[CT Birds] Questions on feeding birds

Marty swanhallm at gmail.com
Mon Aug 19 12:52:55 EDT 2013


To play devil's advocate...

As more and more bird friendly areas become lost, I like the fact that I have had for years nesting rose breasted grosbeaks near me as I have seen juvies feeding at my feeder every year.

Marty
Woodbury


Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 19, 2013, at 12:43 PM, Kathy Van Der Aue <kathyvda at gmail.com> wrote:

> I also used to feed the birds year round, but now I stop feeding seeds in
> the summer, thinking as you do that they have ample more appropriate food
> sources available.  I do feed the hummingbirds (two feeders on opposite
> sides of the house to lessen "hummer wars') and I also continue to feed
> suet in my upside down suet feeder, simply for my own pleasure, as I love
> seeing the baby woodpeckers.  Statistics I have seen report that birds only
> get about 25% of their food from feeders and I hope that is true.  I have
> replanted our property with bird friendly shrubs in hopes that they also
> use these food sources, which they seem to do.  I always have a fresh water
> source running all year as open fresh water is essential for them and is
> sometimes in short supply.
> 
> 
> 
> Kathy Van Der Aue
> Southport, Connecticut
> Visit my Blog at http://naturaliststable.wordpress.com
> 
> 
> On Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 11:03 AM, Carrier Graphics <
> carriergraphics at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> 
>> I have been thinking all summer about
>> my feeding birds at my home here in Harwinton. I have been feeding
>> them throughout the year ever since I moved here. About 38 years. I
>> am now questioning the impact this all year round feeding has on the
>> well being of the birds that feed here.
>> 
>> This is really a complicated subject,
>> and I would like to hear from others on what they feel is the right
>> thing to do. So here is my interpretation on this subject at this
>> time. It appears, during the summer, the feeding of birds might just
>> have a more detrimental impact on their survival than the winter in
>> many ways. First, I have observed many more feathers during the
>> summer under the feeder than in the winter. Im not talking about molt
>> feathers, but numerous breast feathers, the kind that indicate a bird
>> was grabbed by a predator. I surmise many of these birds were
>> Immature. Yes, young birds do experience a higher mortality rate than
>> adults who have learned more about survival, but still, to have young
>> newly fledged birds feeding from feeders and on the ground under them
>> seems to be a bit more dangerous for them than feeding dispersed more
>> in wild nature.
>> 
>> Also – When I see newly fledged young
>> feeding with adults in and under the feeders, I also feel the young
>> are not getting the best lessons on how to fend for themselves in
>> finding wild foods at their source. A very important knowledge for
>> them to have for survival in the future. In the summer months, food
>> is usually plentiful for birds, and the young need to learn how and
>> where to find it from their parents. As an example, I often see adult
>> Chipping Sparrows spread out on the lawn and adjacent wild grassy
>> areas with a group of Immature birds who are learning to feed in more
>> natural areas than just on or under a feeder where the food is
>> abundant and always there. This holds true to most all the young
>> birds that do visit our feeders.
>> 
>> However, feeding in the winter, though
>> still not a natural source for feeding, might be a better way for us
>> to help feed the birds than in the summer. In winter, the Immature
>> birds have had time to learn all the natural ways to find food, and
>> our offerings might be just that. An offering to help in harsh times,
>> but not one which is the only source young birds know of to survive.
>> Any further thoughts you might contribute to this topic would be
>> greatly appreciated...Thanks
>> 
>> Paul Carrier - Harwinton
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