Where are my Birds!
A Letter from your Feeder Birds
Greetings from nature! We know we haven't stopped by your birdfeeders much lately, but we wanted to let you know we're still out there, doing just fine, and thinking of you! The weather has been warm and dry and we're enjoying it as much as you are.
The summer has given us a bounty of natural foods for the taking. There are tons of insects like caterpillars, spiders, grasshoppers, ants, and beetles out there, and we hate to pass them up while they're available to us.
We're also finding lots of tree seeds and nuts, as well as fruits and berries.
So we haven't been in your yard much because we're filling up on the goodies in the wild. We did stop at your birdfeeding station last night at dusk, but we didn't see you around.
Sorry we missed you.
While we're not around as much, it's okay with us if you just fill your feeders halfway. We'll use them for one last nibble before we settle down for the night or when we pass through the neighborhood. Oh, and thanks for keeping the birdbath clean and filled. Will you have that open all winter?
We know that all these natural food sources will eventually deplete. ☹ We do check in on your yard occasionally so that when that time comes, we know where to find a reliable quality food source and some decent habitat to shelter us when the weather turns nasty.
Thanks again for all you do for us, even when we're not around that much. We'll remember that, and will be back in your yard before you know it! You're the best!
So, the next question is, "so when will they return?" Here's what we can expect:
- After the first big freeze that kills off insects, we might see a bit of an increase, but the birds will still be feeding on insect carcasses, egg casings, and other insect debris left behind.
- When we get our first snow cover, we’ll see an increase in activity at bird feeders as the natural food on the ground gets covered up. If we get an ice storm, natural food hidden in tree crevices could get iced over and become unavailable to birds until the ice melts.
- As temperatures decline, birds may visit bird feeders first thing in the morning to get some easy pickins before they head out to forage for the day. Likewise at dusk they may visit for some quick, easy calories before tucking in for the night.
Bottom line: Birds will return to bird feeders in earnest when natural foods are depleted or made inaccessible by snow and/or ice.
The moist spring and warm summer has given wildlife a wonderful supply of natural foods. That's a good thing for the birds and other creatures we enjoy seeing in nature. The price we pay is that things are a little slower in our yards, and sometimes we don't like that. We miss the movement and color and sound in our yards!
But there's nothing we can do to speed their return. What we CAN do is this: keep bird feeders clean and partially filled. This will serve multiple purposes. First, it will give birds that quick easy food source in the morning and at dusk. Then, as they come in for these easy food sources, they are taking note of our yards as a reliable food patch to return to once natural foods are depleted.
Yes, they are "bookmarking" the yards that have a source of quality birdfood!
It doesn't take a lot of food in your bird feeders to accomplish this. In fact, during slow times, you'll waste a lot less birdfood if you just fill your feeders halfway, put out a Stackable instead of a full cylinder, fill only 1-2 holes in that suet log, or put out only 1/2 suet cake.
Keep an eye on your feeders to make sure that the slower-moving food is not molding or clumping. If you see that happening, throw away the bad food, give the feeder a good cleaning, refill it partially, and put it back out.
It's too bad the birds aren't busy in our yards as we enjoy the beautiful weather and colors that autumn provides, but it's all part of nature's cycles. Before we know it, when the trees are bare and the landscape has been transformed into its winter pallet of grays and browns, our birds will return, just when we need it most.
Please share this with all your bird-loving friends!