BACKYARD SECRET: Birds are not totally dependent on backyard bird feeders.


If you feed birds in your backyard each day. you are likely to see a parade of familiar birds such as northern cardinals, chipping sparrows, house finches, tufted titmice and Carolina chickadees making frequent forays to feed at our feeders. Consequently, it is easy to assume that the birds that visit our feeders on a regular basis are totally dependent on our food offerings.

Nothing could be further from the truth. A number of studies have found that bird feeders provide our feathered guests with only fifteen to twenty-five percent of the food they need to survive.

If that is indeed true, backyard wildlife enthusiasts might ponder why they should feed wild birds.

Perhaps naturalist Kathi Hatton said it best when she penned, I don’t feed the birds because they need me, I feed the birds because I need them.


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