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Fri Sep 13, 2013, 10:53 PM

Where did my birds go? I live in the mid-Atlantic (inland northern Virginia) and until a few days

ago, my feeder was continually mobbed. I'd refill twice a day. I use Audubon blend that costs a freaking fortune, but the birds are worth it, and they provide endless hours of kitty-tv for my felines on the other side of the windows.

Anyway, when it got kind of hot and sticky here earlier this week (not uncommon for this area) almost all of the birds seemed to go away. There is still a random chickadee or two, and a few cardinals, but the house finches and titmouses are just gone. Gone.

Where did they go? Is it seasonal? I checked the feeder - it looks fine, no mold or mildew (rarely gets wet - is hanging on the porch under the roof). I have done nothing different.


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Reply Where did my birds go? I live in the mid-Atlantic (inland northern Virginia) and until a few days (Original post)
Flaxbee Sep 2013 OP
Curmudgeoness Sep 2013 #1
Flaxbee Sep 2013 #3
Curmudgeoness Sep 2013 #6
Flaxbee Sep 2013 #7
fadedrose Sep 2013 #2
Flaxbee Sep 2013 #4
fadedrose Sep 2013 #5

Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Fri Sep 13, 2013, 11:00 PM

1. No need to panic.

There is a seasonal change in the individuals, and sometimes the new birds moving into your neighborhood have to find the feeder. And don't worry, they will.

I have been feeding for at least 20 years, and I no longer have that problem, since birds seek my out now. But there were times that I wondered what was wrong. And there are still slower times of year, and even slower days. If it is really rainy and crappy for one day, I see no birds. If the rain continues longer, they finally come back out.

I guess right now your summer birds with their families have moved on----it is that time of year, and the winter birds need to find you. Keep your eyes open now and in the spring for the visitors who are just passing through. That is when you might see new birds.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 02:25 PM

3. I still see some of my sweet little sparrows and cardinals, but really, it was a packed house for

months and then about 90% of the birds were gone.

Being September, I figured it might be seasonal, but I don't remember such a drop off from last year (but I wasn't watching the feeder as much, either).

Earlier this summer there were some gorgeous goldfinches - flying sunshine. I love them all, though; I probably have a softer spot for the sparrows and wrens simply because they're not as colorful.

Thanks for the reassurance, Curmudgeoness.

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Response to Flaxbee (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 04:25 PM

6. Since I was home all day today,

I spent some serious time watching the feeders. They are getting empty fast, but there are only 2 species right now that are dominating the seed----House Sparrows and Mourning Doves. They are like a plague. Few of any other birds---two Blue Jays, one Cardinal, one Nuthatch....and if I would have blinked, I may have missed them. It is just that time of year.

Glad to help you feel better about the lack of birds, Flaxbee. Always a pleasure running into you. And it seems I run into you in a lot of different places here....you must have some awesome interests.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #6)

Sun Sep 15, 2013, 11:43 PM

7. well, it would seem our awesome interests are mutual, since I keep running into you, too!

Lol!

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Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 01:18 AM

2. Last saw our orioles on Sep. 6

They loaded up on jelly, males and females, and they're gone till next May. It was a very good year for orioles.

The robins left this nursery area at least a month ago, but not for the south, I think they are flying all over Michigan for raspberries, grapes, etc, but will be gone ths mnth.

The flickers left last week. Was a good year for flickers.

The redwings and grackles have been gathering and leaving in groups. Still a few late breeders left, not many.

Some of the blue jays have moved on - had about a dozen, down to about 6 for the winter.

Cardinals still here, so are the woodpeckers. The titmice, chickadees and nuthatches usually stay the winter.

The seed will last a little longer, but suet will be in demand by Jays and Woodpeckers...


It was a good year for birds. Hope nature is kind to them on their journey. We spent a fortune on them, but they were worth every penny.....

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Response to fadedrose (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 02:26 PM

4. Sounds like it is indeed seasonal; I still think of it as summer but it is drawing to a close and

these babies need to move on as they've done forever.

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Response to Flaxbee (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 14, 2013, 09:53 PM

5. It is seasonal

They come and go - temperatures either too cold for some, and in summer, too hot for the others. If you check a migration map, some birds go to Canada for the summer to escape the heat. They're drifting back..juncos for one. They loaf on the ground eating seed.

One little guy and gal and their kids I shall miss is one I never really paid attention to before. Catbirds. They are dark gray with a tiny little black cap on the top of the head. They share the neighborhood with the robins - who both love grapes ($1.50/lb), serviceberries from the tree, mulberry tree and suet with the woodpeckers. I learned that when they make a sound like "maa" and I did it back, they would keep it up with me. A highly underrated bird.

I shall miss them. I always hope to be alive in May when they start to come back. It is a thrill to see them after they've travelled maybe over 1000 miles from So. America.

Bad luck with year with hummers. Used to have many, now down to a couple, but I keep sugar water out for them in a feeder.

Keep watching them. When the news depresses, the sight of a parent feeding a baby bird will make your day.

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