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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Bird feeding programs increase children's knowledge of birds but does not lead to a systematic change in environmental attitudes

Published source details

Beck A.M., Melson G.F., da Costa P.L. & Liu T. (2001) The educational benefits of a ten-week home-based wild bird feeding program for children. Anthrozoos, 14, 19-28


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Provide bird feeding materials to families with young children Bird Conservation

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.