Bakewell Bird Study Group’s meeting on Monday April 11th is given by Dr Alex Lees senior lecturer in conservation biology at Manchester Metropolitan University. He will be asking the question ‘Should we be Feeding the Birds?’ On the face of it that seems like a daft question, of course we should! But Dr Lees is unlikely to leave it at that. First we have to ask ourselves why we are doing it, is it for them or for us? Obviously both but there are possible downsides. By providing easy pickings for more dominant species such as great tits, blue tits, nuthatches and great spotted woodpeckers their populations increase and they can displace subordinate species such as willow tit and lesser spotted woodpecker by using up the available nesting sites for example. Diseases can also be transmitted at bird feeders, greenfinches and chaffinches are particularly prone to parasites and have suffered huge losses in recent years. There may be better ways of helping birds in our gardens by digging ponds or planting native plants and hedgerows. Clearly this is a complex subject but we look forward to an absorbing talk by Dr Lees.