From the Desk of
10 Myths About Wild Birds
1. There is NO need to feed wild birds in Summer.
Answer: Though there are abundant sources of natural food in most summers, many times, birds need to find food easily. This is because the parent birds also provide for hungry babies in their nests. This can get the parents overworked. Providing them with birdseed will help them to get food without much competition. No matter which season, leave food outside for our feathered friends. This will keep many species returning to your backyard year after year.
2. If you feed birds, they will become dependent on your handouts, and will forget to search for food on their own.
Answer: This is simply NOT true. Birds get only 25% of their food from bird feeders. The remaining 75% comes from natural sources like insects, bugs, sap, spiders, pine nuts, grasses, and so on. If feeders are not present, birds will not starve. They will resort to natural resources to gain food. However, during drought and harsh Winters, it is very difficult for them to find food. So, it is always better to provide supplementary food through bird feeders. Rest assured that birds will not be completely dependent on it.
3. It is okay to feed bread to ducks.
Answer: This is a false notion. Giving bread to ducks is as good as feeding them junk food. White bread offers NO nutritional value and can be a source of excessive fats for the ducks. It may even pollute waterways and lead to diseases. Animals and pests like rats, mice, insects, and predators will also be attracted to the bread. Feeding them cracked corn, vegetable trimmings, fresh pears, or grape halves along with Old Ben's Duck and waterfowl food is recommended.
4. Bird feeders do NOT require cleaning.
Answer: This is a misconception that there is NO need to clean bird feeders. Fact, bird feeders should be cleaned from time to time. Without cleaning there is a good chance you will end up making birds sick. Due to exposure, bird feeders can become breeding grounds for bacteria and diseases. It is recommended to scrape off the old bird seed and clean the feeder with soapy water and a 10% solution of bleach. Rinse thoroughly and dry the feeder before putting it back. Clean your feeders a minimum of four times a year.
5. Birdseed NEVER goes bad.
Answer: Like any type of food, birdseed can spoil over time, especially if it is stored improperly. Seed can attract pest and rodents or become mildewed, and old seed dries out and is less likely to be eaten. If you store birdseed properly, it can last for weeks or months and still be suitable for your feeders. Choose a cool, dry area to store seed. Use airtight containers that will deter rodents and insects. Many seeds may be stored in your freezer for use later. All seed has insect eggs in them. Warm or hot conditions will allow the eggs to hatch. Freezing kills the insect eggs.
6. Uncooked rice will make birds' stomachs swell and explode.
Answer: Absolutely not true! Most birds eat all kinds of grains, including rice, with no ill effects at all. It's part of their natural diet.
7. Don't feed peanut butter to birds, they will choke on it.
Answer: Not true at all! I have been using peanut butter for many years, I have observed that my birds take tiny amounts, fly to the nearest tree or shrub, place it under a leaf or piece of bark and eat it as though it were a bug they just found. If you are uncomfortable giving high-energy peanut butter to your birds, just mix it with some black oil sunflower seeds.
8. Hummingbirds hitch rides on the back of geese.
Answer: No such thing has ever been documented.
9. This feeder is squirrel-proof!
Answer: Haha! While it is true that some bird feeder designs are more squirrel resistant than others, no feeder is 100% squirrel-proof. Squirrels are cunning and resourceful, and if the feeder has a seed or food they like, they will spend hours discovering a way to get it, causing significant damage.
If you would like to see some real entertainment about how clever and insistent squirrels can be, check out this YouTube Backyard Squirrel Maze 1.0- Ninja Warrior Course,
10. Don't bother to clean the bird bath, birds use mud puddles, don't they?
Answer: Unclean bird baths are perfect breeding grounds for algae, mosquito larvae, and mold. Keep those bird baths clean and filled with clean water on a regular basis.