Welcome to Vermont!
FYI, I quit putting out seed this year after the bulk of the fall
migration was past (my seed budget had been seriously busted by a sudden
influx of voracious Pine Siskins in late fall), figuring with no snow,
the birds would be able to fend for themselves for a while.
Just before that first big snowfall, I filled up the feeders again, and
although some birds have come back (though not the greedy siskins, thank
goodness), it's definitely a smaller number than I'm used to having in
winter. I take it from this that some of my regular crowd decided to
move on when the feeder wasn't providing anything for so long.
I would suggest a trick that's always worked for me, which is to get
some cheap peanuts in the shell from the supermarket and put a bunch of
those on your feeder. Bluejays can sense a peanut, I'm convinced,
several miles away. Once there's regular activity at the feeder, other
birds will come see what's up and discover your seed.
Don't know where you lived before, but I'm an ex-suburbanite, and I
learned when I moved here that it takes the birds much longer to
discover a lone feeder in the middle of miles of farm fields than it
does in a succession of small backyard feeders in the burbs. If the
previous residents of your home didn't feed the birds, and/or there
aren't uncut perennial gardens around the house with seedheads, and
particularly if you don't have close neighbors with feeders, as I don't,
the birds would have no reason to frequent the area around your house,
so they'll have to learn by accident that it's a source of food.
So be patient. It takes a while to build up a reputation among the
local birds for good eats. (I can certainly reassure you that there's
no shortage of birds in VT this winter!)
Also, just a thought-- you might want to scan the nearby trees carefully
for raptors. If there's one hanging around, it will definitely suppress
the feeder activity. When my feeder goes unvisited for more than 5 or
10 minutes, I take that as a sure sign there's a raptor nearby and go
looking for it.
On 1/5/2013 7:14 PM, Mz Berry wrote:
> Hi All,
> In searching for the answer to my Q, I found this list serve. I moved to
> rural Sharon, VT in August and don't really see or hear birds except for a
> pair of young ruffed grouse (in August) and a few crows.
> I put out oil seed, thistle and suet 14 days ago, and have seen no birds
> yet. This is very rare in my experience - usually within a week at a new
> location the chickadees find it.
> What's going on? Where are the backyard birds?
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