About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Benefits of bird feeders in summer

I usually don't feed in the summer because I want the baby birds to learn how to feed themselves. But this year I kept the suet feeder out and I'm getting so many different kinds of woodpeckers with babies! Am I doing them a disservice?

You are doing the birds a great service by feeding them in the summer. Recent research studies show that birds with access to bird feeders allow breeding females to spend less time searching for food and more time selecting better nesting sites and constructing higher quality nests. The adults will also have more time available for protecting their nest, eggs and young from predators.

When abundant food is accessible to parent birds it means that more food is provided to their chicks. Studies have shown that this extra nutrition reduces aggression among nest siblings and increases their rate of growth.

And if you like to bird watch, summer observations can be very rewarding. Birds that visit feeders during summer include species not present during winter. Besides the usual woodpeckers, nuthatches, titmice and chickadees, you may attract orioles, wrens, warblers and more with suet during the spring and summer.

Parents may bring fledglings to the bird bath and then a feeder as their first step in educating them how to feed themselves but it won't be their last lesson. Once they are fed they can then take the chicklettes out and about to forage for other natural foods. Feeders aren't any birds main source of food. Birds just use feeders as a supplement to their natural diet.

With development, pesticides, manicured yards and planting of non-native species, birds have lost some natural feeding areas but we can help by providing a renewable feeding area (a clean feeder full of quality food).

Related Articles:
What seed is best for attracting the colorful birds? http://goo.gl/SAA35
What are the differences between the Wild Birds Unlimited seed blends? http://goo.gl/lF0rr
What seeds do wild birds eat? http://goo.gl/MjUCA
When should I feed the birds? http://goo.gl/IvocS

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