Time for a Change?
Daylight Savings Time (DST): To keep or not to keep?! Does it affect bird feeding?
In the winter, wild birds will eat at dawn to restore burned fat from a cold evening and and at dusk to stock up for the upcoming night. Bottom line, birds don’t care what the time is on our clocks, but will eat instinctually. Sooooooooooooo the real question is whether it affects when and how often humans fill the feeders.
Segue to a Fun Fact: Daylight Saving Time was first instituted by the town of Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada (today’s Thunder Bay) on July 1, 1908. They “beat the clock” by 8 years before the German Empire and Austria instituted Daylight Saving during WWI, as a way of conserving energy for the war effort. The United States followed suit shortly thereafter in 1918.
Two pros for DST are energy savings and more time for outdoor activities after work. The Department of Energy has published that in recent years, energy savings is just about a “wash”. What about recreation? Ha! Golf courses are huge advocates of DST! More time to spend in our yards? Absolutely! And that includes filling bird feeders.
Forty-six States are proposing legislation this year relative to Standard Time vs. Daylight Saving Time. In order for any state to make DST the standard for year-round time, requires federal legislation. The topic comes up every year.
Maybe it’s time we follow the birds’ example and “chirp-up” with our opinions.
Bird photo by James Hammond
Clock photo by Jeanne Rouillard