Archive for October 26th, 2012

Wildlife: Bird Feeding Myths

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Bird Feeder

Bird Feeder

Passport to Texas with Support from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program

When winter arrives, you may be tempted to set out feeders for your feathered visitors. But should you?

09—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.

Mark Klym coordinates the Wildscape Program and says the crowding subsides, so don’t let it influence whether you provide supplemental feeding. He adds there’s a myth that dirty feeders can cause disease in birds that eat from them.

05—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.

13—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 birdfeeder will cause species not usually found in your area to book a visit.

10—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.

When it’s frosty outside, feel free to feed feathered friends fearlessly. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series and funds diverse conservation projects throughout Texas.

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