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Bird Feed and Synthetic Pesticide

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posted on Aug, 17 2019 @ 12:20 PM
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Bird Feed and Synthetic Pesticide

So, I like to feed the birds. I buy bird feed from the pet store every couple of weeks for them. This last summer though I noticed something strange. I would often come home and find a dead bird on my porch. They looked like they hit the window and died from the impact. Of course, I’ve been feeding birds for a few years now but I never made the correlation until this year…just wasn’t thinking and I feel really bad about it.

This year I noticed that when the bird feeder was full/partial full...dead birds. When the bird feeder was empty, no dead birds. I'm not saying that the bird feed was the cause, but, I did research it to see if it could be. This is what I found out…

20 years ago a synthetic pesticide was introduced to the market. And, as we all know, it takes time to see the full effects of some of these chemicals on both humans and wild life. It turns out that this pesticide is not only harmful to insects, but birds as well.


A class of synthetic pesticide, neonicotinoids, are commonly applied to the seeds of fruit and vegetable crops. Chemically related to nicotine and commonly called neonics, they are usually sprayed on seeds before planting. The plants absorb the chemicals, which primarily target the central nervous systems of the sap-eating and chewing bugs that eat the plants.

Some of what that article states is that on bird seed for retail sale it is not required for manufacturers to put a warning label on the package. So, you’ll never know if what you’re feeding them is safe or not. You’ll also read that even one seed coated with this insecticide can be fatal to a bird.

What is neonicotinoids?

Neonicotinoids are a new class of insecticides chemically related to nicotine. The name literally means “new nicotine-like insecticides”. Like nicotine, the neonicotinoids act on certain kinds of receptors in the nerve synapse. They are much more toxic to invertebrates, like insects, than they are to mammals, birds and other higher organisms


This part I am quoting to point out that Bayer uses this ingredient in their insecticides:

The first neonicotinoid to reach the market was imidacloprid, a common ingredient in Bayer Advanced Garden insecticides. This product can be sprayed on the plant, but is often more effective (especially on sucking insects) when applied to the soil. Dinotefuran (Safari) is another, more highly water-soluble, neonicotinoid that is especially good on sap-feeding insects.

The product sounds like it shouldn’t mess with the birds at all. But, as we do more studies, we are finding out that it does in deed harm birds.

"The EPA's assessments confirm neonicotinoid pesticides are extremely harmful to birds and aquatic life at the very center of our ecosystems," said Lori Ann Burd, director of the Center for Biological Diversity's environmental health program. "With bird, aquatic invertebrate and bee populations in decline, the only way to prevent further catastrophic damage is to follow Europe's lead and ban these dangerous pesticides."

In last week's assessment the EPA found that risks posed to certain birds from eating neonic-treated seeds exceeded the agency's level of concern—the level at which harm is known to occur—by as much as 200-fold. In addition to killing birds, a recent scientific study also found, neonic pesticides significantly impair the migratory ability of seed-eating songbirds.


I’m not exactly sure if birdseed caused the birds to hit the window and die at my home, but it seemed like it did. I stopped filling the bird feeder 2 weeks ago and since then, no bird deaths. I’m seeing the same amount of birds around as before so, I dunno, it fits. And yes I know correlation is not causation but it certainly seems linked to me.

Anyhow, I just wanted to make sure people knew because if you’re feeding the birds any commercial product you may want to look at the package more carefully before you purchase it….or just make your own bird seed instead. This link gives you a couple of recipes to try and I’m sure you can find more out there on the web.

As always, thanks for reading and…

Happy Bird Watching!

blend




posted on Aug, 17 2019 @ 02:07 PM
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If we forget to feed the birds, they come and fly by the patio door and kick it to attract our attention if we are sitting at the table. So we go feed them. This is learned behavior which seems to be spreading all around our area. Others say the same thing.

Now once in a while they mess up and hit the window and fall to the ground. Their judgement is wrong. I can see many types of chemicals effecting their judgement and depth perception. There is no testing done for that by any chemical company. All the chemical has to do is effect any of a number of neurochemicals that need to be balanced in the body. Acetylcholine is one of those, nicotine actually effects the same receptor, possibly overloading it. This can make the birds way more anxious and not as cautious. Yes, it can make them hit the windows more often. Probably hit branches more often when flying fast too. But of course, no testing is done for stuff like that, none is required.



posted on Aug, 17 2019 @ 03:51 PM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
Now once in a while they mess up and hit the window and fall to the ground. Their judgement is wrong. I can see many types of chemicals effecting their judgement and depth perception. There is no testing done for that by any chemical company. All the chemical has to do is effect any of a number of neurochemicals that need to be balanced in the body. Acetylcholine is one of those, nicotine actually effects the same receptor, possibly overloading it. This can make the birds way more anxious and not as cautious. Yes, it can make them hit the windows more often. Probably hit branches more often when flying fast too. But of course, no testing is done for stuff like that, none is required.


They don't even have to put a warning on the package or list it as a potential ingredient according to the articles I read. There is no way of knowing whether the seed has pesticide in/on it or not. Even if the chemical is washed off, it is stated that the seed absorbs it.

So, I thought I was helping the birds by feeding them and all I was doing was harming them. Granted, I didn't know, but I should've reasoned it out way before now. Of course bird seed has pesticides on/in it. That makes perfect sense when you think it through.

Anyhow, I just wanted to make sure others were aware.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Ricky. I appreciate it.

blend



posted on Aug, 17 2019 @ 05:46 PM
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Haven't had any dead birds yet but now am worried. When I feed it's straight black oil sunflower seed picked up from the feed store, however I supplement with nuts left over from baking or just ones on sale that I bust up for the smaller birds.

While I've just accepted the fact that what I eat has probably been "Monsanto'd" it never occurred to me till now the "people" stuff I bootleg out to the birds may be just as harmful? Like the pepita seeds, or the shelled sunflower seeds I was going to use on salads? The dried blueberries & cherries?

I'm starting to think the healthiest thing I've given them was the hard boiled eggs!!!
Is there a list anywhere yet with brands that have pesticides like they did for the dog & cat food recalls?



posted on Aug, 17 2019 @ 06:25 PM
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originally posted by: Caver78
Haven't had any dead birds yet but now am worried. When I feed it's straight black oil sunflower seed picked up from the feed store, however I supplement with nuts left over from baking or just ones on sale that I bust up for the smaller birds.

While I've just accepted the fact that what I eat has probably been "Monsanto'd" it never occurred to me till now the "people" stuff I bootleg out to the birds may be just as harmful? Like the pepita seeds, or the shelled sunflower seeds I was going to use on salads? The dried blueberries & cherries?

I'm starting to think the healthiest thing I've given them was the hard boiled eggs!!!
Is there a list anywhere yet with brands that have pesticides like they did for the dog & cat food recalls?


There may be a list..I'm unsure. I didn't look because my thoughts are that if the seed is getting sprayed and what they say is true about the pesticide being absorbed...probably won't matter who is on the list.

The bird seed manufacturers don't have to disclose whether or not the seed has been sprayed with pesticide because it isn't actually an ingredient so they aren't required to know it, list it or print a warning that their mix may contain pesticides. So, even if someone says they don't use pesticides...well, you really can't be sure unless you make your own.

In a lot of the recipes I've been looking at black oil sunflower seeds are recommended ...but a lot of them also use store bought seeds in the mix as well. So, I dunno..I'm just going with peanut butter and dried fruit, nuts, and sunflower seeds. At least if you buy that stuff it has to have some sort of FDA standard because it is being sold for human consumption.

Any better ideas or recipes...please share,


Thanks for taking the time to post a response. I never gave eggs to birds before...do they really eat them?

blend



posted on Aug, 17 2019 @ 11:13 PM
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originally posted by: blend57

originally posted by: rickymouse
Now once in a while they mess up and hit the window and fall to the ground. Their judgement is wrong. I can see many types of chemicals effecting their judgement and depth perception. There is no testing done for that by any chemical company. All the chemical has to do is effect any of a number of neurochemicals that need to be balanced in the body. Acetylcholine is one of those, nicotine actually effects the same receptor, possibly overloading it. This can make the birds way more anxious and not as cautious. Yes, it can make them hit the windows more often. Probably hit branches more often when flying fast too. But of course, no testing is done for stuff like that, none is required.


They don't even have to put a warning on the package or list it as a potential ingredient according to the articles I read. There is no way of knowing whether the seed has pesticide in/on it or not. Even if the chemical is washed off, it is stated that the seed absorbs it.

So, I thought I was helping the birds by feeding them and all I was doing was harming them. Granted, I didn't know, but I should've reasoned it out way before now. Of course bird seed has pesticides on/in it. That makes perfect sense when you think it through.

Anyhow, I just wanted to make sure others were aware.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Ricky. I appreciate it.

blend


I saw organic bird seed at the coop, although I did not inspect the package to make sure it was certified. Some of their stuff is locally produced there or more natural of a product. I just focused on the price, a little three pound bag ran about eight bucks. A little steep for us to be feeding the birds. We usually get the oiled sunflower seeds to feed the birds and I would bet there is some sort of pesticide on that. We get a fifty pound bag for about eighteen bucks or so. One bag lasts the whole year.



posted on Aug, 18 2019 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: blend57

LOL!
I crumble hard boiled egg up over the sunflower seed so everyone gets some & yes they eat it. But I only do that on the platform feeder and not in the tube kind of feeder cause that would be horrifically messy.

Hey RickyMouse!
I do same as you with the 50lb bag but my guys must be flying pigs cause it only lasts me 3 months. New chore is now to see if anyone has made a list of prohibited bird food brands. Hopefully I'll find something.



posted on Aug, 18 2019 @ 03:28 PM
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originally posted by: Caver78
a reply to: blend57

LOL!
I crumble hard boiled egg up over the sunflower seed so everyone gets some & yes they eat it. But I only do that on the platform feeder and not in the tube kind of feeder cause that would be horrifically messy.


Ewww..cannibalism! Actually it isn't. Unless they eat their own species of bird. Cannibalism is more like this:

A bird eating another species of bird.


maybe it is infanticide then? (not embedding a gif for that cuz..gross!)

Either way, I don't think I'd be able to feed them eggs. Besides, eggs are expensive where I live for some reason...



posted on Sep, 20 2019 @ 08:06 AM
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a reply to: blend57

It's a "treat" for them.
Two reason's for treats in my yard. One it's late Feb-April an making a living out in the cold & ice is miserable. Yeah nature thins out the weak yada yada but that's the time of year my flying pigs need a bit of help. Besides....ask yourself "IF" you were reincarnated an some slob in suburbia "could" be decent but was too lazy, stingy? My karma doesn't need that kind of ding.


The second reason is I like company when I'm out doing yard work.
If it takes me carrying peanuts in my pockets to bribe my jays? Well I have absolutely no shame. On those days they get whatever nuts I have handy or a couple of hardboiled eggs. They learn pretty quick if they see me it's worth their while to hang out.

One upside has been the Jays acting as a defacto alarm system. They scream blue murder if the UPS guy shows up, the crows are too close an take great exception to the groundhog cleaning up under their feeder. When the baby Jays fledged ( it was LOUD) the parents did all they could to direct them to the large tray feeder.

Adult Jay- eat the seed
Baby Jay- flapping like a drowning person butt deep in sunflower seeds screaming FEED ME!!!
Adult Jay- Facepalm

This is only relevant cause one baby kid was so lazy he/she refused to learn to shell seeds for themselves an instead discovered the dry cat food on my porch for the feral cat. Kiddo also discovered kitty's water an turned the porch into it's personal waterpark. One morning before the crack of dawn I heard some thumping out there. Figured it was the raccoons checking ( no dry food is pulled in before dark) instead it was one VERY freaked out feral kitty an one pissed off Baby Jay. Now it isn't ridiculous enough my house wrens nest over the cat food in a wreath, but now the baby jay is too lazy to roost in a tree for the night???

Had to gently catch Baby Jay to get him off the porch an got bit numerous times an squawked at an generally "blessed out" Still....five baby fledged an are still hanging around with the parents. Altho that "Special Bus One" is gonna be a pistol if it survives.



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