We all have our reasons for feeding birds. Droll Yankees eCommerce Marketing Specialist Katie Schmidt had a family history of bird feeding, but didn’t take up the practice herself until she began to learn about the environmental benefits of giving birds a hand—especially during the perilous migration seasons.
A Family of Bird Feeders
My earliest memory of my great-grandma was her teaching me the call of the Black-capped Chickadee.
“Chickadee-dee-dee,” she would sing, still pitch-perfect even in old age.
After my great-grandpa survived a heart attack, my great-grandparents moved to the mountains in the 1970s seeking good health from the clean air and high altitude. In doing so, they fell in love with the outdoors. Grandma Liz often scattered bird seed on the deck for the birds (and chipmunks). Our family nicknamed her Snow White because she even hand fed the birds.
During my childhood, I was exposed to an appreciation of nature. I grew up in a rural area where anything from a woodpecker to a group of wild turkeys could be spotted on our property. My dad made sure that our hummingbird feeder was up by spring migration. If he failed to meet the deadline, the hummingbirds would come up to the window to scold him.
See also: Hummingbird Migration Patterns Explained
If you were to ask my great-grandma or dad why they feed the birds, they probably wouldn’t be able to give you an answer. It’s simply something they did without a second thought.
Why I Got Started
Despite growing up surrounded by people who fed the birds, I didn’t take up the hobby until I started working in the wild bird feeding industry. Here, I learned the environmental impacts of bird feeding and the importance of protecting species and habitats. I always assumed that wild bird populations were thriving, but I quickly found out that many species face an uphill battle. Outdoor cats, window strikes and a strenuous migration are just a few dangers wild birds face.
I am always looking for ways to be greener in my daily practices, whether that is avoiding harsh chemicals in household products or reusing plastic bags from the grocery store. Therefore, the idea of bird feeding appealed to me. There’s a sense of fulfillment knowing that I am making a positive impact on my environmental footprint. It warms my heart to see the birds visit my feeders, knowing that I am helping them out.