Date: 1/20/19 4:23 pm
From: DAVID KOCH <davilene...>
Subject: Re: feeder density question
Here at my property feeder activity has been pretty low up until now. But although there may be residual effects from wet summer weather, destruction of nestlings, or West Nile, it's always quiet here in the winter when temps are unusually high. But, that said, even when feeder activity was low, I still saw the same number of titmice that I normally see at this time in the winter. And chickadees, all of which "appear" to be black-capped's, have been steady every day -- four or five in the front, the same out back at the same time, etc. Some of this, though, may be because we have lots of farmland and we're surrounded by other reserved farms and a few hundred acres of woods across the way. And this habitat has been holding steady for years. Before this really cold weather set in the mornings would have 20 -30 juncos feeding out in the open while sparrow activity was most active in the last hour of the day. Today, however, late day white-throats numbered around 100, white-crowned's were in the 20's, and six song sparrows mingled with them as did two field sparrows. I'm curious to see if any of the tree sparrows in the field venture up to the yard feeders tomorrow. They usually only do that when it's snowy. And, also today, junco numbers doubled. They seemed to be everywhere. An adult sharpie and a juvie Cooper's usually swoop in and clear the feeder areas sometime each day, but today it didn't take very long for the birds to return. However, other than the occasional purple finch and pine siskin, I haven't seen any evening grosbeaks or redpolls. That's fine, though, and congrats to those who have them at their feeders. The only unusual regular visitor I'm seeing is a brown creeper at the suet several times daily. And once in a while a few robins and brown-headed cowbirds show up. I don't, however, know if any of this is relevant to other sites. I can only judge what I see every day.  
And, off topic, a mourning cloak butterfly is flying around our cellar, no doubt having entered with the latest wood David brought inside for the stoves.  
Arlene Koch Easton, PA Northampton County <davilene...>

On Sunday, January 20, 2019, 6:39:36 PM EST, Adrian Burke <aburke173...> wrote:

Regarding the Tufted Titmouse specifically, perhaps a somewhat irruptive
movement of the species is at play. Speaking from experience birding New
York City (where I live), it is clear that numbers of Tufted Titmouse vary
greatly year to year in the fall and winter. In Central Park, for example,
Tufted Titmouse is a scarce breeder, so it is therefore obvious when
numbers greatly increase in the fall/winter, as they have this season, for
example. In some years, only a few are seen in the entirety of Central Park
on the CBC. This winter (and some others), a walk through the park will get
you at least 20 or so, and a lengthy walk could easily get you upwards of
50. Perhaps breeders from Pennsylvania or other nearby forested regions are
irrupting/migrating into the NYC area in these years of local abundance.

It would be very interesting to know the cause of the irregular migrations
of this species and others which are not typically thought of as migrants,
but which clearly do undergo extensive movements in some years, such as
Black-capped Chickadee, Red-bellied Woodpecker, etc., revealed by changing
numbers in areas where these species are not always present such as NYC
parks and along the Atlantic Coast.

Good birding,

Adrian Burke
Manhattan, New York

On Sun, Jan 20, 2019 at 6:12 PM Jason Verdier <
<0000001361c1d04c-dmarc-request...> wrote:

> I have said the same thing regarding the Tufted Titmouse.  3 years ago I
> had 3-5 at my feeders all winter, the last 2 years, I barely see them, and
> have yet to have one in 2019....
>
> Sent from AOL Mobile Mail
> Get the new AOL app: mail.mobile.aol.com
>  On Sunday, January 20, 2019, Katrina Knight <kknight...> wrote:
>
> At 05:15 PM 1/20/2019 tom and sheri wrote:
> >Very unscientific.  My and all friends and family have observed
> >a marked decline in numbers of birds at feeding stations.  Some
> >maybe be due to the - so far- mild winter.  It is my
> >observation that when there is little to no snow cover, species
> >disperse.
> >Has anyone noticed similar conditions?
> >
> >If so, what do you attribute it to?
>
> I think the weather probably has something to do with birds not
> being at feeders, but there seems to be a disturbing lack of
> some species anywhere locally, not just at feeders. I did three
> Christmas Bird Counts and could not find a single Tufted
> Titmouse. Other participants found a few of them, but the totals
> for all three were way low. Chickadees and crows were difficult
> to find too. One idea that people are tossing around is that the
> excessively wet summer resulted in more mosquitos, resulting in
> higher levels of West Nile disease. Whether that's the right
> explanation I don't know, but it seems like a reasonable theory.
>
>
> --
> Katrina Knight
> <kknight...>
> Reading, PA, USA
>

 
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