The growing interest in birdwatching may be trouble for birds, said Chuck Trost, ornithology professor at Idaho State University.
Eager to enjoy birds more regularly, more people are setting up feeders so they can conveniently watch their feathered friends.
Because feeders create artificial concentrations of birds, they become more susceptible to disease. Ornithologists are concerned over the rising number of bird deaths around feeders.
“We don’t really know what we’re doing,” Trost said. “It’s uncontrolled wildlife management. We think we’re being benevolent but maybe we’re not. We may well be causing the demise of lots of birds.”
Frequent cleaning of bird feeders is one way to reduce the chance of spreading disease, experts say. Also, spreading feeders around property will reduce bird concentrations.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.