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Monday, October 17, 2011


American Robin eating a crabapple

Hairy Woodpecker, male, l., Black-capped Chickadee, R. at sunflower tube.

Right now we are getting reports from New England to FL that people are worried because they have no birds at their feeders. We have fewer birds at ours. Relax, they will be back, as soon as it is colder, and the wild foods have been depleted.

There is a great abundance of wild food now available to birds. All the rain we have had in the East, from spring (remember the record floods) through summer and into fall, has made for a bumper crop of many wild foods. Plus the weather temperatures have been above average.

Here in NH, our crabapple trees are loaded (although robins have been visiting them), winterberry holly is full of red berries, other berry producing trees and shrubs are laden. This was a very good blueberry year. The fields are full of the seeds of grasses, weeds, coneflowers and other composite flowers. There are acorns and our hemlock trees have lots of cones.

Dark-eyed Junco

However, winter is coming. It will get colder. Insects will disappear or hibernate. Seeds and berries will get eaten. Then the birds will come back to your feeders.

Meanwhile, keep good bird feeders clean and stocked with quality bird seeds. Sooner or later they will be back. Promise.


Tina Coruth said...

That makes a lot of sense. Thank you!

gloria said...

Watch for the juncos - they always seem to appear at my feeders just before it snows for the first time in the year!

Enjoy Life Birding said...

I recently experienced a similar phenomenon with my feeders. Thanks for the info.
~ Rory

Woodduck said...

Outer Banks of NC and have many cardinals, doves(some Eurasian Colared too), chickadees, enjoying sunflower. Just noticed blue jays pecking/eating the live oak acorns. My catbirds vanished though.