[CT Birds] feed or not to feed?
jaybrd49 at aol.com
jaybrd49 at aol.com
Tue Sep 14 14:03:21 EDT 2010
The pros and cons of bird feeding would be an excellent subject for a future COA annual meeting topic. Research has shown that a majority of species do not depend upon backyard feeding stations even during the harsh winter months.
However, it is hard to believe that if everyone shut down their feeders in mid-winter, there would not be an adverse effect for many of our winter residents. There is no question that people put up feeders because they enjoy seeing birds up-close in their yards, often from the comfort of a big window (concern about window strikes has been another thread lately). It is also likely that the proliferation of bird feeding stations has, to some degree, influenced bird populations here in Connecticut (cardinal and tufted titmouse come readily to mind as these species were not found at these latitudes in the first half of the twentieth century, not to mention the more recent influx of red-bellied woodpecker and Carolina wren). Unfortunately, as Paul Carrier mentions, drawing large concentrations of birds to a small area does have its negative side, and I am not talking about the presence of sharp-shinned and Cooper's hawks that frequent backyard feeders. A West Hartford resident has already counted 8 dead blue jays in his yard this month. Although the birds have not been tested, it is a well-known fact that increasing concentrations of birds can spread disease. Perhaps some readers remember the comments about damp niger seed breeding lethal bacteria expressed here last winter. This was a particular concern for goldfinches at feeders. Botulism in ducks is another example.
So, who wants to prepare that program?
From: LaFleur, Roger <rlafleur at crec.org>
To: Carrier Graphics <carriergraphics at sbcglobal.net>; ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Sent: Tue, Sep 14, 2010 10:58 am
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] feed or not to feed?
All birds could use some assistance when it comes to finding food, looks
like your feeders are multi-tasking.
From: ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org
[mailto:ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org] On Behalf Of Carrier
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 11:42 AM
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Subject: [CT Birds] feed or not to feed?
To feed birds or not is the question.
I have a bird feeder up and filled throughout the year, but that old
comes up for me once again.....
Is it a good idea to attract birds to feeders even though it condenses
numbers and makes these birds
more vulnerable to predator attacks? I have been told by experts (those
should know) that it
most likely is a wash.
All summer, I have had a hanging feeder on my cedar tree filled and
greatly from the bird population
within my area. Even a red squirrel visits daily. However: I also have a
resident Coopers Hawk about, and
this hawk has had fantastic luck catching M Doves and others such as
under the feeder.
How do i know? because he leaves many of their scattered breast and
feathers behind. So far this
summer i have found over 6 Dove and 2 Jay feather piles under the
Are we helping or hindering our bird friends by feeding them? i would
hear how others feel about this
subject and what they might know about it as well for all of us to learn
Thanks - Paul Carrier
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