Friday, January 22, 2010

Where Have All the Birdies Gone?

What is going on? 
My bird feeder has looked exactly like this since 2009. It's been so sadly neglected by the birds, maybe I should put a sign on it saying "eat me".
I was busy during the holidays, and although in years past I put food out for the birds as soon as the weather got cold, this winter I guiltily put it off until after Christmas. First of all, I needed a new feeder (there is a cedar one decomposing in the yard, and another one that mysteriously disappeared). So, feeling a little thrifty after the Christmas money drain, I bought this plastic one for $9.99 at WalMart. I thought, "Plastic is not very green, but I can use it for years and years...the birds won't know the difference, the important thing is that they are getting fed... and it's a cute little gazebo with a cupola on top." So I took it home, filled it up, and it has not had one visitor since. My Etsy shop even does better that that!

So I am constantly thinking about all the reasons why the birds are not coming.

The first one has nothing to do with my feeder, since I realize    
I have not seen any birds ANYWHERE
in and around my town lately. We had some extremely cold weather in December, and maybe the ones who usually stay flew the coop for warmer climates. We usually have cardinals, blue jays, doves, and those little brown mystery birds. They all normally flock hungrily to the feeder.
Then I think, with even more guilt,   
what if they all died in the cold 
because nobody was feeding them? I dismiss this because our neighborhood is full of bird lovers. SOMEBODY has been putting out food. It's more likely that they have found some plentiful supply of bird seed and are ignoring mine. I know it takes a while for birds to notice a new source of food, but 4 weeks?? I think not.

Possible reason number 3:  
Could the birds be boycotting plastic?

Number 4:   
Could my neighborhood birds be spoiled?
Okay, I admit I didn't buy the most expensive bag of birdseed that was on the shelf. Remember, it was just after Christmas and I was a little light.  But normally, if the birds are picky or not, my furry little friends, the squirrels, will make sure the food disappears. Right now, I should have squirrels hanging upside down from the feeder having a feast. But nothing.

In fact, the other day I did see some evidence of wildlife in the yard. A squirrel was nosing around the garden, scraping in the dirt  looking for something he buried in September. He walked right under the bird feeder, stopped and looked up at the easy leap to get to the food, and you guessed it!
He continued on his way.
Something is wrong and I guess
I will continue to wonder what it is.

These three ACEOs are from Laura at LaRuscStudio. I purchased the 2 squirrels a while ago, and I have my eye on the blue jay.  Laura has a way with painting animals. I am a sucker for squirrels and these are especially amazing!  Visit her Etsy shop to see what I mean!


  1. We are seeing cardinals in our feeders. They are so pretty. The other day one was perched in my view while I ate lunch. I loved it!

  2. Our summer finches never went away this year or the robins odd to me.

  3. Dear Magpie,
    It could be that your normal birds have gone to a feeder that was filled, and will likely find yours again.
    As an avid bird feeder myself, I would recommend not using the cheap mix. Decide what kind of birds you'd like to attract and put out feed appropriate to that bird. For instance, use black oil sunflower seed to attract cardinals. Hang a finch feeder for house finches and gold finches and fill it with thistle. Chances are, the mix you're putting out contains mainly millet,and the sparrows love scraping it out onto the ground to find the good stuff!
    Good luck! I hope your bird friends return soon!

  4. Bonnie, thanks for your input! I think you are correct. I believe it has to be the food. I'm going to experiment and replace the food and see what happens. Who knew birds would be so picky in the dead of winter? They must be finding a better feast somewhere else!
    Maggie :)


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