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Is it a good idea to feed the birds?

Early to feed, late to sing?I’m one of those people who enjoy watching birds feed themselves so my garden is never without peanuts and wild bird feed. Plus I try to grow as many flowers that attract insects and butterflies as possible, working on the hope that they will all repay me in some way.

I’m instinctively dubious of those who say that feeding birds make them lazy so I was amused when my boss told me of this story (Feeding garden birds delays dawn chorus) on the BBC site. I don’t know how scientists find the time to measure these things, and I have absolutely no idea how it could be possible to measure “observed changes in songbird behaviour”.

I suppose it’s just a bit of fun but it concerns me that some people may think twice about putting out bird food. I, for one, will continue to invest my hard-earned cash in our feathered friends.

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2 thoughts on “Is it a good idea to feed the birds?”

  1. ChristopherNichols says:

    Some research does suggest that supplementary feeding may not be entirely beneficial for garden birds. See my latest bog post for more info:
    http://www2.imperial.ac.uk/blog/studentblogs/christopher-n/2011/11/23/baiting-the-ecological-trap/

  2. GardenNut says:

    Me too. I like to encourage birds into my garden to deter the aphids that attack my blackcurrent bush and my roses! Feeding them during the winter seems to get them into the habit of coming in – not that they eat enough aphids to make a real difference!

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