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  • Writer's pictureMs. Arshpreet Manhas

Why is feeding birds important?

Birds. These mystical creatures are spotted everywhere, dotting the beautiful sky. We all (or almost all) admire them for their unique physique and vibrant colours. But, seeing dozens of them daily, sprawling the floor, looking around for food and not even flinching when a human tries to shoo them away does indicate a strong force that drives away their fear, and that is hunger.

Just like any life on this planet, food and water are the fundamental elements required for a thriving life. In the case of birds, their population has been on a decline and the lack of food resources helps in tipping the scales in the extinction of certain species. Almost 80 per cent of the 867 species of birds population in India has been on the decline in the past five years, which is dangerous for the planet as they play a significant part in the ecosystem. Birds can control pests, are a pollinating agent, keep corals alive and are nature’s clean up crew. We know their endangerment might not have been the scenario if we were to maintain balance in nature, and a way to resolve that is feeding them.

Bird feeding is easy and sustainable. All one needs is a bird feeder, bird food and enough energy to look after it. But how is it exactly helpful?

The simple deed of putting out a bird feeder and keeping it clean and full increases the chances of their as well as their offspring’s survival. According to a recent study, survival rates for birds are up to 40% higher in areas where bird feeders are present which helps in restoring their population.

Over time, as the birds get familiar with the feeder and the area, they will start coming daily. Even with the seasonal changes and harsher climates, the feeder will keep them well-fed, allowing them more time to take better care of their off-springs in the nesting season.

With that said, some concerns may arise, such as:

Does setting up feeders make birds dependent on them?

No. Letting birds eat from bird feeders won’t make them incapable of foraging for themselves. They don’t have the human tendency to do that. They know what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat.

How to make bird feeding safe for birds?

Make sure you remove some time out to clean the bird feeder or assign this task to someone else. Dirty feeders can do more harm than good. Also, you might not want to consider setting up a feeder if you have a pet cat or dog. Especially cats, as they are natural hunters and can scare away or even kill the birds.

Altogether, setting up feeders isn’t all beneficial for the birds only, but also you. If you plan on setting up one, refilling the feeder can give you an excuse to sit and observe the behaviour of birds. How they cooperate, bicker around, scare away other birds (green parakeets love doing that), etc. Birdwatching can surely be recuperating and may even make its way to your favourite pastimes.

~Arshpreet Manhas

Bird Feeder
Bird House

Writer - Arshpreet Manhas

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