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Feeding Wildbirds on your property or Not?

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by Thomas, 15 Nov 2020.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I’m in a middle of a crisis decision, My parents don’t like me putting out the bird feeders and buying bird seeds to feed wild birds in the front and back yard. Reasons because they make a mess with their bird droppings, a waste of money, they think the birds don’t need my help and they can find their own food, and think the birds might imprint on us like bears, but they don’t.
    Also the General Rule that you can’t feed Wild Animals though on Public land like national parks and parks, but not on your own property does that apply with Bird feeding too?

    what are your suggestions?
     
  2. red river hog

    red river hog Well-Known Member

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    1. I've had bird feeders out for years and have never been able to see droppings on the ground.
    2. Some bird feeders are super cheap. I've seen some that are only $1 and a 5 lb bag of seed for $2. Most would be more than this, though. To see the birds right outside your window is definitely worth that.
    3. Birds do struggle, especially in winter time, to find food to eat. Feeding them can help populations, which is good because more and more birds are dying from window strikes. Also it's not imprinting, because they're eating out of a feeder and not being handfed.
    4. I think that would include bird feeding, as well.
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    T
    Thanks
    1. Not just droppings on the ground, but also on the top of the walls, the fence, the roof of the house I live in, and the cars parked outside.
    2. The reason I asked this because I live with my parents they don't seem to agree with what I do like they don't like birds making a mess on their mailbox and cars and worried that the dropped seeds would attract rats which bring disease.
    3. Another problem like I'm supposed to think and care about human life including family than animal life because unlike humans, animals are not gonna help me by taking care of me or supporting me like they want me to think of what to do in my life.
    Despite the pleas and explaining the positives of having a birdfeeder, my parents are quite hard to convicne since they have to care for me and my brother and think I don't appreciate my life or what I have or what they do for me.
    4. and finally, is it worth it to waste your money to feed birds in your front yard or use that money to conservation efforts like the Amazon rainforest, that's the problem like I can't be a bird feeder caretake and soon to be a zoologist or animal conservationist at the same time?

    Do you have any advice or how to deal with this?
     
  4. red river hog

    red river hog Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had a problem with droppings anywhere. If you put it in an area with grass, then you wouldn't even be able to tell if there were any anyway. Unless the birdfeeder is right next to a car or mailbox etc., you shouldn't have any problems there. One way to reduce seed dropping on the ground is using a tray feeder, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The birds sit in the tray while they're eating, so anything that drops would just go back on the tray. You could also do a bark butter feeder, which is kind of like a bird's version of peanut butter (you could just use peanut butter, but it doesn't usually attract as many species) that you can spread on a tree, or on a special feeder. Even if there were rats, they would be outside, not in your house, so it would be very unlikely that you could catch a disease from them. You can also still think about you're family and feed birds. Feeding birds is a way to appreciate nature and it takes very little time. You only need to fill them up every few weeks, depending on how big the feeder is. I think you could spend money on conservation and on bird feeders, as they aren't that expensive, but that's all up to you and how you want to spend your money. One thing you could also tell your parents is that 57 million households in the US have birdfeeders. Hope that helps! :)
     
  5. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    As somebody who had a feeder for years. You need simply a tube feeder of a kind which feeds small birds but does not allow feral pigeons in. This would produce very little or not visible litter. As you are in California you should visit the ABA or any American website to get practical advice which food and which birds are best fed in California.

    Bird feeding is not going to cost you much. You can tell your parents you will clean it yourself, and ask for a probation period of say one month. And you could buy the bird food from money you earn mowing neighbors lawn or whatever.

    And you can tell your parents that filling and cleaning a bird feeder is a good way to get used to regular duties and schedules. You can point on this website that somebody older told it. ;)
     
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  6. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    In general bird feeders do not help populations at all. It can be a money drain, but so can any hobby, If you enjoy watching birds, put feeders out. If you are simply looking to help birds, you should instead plant native plants. This is the most important thing you can do for wildlife at your home, I recommend reading Nature's Best Hope and Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamy for more info on this subject.
     
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  7. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Okay, Even as a hobby, I just don’t want the birds to poop on the fence, mailbox, and the roof making my parents that they have to clean it up.
    As for the native plants,!I have a few sections around the house to plant native plants, since I’m living in my parent’s house my mom wants a theme of only succulent plants, since native plants spread a lot and more hard work when it comes to maintenance, and I don’t think succulent plant have any value or benefits for native birds.
     
  8. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Succulents (assuming they are native succelents) have some value if planted alongside a variety of other native plants. You will be able to find plenty of low maintenance native plants that don't spread much, if you look hard enough.