As part of my spring 2023 “Wildlife Education” course (Masters of Environmental Science through Slippery Rock University), I conducted a survey/questionnaire that was designed to examine the public’s perceptions and attitudes towards a bird feeding; a sometimes-controversial wildlife topic. Many feel strongly about why they should or should not feed wild birds.
Below are the questions and corresponding data gathered from this questionnaire. 15 people responded to the questions, which were shared on social media and email.
By analyzing the public perceptions and attitudes towards bird feeding, environmental educators and science communicators can better tailor our programs and content to address concerns and relevant issues. For example, I was pleased by how many people could identify birds by sight in their community, but concerned by the seeming lack of regard/knowledge for the importance of keeping pet cats indoors. Instead of hosting more “bird ID” programs, I can host more bird conservation at-home programs (and create more educational content) addressing the impact that feral and pet cats have on the decline of bird species. People also seem to value gardening more than setting up feeders, which can direct what sort of information I include during native gardening programs.
By understanding people’s motivations and attitudes towards birds (naturalist, ecologistic, moralistic, etc…) I can also create content that attracts more people and works in line with their ideals. In order to effectively communicate, I need to know what is important to the public!
Category: Backyard Habitats Tags: Animals, bird feeders, bird feeding, birds, conservation, environmental education, human-wildlife interaction, public perception, social science, The Art of Ecology, wildlife education
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