Archive for October 22nd, 2008

Myths About Feeding Birds

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

[SFX: winter wind]
With winter on the way, you may be tempted to set out bird feeders for your feathered visitors.

There are people that maintain that feeders are unnatural, that they crowd the birds into a smaller area. Birds are like us, if there’s food available, they’re going to come to it.

Wildscape program coordinator, Mark Klym, says the crowding situation is fleeting, and should not be a factor when deciding whether to provide birds with supplemental feeding. Since we’re myth-busting, Klym adds that a dirty feeder—while unpleasant—will not cause disease birds that eat from them.

If they’re not kept clean, they can enhance disease situations, but they can’t—by themselves—cause disease.

Another unfounded feeder fear is that easy access to food will encourage migratory species to stay put.

Birds migrate for a much more powerful trigger than just whether there’s just food available. And if you look at it, in a lot of areas, when the birds start to move, there’s some of the biggest supplies of [natural] food that there have been all year.

Finally, there is no evidence that a bird feeder will cause species not usually found in your area to book a visit.

Your feeder is not going to bring a bird that wouldn’t otherwise have been in the area. It’s going to be a situation where that bird happened to be in the area already, saw your feeder, and came to it.

So, this winter, if you want to put out a feeder to supplement the diet of visiting birds, do so without guilt.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.