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2/05/2016 8:27 pm  #1

Hand feeding of birds..yes or no?

So this topic seems to ruffle a lot of feathers so let's keep things civil. I am curious as to what people think on this subject. I personally am totally against this practice as I believe that birds fall in to the wild life of the park which are not to be fed, interfered with, harmed, etc. I see a lot of posts over on FB of people engaging in this practice and lots of people see no issue with it...what are your thoughts?



2/06/2016 8:18 am  #2

Re: Hand feeding of birds..yes or no?

depends where it is, If it's in the car campgrounds or on the trails like spruce bog where the park maintains bird feeders and nesting boxes, I see little harm to it as those birds are socialized already.
If in the backcountry, definitely not, those birds are wild and feeding them at all is altering their natural behaviour.


2/06/2016 9:21 am  #3

Re: Hand feeding of birds..yes or no?

I see expert birders doing it, in their judgement, probably doubtful that hand-feeding results in many deaths... here are the Ontario Field Ornithologists on the Opeongo road. Ron Tozer, the park's bird expert doesn't seem especially worried (see link).


2/06/2016 9:59 am  #4

Re: Hand feeding of birds..yes or no?

The Grey Jays have usually taken my food before it occurs to me to feed them.


3/15/2016 7:18 am  #5

Re: Hand feeding of birds..yes or no?

I know this thread is a little old but just to enter one more exhibit... here is the official safety notice posted at each trailhead for the winter. As you can see it uses a photo of a grey jay eating off someone's hand, apparently just for decoration. Guess it's okay with Ontario Parks.


3/15/2016 12:36 pm  #6

Re: Hand feeding of birds..yes or no?

Interesting question. I am true believer that Leave No Trace means you need to take measures not to engage with animals. But, I've also hand fed birds on trails near our home. I think I fall into Scoutergriz' camp. I don't see a problem with it when doing it near established bird feeders (like the times I've done it on trails near home) but I would feel weird about it out in the backcountry.

Having a bird land on your hand is pretty special. If the birds already know to come to that area for food, I think it's a beautiful nature experience for young and old. 


3/16/2016 1:02 pm  #7

Re: Hand feeding of birds..yes or no?
​Photo of Dan Strickland, chief APP naturalist at one time. 


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