Cache Creek, Merrit, Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton, Osoyoos, Grand Forks
#34419
This is the first time I post to this site, though I have come to read and learn. I have lived in Kelowna only 3 years and have enjoyed the birds that come to our back garden where I have 5 assorted feeders and a bird bath kept clean, thawed and fresh all the time. Normally we have a nice assortment of sparrows as well as chickadees, goldfinches, house or purple finches, doves, Flickers, magpies, quail and mallard ducks - (I can do without the ducks as they really mess up the lawn with their big beaks).

Within 2 days all the small birds have gone - not one. I have not seen any hawks. There were more magpies the few days before the smalls left. Now I have some quail keeping warm in the hedge, a pair of ducks return once in a while. I haven't even seen a dove the last 3 days. Normally this garden is teeming with birds. It looks lonely out there. I don't remember snow doing this last year but maybe I wasn't paying attention.

I live in the Mission flats of Kelowna. Any ideas please?
Sunrisebirder
By mleo
#34512
Hello
I wish I had an answer for you,but I have the same thing going on out here in Cherryville. I used to have tons of birds in the winter so many that I had to add a couple of extra feeders and suet blocks over the past few winters to accomodate all my friends. After the fall migration this year I noticed I didn't have any red shafted flickers,any slate headed juncos so many many missing. In the fall I still had my resident housefinch family and a few chickadees,and just a few nuthatches. Now I just have one regular nuthatch and noone else at all. Well very ocassionally maybe every two weeks I see a chickadee or two,but absolutely nothing else at all. I wish someone had any ideas for either of us. I have not changed my feed or suppliers and no other conditions have changed in my yard except no birds????????????????????????
#34513
Thanks for your reply mleo. I am now seeing an occasional goldfinch as well as a few doves and the red shafted flicker is back for short periods but it is still far from being the same as past years. Sure wish someone with more birding experience would offer their thoughts.
One thing that came to me yesterday was that most of the feeders are no longer protected as the leaves are gone from the trees and 2 of the big birch trees have been trimmed way back leaving less protection. I think I had the feeders closer to the cedar hedge near one corner of the back yard. So, I moved the feeders closer to the hedge and one bush that is fairly dense with branches. I hope that works. I am also going to shop for a peanut feeder as I have never put peanuts out for the birds other than the ones that are n the mix that is popular with the birds that used to be around in hordes.
#34514
In other years we have lost birds to other areas by not being consistent with topping up our feeders. We were reluctant to start the corn and black-oil sunflower this year since it has been so warm because we have committed to maintaining our stations regardless of weather conditions once we embark on supplementing the existing food. One year we lost our birds after a warm spell where we stopped maintaining the feeders; when it got cold again the birds didn't come back, so we learned. We have chosen feeders that hold two days worth of feed (2 litres each approximately) and have situated them in brush, and under a covered eave, then we top them up each evening after dark even though they will last for two days. We had experienced birders over here the other day observing the residing hummingbird, and they did comment that "you have birds!", which for us means easily fifty or more birds in wait at each station all day, plus 100-200 California quail jockeying with towhees on the corn trail in the morning and evening. Miss two days or three, and the majority of birds disappear, and then we get stuck with three-dozen red-wing blackbirds ravaging the feeders for the rest of the winter.
#34519
Thanks for your input ragsnoldiron. Good for you for having the birds back, but my, that is a lot of seed that you go through. In the summer I fill the nyjer seed feeders every two days and the other feeders every day, but not in the winter, the seed just isn't getting eaten. I do empty the feeder if the seed has been sitting in it awhile.
Since moving the feeders to a more secure place near the cedar hedge, I am seeing more birds, so I think the idea that the birds were feeling too exposed might have been true. Now that they have places to hide in, they are more comfortable at the feeders. I am so happy to see them coming back. :D
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