Do we hurt our "Feathered Friends" by feeding them in the Fall?
A couple of myths have caused some of us to worry, unnecessarily, that our wild birds won’t migrate if we keep our feeders full in the fall?
Feeding birds in the fall does not prevent migration but rather can help with it. Daylight levels, climate and instinct play important roles in migration. Migrating birds require tons of calories for the energy necessary to fly hundreds or thousands of miles. Our backyard flocks can change as some resident birds leave for migration and more northern migrants arrive.
Keeping our feeders full can provide an energy boost to passing migrants for their journey and will help our resident birds build up fat reserves to survive falling temperatures. Our feeders offer supplemental food when natural food sources like grains and berries begin to be depleted.
We help birds imprint on our feeders as a reliable food source. This increases the likelihood they will return to the same place in the spring. It’s exciting to attract the first winter bird species and encourage them to remain nearby. Feeding autumn birds can be a rewarding way to enjoy the changing season just as a backyard flocks change!