[wisb] Re: prolonged feeder absence
- From: Maureen Gross <cygnusbuccinator@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: wisbirdn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2011 21:01:33 -0600
Usually when the birds disappear from my feeders, there is a raptor around. Some times I can spot a Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Sharpie, etc., but other times I cannot find him. I figure he/she is hiding in the conifers. Occasionally neighborhood dogs run around in the yard and scare the birds away for awhile. Your point about the quality of food is a good one. One that should be taken seriously. Food can get damp from the weather and then it deteriorates. When mold starts to grow in the food, it can be deadly for the feeder birds. The sick birds seek shelter and seldom die near the feeders. It is important to check the food frequently, both in the feeders and in storage. After rain, heavy fog or wet snow, I roll the food around in the feeders to see if there are any clumps of food. The clumps can soon develop mold. Also clumps can indicate insect infestation, especially in storage. Always check the food after purchasing it from the store. It is easier to detect mold by smell rather than by sight. Try not to inhale the dust. The feeders should be disinfected frequently using a bleach and soap solution. After thoroughly rinsing the feeders, I let them dry overnight. I was trained to disinfect feeders at least once a week while raising endangered Trumpeter Swans for the Dept. of Natural Resources. That practice has served me well. I know I will be disinfecting feeders tomorrow after this heavy, wet snow. If berries and seeds are plentiful around my yard, my feeders don't get heavy use. But once those sources are covered in snow, I get a lot of customers at my feeders and I need to watch the food levels carefully. Snowstorms, like the one today, really bring them in. Happy birding, Maureen Gross Mukwonago, Waukesha County On 1/17/2011 3:26 PM, David, Karl H. wrote: > Something's happening at my feeders I don't remember witnessing before. I > don't have an elaborate setup, but I do put out sunflower and thistle seed, > and to my knowledge I don't have any serious competitors in our little cul de > sac for avian attention. So, the first week or so of this year I picked up > the expected year birds by glancing outside from time to time. Up to 15 or so > goldfinches at a time, barely outnumbering the squirrels as the most numerous > fauna. Seven or 8 house finches and a sprinkling of chickadees, nuthatches, > juncos etc. > Then for about a week I saw absolutely, literally, no birds at all! Zip, nil, > nada. Even the squirrel numbers diminished substantially. It was an eerie > silence out there. What could I conclude but that I had inadvertently fed > them spoiled or contaminated seed and killed them all off? Yet, I found no > dead birds or squirrels anywhere near the feeders, and the few squirrels left > didn't show any obvious signs of hurting. > > This morning, my wife called me at the office to report happily that the > birds were back-not in earlier numbers to be sure, but still, she was looking > at 5 or 6 goldfinches as we spoke. A few house finches were present too. > > If poisoning isn't the explanation for this strange phenomenon, what is? > Anybody have any theories, or similar experiences? > > Karl David > Milwaukee > > #################### > You received this email because you are subscribed to the Wisconsin Birding > Network (Wisbirdn). > To UNSUBSCRIBE or SUBSCRIBE, use the Wisbirdn web interface at: > http://www.freelists.org/list/wisbirdn. > To set DIGEST or VACATION modes, use the Wisbirdn web interface at: > http://www.freelists.org/list/wisbirdn. > Visit Wisbirdn ARCHIVES at: http://www.freelists.org/archives/wisbirdn. > > > #################### You received this email because you are subscribed to the Wisconsin Birding Network (Wisbirdn). To UNSUBSCRIBE or SUBSCRIBE, use the Wisbirdn web interface at: http://www.freelists.org/list/wisbirdn. To set DIGEST or VACATION modes, use the Wisbirdn web interface at: http://www.freelists.org/list/wisbirdn. Visit Wisbirdn ARCHIVES at: http://www.freelists.org/archives/wisbirdn.
- [wisb] prolonged feeder absence
- From: David, Karl H.
- [wisb] prolonged feeder absence
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