May 26, 2021 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, April 2021

Ask Birdsquatch: Vanishing Act at the Feeder?

The level of activity at a backyard feeder can vary from day to day. Learn why!

Dear Birdsquatch:

Why is it that birds disappear from my feeders—except for a few—when I had so many up until a day or so ago?

—Diane M., Covington, Georgia

Dear Diane,

People ask me this question almost as frequently as they ask if I've seen my cousin Sas lately. It is a survival skill for birds—and squatches—to always be on the lookout for new food sources. Maybe one of your neighbors hung or refilled a feeder with fresh seed, or maybe some weed flowers in a nearby grassy area finally turned to seed. If this occurred in the fall or spring and the throng that was at your feeder was of pine siskins, perhaps they've continued their migratory journey. Or, maybe a Cooper's hawk has discovered the largesse of your feeders and has become a frequent observer! As long as your feeders are stocked with fresh seed, the birds will find them. Maybe not the same ones that were there a few days ago, though. It is normal for bird numbers to fluctuate at feeders. I predict that your birds will soon return in big numbers. And then they'll leave again, and then return.

About Birdsquatch

Birdsquatch is WBB's tall, hairy, and slightly stinky columnist. He is a bigfoot who has watched birds all his life. His home range is unknown.

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