To feed or not to feed? The dilemma of interacting with birds and other wildlife

Researchers are discovering plenty of ecological impacts — positive and negative — when humans interfere with wild animals’ natural eating routines.

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© iStockphoto.com/Andrew_Howe
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Vancouver, Canada’s official bird, Anna’s hummingbird, is a relative newcomer to the city since its winter range expanded more than 435 miles in the past two decades. Photo courtesy of Becky Matsubara from Wikimedia, licensed under CC BY 2.0
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Birds aren’t the only species impacted by human feeding. In Australia, flying foxes have changed behavior based on their ability to find food in urban areas. Photos © iStockphoto.com/phototrip
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When done responsibly, backyard bird feeding can help birds and also offers people a personal connection to nature. Photos © iStockphoto.com/JJPaden
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