We have plenty of cute critters in our neighbourhood and go out of our way to attract some of them to stay around. Thankfully we do not have slithery reptiles around the house like Jayne and Mary (uggh!). This week we managed to get this little chipmunk to eat peanuts from our hand. I started by placing peanuts on my Crocs and after the rodent got used to that, it started coming to my hand for treats.
The minute we go and sit outdoors, the chipmunk is right there looking for a handout. Who could resist it as it stuffs its cheeks with whole peanuts and scampers away to the yard?! I have various feeders and a bird bath to attract some feathered friends. The Red-breasted Nuthatches and Chickadees are the most tame birds and will come over when I am filling up the feeders. It is essential to have shrubs or trees near the feeders for the safety of the birds, and various fruit bearing trees are also bird magnets.
Our Saskatoon berry bush and Mountain Ash attract many birds. On Sunday I noticed a Wilson's Warbler resting in the lilac bush outside our window. This was the first time I had seen this species and it was the fourth different warbler to visit the lilacs in a week.
There are photographers will not take pictures of birds on feeders but prefer a natural perch instead. Our birding forum has had discussions about inappropriate baiting of animals for pictures. An extreme example would be the use of a fake mouse on a fishing line to attract a raptor. There are unprincipled photographers who will use this technique to get a picture of a large bird in flight.
Improperly placed feeders can expose birds to predators and disease can be spread when many birds congregate for food. Birds do benefit from supplemental foods in the winter, but we also put bird feeders up for our own pleasure.
Where is the line between attracting wild creatures with food and disturbing them inappropriately by baiting?
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