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Feeding the Wild Birds

Birds fascinate BOB. They bring beauty and song as well as help our gardens grow.

Wildlife and Urban Sprawl

Wild Birds

Why feed wild birds? If we consider wild birds to be any bird that is not being kept in a cage, then the birds humans feed most often are sea gulls, crows and pigeons. The birds that eat our refuse and I for one would rather not fed them.

I do not have anything against any of them, well sea gulls can be very tenacious, loud and will swoop down on humans if they feel the human is trespassing. But that is what happens when humans move into bird territory or humans toss away so much food related items that our towns and cities become feeding ground for many wild beings from cockroaches to rate and beyond.

I’d rather not intentionally feed these particular birds and see their urban populations drop.

I like crows, am not so fond of pigeons but as long as their numbers are small then I can live along side of them

If we are talking about ducks, I don’t think we should feed them either but we certainly should stop destroying their habitat as our urban centres sprawl outwards and threatened forests, rivers, lakes and wetlands. We also may want to stop poisoning these ecosystems with the run offs of our agricultural systems.

So I say that the best way to feed the duck and so many other wild birds that are dependent upon pour forests and wetlands is to stop destroying their homes and they will not need us to feed them.

Now when we consider songbirds, both those that winter elsewhere and those that stay in our yards all year round then we can indeed feed them and we may even have an obligation to do so.

First, both their winter and summer habitats are under threat from our incursions into their territory and one way we can compensate for that is to feed them.

This can be done by putting a birdfeeder in your yard. I have four and use black sunflowers seeds as the main food.

This way I have bird all year round and over this winter the black capped chickadees were frequent visitors. We can watch them from both the dining room and kitchen window.

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Bird feeders are okay but if you put a feeder in then you have undertaken an obligation to keep food in that feeder as the birds will become dependent upon it and will suffer if you fail to replace the seeds.

In addition to or instead of the feeder, you can create a naturalized backyard that includes trees and shrubs that provide the birds with food and shelter. Select plants that are native to your location and the birds will come.

When you naturalize your yard you have created a habitat that the birds will use and you will only need to maintain the plants, which for the most part, because you are using plants that are native to the area, will be able to do well, once established, with minimal effort on your part.

Why feed wild birds, well we have moved into their world, took what we wanted and gave little thought to the other beings who were there before us, so designing your yard so that the birds can use it too, just seems fair.

Urban sprawl and agricultural run off are major problems but we can address some of the effects of these problems by doing two things, buying organic food and creating a space for the birds in your backyard.


  • About Birds and Bird Feeding Index
    Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America.


Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on July 16, 2010:

You are welcome.

myawn from Florida on July 16, 2010:

I don't feed the gulls because of the mess, I do like to feed the hummingbirds ,bluejays and robins. I also photograph wild birds. Nice interesting hub Thank You !

Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on December 12, 2009:

agreed and as I said "so designing your yard so that the birds can use it too, just seems fair." Thanks for dropping by

CSeidel on December 12, 2009:

Better then feeding why not work on building back natural areas that will attract native bird species to your area. Everyone wants a park like yard but seriously what the earth needs is the nooks and crannies that supply the eco system. Supplement seed when winter is peak, otherwise give them back what they really need

Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on March 31, 2009:

Thanks, sea gulls get very enthusiastic and do not mind sharing.

Jerilee Wei from United States on March 31, 2009:

Being big time bird feeders, when we moved to Florida at retirement, my husband wanted to feed them all -- till the day he decided to feed the sea gulls in a parking lot. He was red faced all the way home, minus his shirt that they had soiled in their glee. Good hub and great perspective.

Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on March 31, 2009:

Why can't we all just get along? a fine question, thanks for dropping by.

marisuewrites from USA on March 31, 2009:

I don't know why we humans cannot respect nature until after we have caused a huge problem, hurting or killing much wildlife. Why can't we all just get along? I agree, feed the birds to make up for what we've taken away!! I have always fed hummingbirds, which are a favorite bird of mine. I love their color and the way they "hover" in air.

Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on March 31, 2009:

Thank you for you generous words.

RKHenry from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA on March 31, 2009:

Hi Bob! Excellent perspective. Thanks for the interesting view point and enlighten dialog. I appreciate your honesty. I hope to read more of your work.

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