The Atlantic – Urban Bird Feeders Are Changing the Course of Evolution – More than 50 million Americans are conducting an unwitting experiment on a vast scale. I joined them from my Manhattan high-rise.
“According to experts, feeding birds is probably the most common way in which people interact with wild animals today [this statement alone should get your attention!]. More than 50 million Americans engage in the practice, collectively undertaking an unwitting experiment on a vast scale. Is what we’re doing good or bad for birds? Recently, researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology sought to answer this question, analyzing nearly three decades’ worth of data from a winter-long survey called Project FeederWatch. Preliminary results suggest the species visiting our feeders the most are faring exceptionally well in an age when one-third of the continent’s birds need urgent conservation. Still, what are the consequences of skewing the odds in favor of the small subset of species inclined to eat at feeders…”