Saturday 9 December 2023

Where Are All Of The Birds

    Every morning I go outside to fill the bird feeders.  One is a piece of a log with holes drilled in it that I hang from a tree.  Each day I fill the holes with peanut butter.  Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, and Chickadees, all love the peanut butter (not to mention the squirrels and the occasional deer).  

    A month ago when I went out to smear the peanut butter in the holes, I was surrounded by so many hungry Chickadees eager for the snack, that I felt like St. Francis of Assisi, with the birds all flying around my head, but not anymore, now there are just a few of them waiting.  They would clean out the peanut butter every day, but now sometimes, there is peanut butter left.

    The same thing has happened at my sunflower seed feeder (below).  Everyday I would pour a large coffee can full of sunflower seeds into the feeder, and by the next morning, it would be completely empty, but now it remains still half full the next morning.  I don’t understand why.   I wondered if maybe I got a batch of bad sunflower seeds, so I emptied those that remained in the feeder onto the ground, but even with the new sunflower seeds, the birds still don’t empty the feeder.

    I am always worrying about the wildlife around here, and certainly I am finding this very concerning.  Glen my neighbor, told me that he has also noticed a drop in the number of birds around his house.  Elsie, the Valley’s bird expert said that a decline has also been reported by some birders in Prince George.

    Next weekend, Robson Valley birders will participate in the annual North American Christmas Bird Count.  It will be interesting to see how the number of birds this year compares to what has been reported in previous years.  I hope what I am seeing is a fluke, and is not indicative of what is happening everywhere else.

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