Date: 3/24/21 5:23 am
From: Bill Volkert <billvolkert11...>
Subject: [wisb] Re: Pine Siskins question
Bob:
This is the same myth that circulates during fall in regards to
hummingbirds. You are correct that birds migrate in response to the length
of daylight which tells them what time of year they should prepare to
depart and actually fly on days of favorable weather. Yes, food does wane
quickly in fall so birds need to leave before it's gone and they return as
food becomes available again in spring. However, the artificial feeding
stations that we provide do not influence this cycle nor does it interfere
with migration.

There occasionally are birds that fail to migrate for some reason or
another in autumn and they will take advantage of feeders to get them by,
but it isn't the feeder that kept them from leaving. One of the best
examples I can think of is watching swallows in fall. They will congregate
in large flocks in late August and early September before departing. When
they leave there are still plenty of insects flying about, but since this
is their only food source they need to leave while it is still available
since one single severe frost will kill or drive their entire food supply
into dormancy.

I am sure we have all experienced a fall season when mosquitos can be
bothersome well into October before we ever have the first frost and people
might then wish that the birds were still around to eat them. However,
insectivores like swallows can't wait until all of their food is gone,
which can happen overnight. So they need to leave while there still is
food available and migrate in anticipation of eventual food shortages, and
this is true of other birds as well.

Thanks for asking. Please help to extinguish this myth. Birds face a lot
more serious problems in this world than people who feed them and actually
enjoy birds.

Bill Volkert
FdL Co.

On Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 11:04 PM Bob Matyas <bobmatyas...>
wrote:

> Hello,
> Lu Ann and I have relatives that live in South Carolina and they are
> currently hosting a lot of Pine Siskins which surprised me. I guess that
> is where some of my Fall Pine Siskins went. They told us that they were
> told that everyone should stop bird feeding down in South Carolina so that
> the numerous Pine Siskins can feel free to migrate north again, and resume
> feeding once the Pine Siskins return to the north. This does not sound
> right to me but I could be wrong. Anyone know the proper answer, I know
> most birds migrate based on the hours of sunlight but I assume there may be
> exceptions and lack of food may sound like one.
> Good Birding,
> Bob and Lu Ann Matyas
> Franklin, WI.
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--
Bill Volkert
Naturalist
www.billvolkert.com


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