[Tweeters] Impact of Snow on Feeder Activity?

Barry Ulman ubarry at qwest.net
Wed Jan 18 21:59:31 PST 2012

I have noticed increased activity at my bird feeders with this harsh weather. Lots of Juncos, House Finches, both kinds of chickadees, Spotted Towhee, and Golden-crowned Sparrow. And snow seems to bring Varied Thrush to my yard. I saw maybe three of them, along with large numbers of Robins.

Barry Ulman
Bellingham, WA.

On Jan 18, 2012, at 7:20 PM, Gary Bletsch wrote:

> Dear Blair and Tweeters,


> Well, part of the appearance of activity at the bird-feeder might be related to the fact that the birder is stuck inside for hours on end! I have been spending inordinate amounts of time watching my feeders, since the school where I work has been closed for two days now.


> Normally, though, I put out seed in the morning and go to work. By the time I get home, the activity has decreased, as it's close to nightfall.


> Still, I can't deny that the numbers and variety of birds at my feeders has increased. The birds also seem to be feeding earlier in the morning, and staying out there eating until after sundown, in numbers. It isn't just the usual one or two juncoes having a bedtime snack.


> There are two species that almost never come in my yard in midwinter unless it has snowed--Varied Thrush and Fox Sparrow. During this storm, up to three Varied Thrushes have fed here, and the lone Fox Sparrow has been here daily as well.


> I also had a Western Meadowlark at the feeder yesterday, first I've ever seen at a feeder. It might have stuck around if some neighborhood kids and their annoying dogs hadn't invaded my yard just after it showed up.


> On the other hand, I have not had the flocks of blackbirds that I usually get. That's good, as most of my black-oil sunflower goes to Red-winged Blackbirds, with an occasional flock of 30-40 Brewer's Blackbirds coming around and eating even more. During the snow, there have been small numbers of blackbirds here, but maybe the sparrows and finches have put them off by their superior numbers.


> Yours truly,


> Gary Bletsch





> Gary Bletsch Near Lyman, Washington (Skagit County), USA garybletsch at yahoo.com "Nun," sagte ich, "wenn ich ein Taugenichts bin, so ist's gut, so will ich in die Welt gehen, und mein Glueck machen." Und eigentlich war mir das recht lieb, denn es war mir kurz vorher selber eingefallen, auf Reisen zu gehen, da ich die Goldammer, welche im Herbst und Winter immer betruebt an unserm Fenster sang: "Bauer, miet' mich, Bauer, miet' mich!" nun in der schoenen Fruehlingszeit wieder ganz stolz und lustig vom Baume rufen hoerte: "Bauer, behalt' deinen Dienst!"



> --- On Wed, 1/18/12, Blair Bernson <blair at washingtonadvisorygroup.com> wrote:


>> From: Blair Bernson <blair at washingtonadvisorygroup.com>

>> Subject: [Tweeters] Impact of Snow on Feeder Activity?

>> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu

>> Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 12:45 PM

>> My neighbor has a feeder that I have

>> watched sporadically over the past couple of months.

>> Seed only. The only observed visitors have been

>> primarily house finches, dark eyed juncoes, black capped

>> chickadees and gold finches. Occasionally there have

>> been some siskins. With the snow, there has been an

>> explosive increase in both activity at the feeder including

>> a substantial increase in the number of birds and also the

>> number of species. To the foregoing list, today added

>> both song and white crowned sparrows, starlings, and a

>> flicker. Has anyone else noted an impact of the snow

>> on their feeders?

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