The hazards of supplementary feeding for wild birds


By MA Junjie1, WANG Qianjia2, ZHOU Jinfeng3 and YANG Xiaohong4

(1. The Moray House School of Education, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK; 2-4: China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation, Beijing, China)

Abstract: The practices of supplemental feeding of wild birds have been a topic of great attention and controversy. Research on supplemental feeding of wild birds has mainly focused on the positive aspects, but there is a lack of attention to the harmful effects. Based on some chaotic behaviors of supplementary feeding of wild birds and their hazards, this paper discusses the adverse effects of indiscriminate feeding with no scientific proof and support on species health, independent survival and species balance, and ecosystem stability, and provides such suggestions as not carrying out indiscriminate supplementary feeding of wild birds and releasing those rescued by people as early as possible and in a timely manner, by referring to the laws and regulations of China and countries in Europe and the United States on the protection of migratory birds.

Key words: Wild birds, supplemental feeding, bio and science ethics, biodiversity

MA Junjie, WANG Qianjia, ZHOU Jinfeng, YANG Xiaohong. The hazards of supplementary feeding for wild birds. BioGreen - Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development. Vol.1, January 2023. Total issues 34. ISSN2749-9065


Adverse effects of feeding wild pigeons (Source: Agriculture, Fisheries and Conversation Department of Hong Kong SAR, 2022)


The observation has found that white cranes prefer to corn kernels that have fallen by mechanically harvest and soaked in the mud. The ruts in the field harvested with crawler vehicles are particularly deep. Photo by ZHOU Haixiang


White cranes in the snow. Photo by ZHOU Haixiang