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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Provide bird feeding materials to families with young children Bird Conservation

Key messages

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A single replicated before-and-after study from the USA found that most children involved in a programme providing families with bird food increased their knowledge of birds, but there was no significant change in environmental attitudes.

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated before-and-after study in 65 families containing at least 1 child provisioned with bird feeding and educational materials for use in urban gardens in the USA (Beck et al. 2001) found that younger children showed significant gains in bird knowledge but there was no systematic change in environmental attitudes. Forty-nine (75%) children improved in bird knowledge, six (9%) showed no change and ten (15%) declined. Post-program scores were significantly higher than pre-program scores for both younger boys and girls (7-9 years old) but not older children (10-12 years old). Positive change was correlated with higher education levels of parents. Environmental attitudes, however, did not change and declined for one subgroup of children (younger boys). Over 80% of parents felt the program increased family interaction and 80% reported they will still watching and feeding birds a year later. Of the children, 44% were boys and 56% girls.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Williams, D.R., Child, M.F., Dicks, L.V., Ockendon, N., Pople, R.G., Showler, D.A., Walsh, J.C., zu Ermgassen, E.K.H.J. & Sutherland, W.J. (2019) Bird Conservation. Pages 141-290 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.