Facebook followers of Cockatoo Creations, readers of The New York Times, and National Audubon Society members have all recently been alerted to the avian population crisis. The original report in Science magazine stated that avian populations are down nearly 3 billion birds, or 29% of their 1970 numbers. If you're like many of our customers, you started watching your backyard feeders more closely after reading about this tragedy and may even be panicking as you have watched your birds disappear this year.
The good news is that many birds are finding an abundance of natural food sources this time of year--wild berries are still plentiful and many plants have gone to seed. Up until the recent cold spell, insects have still been plentiful in many areas across the country. Other birds have begun their annual southward migration, leaving the area until spring. Most of this year's chicks have left their parents' care and have begun to search for home territories of their own.
These things are normal and birds will return to your feeders later this fall as other, more Northern, birds reach your area and natural food sources are depleted. The summer visitors will return next spring. You're already helping them by keeping your feeders full at all times.
You can also help migratory birds by making your windows safer both day and night! Suncatchers, especially large window panels or clusters of smaller suncatchers, let birds know that the reflection they see is not something they can fly through. At night, keep your blinds closed to help reduce the artificial light that can draw birds toward windows.