Is it OK to feed a feathered friend in your palm? Our resident expert says yes, but only in the right circumstances.
It is well known that certain dame species can be enticed to take versatile kinds of food items right out of your hand. Bluebirds, chickadees, jays and nuthatches, to name a few, can be trained to take mealworms or seeds from your decoration. You can feed respective hummingbirds at once from boodle water held in your hand .
But just because we can, does that mean we should ? here are my thoughts .
Allow me to first draw my lines in the sand.
First, I am against offering mouse, live or dead, to any dame of prey for any reason, because the bird of prey being fed could end up associating all humans with food offerings, a bad thing for all concerned. What ’ s more, certain species, like barred owl, that will take live mouse from the bridge player besides are known to strike humans while defending their nests. Besides electric potential physical injury to both parties, you can imagine the lifelong trauma suffered by a child after such an attack. And there ’ s the reputational damage to predatory birds in the populace eye at a fourth dimension when they need our protection. It has besides been shown that feeding raptors live prey near a road can lead to collisions with vehicles.
Second, I am oppose to hand-feeding ducks, goose, swans and gulls in parks and specially on public beaches. Besides their growing numbers annoying beachgoers, their ample feces in the body of water can cause disease like Escherichia coli in bathers. I speak from know. Gulls and swans can besides become perilously aggressive .
Third, feeding threatened or endangered species from the hand is not recommended. For exemplify, supplementing the food of endangered Florida scrub-jays may harm their education success by affecting the time of fledging their young. so, when is it oklahoma to hand-feed birds ? well, since we already offer respective goodly foods to our backyard birds via our feeders, I personally see no wrong in them getting food from our hands besides. What about hand-feeding birds in public parks ? I know of no scientific studies supporting the notion that these birds become entrained to expect to be fed and then stressed in some manner when food is not forthcoming. I believe birds that willingly come to humans, whether it be to a feeder or a hired hand, merely treat them as fast-food outlets, constantly reverting to natural foods when available.
Read more : Do Seagulls Eat Pigeons? – Pigeonpedia
I leave you with one final case — offer food to Canada jays ( hopefully, our future national bird ) at a road period, at a campsite or on a hike or ski trail. While this activity evokes much pleasure and evening nurtures a love for nature, experiments conducted in Algonquin Park by Dan Strickland, Canada ’ s foremost expert on the species, besides demonstrated that “ providing winter supplements causes breeding jays to raise more and healthier nestlings. ” As for such out-of-ordinary foods possibly being harmful to the jays, Dan tells me that “ Canada jays normally subsist all winter on semi-rotten bits of raw, vertebrate human body, insects, spiders, berries and mushrooms, and all in assorted stages of decay, specially if there have been winter thaw that encourage even more than the usual sum of bacterial growth. ” If that won ’ thymine hurt them, would a raisin ?
Read more : Gulls Win Over Canucks 3-2
My bottomland line on the question of hand-feeding birds is that until foster studies have been done, offering healthy food in your hand to diverse non-aggressive songbirds in public greenspaces or in your backyard is not likely to cause them any harm. furthermore, the benefits ( again, to all parties ) appear to outweigh the risks .
Reprinted from canadian Wildlife magazine. Get more information or subscribe immediately ! now on newsstands ! Or, get your digital edition today !
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.