Mudcat Café message #2780146 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #117366   Message #2780146
Posted By: Janie
03-Dec-09 - 08:49 PM
Thread Name: BS: Birdwatching 2009
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
So far this fall i am not seeing nearly the number of birds at the feeders as I usually do by now. My sister, over on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, has noticed the same thing.

We are almost 7 weeks past the average 1st frost date, and all either of us have seen is an occasional light dustings in low lying areas. (My parents, who live outside of Charleston, WV, still have not had a hard frost.) Roses and impatiens are still blooming here, most unusual for early December.

Many common species of birds that live here year round are migratory in the northern part of their range, and so we get higher populations in winter of birds like Northern Cardinals, White-throated Sparrows, Chickadees, tufted titmice, etc. Numberous Dark-eyed Juncos usually winter here and leave in spring. I have only seen a handful of juncos and the populations of the year round species do not seem to have increased as is usual by now. I'm guessing that warmer conditions across the Eastern USA are resulting in the birds either not migrating as far south, delaying the time of winter migration, or the birds are extending their year-round range further north.