Does Feeding Birds Prevent Migration?

Some people start bringing their bird feeders inside in the fall, fearing that their backyard visitors won’t migrate if they’re fed by humans. It’s actually beneficial to have bird feeders year-round! Studies have found that birds fed by humans have much higher survival rates and more successful broods. We owe it to birds to give them a helping hand since we’ve destroyed much of their habitat and natural food sources— and unlike with mammals and waterfowl, there aren’t any serious drawbacks associated with feeding songbirds.

A bird’s migration is influenced by the shortening of days and the pattern of the stars. When it’s time to leave, migratory birds develop an irresistible urge to migrate and will be on their way, whether there is food available or not.

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