Why should I feed the birds?

The birds’ natural habitats have changed

There was a time when birds had access to extensive natural food sources and suitable breeding grounds. This is no longer the case.

We humans have become far more efficient. Just think about the process of development and efficiency enhancement that has taken place within farming, forestry, industry, infrastructure and construction over the last 100 years.

Understandably this process has had major consequences for birds in the wild.

They no longer have access to the same natural food resources. Farming techniques have become more efficient, with fields being sown and harvested faster than before. Less goes to waste and the horse that once pulled the cart has long since been replaced by modern farming machinery.

Forestry enhancement also plays an important role in the depletion of natural bird habitats. Birds no longer have the same degree of access to old hollow tree trunks, their preferred choice of habitat. We humans fell the old trees in order to plant new ones.

Many areas of woodland and natural beauty have disappeared in our efforts to create a more efficient society.

The cities, too, have undergone major change. We have built new roads, industrial estates, high-rise buildings and houses with nearby parks and gardens that meet our modern requirement for efficiency and minimal maintenance. Our modern streamlined buildings do not offer the birds the same eaves and nooks and crannies in which to build their nests.

This development has resulted in a depletion of natural bird habitats. It is harder for the birds to find food, suitable habitats and nesting grounds.

Added to this, we are experiencing severe climate change, which naturally has a major impact on the bird population. The milder winters mean that an increasing number of birds are postponing or altogether forgoing migration to warmer southerly climates. When winter suddenly hits Europe and certain other parts of the world as it did in late December 2009 and early 2010, the birds suddenly find themselves in dire straits. They cannot find food and need our help to survive.