By this point on the calendar, most of the temperate and neo-tropical migrants have left for southern and warmer climates. Why? Generally speaking, they are insect-eaters who leave for regions where food will continue to be available during winter months. The northeast’s resident birds remain with us at this time of year. Why? Seed-eating birds (granivores) have ample supplies of the fruits of native plants. Many of these plants have just completed setting their seeds at the end of the growing season.
The woodpeckers and arboreal birds (chickadees, titmice, nuthatches) are busy consuming and storing tree seeds, collectively referred to as “mast.” These include beechnuts, hickory nuts, acorns, and many others. The smaller finches are busy gleaning seeds from the many native grasses and wildflowers. These natural seed choices remain available to the granivores throughout the winter months. And don’t forget that we are also on the receiving end of migrating species. American Tree Sparrows, Common Redpolls, and Evening Grosbeaks are among the northern species that may soon be arriving in the northeast. All of the species found in our region from October through the winter months will readily visit birdfeeders filled with Aspen Song! Songbirds are discriminating diners who will return on a regular basis to available sources of good energy and nutrition. Be sure to keep your feeders filled in these autumn months so when winter weather finally arrives in force, your avian neighbors will know your yard is a sure bet for good eats.