Monday, June 2, 2014

Tweet tweet, or, Why You Should Get a Bird Feeder

Prosaic as bird feeders are, these simple devices have the ability to reveal the whole drama of life before you...right outside your picture window.  Witness baby finches mobbing their parents for food, birds squabbling, grooming and fluttering about.  I think we love birds so much because they are so different to us.  After all, they are the only living avian dinosaurs, and they are wild and free and can fly with a grace and agility that seem to defy the laws of physics. 

But best of all, by helping to feed the wild bird population in a world where their habitat is being increasingly destroyed, you are helping to save them.  According the the Humane Society, " Experts disagree about whether backyard bird feeding will significantly help bird populations. But feeding certainly can help individual birds in your neighborhood."  Project FeederWatch also promotes wild bird feeders as a way of promoting and maintaining a bird-friendly habitat.

I believe that backyard bird feeders are important, especially considering the number of birds killed by cats each year.  According to Science News, "Domestic cats kill many more wild birds in the United States than scientists thought, according to a new analysis. Cats may rank as the biggest immediate danger that living around people brings to wildlife, researchers say."

"America’s cats, including housecats that adventure outdoors and feral cats, kill between 1.3 billion and 4.0 billion birds in a year, says Peter Marra of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C., who led the team that performed the analysis. Previous estimates of bird kills have varied, he says, but “500 million is a number that has been thrown around a lot.”

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