[CT Birds] feed or not to feed?

Tammy Eustis teustis at killingworthlibrary.org
Tue Sep 14 14:08:15 EDT 2010

As Mike mentioned, "location, location, location" is a big plus for feeders and their clientele. We feed year-round. Our seed feeders (two sunflower and one thistle) plus a suet cage on-a-pole are grouped together on the inside curve of a horseshoe of surrounding forsythia, with woods behind. Between the branches in the winter and the foliage in the summer, the little birds have more of a fighting chance when hawks come through. But not always, so I'd say it's a fair deal for everyone. (In the deep winter, I hang extra suet cages on the nearby apple tree, which is actually a little easier for the hawks to navigate.) Our birdbaths also have evergreen cover close by, for a quick escape.
The way I look at it is: bird feeders are bird feeders, whether the birds are eating seed, suet, or each other. The "prey" birds like blue jays and mourning doves have many more offspring than the hawks do, so the playing field is essentially level for both.
- Tammy Eustis, Chester
-----Original Message-----
From: Carrier Graphics [mailto:carriergraphics at sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 11:41 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 question comes up for me once again..... Is it a good idea to attract birds to feeders even though it condenses their numbers and makes these birds more vulnerable to predator attacks? I have been told by experts (those who should know) that it most likely is a wash. All summer, I have had a hanging feeder on my cedar tree filled and visited 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 Blue jays under the feeder. How do i know? because he leaves many of their scattered breast and flight feathers behind. So far this summer i have found over 6 Dove and 2 Jay feather piles under the feeder. Are we helping or hindering our bird friends by feeding them? i would love to hear how others feel about this subject and what they might know about it as well for all of us to learn from. Thanks - Paul Carrier _______________________________________________ This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut. For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org 

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