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The best first pet? A bird feeder.

Getting a pet for your child? Forget it. A bird feeder, though? Now that is an idea...

Violet-crowned Hummingbird and Broad-tailed Hummingbird use a hummingbird feeder
A Violet-crowned Hummingbird checks out a honey bee and a Broad-billed Hummingbird on a feeder.

Get more fun ideas by joining the flock!

Every sitcom in history has produced an episode where chaos ensues when irresponsible children sneakily acquire a pet behind the back of their parents. Of course, those episodes always end on a heartwarming note. As we (and many humane societies) know, taking on the responsibility of a pet does not always end well. BUT, what if you could teach the responsibility of caring for an animal while also learning about life cycles, populations, budgeting, ratios, abundance, and frequency, while not risking catastrophic failure?

Welcome to the wonderful world of feeding birds. If you forget to feed Gilligan the Goldfish, they get flushed down the ol' S.S. Minnow. However, if you forget to feed the birds, they will simply shun your feeders until the buffet has returned. (Similar to how patrons of Golden Corral behave when the ice cream machine stops working.)

How can feeding birds relate to caring for a pet?

Seem simple? Well, read on for our broad and over-simplified competition of pets vs feeding birds.

Feeding Your First Pet = Feeding Birds

One of the most essential duties of pet care is feeding your pet. Want to simulate that? Fill your bird feeders! Feeders that hold several pounds of food are often too big for the number of avian visitors, leading to spoiled food. Try a smaller feeder that must be filled daily or even twice a day! If you forget to feed the birds or go on vacation, you won't have to take Fido to "the farm."

Winner: Birds


Interested in feeding birds? Check out our guide to buying bird feeders!


Cleaning Up After Your First Pet = Cleaning Bird Feeders

Everyone's least favorite duty in pet care involves doody. Cleaning up after a pet is a daily chore, especially if you want a hygienic yard and pet. However, some people allow their duties to pile up (literally). With bird waste, you do not have to put that plastic bag on your hand and 'claw-machine' up that warm, hopefully brown, collection. While bird excreta is not water-soluble, it is easily cleaned with a hose or a quick soak/scrub. See? Much less repulsive to think about.

Winner: Birds


Learn how to clean bird feeders in our post on Feeder Cleaning!