Many people love to offer seed in bird feeders and watch the birds who come to the feeders. I personally have gotten many great photos of unusual species that came to my feeders. Like many people, I worried when I was not able to fill the feeders, especially in the winter, that the birds would be hungry and not be able to find food.
A recent study conducted by animal ecologist Jim Rivers at Ohio State University found that feeding birds did not cause any negative effects. It was determined that there was enough natural food available for the birds to sustain themselves.
Since this study focused on Black Capped Chickadees, I would like to point out that Chickadees will store food, especially seeds from feeders, in tree crevices and other places, to eat later. The brain of Chickadees grows from late summer to fall in order to remember where they hid the food.
One of the major problems people have when they feed birds is that squirrels and other rodents eat the bird seed. As an avid bird feeder and watcher, I have tried every squirrel proof feeder on the market. As a result, I have found that there is only one truly squirrel proof feeder. These feeders are made by Brome. What I also like about these feeders is that they are guaranteed for life and that they are so well made that they last. Some of my Brome feeders are over fifteen years old. Three of my feeders even survived a black bear attack. I strongly suggest if you like to feed the birds to invest in these feeders.
If you live in an area where you have bears, you need to bring them in at night or only provide food in the winter. I have included some photos I have taken of birds at my feeders.