BACKYARD SECRET: CHICKADEES ARE NOT TOTALLY DEPENDENT OF FEEDERS FOR THEIR WINTER FOOD

A number of studies have found the birds that visit backyard feeders are not overly dependent on feeders to meet their winter food needs.

       In the case of the black-capped chickadee (a close relative of the Carolina chickadee that ranges throughout the state), revealed food supplied in bird feeders provided only 20 percent of their daily energy needs. 

       However, when the winter survival rates of the chickadees that regularly fed at feeders was compared to those of chickadees that never visited feeders, the black-capped chickadees that dined at feeders were higher than those birds that ate only wild foods.

       Interestingly when the researchers removed the feeders from the birds that frequented them, their survival rate dropped to what would be expected of a chickadee population that did not visit feeders.

 

 

 

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