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.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Would the birds starve to death if I stopped feeding them?

We're going to Seattle to visit my daughter for two weeks around Christmas. Will my birds be OK or should I tell my neighbor to fill the feeders. ~ Onondaga, Michigan

Birds are pretty clever. If the feeder is empty they’ll look for other sources. Studies show that the birds you see in your yard are only eating about 20% of their meals at feeders.

Birds are survivors and won't starve if you go on vacation or even down south for the winter. You can have someone fill your feeders when you're on vacation, but don't worry if that's not possible. Birds usually follow a circuit each day, visiting a number of feeding areas. However, birds that come at dusk on a cold evening are hungry, and it's nice to make sure that they always find something to eat in the yard.

That could also mean nut or berry bushes and trees to supply a natural food source. Or allowing native flowers, such as coneflowers, black eyed Susan’s, and cosmos go to seed and stand through the winter. These all provide food for the birds. A habitat that provides naturally for wild birds is a very relaxing place for people, too.

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