Is Bird Feeding an Important Issue?
Birds are social creatures and as such humans feeding them is a way of interacting with them. Most people engage in feeding wild birds as a means of connecting with nature. However, this act goes beyond mere feeding of birds; it also has many positives on birds’ abundance and diversity.
Although feeding birds is an act of charity, it may also hurt the birds. Many people do not understand the nature of certain birds, and as such, they keep stuffing them with various grains without knowledge of the side effect of such grain.
There are quite a several issues that may arise as a result of birds feeding which should be noted.
Feeding of birds may lead to transmission of diseases such as avian influenza also known as bird flu, avian tuberculosis which may lead to serious health complications among other diseases. Bird diseases are mostly zoonotic, and such humans who come in contact with such birds might be infected with such disease. This is why the feeding of birds, particularly wide birds, is frowned upon.
Another important issue that affects the feeding of birds is the lack of knowledge of most feeders. Most of the people who feed birds have little to no knowledge of the biological or ecological or behavioural effect of feeding birds. This set of people only feed birds just as an avenue to interact with the birds by doing this; they might be hampering such species of birds during the feeding exercise.
As a result of the feeding habit carried out by feeders, it might hurt the birds. This would not only put the life of the bird at risk; it might also affect nature because certain species of bird might be an endangered species.
The feeding of birds might also lead to birds flying away which end product may be window strike. This is an important issue because a window strike has to be one of the top causes of birds’ death. In Australia, it has been estimated that around 70% of bird deaths during feeding which occur from fatal window collisions. This has led to controversy on the feeding of birds because most people feel it does more harm than good if you are trying to feed a bird, leading to the death of such a bird.
While bird feeding plays a very important role in birds’ lives, particularly during winter by reducing the rate of starvation among birds, it has the propensity of giving rise to predatory birds. This bird would also visit the feeding areas and compete with other birds or feed on them.
It is as a result of these important issues that various organisations are instituted. These organisations are put in place to carry out research works which will educate people on how best to feed birds. Again, these organisations would also enlighten the general bird lovers on various species of birds’ ecological and behavioural diversity.