anonymous spotter's picture

Late summer hiatus -

Started yesterday in my garden. Let me (as the MP in the maid's outfit said) explain:
In the early Spring, there is usually a period of 5 - 10 days when very few birds visit the feeders in my garden. I've always assumed that this is down to territorial disputes as migrant birds (blackbirds and others) return to last summer's places, and also the early stages of courtship both over-ride hunger.
I have also noted that the same thing happens in late summer. This is usually in early September, but this year it has started early. The seed feeder (normally filled every 2 days or even more often) has hardly been touched, and there is food left on the raised table. (The ground-level table is visited by a wood mouse that diligently cleans it up.)
Does anyone know why this second annual quiet period for the feeders happens?



browntrumpet's picture

Quiet times

I think it's because they are moulting and laying low.
Natural food is also plentiful.

Ray Turner's picture

This is ...

... my understanding too. Like your feeders Roger mine are little used at the moment, I had seven species in the garden last week – the average is 12. The only birds on the feeders are my regular pair of goldfinches (who are never off) and three juvenile great tits, I hope to see the parents again soon in nice new coats.

Even the squirrel is absent – not sure what his excuse is.


anonymous spotter's picture

Thanks -

the "moulting" answer would certainly make sense. Prior to the last couple of days, blackbirds were perching on a bramble stem, ignoring the fruits, waiting their turn at the feeder.

Andrew Goodall's picture

Late Summer Hiatus

Even thought they are moulting they still have to feed. I would suggest it is down to the glut of natural food available.


Ray Turner's picture

Bit of Both

It is indeed a bit of both, as per normal in this world there is no single answer. The RSPB have some good articles on it, one of which can be found here: