Where have my backyard birds gone?

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

In August we had an earthquake and a hurricane within a few days of each other. Since the storm, Irene, there have been no robins, blackbirds, starlings, cardinals,doves, nothing. The barn swallows usually leave about this time, so I did not think them being gone was strange. This is just too scary, life without backyard birds is so quiet and lonely. When will they return? Will they return? I feed them every day but only the sparrows show up. It is too early for them to have moved South already. The blueJays and cardinals are here all winter. They are gone. I am heartbroken. Can anyone explain this to me?

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Lots of fruit and seeds ripening in the woods at this time of year - they'll have gone off for a glut of natural food. They'll be back when the natural food runs out.


Marlton, NJ

Hi J, We too are VERY light on birds. I've noticed with all the rain we've had I have had to throw away the food, clean and refill the feeders numerous times. Still not many birds coming around but they are out there.
Even if I can't see them I can hear them in bushes. I also believe a lot more hawks are coming around so it is safer for them to eat natural foods that are plentiful at this time of year.

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

I wondered about the hawks. Our silence is what is so scary. No bird noises, the catbirds gone, the other noisy ones are gone also.

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

Same here. As the birds have started to migrate, and as Resin said eating the bounty that mother nature is providing right now, the population varies from day to day that I see on my walks. Today I saw 3 eastern Towhees and a few Catbirds!!

Casco, ME

Same thing happened here after Irene. I live in Maine, and I've fed backyard birds for years. Normally, we have lots of birds year-round. While we do have predatory birds in the area, that has never stopped the backyard birds from visiting our feeders. It's almost as though the storm "blew" the birds from our area, and they haven't returned! I've never experienced anything like this in my many years of feeding birds...

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

Thank God mscoul, I thought I was just imagining it. I saw one cardinal a few days ago. Also, there are a gazillion sparrows but they hide in the bushes all winter long. As do the cardinals and blue jays... No blue jays at all since storm. Very few starlings or grackles whatever they are.
When even the ugly birds leave you it makes you wonder what you have done to them. Thanks for reinforcing my thinking. JB

Casco, ME

I felt the same way when I read your post JB! On one hand I was relieved to read that someone else has experienced a similar occurrence; on the other hand, I'm rather discouraged because I haven't a clue what to do to make it better! We had a few juncos and sparrows stop by the other day, but I think they just passed through. My husband said he heard a chickadee the other day in the distance, but the bird activity is very, very low overall. We even had two crows that visited daily before the storm -- we have a compost bin, and I think they liked to check that out -- they were noisy and somewhat annoying, but I haven't seen them since Irene, and I kind of miss them! I'm keeping the feeders clean and filled...in hopes our feathered friends will return! mscoul

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

Yesterday I threw out my tropical birds recycled feed that I keep from their feedings and then give to the wild birds.
I thought for sure the cardinal and bluejay would arrive to get some because they love some of the good stuff the inside flock gets. Not a bird, two grandhogs, but no birds. What can I say, I am trying everything. I am even thinking of buying one of those blocks of icky stuff that you put out in the winter to see if I can get some takers. I hate that stuff and usually only use it when it snows, etc. Please keep in touch. If I see anything exciting I will let you know. Come to think of it, even the turkey buzzards are not here just now. I see them flying around the sky other places but they have nothing to eat at my house so I guess they will not even come to perch on the silo like they did in the past. I have been abandoned by even the scavengers. LOL

South Hamilton, MA

I have heard birds & a tufted titmouse was investigating a ground area. We don't have our feeder out as yet.

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

I usually keep my finch feeders up all summer as well as in the winter and that way I am sure the females have food for their chicks. The State bird in the yellow finch and we had loads of them, plus the purple. This year they are almost gone. All summer the weather was wicked and between the rain and the storms the poor birds must have just given up. I am hoping they return but I have my doubts.

The recycled bird seed I threw on the ground yesterday only brought out my two fat little groundhogs. No birds. I am so depressed. I miss them so much. JB

Katy, TX

In searching for answers to recent concerns about very few birds at feeders, I came across this thread. It is November, 2016 in Katy, Texas and I am truly bereft over the loss of my backyard friends. I left for a trip in mid-September and since my return a week later, there has been nary a one. I have an intrepid cardinal and a few sparrows but over the Thanksgiving holiday, have not even seen them! I have eight different feeders which I keep filled with fresh, good quality seeds appropriate to each feeder. In the past, I have been inundated with a wonderful variety of birds! I know that there must be seeds and natural foods for them to forage as they naturally would. Nevertheless, I find this worrisome.

This message was edited Nov 26, 2016 11:06 AM

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