Why You Should NOT Feed Birds in Spring

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.07 - 2024 8:30 PM CET

Garden
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Research indicates that feeding birds during spring can have detrimental effects.

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Feeding birds in spring may seem like a kind gesture, but research suggests it could be more harmful than helpful.

During the chilly winter months, garden birds benefit from supplemental feeding, which provides the extra energy they need to stay warm. Several studies have even shown that birds fed during winter tend to lay their eggs earlier than those that aren't fed.

The Impact of Spring Feeding

But continuing to feed birds into the spring, which marks the beginning of the breeding season, can lead to unintended consequences.

Surprising findings from recent studies have highlighted potential drawbacks:

Researchers have observed that birds tend to produce smaller broods when they have access to additional food in spring.

One reason might be that male birds, preoccupied with the abundance of food, may start their courtship displays too late. Alternatively, birds might spend less time seeking mates because they are busy defending the feeding station from competitors.

Best Practices for Bird Feeding

To support the health and natural behaviors of local bird populations, it's advisable to cease feeding at the end of winter.

This practice helps ensure that birds engage more naturally in their breeding activities, which is crucial for maintaining robust bird populations.

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