It’s Snow Time


There…I said it. Veteran backyard birders do not need a calendar to know the time of year. We do not need to watch the media outlets to understand that a season of change is rapidly approaching. Back to school ads have been around for weeks, much to the chagrin of children everywhere.

If you are spending your relaxing time watching your birds in the trees and bushes, you should be noticing all the signs that wild birds are showing you.

Are the mourning doves gathering in the early daylight hours in larger numbers? Have starlings, grackles or blackbirds, once again, taken over your bird feeders? Are the woodpeckers showing up in greater numbers along with the nuthatches, titmice and chickadees?

Are the goldfinches back with a vengeance and do they appear to be duller in color than ever before? How about those blue jays? Have you seen so many blue jays gathering in large flocks since springtime?

Each of these wild bird species are exhibiting very visible signs that change is coming. During the hot months, if you start to see these flocks increasing in numbers, then the end of summer is approaching and autumn is just around the corner.

During the nesting seasons, wild birds break-off from the large spring flocks to establish predetermined breeding territories. The late spring/early summer time frames are dedicated to nest building, egg laying and fledgling stages.

Once these important events are completed, the birds will start to gather again, species specific, for the fall season. It is during the upcoming cool season that birds begin to “beef up”. Increasing each species fat intake is a daily task. More eyes protect the flocks from predators above and below as they gorge on wild seeds.

When the winter season arrives, birds will have already established their second annual territory. Birds establish two very distinct territories each year. Spring territories provide nesting birds the comfort zone necessary to protect the young from competing wild bird species. Fall territories are needed to affix areas for food and shelter.

Watch and listen to your backyard birds…they are telling you something very important. Change is coming.

Enjoy your birds!

Wild Bird Depot is located on Rt 11 in Gilford, NH. Steve is a contributing author in major publications, a guest lecturer at major conventions in Atlanta and St. Louis as well as the host of WEZS 1350AM radio show “Bird Calls” with Lakes Region Newsday @ 8:30AM. Wild Bird Depot has donated over $5,000 to local rehabilitators and local nature centers since 1996.