A Peterson Field Guide to Feeder Birds: Eastern and Central North America

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Slim and affordable, FEEDER BIRDS OF EASTERN NORTH AMERICA features Roger Tory Peterson's classic art in a larger format designed especially for the eighty million North Americans who watch and feed birds. This easy-to-use, at-a-glance guide simplifies identification by including only the birds that frequent feeders. And to make it even more convenient, the most commonly seen birds come first, followed by those that are harder to identify or that rarely visit feeders. Range maps, descriptions of birds and foods that attract them, and illustrations are on facing pages, so identification is fast and easy. The brand-new introduction covers important bird-feeding topics, including types of feeders and where to place them, birdbaths, kinds of food and when to feed, plantings that attract birds, and solutions to problems with squirrels and cats. A handy quick-reference list tells what kind of food each species prefers, and a feeder checklist provides a record of birds as they are seen.

 

Table of Contents:

Map of Area Covered by This Book inside front cover Introduction 1 Bird Feeders 3 Food 9 When to Feed Birds 13 Plantings 14 The Squirrel Problem 17 Predators 19 Night Visitors 21 How to Identify Birds 23 Quick Reference Food List 30 Plates 32 Feeder Checklist 98 Index 102
Excerpts:
When to Feed Birds
Perhaps the most frequently asked questions about feeding
birds concern when to feed them. When should I start feeding? When
should I stop so I don't affect migration? Can I feed in the summer?
Several issues must be considered.
People feed birds in order to enjoy them, so why not
feed them all year long? As long as you're willing to put in the time
to maintain the feeding area -- supply food and water and keep the
area clean -- you will be rewarded by birds using the site. You may
not get the variety in the summer that you'll see during migration or
in the winter when there is more of a dependency on the feeder, but
you may be rewarded with the antics of young birds being introduced
to the site.

Birds can become dependent on feeders for
supplemental food. It has been shown, however, that they do not rely
on feeders for all of their food and perhaps not even a quarter of
what they eat. That said, though, the feeder can be an important
resource during times of duress. When severe snowstorms blanket wild
food supplies, the birds will turn to the feeder they have come to
know as a food resource. It is during these times of stress that the
feeder plays its most vital role. Do not let them down at this point!
If it is a storm of long duration, the feeding station may mean the
difference of life for some of the more physiologically unprepared
birds. The feeder helps many a bird through the hard times, so it is
important to be faithful to your feeding once you start.
As for the question of affecting migration by holding
the birds at the feeder so that they will not go north to breed or
south for the winter, the answer is that birds are not controlled by
food. Once the hormones for breeding begin to flow, they head north,
and once the drive for migrating south takes hold, off they go, no
matter how much food is available. If a species that normally does
not stay for the summer or winter remains at the feeder, it is more
than likely a young bird that does not have the proper hormonal
impulse to migrate or an older bird that simply can no longer make
extensive journeys. You are not affecting the breeding or migrant
population of the birds of the United States by feeding.

Houghton Mifflin

0.45" H x 10.74" L x 6.63" W

112 pages

paperback