quarter of what we would normally eat.
“There’s no need for that when it comes to avian nutrition.”
It’s really important to understand what birds eat and when they’re feeding.
“If you have a bird eating an apple and then it stops and the bird is hungry, it might be because it’s not getting enough fruit, so it has a lot to eat.”
Mr Egan explains that the birds’ need for fruit is driven by the number of times they have to feed.
“They are so keen to feed that they’ll often eat anything, but that might not be what they need,” he explains.
“So if you put it to the birds, they might not want to eat that fruit, but if you let them, they’ll go and grab the fruit.”
The number of fruits the birds will eat is also influenced by the birds social status.
“You might find that the chicks, if they’re hungry, will eat a little bit more fruit,” Mr Tarr says.
The food they are eating is not only the fruit they eat, but also the meat they eat.
But it is not just fruit and vegetables that they eat in Australia.
“One of the birds that we studied, called the golden eagle, actually has a huge diet of red meat, like red meat and veal,” Mr Naughton says.
That’s because the birds use their talons to grab the red meat they need.
“What you’ll see is that the golden eagles will pick up their prey and then take it away to the ground, which is pretty amazing because the other birds are not going to do that,” he adds.
“That means they have a much better chance of catching it and eating it.”
The golden eagle eats a lot on its own but also has a team of hunters to help it catch and eat the meat.
The other bird in our study is the golden duck, which feeds on other birds’ meat.
“The golden duck is a bit of an odd bird because it eats a ton of different things,” Mr Suckley says.
For example, it will eat anything that has a bit more fat in it.
“I’ve seen a lot that have actually been caught, and the golden ducks are known to have a pretty big appetite,” he notes.
“For example there was a golden eagle in Australia that would eat up to 100kg of meat a day, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before.”
Another thing that I’ve seen is that they are a bit shy of the food that they need to be eating, so they may only eat about 20kg of food a day.
“This article originally appeared in the ABC Brisbane.