Where are the birds? I’m sure I have been asked this question at least 20 times in the last few weeks. Lots of people are finding that many of our familiar, common birds have abandoned our feeding stations.

Fall migration is drawing to an end so many of our summer birds have moved on to warmer quarters for the winter. However, most of birds that frequent our feeders are resident birds. Many observers have noted the dearth of Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, American Goldfinches, Downy Woodpeckers and Hairy Woodpeckers. Where did they go?

The abandonment of bird feeders does not indicate a precipitous decline in bird populations. The phenomenon of resident birds forsaking our handouts actually occurs every fall. This year’s pattern is, however, one of the most striking ones in my memory.