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Where did the birds go? (SE Massachusetts) (1 Viewer)

enchant

New member
I've had a simple bird feeder in back of my house for about a dozen years - very popular with the locals. It's always fairly busy, and gets VERY busy around this time of year. There are usually 10-12 birds actively feeding with another dozen nearby, and the local trees are filled.

Back in August, they suddenly just left. Where I was usually adding about a quart of seed per day, I now go through about a pint a month.

I've got a pair of dogs that spend most of the day in the backyard. They don't care about the birds and the birds don't pay much attention to them. But I DO know that the problem isn't due to any cats hanging around.

I talked to my brother who lives about 20 miles away, and my dad, who lives about 10 miles away. Both report the same thing, starting at the same time.

Is there something going on that I don't know about?
 

BirdAdvocate

Well-known member
Flight and foraging routes of local populations do change back and forth, just as some years my fig trees are on the route of our feral parrots, other years I get a few to eat myself.
Please do continue investigating this. It may have something to do with the climate changes, which have been fairly drastic.

enchant said:
I've had a simple bird feeder in back of my house for about a dozen years - very popular with the locals. It's always fairly busy, and gets VERY busy around this time of year. There are usually 10-12 birds actively feeding with another dozen nearby, and the local trees are filled.

Back in August, they suddenly just left. Where I was usually adding about a quart of seed per day, I now go through about a pint a month.

I've got a pair of dogs that spend most of the day in the backyard. They don't care about the birds and the birds don't pay much attention to them. But I DO know that the problem isn't due to any cats hanging around.

I talked to my brother who lives about 20 miles away, and my dad, who lives about 10 miles away. Both report the same thing, starting at the same time.

Is there something going on that I don't know about?
 

enchant

New member
Thanks for the help. I'll keep an eye out, and I hope things change. It's pretty lonely in the back yard these days...
 

timeshadowed

Time is a Shadow
Welcome to BirdForum, enchant ! I can't answer your question, but a few years ago my population of orioles just stoped comming to eat the grape jelly I put out for them. I went from using 1 jar of jelly a day to about 1 jar for the entire season.

I tried the next year and got only one or two. Now I have none.

I wish I knew the reason. I loved to watch them.
 

streatham

Well-known member
It's probably just a wealth of natural food resources - this winter is ridiculously mild thus far as well. I noticed that Goldfinches for example aren't coming to local feeders at all at the moment but they are around so it's probably just down to natural resources being high. Wait for the temps to drop and some snow cover and i'm sure your feeders will get busy again.

Luke
 

BirdAdvocate

Well-known member
enchant said:
Thanks for the help. I'll keep an eye out, and I hope things change. It's pretty lonely in the back yard these days...
Please excuse me, I should have welcomed you, too. I'm new to organized birding but long on observing them. Perhaps it would give our birders who are experts a clue if you'd post the type of birds you were accustomed to seeing?
 

Flemingo

I'm always wrong and it's always my fault
Any chance of a disease outbreak? Organisms such as salmonella which are shed in the feces can spread rapidly through a population concentrated through using feeders. Not that I suggest people shouldn't use feeders, just take care and be aware of the risks.

hope your birds come back!
 
not many here either...

enchant said:
Thanks for the help. I'll keep an eye out, and I hope things change. It's pretty lonely in the back yard these days...

have things improved for you? we are northwest of boston and experienced a similar sharp dropoff in the number of birds feeding this fall. i understand that the warm winter will cause them to need supplementary feeding less, but it seems to me that there are even fewer birds feeding than in the summer. i suppose the food availability could be higher in fall than summer as plants go to seed.

in any case, i'll check back in if things pick up...
 

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