For years we’ve enjoyed numerous chickadees, winter and summer along with goldfinches and others. This year, both are literally non-existent. Nor did I see the usual spring showing of White-throated and White-crowned sparrows. We still get cardinals, jays, a few woodpeckers, including the Pileated, and the occasional nuthatch, along with grackles, doves and pigeons.  Any logical explanation?

Phil McKeating, Creekwood Drive, Peterborough (Creekwood backs onto Harper Woods)

Note: A number of people have commented this spring on the same phenomenon, especially with regard to chickadees. At first I thought it was just because they are nesting now and tend to visit feeders much less during that time. That being said, I don’t recall hearing this observation in past springs – at least with regard to chickadees. I noticed the same lack of sparrows, too, this spring. I only had only two White-crowned Sparrows and not a single White-throated. The latter is usually abundant in my yard during spring migration. The only thing I can think of is that weather conditions were such that the birds simply flew straight over our area without lingering here like they usually do. Not sure that could be the whole story though.  I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who has noticed the same thing, especially with regard to chickadees and white-crowns/white-throats. D.M.

Black-capped Chickadee (Karl Egressy)

Black-capped Chickadee (Karl Egressy)

White-crowned Sparrow - Wikimedia

White-crowned Sparrow – Wikimedia

White-throated Sparrow - Wikimedia

White-throated Sparrow – Wikimedia

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.