This week I’ve discovered the feeder birds that only last week spent every daylight moment haunting my deck are disappearing. This likely means they are finding their own food again, which is good for them if not for my enjoyment of watching them. I’m sure they will return should bad weather appear on the horizon, but I’m a little surprised this is happening already. After all, I still have quite a bit of snow, though the roads and the road edges are bare.
Where I once had 30 juncos, I now see but 5 or 6 in a morning. Perhaps the cardinals will show up, perhaps not. The blue jays seem undeterred, but I haven’t seen the Carolina wrens all week. This decrease in the number of birds happens every year. Some people say that never happens where they live, but it happens at my cabin every year. Perhaps it is because natural food is so readily available once they can find open ground that they simply don’t need a feeder after the winter breaks.
I miss them when they aren’t congregating on my deck for breakfast. I still find them in the woods, of course, but it’s not the same as having them just over my shoulder for most of the day.
For a few years, I tried to keep my feeders open all year, but the seed molds once the weather gets hot. I’ve never been able to entice orioles or the like with fruit, either. Apparently, they don’t need my offerings in summer. Later on, still several weeks away, I will take the feeders down entirely. Occasionally in the warmer seasons, a titmouse or a chickadee will show up on the deck, not so much looking for food as it appears to be checking to see if the equipment is still there, perhaps wanting to assure itself that come winter, the feeders will be back where they belong.