Benefits of Feeding Wild Birds
Benefits of Feeding Wild Birds
- Jul 31, 2018
Are you getting started with Backyard Birding?
Here are 8 benefits of feeding your feathered friends!
This may be a given, but the entertainment value is far and away the main reason most people feed birds. We just love to watch them! There’s something calming about seeing our frequent avian visitors. We love to watch their antics as they interact with one another, and the colors they bring to the yard are lovely.
Seed-eating birds don’t just eat sunflower seeds! They also consume seeds from pesky weeds, which reduces their number in your yard. While foraging, birds will scratch up the dirt, which tills the ground and uproots weed seedlings. And while they are scratching around in the dirt…
Wild birds are very efficient insect predators! They are constantly on the hunt for the next small meal, and they do a great job of removing unwelcome bugs from your yard, all day long. They search in the dirt, in grasses, in the bark of trees, and on leaves.
In addition to aiding you with weed and insect control, birds also leave small gifts of nutrient rich manure behind as they forage. In small doses, they don’t amount to much, but when many birds gather around a feeder, the manure can be collected and used in mulch or composted.
Are you an aspiring nature photographer? With wild birds around, there’s no better place to start than in your own backyard! Once they become accustomed to the feeder and come around regularly, they will become less skittish, and over time will get used to seeing you and your camera. Practice often and you are sure to get some beautiful shots of your new feathered friends.
Birds can teach us many lessons! They are great for kids to watch and learn from. If you are willing to spend some time and watch, you’ll learn how birds communicate with one another using body language. You can also change feeders and food types to watch how different birds come to visit. Add birdhouses for even more variety. It’s a great way of interacting with nature right in your own backyard.
Aid in Their Survival
Life can be hard for anyone living on this planet, and we can do our part to help birds make it through theirs. Bird habitat is being destroyed with every new land clearing and housing development. We can do our part by putting up feeders and birdhouses. Migratory birds have a particularly pressing need for supplemental food. Migration requires an enormous amount of energy. We can help them get where they are going by offering nutrient dense food, like Suet for fat, and dried mealworms for protein. This also applies for birds who stick around through the winter. They need extra calories to stay warm and survive the cold.
Orni-what? Ornithophily is the scientific name for bird pollination! Did you know that birds help pollinate many flowering plants? Birds in this category are usually nectar feeders with long, slender beaks. For North Americans, this is most notably the hummingbird family. Also included are sunbirds and honeyeaters. To attract these birds, one can set out nectar feeders. Those with a green thumb can plant hummingbird friendly plants like Bee Balm, Columbine, Hollyhocks, and Foxgloves.