Birds have just moved a bit


Earlier this winter, I wrote a blog about how we had had seen a dramatic decline in the number of birds we see at our feeder. (https://coloradogeography.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/where-have-all-the-birds-gone/) When I emailed Hugh Kingery, of the Audubon Society of Greater Denver, he said that a lot of people had been mentioning the same lack of birds. People have speculated on whether the birds left because of the Week of Water, or the cold, or something else.

We don't normally have bushtits in our yard, but these bushtits clustered on our suet feeder one brutally cold morning in February 2013.

We don’t normally have bushtits in our yard, but these bushtits clustered on our suet feeder one brutally cold morning in February 2013.

However, according to page 6 of this month’s issue of the Warbler, the Audubon Society of Greater Denver’s newsletter (http://www.denveraudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Warbler_Articles_MarchApr14.pdf), a local lack of birds is more common than I realized. It appears that many of the birds have simply moved to other nearby areas. After all, some of the few birds we’ve had are unusual visitors to our feeders. An example are the bushtits that came to visit in February.

The proof of whether or not we’ve had an unusual shift or out and out loss of birds will be when the Project Feeder Watch (http://feederwatch.org/about/project-overview/) data is collated and published next year by Cornell University. It’ll be interesting to see if the birds did move in response to the flooding, the cold weather, or just natural shiftyness.

About Amy Law

Amy Law is a science geek. She feels about science the way some people feel about music, or art, or sports – a total and complete emotional connection. She thinks in science. For Amy, there’s nothing better than helping people see the beauty of science as she does. She loves to untangle a complicated subject into its parts, explaining it so that anybody can understand what’s happening. Let her show you her world...
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