Feeding your neighborhood gang of finches may make you feel good, but depending on what you provide, it may not do the same for the birds’ stomachs. Like our pets, birds can’t eat many of the foods humans enjoy. However, unlike dogs and cats, our avian friends are wild animals that need to stay that way—don't ever feed birds from your hands and try to keep all human interaction to a minimum.
Even placement of your feeder needs to be done with care—particularly when it comes to windows. Birds can get confused by reflections and accidentally fly into the glass. “Window strikes take a huge toll on bird populations,” says John Griffin, the director of urban wildlife at the Humane Society of the United States. To avoid strikes, place a feeder either within three feet of a window or at least 30 feet away from it. “Within three feet they can’t get enough speed to do a lot of damage,” explains Griffin, and 30 feet is far enough away that they’re unlikely to get confused.
What you fill those feeders with matters, too. Here are six things you should never ever feed your local birds.
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