No birds...

Forum for general chit-chat, general information, and stuff that doesn't fit elsewhere

Moderator: wcleung

No birds...

Postby Quentin on Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:55 am

I was wondering if anyone else was experiencing the same as myself. I have 2 feeders set up (backyard & front veranda). Backyard is black oil sunflower seed; veranda is deluxe finch mixture. I had no problems attracting birds all summer & early Autumn... but not a single visitor since late fall, not one. Cannot figure out why. Last winter had tons of visitors... a wide variety of birds. Nothing has changed from any other year. Can anyone shed any light on what I may be doing wrong? :?
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
User avatar
Quentin
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:24 pm
Location: Kitchener Ontario

Re: No birds...

Postby wcleung on Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:18 pm

Same in my house. Only half a feeder's seed have used since last fall. Debbie
wcleung
 
Posts: 584
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:34 pm

Re: No birds...

Postby porterco on Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:33 pm

I was actually going to post something similar. We only seem to have Tree Sparrows. A few Juncos were around early winter, but they seem to have moved on. Even the usual suspects like Finches are absent.
porterco
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:04 am

Re: No birds...

Postby Quentin on Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:00 pm

I'm not even getting sparrows. Past winters I had sparrows spend their nights sleeping in a climbing bush on my veranda. This year... nothing. So weird, & disappointing.
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
User avatar
Quentin
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:24 pm
Location: Kitchener Ontario

Re: No birds...

Postby harrier on Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:04 am

I got tired of feeding mostly mourning doves for the past two winters and didn't put up a feeder this year. I was running out by Grass Lake today and saw lots of snow buntings in the field where the banding took place in recent years.
harrier
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:16 pm

Re: No birds...

Postby mdubz on Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:08 pm

Curious where you guys are located? I can't say it's been a great turn out for me this year but I am constantly filling up my feeder. Lots of Sparrows, Juncos, Chickadees, Blue Jays, pair of Cardinals and some regular morning doves. And I'm confident others I haven't been able to identify. Suet feeder not getting all that much action, still the same one from early November out there. I did see a small downy this morning. Biggest issue I've had this year in the backyard is the darn crows. They are loud and scare everything else away. largest count at one time was about 36 at one time in my yard. There are a number of trees in the yard all the birds hang out in them till the crows are gone and all swoop over at once.
I haven't been spending as much time watching the feeder this year, not that I ever have luck getting any good photos, but it's always empty and the squirrels scamper the ground picking up the dropped seed. It was filled yesterday before the snow and was a quote the hotspot this morning.

thanks for listening.
Mike
mdubz
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:08 pm

Re: No birds...

Postby porterco on Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:24 am

I am south of Guelph. And since my last post there as been a couple of Junco's and still a bunch of the tree sparrows.

I also had what I believe to be a Northern Harrier or a Goshawk or something "buzzing" the feeders - which if it's around could be the reason for the low activitiy. My identification is based on the white underparts, and how acrobatic it is in flight. It zips in and out of the trees, and around the feeders like it's on a roller coaster. Can anyone help with what I should look for to properly identify this raptor I would appreciate it. It is really fast, and so much fun to watch, but you do have to be in the right place at the right time to see it. We have seen it twice, and it was perched low in a tree once at the back of the property but zipped off by the time I found it in my bins! :D
porterco
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:04 am

Raptor in backyard

Postby Peter C. on Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:38 am

If it's "zipping" about at great speed, definitely not a Harrier; they are long-winged, slow hunters over fields and marshes, which do not so much 'zip' as 'drift.' They hunt by surprising small animals, and dropping down upon them vertically; as such, they are not great bird hunters (although they certainly will take nestlings and fledglings of open-country species). Very unlikely to frequent feeders.

Your bird is probably an accipiter, i.e. one of the Cooper's/Sharp-shinned Hawk group, or possibly a Merlin. All three fly very fast (although Cooper's/Sharpies are better at threading their way through trees, and so more likely) and all just love bird feeders - although not in the same way you or I do.

If you see it again, pay very close attention to the underparts, and also the exact shape and amount of barring on the tail. That might help separate between Cooper's and Sharp-shinned. (I'm not completely discounting Goshawk - can't rule it out at all based on what you have said so far - but they're just so very rare in Southern Ontario, I think it unlikely...)

As for Merlin, that bird has a very well-marked facial pattern (which the others lack) and much longer, pointed wings. When perched, its wing tips will reach almost to the end of the tail; on a Cooper's/Sharpie, the tips just barely extend past the base of the tail.
Cheers,
Peter C.,
Chief &c,
A.H.O.R.B.
User avatar
Peter C.
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 7:29 pm
Location: Kitchener

Re: No birds...

Postby Lori.P on Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:12 am

I am in the south end of Guelph and we have had lots of birds this winter. We have the usual juncos, tree sparrows, house and goldfinches, house sparrows, jays, cardinals, nuthatches, starlings, doves, pigeons, a regular Cooper's hawk and lots of woodpeckers. We have at least 6 downy woodpeckers and two hairy woodpeckers. Frank reported today seeing for the first time EVER in our yard a red-bellied woodpecker! I was elated to hear about it. I am hoping it returns to the suet tomorrow before I go to work otherwise I will have to watch for it on the weekend.

I am particular about how I feed my birds and I believe this helps with the volume we see. I buy premium seed only. I offer black oil sunflower, shelled peanuts, peanuts in the shell, nyjer, suet and I mix the following from Wild Birds Unlimited: frosty feast, woodland select and some no mess blend as an extra treat. I have two suet feaders on different deciduous trees to reduce competition. My suet feeders have been customized ... I set them almost flush into a flat piece of firewood so the birds have something to hold onto. I have a sunflower feeder, a peanut feeder and a nyjer feeder but most of my seed is scattered daily on the ground after I clean away any fresh snow. I scatter mostly under my evergreens to provide the birds shelter from predators (as best possible) and the elements. I scatter it many places in the yard including windowsills and a deck box to further reduce competition as the juncos and tree sparrows can get squabbly. I usually have a heated water basin out but I have not gotten to it ... I should make an effort this weekend I guess.

We also have the regular squirrel population as well as two red squirrels. We don't descriminate :D

We are fortunate to be nearer to a woodlot which probably helps but I do feel there the extra efforts I go to make a difference for our visitors.
Lori Portela
I never walk softly, and Frank always carries the big lens

http://public.fotki.com/Clanky/birds/
Lori.P
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:35 pm
Location: Guelph, Ontario

Re: No birds... (Update)

Postby Quentin on Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:53 pm

Well here it is nearing the end of March & still extremely few birds around my feeders. Very disappointing winter. Just recently (last week) I managed to spot several (female) America goldfinches at my back yard feeder (black-oiled sunflower seed)... & it appears my 2 Black Capped Chickadees have returned for spring/summer seasons; this will be year number 4 that they have returned. But that is it. My front feeder (deluxe finch seed) has drawn no activity what-so-ever as of yet. Next step is to do a complete through cleaning of all my feeders (which I usually do anyway)... buy some new feed & see what happens. As I mentioned previously, I have always had copious quantities of birds at both my feeders; this has been a puzzling occurrence, which I sincerely hope is not any indication of what is to come.
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
User avatar
Quentin
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:24 pm
Location: Kitchener Ontario


Return to General Wildlife Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron