Feeding our feathered friends

February is National Bird Feeding Month and has been observed since February of 1994 when a congressman, John Porter of Illinois, proclaimed it such.

When one wants information about a nature topic, a good local person to turn to is Jon Eerkes, land steward for The Nature Conservancy in Karlstad. Eerkes has a bird feeder in his yard and agreed to share his knowledge on the subject of bird feeding with readers.

He says bird feeding is a very common hobby – millions of dollars are spent on bird feed every year.

“It’s really nice to see something living this time of year,” he comments. One thing Eerkes makes clear is this: the biggest benefit in bird feeding is to the people who get to watch the birds and not to their feathered friends.

“The birds are not dependent on you,” he insists. “They’re happy to take it,” he says, but adds that birds have stored away food for the winter, often by sticking seeds into bark. Blue jays will stash food away in woodpecker holes.

For more, see this week’s North Star News!

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