Birds don’t rely on feeders

A black-capped chickadee with an RFID chip stands on a bird feeder with a chip reader.
Credit: Jim Rivers/Oregon State University

Are the bird feeders your putting in your backyards causing birds to develop an unhealthy reliance on it for food? Researchers say no. In a study published in the Journal of Avian Biology, scientists tagged black-capped chickadees with RFID chips and put chip readers on 21 bird feeders filled with sunflower seeds across a riparian area. Some of those chickadees had their feathers clipped heavily, lightly or not at all. The ones with clippings have a more difficult time flying, increasing their energy costs, but even those didn’t rely on feeders.

Read the study here.