Two weeks ago I had a dozen Baltimore Orioles, too many Goldfinches to count, 4-5 Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, downy woodpeckers, a red bellied woodpecker, two indigo buntings and the list goes on. I have one main feeder hanging from a tree, two thistle feeders and two baskets where I used to plant flowers, filled with orange halves covered in grape jelly. When there wasn't anything left of the oranges I replaced them with new oranges and again smothered them in jelly. Since then I haven't had any of the birds listed above other than 4-5 goldfinches and my loyal Cardinal couple. Does anyone know why this happens?
Why do birds suddenly disappear?
Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:49 PM
They are migrating through, for the most part. When they start nesting, you will see the ones that are around a lot less. If you put mealworms out, they may come get them when they have babies to feed. You still won't have as many, because the pairs will be more likely to stay in their breeding territories. You have the cardinal pair, probably because they are nesting nearby. The goldfinches haven't started to nest yet, so they may not have formed pairs yet.
Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:08 PM
They're at my house! Thank you for taking such good care of them, just kidding . I have a bunch like you, I hope some stay around. Some orioles like the "real" concord grapes. The Grey Catbird loves blackberries and raspberries, and will fly away with a grape now and then.
64+1 Backyard Birds, Latest is the Cape-May Warbler, Cedar Waxwing
Started April 2013, probably getting close to all I'm going to see in the back yard.
Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:08 PM
Thank you very much. This is my first time putting out feeders and learning about all of these birds.
Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:18 PM
some are migrants in that they go to mexico or central america or southern parts of florida or ca. or south texas for the winter. but they work their way north in spring till they end up in the general area they were born in. most birds are territorial and the more dominant pairs end up in their choice of nesting areas and the others scatter to other areas in the same general area. some of the younger birds end up going to new areas to find their nesting area. other birds just change elevations with the seasons. here we have lots of mountains and foothills and river valleys and even semi desert areas. they will get down into the warmer canyons or deserts or river bottoms in winter and come up into the valleys and foothills in spring and fall and up into the mountain meadows and tundra in the warmer parts of summer and fall. there are some year around birds that stay in the same area year around if there is feed and water and cover.
Posted 21 May 2013 - 03:01 PM
Yep, I have noticed that the birds seem to have left my area too. The Rose-breasted Grosbeaks have left, as well as the Orioles. A first year male Oriole visits my fountain on occasion, but that is getting to be less and less too. I haven't even seen many Goldfinches lately, so I assume they are now nesting. I have a few Chipping Sparrows, a pair of Cardinals, Mourning Doves, and American Robins that I still see regularly, plus the hummingbirds since they are now back to this area. I love hummers, they are so fascinating. I have a male who bathes in my fountain, it is so cute. The Cardinal pair is nesting in one of my barberry bushes where they nested last year. I think it's neat that they are nesting in the same spot they did last year. Of course, the nasty House Sparrows and Grackles are still around. But the Grackles should be gone soon too, thank God!
Posted 21 May 2013 - 03:42 PM
Goldfinches are late nesters, not nesting until the middle of summer. They rely heavily on thistle plants for the thistledown to line their nests, and the seeds to eat.
Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:04 PM
Sure, that is true, but I am hardly seeing them here right now. I get a few here and there, but that's about it. I do still see a few House Finches, but they have thinned out too.
Whatever the case may be, they have become pretty scarce here lately.
Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:33 PM
As BarnSwallow alluded to, many birds will change their feeding preferences when nesting or feeding young. I have grackles all summer; when they're nesting they go through two suet blocks a day, but after that they seldom come to the feeders. Changes in the local insect populations will also affect feeding generalists.
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