About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Predicting the bird watching season

siskins and goldfinches at nyjer feeder
We’ve had a pretty good fall so far for the birds. There have been lots of natural food sources and the weather has been very nice. Canada’s natural seed crops were also very good this year. Last year Canada’s seed crops were horrible and we had a lot of “new” birds migrating further south than normal to visit our mid-Michigan bird feeders.

Every year ornithologist Ron Pittaway analyzes the cone and berry crops of the boreal forest to predict if certain birds will irrupt into the northern U.S. or remain further north. A bird irruption is an irregular migration of a large number of birds to areas where they aren’t found typically, motivated usually by the search for food. This year Ron Pittaway's 2013-2014 Winter Finch Forecast predicts several bird species will stay in Canada for the whole winter.

That means we will probably see fewer Pine Siskins and redpolls at the finch feeders. You can read the full 2013-2014 Winter Finch Forecast at: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/wf1314/.

However we will still get our regular winter birds like the Dark-eyed Juncos and Red-breasted Nuthatches. And the Farmer’s Almanac says that Michigan is going to have a biting cold and snowy winter. That means that the birds that stay with us, like the chickadees, doves, sparrows, jays, woodpeckers, nuthatches and cardinals all might hit the feeders hard when their natural resources are covered by snow. See the full Farmer's Almanac report: http://www.farmersalmanac.com/weather/2013/08/25/2014-us-winter-forecast/ 

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