Are caged bird feeders dangerous?
On One Hand: Quality Products Are Largely Safe
Caged wild bird feeders are surrounded by a wire mesh to prevent larger birds and squirrels from getting to the bird food. "Winged Wisdom" bird magazine prescribes stainless steel wire mesh that is fitted tightly to the seed tube, and wire spacing of no less than 1/2 in. to prevent birds or other animals from squeezing through or getting stuck. By purchasing hanging hardware from a store that specializes in bird feeders you can ensure that your feeder is sturdily attached or hung. Cat- and squirrel-proof poles and hanging wires can also help protect feeding birds and seed stocks.
On the Other: There Are Some Risks
According to the Audubon Society and Wildbirds Unlimited, many commercially available bird feeders do not use a fine enough mesh to prevent squirrels and birds from becoming trapped within the feeder. When a caged feeder's mesh is constructed from material that is not rust-proof, the wire can corrode and break, creating dangerous sharp edges. Hanging caged feeders are also potential traps when hung from trees since cats and other predators can approach feeding birds unnoticed. In addition, bird feeders placed near a window can cause a bird to fly towards its reflection, potentially injuring the bird and damaging the window.
In summary, a well-made and well-placed caged wild bird feeder can provide a source of enjoyment for birders. As stated in "Audubon Magazine," "bird feeders also present potential risks," but attention to construction and location can reduce any hazards associated with caged bird feeders.
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