The do’s and don’ts of feeding birds

Experts say feeding birds can provide plenty of benefits to wildlife and families. Here’s how to get it right for both you and the fliers.

Here’s a secret: You get more out of feeding your backyard birds than the actual birds do.

“The birds don’t need us to feed them,” says Geoff LeBaron, director of the Christmas Bird Count for the National Audubon Society. “So the ultimate purpose of bird feeding is for people and families to actually see the birds that are in their yard, which is a wonderful thing.”

Kids, especially, can learn empathy by caring for other living things. And though wild birds aren’t quite the same as having a pet, the regularity of their visits and their relative tolerance for people make them great candidates for teaching little ones a number of life lessons.

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