Still much to see as fall approaches
Fall is on our doorstep and the birds know it! Think of the many birds you were used to seeing all spring and much of the summer. How many of those do you see now?
Though there are many birds still around, most of the migrating ones have already left and the others are quietly foraging through the woods and thickets searching for insects as they make their plans to move south as well.
The goldfinches are very active right now as they are busy with their recently fledged young searching for food in the form of weed seeds, sunflowers in the garden, and even your nyjer and sunflower feeders. Shortly the males will lose their bright yellow color.
But don’t put the nyjer feeder away! Goldfinches are very good birdfeeder patrons all winter long and help to attract other interesting kinds of birds. Even if your goldfinch activity drops off in mid fall, do not put that nyjer feeder away as they will come in from the weedy fields when the weather gets nasty.
Speaking of nasty weather, the cooler weather that we’re likely experiencing as you read this is a reminder of what’s coming.
Still lots of time till the snow flies, but surely a signal of the change of seasons. We still have a couple of hummers buzzing around, but I imagine that will change once this cooler mid-September cold front passes through.
See what the last day is that you see hummers in your yard — it could be late September and maybe even into October?
The bluebirds are stopping by our yard almost every day as they move around the area. They are probably busy exploring the wild berry crop in the various hedgerows so they know where to find food in late fall and maybe even in the winter. Some bluebirds do spend the winter and use nest boxes to cuddle up in overnight.
Cedar waxwings are all over the place and will gradually join together to form larger flocks which can roam over a large area throughout the winter. They too, will be eating the many wild berries over the winter. Mockingbirds don’t flock together but will also be enjoying berries over the winter — watch for their showy white wing patches when they fly.
Chickadees and cardinals are busy at the sunflower seed feeders and the action will pick up even more with the nuthatches, woodpeckers, and several others shortly. Doing a little feeding throughout the fall helps to insure that your birds know where to come for feed in the winter when the weather gets more challenging for these birds to find food on their own.
Fall is a good time of year to check out you feeding station for possible improvements for the winter. If you need to replace or add feeders, now is the time to let your loved ones know of a possible Christmas gift idea. Bird feed gift certificates aren’t a bad idea either!
Soon we’ll see some of the first northern visitors approaching us such as the white-crowned and white-throated sparrows appear – actually we’ll mostly hear them in the thickets first. The junco population will take a big jump later in fall.
Yes, the fall is on our doorstep, but fall is a wonderful time of year as well and often brings us some great weather to enjoy. A very nice variety of birds are out there and may surprise you from time to time.
The farmers certainly need a nice warm fall to finish off the late planted crops. Let’s enjoy each day and the many aspects of beauty that God puts before us each day.