DEAR SUN SPOTS: Do you know what’s happening to the birds? They have stopped coming to the feeders, including the chickadees. A friend noticed they are gone from hers too.
— No name, Lewiston
ANSWER: I have received several letters with worries about birds. I, too, have noticed their absence! I attempted to contact the Maine Audubon Society in Falmouth but then found the answer to your question in an article Doug Hitchcox, staff naturalist, wrote for the Audubon Society’s website at www.maineaudubon.org. In a nutshell, it seems that so many concerned calls have come in to the Audubon Society’s central office on this topic in the last few weeks that the staff can’t keep up with them all!
Doug writes that our feathered friends are just fine and are very busy dining on all kinds of yummy natural, organic nibbles, keeping the store-bought snacks often found in feeders on reserve for the colder winter months when they won’t be feasting upon delectable flowers going to seed and ripening berries such as Arrowwood Viburnum, Winterberry and Mountain Ash. Because of the warmer fall we’ve been experiencing, the birds are also still stuffing themselves on those extra-nutritious bugs. So much abundance, so little time!
In his article, Doug explained that the weather has been perfect for bird migration with “record-breaking movement” being reported. Also, the detectability of most birds is lower now because they’ve almost all finished breeding. Things will go back to normal soon, especially since we’ve had this last cold front and low pressure system with rain moving through the state.
To sum up, the birdies have lots of naturally occurring food, lots of migration toward the South, virtually no birds singing for a mate, and really no reason for them to be hanging out in our yards at the feeders. They are out there doing their thing! Give it a couple more weeks and they’ll be back.
Doug suggests using this quiet time to clean out your bird feeders, and I would like to suggest that you can shine up your windows and move a comfy chair to just the right spot for enjoyable hours of birdwatching this winter!
The Audubon Society headquarters is at 20 Gilsland Farm Road in Falmouth. You can reach them at 781-2330 or send general inquiries to email@example.com. Including Gilsland Farm, there are eight Audubon Society sanctuaries in the state, all uniquely beautiful.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: Christ Episcopal Church in Norway is taking reservations for table or space rentals for those who would like to sell their crafts and gifts in the annual holiday fair on Saturday, Nov. 18. Table rentals are $20 for an 8-foot table. We will set up on Friday, Nov. 17, from 5 to 8 p.m. To book your reservation or for more information, contact Christine Hebert at 743-5277.
— Linda, Norway
ANSWER: This fair is a great excuse to go to Norway, one of my favorite Maine towns! The church is at 35 Paris St.
Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Journal Facebook page at facebook.com/Sun Journal. This column can also be read online at sunjournal.com/sunspots. We’ve joined Pinterest at pinterest.com/sj_sunspots.