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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 07 Sep 2017 (Thursday) 17:31
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Where did the birds go???

 
MatthewK
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Sep 07, 2017 17:31 |  #1

It's going on about 4 weeks now that I've hardly seen any birdlife in my area. They've completely vanished... I've literally sat for hours in a spot that previously yielded me regular activity, and there's been zero sightings. Usually see at least the regulars, like cardinals, chickadees, etc, but it's dead.

Is it the time of year that has them in hiding? My bird photography has ground to a halt, my 500 II is a paper weight.


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MalVeauX
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Sep 07, 2017 17:32 |  #2

I've experienced similar this year, central west Florida coast. One of our biggest natural rookeries around Cedar Key became void in a day and nothing has returned.

Ecosystem changes?
Global warming changing patterns?
Non-native predators?

Dunno

Very best,


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Larry ­ Johnson
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Post edited 10 months ago by Larry Johnson. (2 edits in all)
     
Sep 07, 2017 20:04 |  #3

MatthewK wrote in post #18446905 (external link)
It's going on about 4 weeks now that I've hardly seen any birdlife in my area. They've completely vanished... I've literally sat for hours in a spot that previously yielded me regular activity, and there's been zero sightings. Usually see at least the regulars, like cardinals, chickadees, etc, but it's dead.

Is it the time of year that has them in hiding? My bird photography has ground to a halt, my 500 II is a paper weight.

what part of the country are you in? fall migration is underway in north america. lots of migrant hummers coming through virginia lately.


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MalVeauX
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Sep 07, 2017 20:39 |  #4

Larry Johnson wrote in post #18446977 (external link)
what part of the country are you in? fall migration is underway in north america. lots of migrant hummers coming through virginia lately.

Central Florida, West Coast (Cedar Key area), just south of the Suwanee River. It's 100% go for wildlife all year round here. But we've had major changes in the last few years. The rookery change on the islands around Cedar Key are the biggest change and currently unexplained, totally abandoned.

Very best,


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MatthewK
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Sep 07, 2017 21:10 as a reply to  @ Larry Johnson's post |  #5

I'm in the DC/Maryland/VA area. Up until recently I could go outside and within minutes have birds to photograph. Hummers especially! And maybe migration is playing a part in the drop off in activity, but I'd still expect to see some regulars out and about. Frustrating when I go out for hours, day after day, and come back with zero photographs.


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Sep 07, 2017 21:12 |  #6

Hurricane season... They are smarter than we are. They leave.


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MalVeauX
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Sep 07, 2017 21:27 |  #7

Example:

http://www.npr.org …ds-on-seahorse-key-vanish (external link)
http://www.audubon.org …-keys-missing-bird-colony (external link)
http://www.audubon.org …orse-keys-birds-jump-ship (external link)

This is an island I would frequent as we fish these waters, grew up doing this. It's just weird that the birds totally split town (not this year, been a few years now).

But, I've noticed a lot of changes over the years with our local birds. I live in the swamps and coast of the Gulf, and its just full of life and mostly refuge area. Yet a lot of the birds have peaced out.

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Larry ­ Johnson
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Sep 07, 2017 21:39 |  #8

MatthewK wrote in post #18447019 (external link)
I'm in the DC/Maryland/VA area. Up until recently I could go outside and within minutes have birds to photograph. Hummers especially! And maybe migration is playing a part in the drop off in activity, but I'd still expect to see some regulars out and about. Frustrating when I go out for hours, day after day, and come back with zero photographs.

I'm having a hard time believing that there are no birds where you are. I know it well. Take a look at some of the recent checklists on eBird and you'll see plenty. Subscribe to the Virginia Bird listserv and you'll get reports every day, or sooner if you wish.


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MatthewK
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Sep 08, 2017 04:44 |  #9

I didn't say there was zero birds. I said that I've seen hardly any bird activity compared to what I was witnessing a few weeks ago. It's eerie how quiet it is in the woods around me. Admittedly, this is the first full year that I've paid close attention to bird behavior; it was naturally quiet in the winter months, tons of activity after Spring hit and summer rolled in. Is this the time of year (migration) that birds clear out of town for the winter?


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Sep 08, 2017 05:51 |  #10

Summer has a lot less activity with the nesting being done and since birds usually undergo a molt during the summer they will generally stay quiet and out of sight.


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Sep 08, 2017 07:42 |  #11

Typically, for me in N. Central MN, July is dead because of the nesting period, but things usually pick up in mid-August as birds start staging for migration. This year it has largely been dead throughout that period, despite others to the east and west of me experiencing what sounds like normal sightings. Two days ago, after the passage of a serious cold front, I had three 'waves' move through the yard, like I am used to seeing, and then yesterday, again not much. It's the first time I've experienced such a slow late summer migration.


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Larry ­ Johnson
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Sep 08, 2017 10:18 |  #12

MatthewK wrote in post #18447151 (external link)
I didn't say there was zero birds. I said that I've seen hardly any bird activity compared to what I was witnessing a few weeks ago. It's eerie how quiet it is in the woods around me. Admittedly, this is the first full year that I've paid close attention to bird behavior; it was naturally quiet in the winter months, tons of activity after Spring hit and summer rolled in. Is this the time of year (migration) that birds clear out of town for the winter?

Well, Matthew, you did in fact say that there were zero sightings after sitting for hours in your regular spot. You also said that they have completely vanished. Nevertheless, it's clear from your post that your bird behavior knowledge is very limited, and that's ok because you are in an area where there are numerous knowledgable birders and plenty of spots to visit by yourself or with a club. I suggest the you look into joining one of the local birding groups. That said, here are some very basics about birds and their behavior. Most birds migrate in the spring and in the fall. (Fall migration is just beginning and birders are getting excited for the new birding season.) No matter what time of year, there are birds around to photograph, you just need to go find them. Winter is my favorite season because that means waterfowl. Birds are more active in the early morning and late evening. There's tons of literature on birds that you can fond on the internet. Again, I suggest looking at eBird to see what people in your area are seeing.


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MatthewK
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Sep 08, 2017 15:46 |  #13

it doesn't take a master ornithologist to go outside and observe zero bird activity in an area that was previously teaming with them. It's what I observed, despite what your extensive knowledge may tell you. I don't appreciate your backhanded comment, could have done without it, because the other half of your response was informative and seemed well intentioned.


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Larry ­ Johnson
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Sep 08, 2017 22:03 |  #14

MatthewK wrote in post #18446905 (external link)
It's going on about 4 weeks now that I've hardly seen any birdlife in my area. They've completely vanished... I've literally sat for hours in a spot that previously yielded me regular activity, and there's been zero sightings....

MatthewK wrote in post #18447151 (external link)
I didn't say there was zero birds....?

MatthewK wrote in post #18447562 (external link)
it doesn't take a master ornithologist to go outside and observe zero bird activity in an area that was previously teaming with them...

All of my posts were well intentioned. When I stated that I find it hard to believe there are no birds in your area, I was refering to the region, not to your "spot".

I also pointed out that you did indeed state and imply that there were no birds in the area. You contend that you didn't say that, but then you retierate that there were zero, and that offended you. Get a grip.

Simply because you didn't see any birds on your visit doesn't mean that have completely moved out of the area. Maybe you were there at the wrong time of day. Maybe you just didn't see the ones that were there. Maybe you spooked them.

Good luck to you on your bird photography endeavors.


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MatthewK
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Sep 11, 2017 17:55 as a reply to  @ Larry Johnson's post |  #15

I sincerely apologize, Larry. I got way too defensive with my last post; it's a bad character trait of mine that I'm continually working to improve.

I'm aware of bird behavior, at least to the level as to know that their behavior changes with the seasons. What I'm not experienced with is actually seeing them migrate.. as I said, it's my first Fall that I'm actively paying attention (because of bird photography). That being said, this is the first time I've experienced the gap between summer bird and fall migration. I was being literal when I said I'd gone weeks without seeing a bird... heard them, yes, but they all of a sudden became obscure.

This is where I eat crow: Suffice to say, I went out the past few days to put your claims to the test. And it's been insane. Warblers... so many. Coopers Hawk. Redstarts. The trees are full of life again, and I'm humbly admitting that you were right.

Dull and overcast, but lots of activity... how long before the migrants have moved out?


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Where did the birds go???
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