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Old 02-06-2018, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Southern MN
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We've had quite a few around our yard in So. MN. I love them too. Cute little things.


There is an odd scarcity of birds in the yard this winter. It's nearly spooky.


Have only seen a couple of downies, a handful of sparrows and a few juncos now for a couple of months. Usually there are cardinal couples who come in the early morning and late afternoon but haven't seen a one this whole winter.
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Boonies of N. Alabama
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If anyone is interested... I've been following this cam at Cornell Bird Lab for several yrs and this particular one frequently has Downys (Downies?) there. One was there this morning when I looked. Also.. when it's nesting season there will be other cams added.. Owls, hawks, etc.. and you can watch the process from the laying of the eggs through fledging. Fun to watch.. most of the time. They do not interfere tho so, sometimes nature can be cruel.
Cornell Lab Bird Cams
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:59 AM
 
3,026 posts, read 1,838,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodestar View Post
There is an odd scarcity of birds in the yard this winter. It's nearly spooky.

Have only seen a couple of downies, a handful of sparrows and a few juncos now for a couple of months. Usually there are cardinal couples who come in the early morning and late afternoon but haven't seen a one this whole winter.
Had the same thing earlier in the winter here in SW MN. Since early January though, it's been a full house: a dozen or more goldfinches, uncountable numbers of juncos, titmice, chickadees, a male cardinal, red bellied, hairy and downy woodpeckers, and recently a small flock of bluebirds, who seem to be hanging around for the mealworms I put out. Oh yea, blue jays and doves too. (not to forget the squirrels and chipmunks on warm days...). No sign of raptors, though.
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Old 02-08-2018, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,091 posts, read 6,884,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by writerwife View Post
If anyone is interested... I've been following this cam at Cornell Bird Lab for several yrs and this particular one frequently has Downys (Downies?) there. One was there this morning when I looked. Also.. when it's nesting season there will be other cams added.. Owls, hawks, etc.. and you can watch the process from the laying of the eggs through fledging. Fun to watch.. most of the time. They do not interfere tho so, sometimes nature can be cruel.
Cornell Lab Bird Cams

Great link, thank you very much...
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Boonies of N. Alabama
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Sure thing!
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:41 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
3,544 posts, read 1,375,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodestar View Post
We've had quite a few around our yard in So. MN. I love them too. Cute little things.


There is an odd scarcity of birds in the yard this winter. It's nearly spooky.


Have only seen a couple of downies, a handful of sparrows and a few juncos now for a couple of months. Usually there are cardinal couples who come in the early morning and late afternoon but haven't seen a one this whole winter.
Same thing here. In fact, I was just about to start a thread asking how this tough winter has been on others' observations.

We saw nary a bluebird this past Nov/Dec; rare bluejay; no cardinals; fewer sparrows, house finches & downy wp; a rare titmouse, hairy wp & red belly. Only the Gold finches seem to be here in usual numbers.

Is it the record cold keeping populations down or is it that we've had less snow, so better hunting for natural food sources & our feeders aren't needed as much?
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Is it the record cold keeping populations down or is it that we've had less snow, so better hunting for natural food sources & our feeders aren't needed as much?
I'm sure it's the latter. In my experience, including Minneapolis, cold does not seem to make much difference. In fact, when it's very cold, they need more fuel, so frequent feeders more. Wild food supply is the key. Last summer, at least here in NH, was wet enough that everything grew well, with a bumper crop of acorns to boot. Early fall, the birds vanished. They prefer natural foods I guess. Mid December, after our first snow, they returned.
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