What did our warm February do to the forsythias?

West Valley City, UT(Zone 6b)

The forsythias are in bloom in my area (Salt Lake County) and I've noticed a curious thing: only the flowers along the bottom branches have flowers, including on my shrub.

During the winter my forsythia was mobbed by sparrows, finches, and juncos. I couldn't imagine why, but now I wonder if they were eating the flower buds.

Did the unusually warm February make the buds half-open for a prolonged period, making them tantalizing to the birds?

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

Sorry, I can't tell from here - you will have to go investigate.
4 possibilities:
The bottom was more sheltered and it is blooming from the bottom up and the top will follow.
The top was so exposed the blossoms winter- killed, and won't bloom, maybe won't even leaf out.
Ditto, but the birds got 'em, in which case the buds should be missing.
The taller top is all new growth from the ground up. Forsythias bloom on last year's wood GROWING OUT OF OLDER WOOD. Without 2-4 year old wood at the base, those new branches won't bloom until next year, earliest.

West Valley City, UT(Zone 6b)

The shrub is up against a chain-link fence with metal inserts, but the flowering wasn't better over there.

The lower, blooming branches are on the side closer to the driveway, and the cement might have provided radiated heat.

There are no flower buds on the upper branches: just leaf buds. The birds were eating SOMETHING, else they wouldn't have mobbed the bush like that. They even dug little dust baths underneath, something they've never done in 15 years.

Our winter was so mild I doubt anything got winter-killed, My roses weren't, and if we'd had winter-killing temps, they'd have gotten it too, along with some other tender perennials.

I've never sheared off the top nor shaped it. I clear out the lower branches so I can grow stuff under it. The shrub was planted in 2002.

Looks like the birds actually got 'em, despite my keeping sunflower-seed feeders, which those same birds frequent.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

Now that more things have their buds opening, it turns out we have quite a few things doing this - not just Forsythia. Current theory is that it wasn't the warm February, it was the hard freeze we got last fall before the plants were fully dormant. The forsythia are one of the things that froze with their leaves still on. We had apples freeze solid -then turn to mush - on the trees. And apples are another thing that is showing this odd poor bloom pattern. Did this happen in your area, too?

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