Utne Blogs > Literature

The Secret Life of Birdfeeders

 by Bennett Gordon

Tags: Great Writing, birding, birdfeeders, The Smart Set, Bennett Gordon,

BirdfeederThe birdfeeder industrial complex is raking in cash, inviting controversy, and may be changing the genetic structure of bird populations. Writing for The Smart Set, Jesse Smith pecks at the multi-billion-dollar bird-feeding industry and finds rampant consumerism, scientific data fights, and a hobby that is altering the course of life itself. According to research cited by Smith, the predominance of bird feeders in England has shifted migratory patterns for some Central European blackcaps, causing some of the birds to stay in England for the winter and others to venture on to Spain. The different groups are already showing genetic adaptations suited to the two different climates, and could lead the birds to split into two separate species.

Source: The Smart Set 

Image by Scorpion0422, licensed under Creative Commons.