The seemingly small act of feeding birds can have an immeasurable impact on your local ecosystem. Here are some of the benefits you will see:
Bird Feeding Helps You Experience Nature
A bird feeder gives you the opportunity to observe the wonders of nature, taking a little break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Young ones with access to feeders learn to identify bird species, teaching them the importance of caring for animals. With a steady supply of food in your feeders, you can have birds in your backyard year-round. Homes with bird feeders attract more birds over time than those without feeders.
Bird Feeders Help Parent Birds Feed Their Chicks
Although many think that wild birds benefit from backyard feeders only during certain times of year, birds actually have a year-round need for reliable, steady food sources. The population booms in the summer, putting a great demand on food resources. The more you feed the birds during nesting season, the less time the parents will need to stay away from the nest foraging for food. With bird feeders supplementing natural food sources, birds have a reliable, plentiful source of food to keep them well fed and thriving.
Bird Feeding Encourages Healthy Birds
Birds in areas with backyard bird feeders are in overall better health than birds in places without feeders, so just feeding birds makes a world of difference for the future of wild birds. Birds’ stress levels are lower where bird feeders are present, and their body condition is also better.
Bird Feeding Offers Relaxation and Decreases Stress
One of the most relaxing sounds you can experience is the joyful chirping of wild birds in the trees all around your backyard. Tens of millions of Americans regularly feed wild birds and have made it a longstanding tradition in their lives. People enjoy bird feeding as a soothing source of natural beauty and entertainment just outside their windows. In a world overwhelmed with technology, bird feeding provides a nice escape to unwind from daily stressors.
See also: How Birding Benefits Your Health
Bird Feeders Supplement Natural Food Sources
Birds consume up to 10,000 calories a day (the human equivalent of a 155,000-calorie diet!), so backyard bird feeders are a helpful supplement for wild birds’ ferocious feeding requirements. Birds spend most of their day foraging for food to meet their needs and the needs of their little nestlings. Bird feeders are an easy food source and an efficient way for birds to use their limited foraging energy.
Bird Feeders Give Birds Energy for Migration
Plentiful food sources along migration routes give birds food for the journey. Birds are driven to migrate by instinct, changing weather, and length of days, so feeding birds won’t cause them to miss their yearly migrations. The same is true for hummingbirds. It’s good to keep nectar feeders filled even after it seems like the last hummingbird has departed, as late-leaving hummer “stragglers” also need energy for their long journeys.
Bird Feeders Provide Food During Cold, Barren Months
Some bird species don’t migrate during the colder months, so these backyard birds benefit from year-round access to bird feeders. When scarce food sources are covered in snow, bird feeders provide an important and easily accessible food supply for winter birds.
More Baby Birds Survive and Thrive
The simple act of putting out a bird feeder and keeping it clean and full can greatly improve the chances that birds and their offspring will survive. According to a recent study by Millikin University, survival rates for birds are 38 percent higher in areas where bird feeders are present, and places with bird feeders have a higher percentage of young birds recruited into the breeding population than places without.