bob_G

Ok bird watchers, where r the Cardinals?

Rate this topic

76 posts in this topic

Posted (edited) · Report post

17 hours ago, mikez2 said:

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. 

We have house finches here with that eye disease.  Fall there was maybe half a dozen or so. It got to the point they couldn't see at all, you could walk right up to them and touch them if you wanted to.  Then just yesterday there was another on the feeder with one bad eye.    In fall and spring I always take down the feeders and wash them well with bleach. 

 

We have a lot of birds here, my feeders and the ground under them are always full. Hopefully the house finches can't/don't spread it to other birds?  

Edited by skinnywater

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That eye disease has been around for years.  I've been paying attention to it, and it seems to confined itself to finches.

We keep our feeders as clean as reasonable possible.  A quick soak in bleach and water, then rinse them off in the shower, and allow them to air dry.

 

A cardinal footnote.  I had one cardinal show up yesterday during the game.  Didn't go to the feeders, but fed on the ground.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have plenty of cardinals around, as well as gold finches, titmice, bluejays, a Carolina wren, the two nuthatches, several types of woodpecker and an occasional red wing black bird. It's rare for our feeders to be empty, unless there's a hawk around. We have also had a red squirrel show up, although not in the last month or two. Two years ago we had a mother and two juveniles around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I had never seen the eye disease on the house finches until this last fall.  I think the cat got all of them, until the one from yesterday. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/9/2022 at 8:25 AM, bob_G said:

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.

 

 

What kind of feeders, Bob? I went to some squirrel baffles and they seem to work fairly well. Did have to raise one feeder up a couple inches as I watched one jump right from the ground to the feeder. I let him eat for about 30 seconds to reward his athleticism. Also, have to make sure nothing is close enough that they can jump from onto the feeders. 

I have cardinals but notice a lack of blue jays since it has gotten cold. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Mike,

I've been battling squirrels for years, and losing. Tried every squirrel proof feeder there is. None are cheap. 

Until we came upon the Brome Squirrel Buster. Puts those damn rodents in their place. No batteries, no electricity. Just a well designed, engineered feeder. We like it so much, we bought two. We cut our seed bill by 2/3s.

 

IMG_20210916_124044.jpg

Edited by bob_G

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 mins ago, MikeMc said:

Is that the one where the weight of the squirrel makes it spin, but the weight of the birds doesn't? 

Check out the squirrel buster classic. You can get two for the price of one of those Bob posted.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 mins ago, MikeMc said:

Is that the one where the weight of the squirrel makes it spin, but the weight of the birds doesn't? 

No, you're talking about a Droll Yankee Flipper.  Had one of those too.  They work great. Well made. But their batteries need recharging, and eventually wear out. Again, batteries aren't cheap.

The Brome has a weight activated bar that allows birds to feed. However a squirrel's weight closed all the feed ports.  The bar is adjustable, so you can actually filter out large birds like Jay's, grackles, and starlings if you desire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/9/2022 at 2:47 PM, mikez2 said:

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. 

Here's a few pics of House Finches with conjunctivitis that hit hard a in central ma . I have a couple of House Finches at the feeders recently after going years without any. 924b472b_IMG_9384.jpeg9ff449fe_IMG_9380.jpeg9eb8f811_IMG_9381.jpeg5861646d_IMG_9375.jpeg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bob_G said:

Mike,

I've been battling squirrels for years, and losing. Tried every squirrel proof feeder there is. None are cheap. 

Until we came upon the Brome Squirrel Buster. Puts those damn rodents in their place. No batteries, no electricity. Just a well designed, engineered feeder. We like it so much, we bought two. We cut our seed bill by 2/3s.

 

IMG_20210916_124044.jpg

So Bob, how much would you save if you filled them both???????????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bob_G said:

Mike,

I've been battling squirrels for years, and losing. Tried every squirrel proof feeder there is. None are cheap. 

Until we came upon the Brome Squirrel Buster. Puts those damn rodents in their place. No batteries, no electricity. Just a well designed, engineered feeder. We like it so much, we bought two. We cut our seed bill by 2/3s.

 

IMG_20210916_124044.jpg

Wow your grass is still green and the hostas are in bloom. Could not help noticing the hoop on the suet feeder. Coon proof? I havecresorted to padlocks after they hauled away a nice 4 cake $30.00 hanger that had a metal roof on it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 mins ago, KidDkivahh said:

Here's a few pics of House Finches with conjunctivitis that hit hard a in central ma . I have a couple of House Finches at the feeders recently after going years without any. 924b472b_IMG_9384.jpeg9ff449fe_IMG_9380.jpeg9eb8f811_IMG_9381.jpeg5861646d_IMG_9375.jpeg

 

Nasty!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.