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February is National Bird Feeding Month; Older Adults Largest Participants

February is National Bird Feeding Month, and the timing is no coincidence. During the winter months, feeding birds provides our feathered friends with the greatest help, when they require the most energy in order to stay warm and when natural seed sources are depleted.

Bird feeding is an easy and rewarding hobby for people of all ages. In fact, it is a great way to begin bird watching, a great winter activity to share with grandchildren. New York's Cornell Cooperative Extension publication "Backyard Bird Feeding - A Project Feeder Watch guide for attracting birds to your yard", can be accessed here(External Link).

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) website also contains a wide array of information about bird feeding. NYSEDC's Conservationist magazine recently published this guide to common back yard birds(External Link).

Remember, birds are wild animals. As with any interaction with wildlife, please follow proper precautions. View this guide to determine which is the best type of bird feeder and food for your back yard(External Link).

Did You Know?
In 1994, February was named National Bird-Feeding Month by congressional decree. Bird feeding as an activity is the second most popular hobby behind gardening in the United States. (Richardson, Scott. "Feeding Time." Paragraph [Bloomington, IL] 31 January 2010). Researchers have shown that older adults are more likely to frequently engage in the activity of bird feeding than any other age group. (Davies, Fuller "Housing Factor Influencing Participation in Bird Feeding Activity", published 6/28/2012, DOI:10 1371/ Journal.pone 0039692).