Date: 10/11/18 12:43 pm
From: Butch Tetzlaff <butchchq8...>
Subject: Re: October lull at feeders
Yes, that is true for some species. However, according to the Birds of
North America Online, Chickadees, Titmice, W-b Nuthatches, and the
Woodpeckers are all truly non-migratory in this area. Cardinals are
sedentary as well, to a fault. Still, fewer of them are seen at feeders
this time of year. Cardinals can probably be explained by heavy molt in
October (personal experience catching Cardinals around here), but the
others are molting in August and September more so than October and are
more frequently seen those months than now.

On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 2:24 PM Robin Buff <robinbuff...> wrote:

>
> It is my understanding that even our ”resident” birds will migrate. So,
> the blue jays you see at your feeder this winter are not the same blue jays
> you saw at your feeder this summer.
>
> Have other birders heard this?
>
> Robin Buff
>
> > On Oct 11, 2018, at 10:27 AM, Butch Tetzlaff <butchchq8...>
> wrote:
> >
> > My wife and I have been collecting yard data for the past 4 years using
> the Project Feeder Watch protocol. However, we have been doing it
> year-round rather than only during the winter time period.
> >
> > It has provided us with wonderful information about the natural ebb and
> flow at our feeders both by time of year and species.
> >
> > Looking at the data, October is consistently the slowest month of the
> year. Having talked with folks in the bird feeding industry, they report
> that the slowest time of year for them (in terms of seed sales) is also in
> October. Birds just don't seem to be visiting feeders as much this month
> in general.
> >
> > The question is why?
> >
> > I can (and have) posed several explanations for this including migration
> timing, natural seed availability, timing of molt, and juvenile dispersal.
> All of the above probably coincide to a certain degree to create a perfect
> storm of fewer birds at our feeders this month. But they have to eat
> something, and they have to be somewhere.
> >
> > The perplexing thing is that most of our feeder birds in NWA are
> residents (non-migratory). Also, many of them are insectivorous woodland
> birds, so saying they are in the fields eating all the weed seeds doesn't
> add up. Molt is physiologically expensive, so one would think birds would
> be gorging themselves to get enough calories, and feeders are a quick way
> to do that. Lastly, if it were primarily juvenile dispersal, one would
> expect as much immigration as emigration in contiguous forest patches,
> unless there were a systematic directional dispersal, and that is generally
> called "migration", which we have already said that many tend not to do.
> >
> > So, to me, this observation remains to be fully explained.
> >
> > Has anyone seen any real research on this topic to better explain the
> phenomenon?
> >
> > Butch Tetzlaff
> > Bentonville
>
>

 
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