Where have all the birds gone?

Where have all the birds gone?

Why are there no birds in my garden this August? That’s a question we’ve heard on a daily basis from our customers this month, so we wanted to offer a few reasons as to why your garden may seem a little emptier than usual at the moment.

THE WEATHER/SEASON

With bouts of both heavy rain and extreme sunshine around the UK, it’s no surprise that some birds have decided to stay hidden this August. Extreme weather conditions can cause birds to take a more cautious approach to their day to day activities, with many opting to remain in the safety and shelter of trees in order to preserve their energy.

With sporadic rain showers turning over the land, fields being harvested, and natural growth of summer fruits and grains, wild birds have lots of dining options over the summer months, some of which are more accessible and organic to them than the bird feeders in your garden.

Goldfinch eating wild thistle

MOULTING

Moulting is another reason that birds are choosing to stay hidden this time of year. Birds will moult for a few different reasons including;

  • Moulting young feathers to make way for adult plumage
  • Moulting summer feathers to make way for winter plumage
  • Moulting after breeding to regrow a healthier plumage for the following breeding season

Birds can moult all year round, however, with most of those variables happening in the summer, you can see why August is a triple whammy for moulting birds. During this time, birds are vulnerable to predators and to the elements so, naturally, they choose to stay safe in their nests and other shelters.

As you can imagine, losing their feathers can cause some problems with a birds ability to fly, which could explain why your hanging feeders are seeing less visitors in the summer. However, your garden birds will still be on the look out for food so you might want to keep an eye on the bushes and shrubbery, and invest in a ground feeder or some ground seed, or pellets to offer lower down in the garden and on the floor.

 

FLEDGLINGS HAVE FLEDGED

With fledglings well and truly fledged by August, you may also find smaller groups of birds in your gardens. With the exception of Starlings, who naturally travel in large flocks, where you may have once seen a family of 8 Goldfinches, you may find only 2 or 4 once fledgling season is over.

Fledglings wont necessarily follow their parents to their regular dining spots so whilst you may eventually see your regulars back, the younger generation may look to find their own source of food.

THE END OF BREEDING SEASON

With breeding season out of the way, male birds are less inclined to go on a hunt for a mate. This means they may be operating at a slower pace, no longer frantically zipping around after females.

This also explains why some of our customers have been disappointed to notice their garden is audibly quieter. With no need to find a mate, you’re less likely to hear bird song at this time of year.