Helping or Hurting?
Is it really OK to feed birds if you might be leaving for a while during the winter? I've heard that the birds might depend on your food and then starve if the feeding is interrupted.
It's sometimes advised that one should only start feeding birds if certain
that the feeding can continue uninterrupted all winter.
However, the evidence indicates that you won't harm the birds by feeding them in winter. They don't settle in and dine at just one place. American goldfinches,
for example, follow a circuit each day, visiting a number of feeders and
wild food patches, as we know from studies of banded birds that can be identified
With many households feeding birds, it's unlikely that a bird will starve
because one feeder goes empty. All the same, birds that come into your yard
at dusk on a cold evening are hungry, and one does not like to disappoint
one's guests. It's my pleasure to make sure that they always find something
to eat in my yard.
Copyright 2008 Diane Porter
Winter Bird Feeding
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A bird feeder for terrible weather