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Friday, November 06, 2009

Feeder Friday, Where Are The Birds, Really??

Hairy Woodpecker, female at hulled sunflower.

We plan on devoting Fridays to blogging about bird feeders since that is where the majority of people who look at birds have their interest. The big thing on many people's minds right now is concern about where all the birds went. They are seeing way fewer birds at their feeders, including us.
Don't panic, there has been no major drop in feeder bird populations that we're aware of. This is an unusual year because there is SO MUCH wild food available, certainly here in New England. It's a bumper year for pine cones, also spruce and hemlock. Our Crab Apples are heavy with apples, which the robins are stripping off fast. The fields are full of weed seeds. So chickadees and others like titmice, nuthatches, etc. just don't need to come to feeders, there's food everywhere for them. We have Hairy Woodpeckers coming and some Blue Jays. Juncos and White-throated Sparrows have been here in numbers. We provided a big brush pile with millet sprinkled in front and these birds loved it. But most are migrating and will not stay here for the winter.
Mass. Audubon Society has gotten so many calls this fall about where are the birds, that they have a response on their website here.
Be patient, when much colder weather sets in, snow and ice come, and the wild food is more eaten, the birds will be back to your feeders. So keep feeders stocked and out now, just to remind them you're here and waiting.

7 comments:

Wren Cottage said...

Hi there!
We have been a huge fan for the longest and we are so delighted that you have a blog.
We were wondering where all the birdies are and your post has put our mind at ease! We are in the northwest part of South Carolina and love our Winter friends, the white throated & juncos are always a treat during the winter.
Happy wishes for a fun feathered winter!
Thanks again!
Your fellow birdwatchin' buddies ~ Mike & Madai Rodgers, York, SC :)

Robert Mortensen said...

My feeder had been sitting without visitors for three weeks, but this last week the House Finches and Dark-eyed Juncos came back. As I take my daily walks along the creek, I see that there is still plenty of natural forage for the finches and sparrows. Like you said, as the weather gets colder, I expect them to take advantage of the protien rich and easily accessible food at my feeders.

Elizabeth said...

How timely! I was wondering this morning where all the birds (except hummingbirds) have gone. For the first time ever my feeder still has food in it after two days.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Oh I do hope you are right.The feeders are much too quiet right now.Have a wonderful weekend.
Blessings,Ruth

Kat said...

I don't have my feeders out at all after spring. I put them back out in the late fall. Here there is also plenty for them to eat. I am looking forward to the Feeder Friday posts.

Luisa said...

Everybody's birds are all here with me in Southern California.

I am, like, totally sorry about this. I put feeders up in the backyard for the first time ever about a month ago, and the next thing I knew there were millions of birds* in the yard, and I should have realized they were coming from other people's feeders [weeps].

Oh well.

Seriously, I am very grateful that Lillian and Don will be "devoting Fridays to blogging about bird feeders," because I am brand new to this feeding gig and I need all the help I can get. Thank you!

*[40 or 50 Lesser Goldfinches]

The Zen Birdfeeder said...

Birds have been absent at many feeders here in eastern NY since mid-September. Seems to have affected NJ, southeast NY, CT, MA, NH, from the sounds of it.
Thanks for the link to the Mass Audubon site.