Mass. wildlife officials urge residents to take down bird feeder - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Mass. wildlife officials urge residents to take down bird feeders

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BELCHERTOWN, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

If you are one of the estimated 40 percent of American homeowners that has backyard bird feeders,the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife wants you to take them down.

While they may be fun to look at, they say often times feeders can become deathtraps to the very birds you're trying to attract.
 
Native birds can be beautiful which means many homeowners like to attract them with backyard feeders.

"People don't really need to feed birds. I've always said that's a selfish desire on the part of people so that they can see these colorful and wonderful birds," said Ralph Taylor of the State Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. 
 
It's well known that bears love bird feeders, but Taylor said what bird lovers might not realize, is that all those droppings underneath also creates issues.

"It attracts all kinds of small animals, mice and things that come into these stations which make prey items for fisher or coyotes," he added. 

Taylor said people also have the misconception that birds need our help to live over the winter and into spring.
 
"Most species that have issues with finding food in the winter, move south to the point where they can find food that's natural for them. By providing an artificial source of food for them, we train them in this area and now you're kind of in a self-fulfilling prophecy because if you stop feeding them after you've trained them it's not good for them," Taylor continued. 
 
If you want to enjoy birds in your yard, Taylor said along with bird baths, plant trees, vines, and shrubs are known to attract wildlife.
 
The Massachusetts Audobon Society also said many commercial bird seed contains fillers that can make birds and others that feed on, and under feeders, sick.

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