Bird Feeder – The Good and the Bad

Bird feeder

Bird feeding is common in suburban places and a lot of people are actually fond of giving birds some seeds or other types of food. Most bird feedings happen in parks and beaches but it can also happen right in your yard while you’re enjoying the day. 

You can feed birds nearby your house with a feeder, but first things first. You’ve got to know what a bird feeder is and whether or not it’s good to put in your yard. In this article, let’s find out if putting a bird feeder in your garden or yard will be good for your or will only be an inconvenience.

What is a bird feeder?

Birds, like all animals, have needs in order to survive. In a suburban, birds can find water in puddles or in artificial ponds, or even in fountains. They can nest from a hole in a tree, or make a nest out of hairs or pieces of cloth that they find in the streets or nearby yards. 

Having a bird feeder makes a great way to introduce different species of birds into your garden or backyard. It can also help birds find food during difficult times of the year (like winter).

The bird feeder allows you to observe the wonders of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Kids who have access to the feeders in their yards learn to identify species of birds. This way, it teaches them the importance of caring for animals. With a steady supply of food in the feeder, you can keep the birds year-round in the garden. Houses with feeders attract more birds over time than homes without feeders.

Bird Feeders and Their Effect on Wildlife

Although a lot of people think that wild birds benefit from backyard feeders only during certain times of the year, birds can actually have a year-round need for steady and reliable food sources. The practice of having a feeder in your yard though contributes to the population boom in the summer. It puts a great demand on food resources for the birds. The more you feed the birds during nesting season, the less time the parents will need to stay away from the nest looking for food in faraway places. With bird feeders providing food, birds can have a plentiful source of food to keep them well-fed and thriving even in certain seasons.

Birds living near backyard feeders are generally healthier than birds living far from yards with feeders. It is also a great way to get to know the wildlife in your area. Birds can be great for pest control, and some species of birds can even be beneficial to your garden, providing a natural form of pest control.  

Feeding the birds isn’t a natural setup in nature and it makes all the difference to the future of wild birds. Although many studies have found that the birds’ stress levels in places where people have bird feeders were lower, their physical condition was found to be better as well.

It’s good to remember that there are a lot of benefits to feeding birds, but there are also a few pitfalls.

Feeding Birds Responsibly

Providing birds with food means taking responsibility for the possible risks the feeding can pose not only to the birds but to humans as well. These risks include the spread of viruses and parasites, as well as a higher likelihood of window collisions, and increased susceptibility to damage and danger. But with taking cautious steps in keeping a well-maintained feeder, every possible danger feeding birds may bring can be avoided. Research also shows that birds’ feed can actually help birds survive and reproduce. 

Feeding can also make the birds trust and lean on people. But with that comes some consequences such as having your home swarmed with flocks of birds and they’re pretty uncontrollable. Also, feeding birds alter the dynamics of nature. With birds relying more on food freely given to them, the food chain becomes disturbed and predators lose their prey. 

Other than the food chain getting disturbed, feeding might also cause birds to aggressively seek handouts from people. Birds can be aggressive, which can lead to spreading diseases or damaging property. We’ve all seen and some experienced getting robbed of food in parks and beaches by birds. Once birds begin associating easy food with people, they’ll likely become bold and sometimes sneaky around humans. This creates a hassle for people and might yet again pose danger to the birds. Bird feeding does have an impact on bird behavior, but it’s not always for the better.

Attracting more birds – is it good or bad

Attracting more birds means putting several feeders in your yard, which also means attracting uninvited creatures such as critters and rodents, especially when the food gets scattered on the ground. Squirrels and mice, and sometimes black bears can become a major problem no matter what time of the day. 

It may not be as good of an idea as you think it is. Not only does it create a lot of mess but it also leads to having an unsafe area for both people and animals. Maybe during seasons when birds are less likely to find food, you can put several feeders for birds to easily get a fill. Winter, for example, is a season that may be hard for most birds to search for food, thus the feeder becomes a great help, and putting a number of feeders in your garden or yard can be a great help for your feathered friends.

Although attracting more birds can sometimes be good, having countless of them flock on your flat or bowl-like feeder will lead to endangering their health. Scattered birdseed with easy access on flat lets the birds leave their poop along with their food which makes it unsanitary for them. If you want to attract birds, you need to feed the birds that are in the greatest need, not the ones that are most aggressive.

Bird Feeders May Not Be Suitable for Every Yard

There are many reasons why bird feeders may not be the right fit for every garden, no matter how welcome the birds are in the yard. 

  • Feeders can be (expectedly) messy. Birds aren’t like humans to have table manners and giving them a feeding ground can end in a pile of scattered seeds, lots of lost feathers, discarded shells, and countless droppings. 
  • Some of the seeds from the feeder that the birds were able to scatter can become unwanted weeds, which will become another problem for you, and a build-up of mess can damage your lawn, as well as give off unpleasant odor around the yard. 
  • The feeder can become noisy with countless birds swarming the feeder in the hopes of getting easy food. When a flock comes down to feed, it’s definitely going to be a noisy feeding time. Their calls and quarrels can become so loud and intrusive, and there’s no way you or your neighbor will be comfortable having that noise, especially if the feeder is placed near a window and the birds feed early before the breeder decides to wake up.
  • Setting a feeder in your yard can be expensive too. Not only do they cost money, but stakes or pools, and hooks are required to hang them properly. You’ll also be needing bulkheads to protect them from other animals that may pose danger to the birds.

Improving Bird Feeding Habitat

Of course, maintaining the cleanliness and the overall condition, as well as the appearance of your bird feeder, is a must. Bird feeders not only become a food source for the birds but also becomes a part of your garden or lawn decoration hanging on a pole or one of your trees.

Feeders require constant maintenance for both your and the birds’ health protection. Part of the responsible bird feeding is making sure the feeders are clean, in good repair, and basically well-maintained so they don’t pose any danger to visiting birds. In crowded areas, this may require multiple emptying and cleaning sessions of feeders per week. 

Not maintaining feeders will only lead to serious health problems, not only for people, but also to your feathered friends. If you love birds, please be mindful of their health and habitat.

The Best Action To Take

Is having a bird feeder good in your yard? The answer is, it depends. It depends on how and where you put it. It also depends on whether you take good care of the environment, hence, maintaining the bird feeder to avoid possible danger in your place. While birds enjoy our gardens and feeders, sometimes they can get nasty and be a real nuisance to the surrounding area and the neighborhood.

It’s alright to have birdfeeder/s in your yard as long as it doesn’t pose environmental and health concerns. Bird feeders are somehow a great help to the birds and it would be nice to look at your yard and listen to them chirping while you sip your juice or tea.

Bird feeding can be fun and rewarding, but there are also a few downsides to it. It’s best to take precautions in setting up a bird feeder in your yard for your safety.

We hope you enjoyed this article about how bird feeding can affect both the birds’ behavior and the environment, as well as the pros and cons of having a bird feeder in your lawn. We know that many people enjoy feeding the birds, but there is a lot of conflicting information out there. We wanted to share some of the information, as well as the pros and cons on bird feeding and setting up a bird feeder in your place, so you can be sure you are doing your part to help the birds in your neighborhood. Please contact us if you have any questions or inquiries regarding bird feeders and feeding by visiting