bob_G

Ok bird watchers, where r the Cardinals?

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76 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, toadfish said:

Every day the cardinals are the first ones at dawn and the last ones at dusk at my feeder, mid cape. There's at least 2 female and 1 male that use my feeder, probably others as well but hard to identify individual cardinals.

Same here.

 

They come by during the day now and then, but always first thing and last light.

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Cardinals are a rare bird my way . I have but one pair at my feeders . Other birds too like Gold and Purple Finches haven't seen a single one. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, ifishthebadspots said:

I think hawks or owls for me, as birds seem to vanish this time of the year, just like the last season. I found some feathers on the ground.

Feathers on the ground are a sure sign of a coopers hawk at work.

They are famous for staking out bird feeders. They can definitely discourage the birds from visiting a particular feeder while they're around but there's no significant increase in their population that would cause any widespread decline in birds. At least not to my knowledge. 

You usually know when they're around. They're not subtle. They perch in a spot where they can watch the feeders.

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I have more small birds than we've had in years. Chickadees, titmice, purple finches, several Carolina wrens,  red breasted and white breasted nuthatches, a couple goldfinches in winter plumage, downy and hairy woodpeckers, red breasted woodpeckers and a daily flicker.  

Just no cardinals? Up until a month ago we had them all day, right until dusk.

 

Those new feeders really put the squirrels in their place.  They still hang around all day, on the ground, which is fine. But they really stay away from the feeders.

 

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On 1/7/2022 at 11:31 AM, bob_G said:

For years we've been overrun with cardinals.  As recently as a couple years ago, on a snowy day like this, we'd have as many as 4-5 on the feeders, with that many waiting their turn in nearby trees.

Now, none. Feeders are filled with their favorite food, black sunflower seeds. I see an occasional male fly through the yard,  hanging out on a branch.  But otherwise, it's slim pickings.

Are their numbers down?

Bob, I didn't notice before I just saw this thread but my house has been lacking cardinals this winter as well. I just went down and looked out to see one small female. I think that is the only one that has been here the past few weeks so something is off here in Rehoboth...

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3 hours ago, mikez2 said:

Feathers on the ground are a sure sign of a coopers hawk at work.

They are famous for staking out bird feeders. They can definitely discourage the birds from visiting a particular feeder while they're around but there's no significant increase in their population that would cause any widespread decline in birds. At least not to my knowledge. 

You usually know when they're around. They're not subtle. They perch in a spot where they can watch the feeders.

A simple but effective soloution for hawk problems is to secure some tree branches or brush above and around your feeders to provide some cover for the smaller birds................

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18 hours ago, FoliFish said:

Do Blue Jays scare away Cardinals? Yes. Blue Jays are commonly known as bullies toward many bird species, including cardinals. Blue Jays are bigger and louder than just about any other bird (aside from crows) and are the common cause for many birds to escape their presence…

 

Quick google search popped this up from onthefeederdotcom…whatever that is.

They also scare away domestic cats and to a lesser extent, squirrels..................

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11 mins ago, b-ware said:

A simple but effective soloution for hawk problems is to secure some tree branches or brush above and around your feeders to provide some cover for the smaller birds................

I don't have a feeder myself but when I did, I considered it a hawk feeder.:) 

I like the hawks. They're welcome to all the sparrows and chickadees they can get.

 

My feeder was at the place I worked at the time. I loved watching the birds while I worked. Especially the hawks.

 

I'll never forget sitting in a meeting in my boss's office when a coopers hawk chased a junco off the feeder. The little bird flew right into the big picture window where it bounced off and the hawk snatched it on the rebound and whizzed by just missing the window itself. 

I got so excited I disrupted the meeting. :)

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38 mins ago, b-ware said:

They also scare away domestic cats and to a lesser extent, squirrels..................

The jays aren't scaring away my squirrels. Nothing seems to scare these critters away.:laugh:

They must have unlimited energy. All I see and hear all day is two or three squirrels chasing each other up and down trees and across my roof all day. It begins right at dawn. Running across my roof, sounds like a couple small bears.  As long as they stay away from the feeders, we're cool.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Squirrels are a great example of evolutionary success in a species. Opportunistic and adaptable, like humans. Except our species is ultimately more destructive, so we'll see who wins the Darwin battle.:shaky:

Edited by bdowning

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There has definitely been talk in recent years of a general decline in song birds.

 

The oddball warm winters has also played a role in shifting winter bird distribution. This winter there have been several posts in the bird groups of Redwing blackbirds at feeders.

 

Lack of snow cover has made natural foraging easier and birds don't need to visit feeders as much.

 

Bumper crops of acorns and winter berries can also make foraging easier. Bluebirds and Bluejays in particular benefit from this. 

 

Development that clears nesting habitat decreases diversity of bird species locally. 

 

The bird feeder plague of recent years may play a role.

 

Finches and their close relatives the house sparrows have been declining for some time due a nasty infection that seems to hit their eyes.

 

Any or all these might play a role in general or localized declines.

I think it's ironic though that since this thread started, about 80% of the bird pics in the FB groups have cardinals in them. Which is standard for the time of year. They're very photogenic, especially when there's snow on the ground. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I havent seen a house or purple finch in years. Used to be common here. Still goldfinches around but nothing like 20 yrs ago. 

 

One bird that is always abundant in winter are slate colored juncos. They are just not as noticeable as the other birds, but every bush and the ground under it has loads of them.

Edited by bdowning

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