Essay: Rochester Birding Association offers guidance on bird feeding – Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Liz Magnanti
 |  Visitor essayist

Members of the Rochester Birding Affiliation introduced Feb. 9 article, “If you happen to’re going to feed wildlife, no less than do it appropriately,” to the eye of the group’s board of administrators this week. Sadly, most of what the creator supplied as “ideas” is misinformation.

Birds don’t starve to dying as a result of people cease feeding them. Inside days of leaving the nest, birds have realized the pure meals sources which are obtainable to them in any season, and so they go to a variety of those sources repeatedly all through the day. If a human’s feeder is empty, the birds transfer on to a different supply.

Individuals who need to see birds of their yards year-round might help them discover meals past the choices at their feeders, planting native fruit-producing timber and shrubs like spicebush, serviceberry, dogwood, chokecherry, holly, or elderberry; cone producers like white pine and crimson spruce; and flowers with accessible seeds like milkweed, Joe-Pye weed, purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, sunflower, and quite a lot of others.  We’ve got loads of details about gardens that entice birds at

Wheat, milo, millet, and cracked corn are inferior seed decisions for birds, as a result of they don’t present the protein content material that birds require, particularly in winter. These seeds are used as filler in low-cost fowl meals mixes, and Venture Feederwatch, the continuing survey by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, revealed way back that typically, most birds reject these low-value seeds. Individuals who discover rings of yellow seed on the bottom beneath their feeders know that that is the case—after which these fillers entice mice and rats, critters that will turn out to be habituated to the yard and begin nesting in garages and basements.

Black oil sunflower seeds, safflower, and peanut chips are costlier, however they supply the vitamins and protein that birds want to take care of physique weight through the winter. Suet, essentially the most protein-rich meals folks can supply their birds, attracts woodpeckers, nuthatches, Carolina wren, chickadees, sparrows, starlings, and others year-round. If the suet feeder runs out, nevertheless, the birds merely transfer on to meals they discover on timber, shrubs, and vegetation—particularly in rural areas, the place such meals sources are plentiful.

As for feeders turning into predation stations for hawks—that is actually true, however hawks have a proper to eat as properly.

We admire the chance to set the report straight. 

Liz Magnanti is president of the Rochester Birding Affiliation.

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