Hand feeding wild birds has become a problem in our city. That is according to the Helen Schuler Nature Centre. Officials there say they have received a large number of reports of people hand feeding birds in city parks along with an increase in social media posts of the same kind. Jessica Deacon-Rodgers, the program coordinator with the centre, says birds choose to live in areas like the river bottom in Lethbridge because they have access to natural food sources and shelter. She says it’s not a good idea to hand feed the birds.
“So by losing that fear of people, they’re coming out in the open, they’re coming close to people, which is dangerous for them in the first place. But also often where people are feeding them is a long open trails like this one, by parking lots. In open areas, small birds are often hiding. So things like shrubs and trees provide great protective coverage for them from animals like hawks and falcons that eat them. And so when they’re coming out in the open seeking food from people, they’re much more exposed to risk from predation, from other birds and animals that could catch and kill them.”
Deacon-Rodgers says shrubs, trees and naturalized areas in your yard provide good food sources and a natural habitat for birds.