Fast food or hunger?

A strange title for a druid blog but for me this week an important one. As you all know I spend a lot of time indoors unable to get out much. So I spend a lot of time watching the birds feeding as well as watching the other things in the garden.

It has become rather obvious that the bird feeders need refilling every couple of days. Yet when I look around them, there are lots of seeds on the ground. So this last few days I watched closely and noticed that the goldfinches especially, ate one seed and dropped two on the ground! Also the parents birds are teaching the young ones to use the feeders. Now is this a good idea?

Is there no food around in the fields and gardens for them to eat so they use the feeders put out for them or are they more interested in ‘fast food’ and not searching for food? Am I not helping by feeding them at this time of the year when there should be plenty of seeds around for them in the fields? I live on the edge of the village so the fields are only across the main road. The seeds that drop on the ground remain there and they do not eat them. I wonder why? I would love to hear your thoughts on this dilemma. Do I continue to feed them or let them find their own food elsewhere? Or buy a different type of feeder so less is wasted by being dropped on the ground?

Here are two of the goldfinches feeding. They seem to pose for the photo.


5 thoughts on “Fast food or hunger?

  1. In my experience, all finches are messy eaters; it’s just how they are. A different style of feeder may help. Depending on what mix you’re feeding them, they may be rejecting seeds they find too big, as well.

    As far as feeding them in general, the only time it appears to be problematic is when the birds are migratory and food left out past migration time might encourage them to stay too long. They do still eat from natural sources even when artificial ones are available, and you can be certain they’re teaching their young to do the same, especially given that, as I understand it, Goldfinches are relatively new to feeder use.

  2. If you leave the feeders empty they will clean up around the base of it too…. and some birds like the Robin etc will do that anyway.

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