There are many reasons for feeding wild birds - it makes observing them and learning easier, they are beautiful, it interests house cats, and so on. A less commonly cited reason is compensation: I live on a plot of land in a house where, in times past, woodland provided habitat for the birds. It just seems fair to give back something since even though I personally did not clear the land I am still living on it. Another is insect control; birds are terrific at eating unwanted insects in the fair weather, so feeding them in the foul makes sense. Today the windchill is minus 11 fahrenheit so I am reminded to write a bit here to promote the welfare of these creatures.
One thing I do is cut the top off a milk carton and leave it nearby my kitchen sink where I also have a gallon container for compost. Crumbs left on the cutting board and those found in the bottom of chip or cereal packages all end up in the carton. Some things that might normally go into the compost get diverted here as well since I have a variety of birds with a wide range of appetites. I also get motivated to clean my pantry out by having this carton around, and things that are tired or expired end up in the carton.
On very cold days such as this, I toss the contents onto a log that is split in half, flat side up, that I placed under the squirrel proof bird feeder. The feeder itself is hung only a few feet off the ground from the branches of the Campsis vine that grows along the chain link fence (a great attractor of hummingbirds and
orioles when it blooms in September). These branches are intertwined and spread out so as to prevent pigeons from coming down: though they see the food, they know they cannot manage a quick take off in case of hawks or other predators because of the overhanging branches. If you are bothered by pigeons at your feeder, you might want to simulate this condition, perhaps by installing dead branches from another
type of bush or tree, experimenting until it works.