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I'm not sure what broke loose today, but my feeder birds came back ! It has been 1 day short of 2 weeks that they left, I had many house finches, blue jays, doves, even house sparrows.... I filled the feeders, out of the same bag.. so it's not the seed.... on a tues. or wed. and as of yesterday the seed was still in a pile just as I dumped it. I did see the cardinals off and on, but not even the chickadees hit their favorite small feeder that I could have to normally fill every day if I chose to do so. This morning I had a flock of house finches of prob 50 or more, bluejays and even the house sparrows came back (great). I could watch the doves (dozens) come in at dusk to roost, but they didn't feed in the yard.
We have a small flock of goldfinch that have been pretty regular visitors this fall and I noticed yesterday that we finally had a red-breasted nuthatch (usually we have several all year long). But other than that, things at our feeder have been pretty sparce this year so far.
On the Owen Christmas Count last weekend, I wasn't able to stick around for the compiling, so I don't know how the numbers of individuals over-all compared to other years. But my observations seemed to be pretty low in the passerine birds area. . . and there was VERY LITTLE feeder activity that we observed.
I don't know if it is just a result of there not being enough snow cover to concentrate them at feeders and other areas that we usually find them, or if there is some West Nile influence going on???