Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Bully Off?

There has recently been a repeat of the 'news' that bird feeders encourage bullies amongst our avian friends (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/09/05/bird-feeders-favour-pushy-big-birds-little-species-go-hungry/). This is hardly novel (there are actually commercial devices that are claimed to facilitate access by smaller species and to make it more difficult for the 'big brutes'). Having said that, foraging for food is a competitive business (even within members of the same species) and smaller birds can still benefit from food items dropped or scattered in the feeding frenzy. Feeders do, at least, enable people to provision the birds in a fairly simple way. I would not like to see the bully claim being used as an excuse not to provide feeders (although they do need to be occasionally disinfected!).

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