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 Post subject: Feeding city birds - is it okay?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:22 am 
Chip Strong
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I ask because I realized I have no idea, and I saw a woman dumping out a huge bag of muffin crumbs all over the dining area of my local Au Bon Pain (like on a tabletop) and all the sparrows and pigeons were freaking out. I cannot overstate how much I love birds, but I felt dubious. Do any bird experts want to weigh in?

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding city birds - is it okay?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:17 am 
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Feeding them muffin crumbs is not ok, because it's just processed flour and sugar and crepe that's not good for them. Also, attracting a bunch of pigeons can turn them into a nuisance and peas of business owners who then take measures to get rid of the pigeons.

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding city birds - is it okay?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:28 am 
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NYC parks had signs up to not feed the animals. I am an asshat and I would always share scone crumbs with any squirrels that would come up and eat out of my hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding city birds - is it okay?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:31 am 
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I keep teeny bags of birdseed in my purse or bag when I got out so that I can feed birds. I know that a lot of places have signs posted that you aren't supposed to... *sheepish grin*

I also admit to keeping kitty treats on me at all times...

and doggie treats....

yes, I am that weirdo lady that baby talks her neighbors pets and obsessively feeds animals.

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding city birds - is it okay?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:48 am 
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Not really answering your question but my mum always feeds bread to the fish in the canal. Surely that's not good for them, right?

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding city birds - is it okay?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:49 am 
Chip Strong
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I have heard it can disrupt migration patterns (though I have no idea if that's true, or if it pertains to city birds), but my main issue with it at the time was more that it was gross (the food pieces all over the place, not the birds)

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding city birds - is it okay?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:53 am 
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BluePlasticStraw wrote:
Feeding them muffin crumbs is not ok, because it's just processed flour and sugar and crepe that's not good for them. Also, attracting a bunch of pigeons can turn them into a nuisance and peas of business owners who then take measures to get rid of the pigeons.


Exactly.

I use to do wild animal rehab. Sparrows and pigeons aren't wild any more but their diet requirements remain the same as they would in the wild. They both eat a wide variety of seeds and fruit. Nothing resembling cooked bread with sugar. So feeding them human food is really bad for their health. One of the main problems is when they eat it as younger birds, because without proper nutrition, obviously they cannot grow properly and often end up with wing malformations that prevent them from flying properly.

If you feel it's more important for you to feed them, or you frequent a place where they are fed really unhealthy food and are trying to counteract that, buy a sack of wild birdseed and bring that.

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding city birds - is it okay?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:36 am 
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our public parks have "no feeding" signs. we don't have pigeons, we have ducks. i see people feeding them bread and cereal all the time. that seems like HORRIBLE crepe to feed birds, and it also means those ducks are fearless and approach everyone for food. i actually find them kind of threatening now.

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 Post subject: Re: Feeding city birds - is it okay?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:39 am 
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I have a neighbor that is constantly putting bread in their front yard, and it is very obnoxious to me because my roommates dog goes crazy for food. When we walk by there he scrambles and pulls for it, and it often takes us a good three minutes of him laying on the ground refusing to leave the bread before he will give in and go for the rest of his walk. I wish they would 1, use bird seed, and 2. put it in their back yard where Liam won't freak out about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Feeding city birds - is it okay?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:37 pm 
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electric_claire wrote:
I have a neighbor that is constantly putting bread in their front yard, and it is very obnoxious to me because my roommates dog goes crazy for food. When we walk by there he scrambles and pulls for it, and it often takes us a good three minutes of him laying on the ground refusing to leave the bread before he will give in and go for the rest of his walk. I wish they would 1, use bird seed, and 2. put it in their back yard where Liam won't freak out about it.


I'd just take it. Free bread.

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