Have you noticed a lack of bird activity at your feeders in the last few weeks? It’s not anything you’ve done wrong and there is nothing wrong with the seed, it’s the seasonal transition that makes birds scarce at feeders.
This time of year many of you will notice an abrupt and sometimes dramatic slowdown at your feeders. You may even notice some species become practically non-existent. Bird feeders in September and October are typically very quiet. This is normal and understandable. With thebreeding season well behind them birds are now in less need of a quick, easy food source like your feeders. While raising their young during the months March through July birds expend great energy and will take full advantage of backyard feeders. We sell far more seed and suet during those months than we do even in winter.
Let’s not forget that the food birds get at your feeders is really only a supplement to their natural diet. They do not become dependent on feeders. Their frequency of visits to feeders is based largely on what is going on at that time in their life-cycle, seasonally and environmentally. Your feeders are slow at this time of year because the breeding season is over and adults are not raising and feeding young, and practically all plants; weeds, wildflowers, shrubs, and trees, are producing seeds, nuts, and fruit. Birds are taking advantage of the bounty nature is providing them. Nature provides all this food in the fall to help wildlife get through the winter. They are busily feeding and storing food for the months to come. Will this be a tough winter? The birds likely know.
So don’t worry that you are not seeing many birds around the feeders right now. It is totally normal. About the time we get the first frost or two you will begin to see a return of your favorite birds to feeders. And be on the lookout for our winter birds like Purple finch, Pine siskin, Red-breasted nuthatch, and White-throated sparrow.
Although there are fewer everyday hummingbirds are still being seen. Keep at least one feeder going and keep the nectar fresh.