Occasionally I pick up an old magazine and flip through. Last evening, I was re-reading the May 2008 issue of BirdTalk and came across the news bit "Wild Cravings."
"A study by researchers at several United Kingdom universities found that outdoor wild birds successfully rear more chicks in the spring when humans offer food handouts in the winter. The birds that got an extra helping hand laid the same number of eggs as birds that went without, but they laid them earlier and successfully feldged one more chick per clutch."
The researcher was Dr. Dan Chamberlain of the British Trust for Ornithology. The study was published February 6, 2008 in the Royal Society Journal, "Biology Letters."