Feeding Garden Birds – The Myths
There are many fun facts and helpful tips you’ve probably heard when it comes to feeding the birds. A lot of these are tur and you can read more about this helpful information on our blog.
However, as with most things, some of these facts are really fiction and simply not true. Here are some common misunderstandings when it comes to feeding the birds.
Birds Won’t Become Dependent On Bird Feeders
Some people have suggested that if birds get too used to eating bird food left out by humans, they will get complacent and forget how to hunt and scavenge for food for themselves.
This is not true, and birds won’t become dependent on bird feeders. Birds need a lot of calories to make it through the day and as soon as they have finished feeding at your bird feeder, they’re off again looking for more food.
Feeding The Birds Doesn’t Get In The Way Of Migration
Birds migrate in winter because food gets scarce. It’s harder to find food in these harsher weather conditions so they travel to a warmer part of the globe. Feeding the birds in winter won’t change this so don’t worry you are getting in the way of migration and incentivising them to stay.
Birds migrate for a range of reasons like nesting mating and the food you leave out for them could help give them the burst of energy they need to last the long trip.
Birds Can Eat Rice
A popular myth about birds is that eating rice will make their stomachs explode. This is not true. Plenty of birds eat grains like rice out in the wild and it’s perfectly safe for you to feed them it.
Cooked rice is preferable as it’s easier for the birds to eat, so if you have any leftover rice from last nights dinner, leaving it on the bird table can be a great way to reduce food waste and help our feathered friends.
Birds Can Eat Peanut Butter
There is a misconception that peanut butter is too sticky for birds and will get stuck in their beaks and throat. Don’t worry, there is no evidence to show this can happen.
In truth, peanut butter is very good for birds and is high in all the nutrients and fats they need. If you are still worried about the stickiness, then you can spread the peanut butter on a bird table to dry or feed them peanuts directly.
Birds Will Not Freeze To Feeders Left Out In The Cold
It’s perfectly safe to leave your birds feeder out and full for birds all your round. Even if the temperature gets below freezing and the metal of the feeder gets cold, the birds will not freeze.
Birds have evolved to survive temperatures much colder than we humans are used to and their bodies are covered in thick feathers or scaly tissue which means they can stay out in the cold and eat from bird feeders without having to worry about getting too cold or freezing.
Birds Still Need Feeding In Summer
Food is harder to find in winter and much more abundant in summer. Because of this people think you don’t need to feed birds in summer because there will be enough food for them in the wild. This is not always the case.
Finding food is always a struggle for birds, especially as more and more housing developments are being built out in the countryside. Birds can always benefit from a little extra food here and there so remember to keep your birds’ feeders and birds’ tables ready from when hungry birds come looking for food, even in summer.
Birds Feeders Are Squirrel Proof
Not all bird feeders are squirrel proof. Some bird feeders can be easily accessed by other creatures and can sometimes even attract unwanted guests and vermin.
If you don’t mind your birds having to share with a few uninvited guests, then that is fine. If you don’t want to have to deal with the mess and disarray certain pests can bring then you might want to get a bird feeder that is specially designed to keep squirrels and other animals from eating your bird food.