What can you earn by feeding the birds in your garden? It takes time, effort, money and dedication to constantly feed the birds the most nutritious and attractive foods, but why do we do it? There are many benefits of feeding birds that bird watchers can enjoy far beyond the company of these animals.

Watch the birds

The most obvious benefit of feeding birds is simply the enjoyment your company can bring us. While birds will naturally visit any backyard, adding feeders and different feeding stations will attract more species, from hummingbirds and tanagers to sparrows, woodpeckers, and other unique species.

Amateur bird watchers will enjoy the colors, songs and behaviors that birds bring, but there is much more to be appreciated when feeding birds.

Benefits of feeding the birds in your garden

Depending on the number of feeders you have, the types of food you offer, and the birds that take advantage of your generosity, you can enjoy many benefits of feeding the birds in your yard .


Feeding birds can be a fascinating educational activity for all ages. By changing eating styles and types of food, you can learn more about the birds that visit you, and just by observing the birds you can learn about their behaviors, characteristics, personalities and other aspects of your local birdlife.

Insect control

Birds eat much more than seeds, tallow, and nectar. Feeding the birds in your backyard will also invite them to feast on whatever insects, worms, snails, and spiders are around. This can provide you with ideal natural pest control with very little need for toxic insecticides or other harmful chemicals.

Flower pollination

Birds, in addition to eating insects which can help keep your yard in good condition, also help with the pollination of flowers. This can help you have lush, flower-filled flower beds and a beautiful, more bird-friendly space with less effort.

Weed control

Many small birds, such as sparrows and finches, eat huge amounts of seeds, especially flowers or seeded weeds that can be undesirable in your garden. Feeding these birds will also attract them to natural food sources in your yard, including weeds.


Photographers interested in nature themes will be able to enjoy a wide variety of opportunities just by looking out of their windows, if they are feeding birds. Painters and other artists can similarly benefit from feeding birds as well.

Interact with nature

For many urban bird watchers, the birds they see at their feeders may be the only wild animals they have a chance to interact with. This can be an ideal activity for seniors, people with limited mobility, or young children to get their first exposure to nature.

Outdoor pets

As you become more familiar with the birds in your backyard, you may begin to recognize individual birds by their unique markings or personalities.

These “outdoor pets” can be very enjoyable, without the additional costs of veterinary care, housing and training that traditional pets require.

Offer a helping hand

Although feeding birds brings many benefits to backyard watchers, it also benefits birds by offering food sources that have been destroyed by urban development.

When houses are built in heaps, birds lose nesting places, shelter and natural food sources, but offering them adequate food and a friendly space can help replace those resources so that birds and bird watchers can live together in harmony. .

Make the most of bird feeding

To take full advantage of all the benefits of feeding the birds.

Fill the feeders with the most nutritious food for the birds, varying the offerings seasonally to meet the different nutritional needs of the birds throughout the year, including during the breeding and migration season.

Choose birdseed and other foods carefully to select high-quality options that will attract more birds and keep them coming back for more meals.

Offer a variety of foods that include nuts, tallow, nectar, and fruit to attract different species with different dietary needs and food preferences.

Clean and sterilize bird feeders regularly to prevent the spread of disease among individuals in your backyard flock, and always make sure the feeders are in good repair.

Choose different bird feeder designs to suit your birds’ feeding preferences, and take steps to adapt the birds to each new feeder you introduce.

Take extra steps to create bird-friendly landscapes and protect backyard birds from cats and other predators so they feel welcome and safe in your yard.

Use baffles and other means to protect your feeders from guests other than birds, including squirrels, raccoons, mice, bears, and other wildlife.

By understanding the benefits of feeding birds and taking steps to appreciate all of those benefits, bird watchers can fully enjoy each bird they feed.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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