When Feeding Birds, Think Safety and Health


12 February, 2019

Feeding birds is a popular way to watch wildlife during the winter months. But many bird experts say the experience is often more pleasant for people than for birds. And it might even put wild birds at risk.

"Feeding birds is not necessary for their survival except in extreme weather conditions," said Stephen Kress. He is with the National Audubon Society, an organization whose aim is to protect wildlife. "Feeders can definitely help them get through that kind of weather."

Most birds eat insects and show little interest in bird feeders. For those birds, Kress suggests growing native plants in a natural environment.

In addition, birds who do eat seed "will be more likely to come to feeders if there is some co