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.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

No Birds at Michigan Feeders is Unfathomable!

“There eating me out of house and home.” I hear that all the time at the Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing, MI store. But what I hear when people tell me that is, “I have lots of bird activity in my yard and I’m happy!”

We had Gordon Dunkley who works at the Wild Birds Unlimited – San Antonio, TX store visit us recently and he said they have no birds at their feeders at this time of year. NO BIRDS! As the seasons change, mid-Michigan switches between having a lot of birds to having a lot more birds. We never have NO BIRDS!

I asked “what do you mean NO BIRDS,” and he said sometimes where he lives there are no birds at the feeder. NO BIRDS! What would I do with no birds?

I’ve never gone a day without watching our birdfeeder hopping with birds. Not to rub it in, but NO BIRDS is just unfathomable.

Right now we are seeing an increase in activity at the feeders. Some birds from Canada and the U.P. are making mid-Michigan their winter resting place. Some Dark-eyed Juncos, Red-Breasted Nuthatches, Pine Siskins, Redpolls, Crossbills, and Snow Buntings are just a few birds seen here only during the winter. The White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows are common migrants in mid-Michigan from mid-September to mid-November.

A few other feeder birds that you will see all year as well as during the winter are the Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, and of course the House Sparrow to name a few.

NO BIRDS! Unthinkable! As winter approaches Michigan, many birds change some of their eating habits and you will see an increase in traffic at your feeder. Birds that usually eat insects will visit more often to add rich, high energy foods such as fruit, nuts, seed or suet to supplement their diets.

NO BIRDS! That's impossible to understand! And don't forget just like in the summer, birds also need a source for water in the winter. When the weather turns freezing, a heater or heated birdbath can keep an open water source for birds to bathe and drink.

And thank you Gordon and Margaret for a lovely visit. Fall is a wonderful time to visit Michigan and I hope you had a nice trip.


Joy K. said...

I also have nothing happening at the feeders right now. I'm glad it isn't just me.

Wild Birds Unlimited Mid-Michigan said...

Yes I read your blog but couldn't believe it. When I walk out to fill the feeders in the morning there is a Whoosh of birds flying from the trees. Then as I slowly fill the feeders they filter down like falling leaves and hassle me to move quicker. I love it.