Monday Musings – Where Have all the Birds Gone?

Herring Gull Calling

My backyard has been bare. Occasionally I see a House Finch, Cardinal or Downy Woodpecker. But my yard used to be full of them including about 6 American Goldfinches. I have not seen one of the Gold Finches since Irene came through.
American Goldfinch

The only birds I have are Crows and Mourning Doves. One theory I have as to why the feeders have been empty of the more preferred birds is that the Crows and Mourning Doves might be crowding the smaller birds out. To take care of this problem, I switched to Safflower seed this weekend. Safflower seed is high in protein and great for song birds getting fat for winter….but the black birds and Mourning Doves don’t like it. So far, it has made a difference with the Crows and Doves, but still no song birds.

My other theory is that a family of Red Tailed Hawks has still been chasing squirrels and Crows in the yard and I am wondering if the smaller birds have kept away while we have this much hawk activity. It has been very interesting watching the hawks attack the bigger Crows.

I will let you know what happens over the next few weeks. I even traveled this weekend to some of the places where I am usually lucky finding shorebirds, but not much luck. I’m sure I will get some emails about the bounty of hawks and other birds around Connecticut. The birding blogs I read are heavy with sightings. But you have to remember, I am a photographer and birder. Seeing a bird and being close enough to photograph a bird are two very different things ;-).