Have you ever encountered a flock of birds at Walmart’s parking lot and wondered what made it such an attractive place for them?
If you shop at Walmart regularly, you likely see many birds hanging out in the parking lot. Birds are attracted to Walmart for several reasons.
- Attraction towards light
- Availability of food
- Migration route checkpoint
- Adequate warmth from pavements
- Number of trees
Read on to find out the details and reasons for the presence of birds at Walmart.
Birds at Walmart – Top 5 Reasons
In early 2022, a piece of news emerged from Texas.
It revealed a short glimpse of what the apocalypse could look like; thousands of birds raiding Walmart’s parking lot on Highway 80 in Mesquite.
Many videos of this horrific scenario surfaced online, and the news took social media by storm. Some people related this to the scene from the horror movie; The Birds.
Some ornithologists jumped on the bandwagon and shared their opinions on the root cause of this event.
They explained that it was migration season for common grackles, and this particular Walmart was on their migration route; hence, they planned their unusual layover in more significant numbers.
The ornithologist’s also explained why, aside from this unusual event, these birds frequently visit Walmart.
These birds have overcome their fear of human presence and the movement of automobiles over the years.
Usually, predators or other birds of prey stay away from parking lots full of people and vehicles, which provides a safe zone for these birds.
This adaptation to human presence and a safe environment has increased their numbers at Walmart.
Let’s look at why these birds are attracted to Walmart.
Attraction Toward Light
Walmart’s parking lot is well-lit at night, so the birds often wander there because they find the lighting at Walmart better than the surrounding areas.
A research study states that some birds migrate at night, and if they are exposed to any artificial light, they are attracted to it.
It also clarifies that these species are more attracted to continuously lit lights and less prone to move toward blinking ones.
Walmart’s parking lot is always lit brightly throughout the night; hence, these birds tend to move toward it.
Availability of Food
In addition to groceries, Walmart also offers eatables for its customers. Few fast food chains, such as McDonald’s, operate inside.
Walmart, apart from ordinary food outlets, has also embraced the concept of virtual food courts, which they have named Ghost Kitchens.
It allows the customers to select food from various restaurants and combine them as a single order.
As a result of this, the parking lots at Walmart are often littered with garbage and junk dropped by people.
These trash items attract various kinds of birds or animals to have their share of snacks.
Over time, these birds have learned to live off human refuse.
Heat From Pavement
Sunny days during the winter can be a blessing for everyone.
The same is the case for these birds. You can find them on the pavement or the roof of a Walmart store, resting and soaking up some sun.
On a sunny day, the pavement stays warmer than other surfaces, which attracts these birds to keep their feet warm.
The day when thousands of birds came down on Walmart in Texas was during the migration season of the grackles.
These birds also have layovers during their migration season, where they stop for rest and food.
So, if any Walmart is located along their migration route, they can be attracted to it due to the food and light.
These migratory birds travel in huge flocks, and when they come down on Walmart, it’s flooded with birds everywhere.
The types of birds at Walmart also vary from region to region. In some parts of the country, you will find grackles, while in others, you may come across seagulls.
If you are somewhere around Texas, you will come across the blackbirds (grackles) more often; if you are near the sea, the seagulls will be in more significant numbers.
Shade From Trees
Trees and birds always go together.
Most of Walmart’s parking lots have trees in between the aisles.
These trees provide food and shelter for the birds. Some birds carefully select them to build their nest for the breeding season.
Trees also provide the perfect shade to cool off on hot summer days. The presence of these trees in Walmart’s parking lot is inviting to these birds.
You may wonder what makes Walmart a special place for birds to congregate.
Some birds flock to Walmart’s parking lot for food, while others may be attracted to the light.
Migratory birds might consider Walmart a layover checkpoint along their route where they can rest and eat without any risks from predators or birds of prey.
In addition to all these reasons, they have adapted to human or vehicle movements and have overcome their fear of visiting public spaces such as Walmart.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Birds Can Be Found in Walmart’s Parking Lot?
The types of birds in Walmart’s parking lot may vary from region to region.
If you are located in North America, you might see more starlings, grackles, or crows. If you have a sea nearby, seagulls, pelicans, or ibis are most likely to be found at Walmart hunting for food.
Is It Legal To Feed the Birds at Walmart?
It is okay to feed the birds in Walmart’s parking lot, but you should not feed them regularly or give them a large amount of food.
Doing this would attract a greater number of birds, which can be dangerous for drivers and customers shopping at Walmart.
Is Walmart Safe for Birds?
Yes, these birds feel safe at Walmart, as humans don’t harm them, and there are no risks from predators or birds of prey.
Predators stay away from Walmart because of human and vehicle movement, but the birds have adapted to such an environment.