Feeder reciprocity

Feeding birds is good for you as well as the birds. Science says so.

One reason we feed birds is for the psychological benefits we receive, according to a 2019 study by the British Ecological Society.

Human-wildlife interaction brings us a sense of pleasure and relaxation, feelings of usefulness, and an increased connection to nature, the research showed.

It begins with our desire to enhance bird welfare, "to help them through hard times." The study showed that we are more active at this "in seasons when natural food is perceived to be limited."

Like right now. Are your feeders full?

Feeder cleanliness

From a research study of bird feeder hygiene: Hygiene was poorer if feeders were maintained equally by both male and female household members, particularly as they grew older, but no age or gender effect was observed if only one person was largely responsible for maintaining the feeders.

Whatever. Just so someone cleans them once in a while. One way to reduce the number of birds at your feeders is to sicken them.

Dirty bird feeders, those with wet seeds gunking up the tray or interior, can encourage growth of salmonellosis, which will sicken and perhaps kill birds.

Dirty feeders should be thoroughly washed with soap and water, and allowed to dry before being rehung. This is more important in warm weather when wet seeds can molder.