For those who feed birds, it seems that there are slow times, busy times, and routine times.
It can be disconcerting and frustrating during the slow times. You glance out of the window hoping to see a few birds to lift your spirits or to just appreciate a bit of nature during the day, and nothing is there. It can be worrisome because the thought often arises as to whether or not the lack of birds indicates that something is wrong with bird populations.
Populations of many bird species, of course, are indeed in decline. But a slow period at the feeder is typically not an indication of a broader concern. There are certain times of the year when birdfeeders go through a slow period. Seasonal fluctuations are normal. We are perhaps going through one of those fluctuations now as I’ve received a few emails recently wondering why the birds have suddenly stopped visiting.
Single-digit temperatures and heavy snow always make me think of the birds that tough out New England winters.
There are many birds that, instead of taking a risky migration journey, opt to stay here and take their chances with the cold. We see these birds at our feeders and in our woods every day. Whether a bird migrates or stays put, there are inherent risks and rewards.
Birds that migrate face an arduous journey fraught with obstacles, including but certainly not limited to tall buildings, wind turbines, cell towers, dangerous weather, exhaustion and destruction of their wintering grounds. Once they get to their destination, however, they are rewarded with abundant food and warm temperatures. Of course, they have to make the trip all over again in the spring.
As of Thursday morning, the forecast calls for some snow throughout New England. Will it be a fierce Nor’easter that will drop a foot or more of snow or a relatively calm storm with an inch or two? That much remains to be seen as different models are predicting different outcomes. Like always, we’ll wait and see. In the meantime, here are a few snowy bird photos as we await the storm.