To The Daily Sun,
I take a contrary position when it comes to continuing to feed birds past the April 1 deadline published by the N.H. Fish and Game Department (NHF&G) due to the possibility of attracting bears.
Think about what has transpired this past winter when we now not only have the normal winter birds vying for food, but also have significant flocks of robins wintering over that put an additional drain on the very limited food resources for birds. For this naturalist/observer it doesn't make sense to pull the rug out from under the birds we've been feeding all winter at a time not only when natural food sources are at a premium, but also when spring migrants are arriving and in need of food after incredibly long flights.
In addition to my regular birds — up to 40 doves, 17 bluejays, and others — I now have several cowbirds and 17 red-winged blackbirds (which are now my first harbingers of spring). Not surprising that I go through more bird seed now than at any other time of year.
The reason the NHF&G is suggesting taking in the feeders is because of the possibility of attracting bears, and rightfully so. People should never feed bears, be it at a feeder or elsewhere, or leave trash out that will attract bears. So, if you've had trouble with bears in the past or there is a good potential for attracting bears, then by all means either stop feeding the birds or maybe try taking your feeders in at night, assuming, of course, bears aren't paying you a visit during the day.
I suspect many feeders aren't bear prone and to remove all of them at such a crucial time in order to favor bears over the birds is what prompted this birder's editorial and contrarian viewpoint.