Feeders: a good idea or not? Discuss!
An interesting article
It didn't convince me stop. Of the few window strikes we've had, most were birds with no interest in the feeding area. We've since put up bird tape on most of the windows that have caused issues. We learned of one more window after we put up this winter's plastic, so that will be taken care of this spring. Also how many birds are killed from windows in general that have nothing to do with feeding? That said, I am grateful for builders who are now keeping the birds in mind when they design the big office buildings.
How am I to know this statement is true? "Other studies have found that some bird species become dependent on winter feeding and die when it stops, for instance, when the person who is filling the feeder becomes ill, moves or dies." What bird species? What studies?
I think birds are smart. Birds are always moving around looking for food. In fact, this year, we are seeing more Juncos and Tree Sparrows away from our feeding area and they are eating of the weed seeds around the fence lines. This was even prior to when we stopped throwing mixed seed on the ground trying to discourage House sparrows.
I appreciate some of his ideas, one of which we have done. Oh and we've had bird baths since last year.
We planted heaps of sunflowers this year with the intent of just leaving them for the birds. A few remained after the grasshoppers did their damage. The other day I was treated to seeing two Nuthatches partaking of them. The Downy Woodpeckers and Goldfinches have eaten off of them as well. We will plant more next year and hope to figure out what to safely do with the grasshoppers that won't harm beneficial bugs.
I'm not sure I agree with everything in this article, especially feeding the birds. I seem to recall seeing photos posted by other members here that did possibly save some birds. Can't recall who it was but the snow was very deep and made it hard for the birds to forage for their food. That member threw seeds in sheltered areas around his home and the birds came.
Another thing, I have different migrating birds that come about the same time throughout the year and leave about the same time. I know from my photos that some of them are the same birds as in previous years. That tells me they'll most likely survive to return the next year.
I do plant for my birds and leave everything to go to seed at the end of the season. I see them eating from my feeders and the garden-it seems to me that's how it should be.
Until I see some science from Cornell or Audubon, I'm not worried about feeding my birds. I know that my feeders are not the only source of food these birds have as I find them foraging elsewhere. I've placed my feeders in appropriate locations to avoid fatal window collisions.
And let's not forget how citizen scientists help monitor populations with feeder watch and backyard bird counts.
This message was edited Dec 9, 2012 8:02 PM