Bird Watcher's General Store

“A Cape Cod Destination Icon For 40 Years”

Summer Feeding

Dear Bird Folks:

I like to keep my feeders going all year long, even in the summer. Some people tell me that it’s harmful to feed birds in the summer. Is that true?

– Concerned, Wellfleet


Hi Concerned:

Of course it’s not true, you should feed birds every day of the year. You eat in the summer don’t you? And think about us, do you want us to go out of business? These rumors must be stopped or we’ll all have to get real jobs. The truth is that you can feed birds any time of the year. We feed them for our own pleasure and not for their survival. We need the birds a lot more than they need us.

Feeding the birds won’t make them fat and lazy or drop out of school or forget how to migrate. Birds are opportunists, they continuously exploit a source of food and then move on to the next. In fact, we get many people who complain of fewer birds during some parts of the summer. Most birds will feed their young insects, no matter how wonderful your seed is. A nesting bird may abandon your feeders for a few weeks while it hunts for worms and bugs. Birds are guided by instinct and not by choice. So feed the birds every day of the year if you want, unless you go to Florida for the winter, then we don’t care what you do.