Missing Birds?

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By Joyce

We live in the Garden/ Figueroa area and have noticed a diminished bird population since February.

Not unusual for the goldfinches to take a hiatus, but the mockingbirds, Acorn Woodpeckers are down to one or two. 

We still have two Eurasian Collared-Doves, and a definite crow presence: two that foul the birdbaths by softening their food in them.

Has anyone else noticed this?

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a-1623085277 Jun 07, 2021 10:01 AM
Missing Birds?

I think your observation is true in my neighborhood as well: Bel Air Knolls. Some scrub jays, woodpeckers and pigeons but not a lot of the smaller species that come through and hang around. Partly I think this is because the squirrels are abundant and raid the bird feeders but that does not account for the decline. If there is not much food in the foothills it seems they would find the backyards more.

macpuzl Jun 07, 2021 10:08 AM
Missing Birds?

We have fewer woodpeckers, but it's because they were nesting in our neighborhood's old wooden utility poles, which have been replaced with steel poles as Edison hardens its infrastructure. Very few band-tailed pigeons or collared doves lately. Thrashers and towhees are still abundant, as are house finches and other little brown jobs.

Minibeast Jun 07, 2021 10:10 AM
Missing Birds?

We live only 1/2 mile from you, Joyce. Our yard is hopping with birds. Seen birds here we haven't seen in a long time or never. Anyone else seeing the all-white bright-white Mourning dove that isn't albino? Has several brown flight feathers . . . And has a mate. Beautiful bird. -------Yesterday saw Spotted towhee again; haven't seen him for about a week. Black-headed grosbeaks (two different males) have been coming to feeder. White-breasted nuthatch, too. The Mockingbirds were after the Crows the other day (nesting time for Mockingbirds). Have noticed fewer Acorn woodpeckers, but loads more of everything else. >>>>>>>>>>>PSA time: People who feed the Crows: PLEASE stop putting out bread and similar foods that aren't healthy for Crows. If you must feed them, try feeding them shelled peanuts or other nuts. Crows also like black oil sunflower or regular (unsalted) sunflower seeds. You can buy Trader Joe's unsalted roasted peanuts, NOT peanuts in the shell. ------------- At this time of year IT IS SUCH A DRAG having to clean out our bird baths 2-3 times per day because well-meaning people feed Crows things the Crows have to "pre-soak" in order to consume. Don't leave bread or your dog's kibble outside for Crows to "harvest," **please**.

ParvoPup Jun 07, 2021 06:31 PM
Missing Birds?

Curious as to why you specify shelled peanuts?

We have always fed our local murder fully shelled, unsalted peanuts after noticing that the crows have little issue with shelling the local walnuts. Yes, they come to our water bath to soften the peanuts, just like we see them do with wild food.

Heck, even our pet parrots will dunk their tidbits into the water before eating them - must be a bird thing.

Minibeast Jun 08, 2021 06:01 PM
Missing Birds?

When peanuts are in the shell, Crows soak the peanuts in bird baths. This pre-soak practice fouls the bird bath water by adding shells/bits of shells. The water turns to orange-tainted stewed peanut shell goop.

PitMix Jun 07, 2021 10:44 AM
Missing Birds?

Seem to be fewer doves around. I feed a mixture of seeds and the sparrows always leave the ones the doves like, but they don't come around to clean it up. We used to have a lot of starlings? in our birdbath but they don't come around anymore either. Anyway, all the news you hear about birds is bad- fewer insects to eat, more pesticides, more outdoor cats, less water in the deserts for migrating birds, birds flying into lighted buildings in foggy conditions............

Roger Jun 07, 2021 10:49 AM
Missing Birds?

The last time that happened in my neighborhood it was because the near by DOUBLETREE HOTEL was having them poisoned I'm still angry about it local pest control for the tourists.

pstarSR Jun 07, 2021 11:01 AM
Missing Birds?

so far, our backyard feeders are seeing a lot of activity. near san roque/ CVS.

scrub jays, house finches, humming birds, lots of activity here.

Lucky 777 Jun 07, 2021 11:11 AM
Missing Birds?

I'm in Valerio Canyon and right now the hummingbird feeders are all a-twitter with goldfinches, and the tube feeders have the usual house finches. Lots of doves in the jacarandas, woodpeckers in the palms and oaks, crows in the oaks. I keep a fountain going and everyone comes to drink, such a pleasure to observe.

Babycakes Jun 07, 2021 11:23 AM
Missing Birds?

There are more birds than ever (and also squirrels and chipmunks). That you are seeing fewer in your backyard is simply due to the huge number of people who are now feeding/watering birds. More feeding stations means fewer birds at each station. Unfortunately, we are getting quite a few more rats who nibble up the crumbs, and those rats love to eat bird eggs like they was candy.

a-1623093074 Jun 07, 2021 12:11 PM
Missing Birds?

Downtown here, near 400 block of State: I put out water, peanuts, seeds, stale bread, and a plethora of birds have arrived. Juncos nested in our flower pot and had babies. Now a pair of Towhees is scoping out real estate in our yard. Lots of crows and Jays, sparrows, and hummingbirds. I think someone else on the thread is right - if more people are feeding / watering, they've got more choices.

Minibeast Jun 08, 2021 06:04 PM
Missing Birds?

Please stop w/ the bread. No site w/ info on bird feeding recommends bread.

CoastWatch Jun 07, 2021 12:13 PM
Missing Birds?

CATS kill more birds than any predator... Yes, your cute little kitty is a suburban KILLER

Roger Jun 08, 2021 09:21 AM
Missing Birds?

So am I me and the cat work together...

a-1623098466 Jun 07, 2021 01:41 PM
Missing Birds?

We have tons of birds on the Westside. I was driving down Castillo St today at Carillo and noticed a bunch of swallows swirling about. I have planted my yard full of bird-loving plants and have a bird bath too that really attracts many animals.

SBSand Jun 07, 2021 03:38 PM
Missing Birds?

Lots of feathered friends at my house, including a woodpecker in the backyard

mtndriver Jun 07, 2021 05:28 PM
Missing Birds?

We have quite a few of our "normal" birds--Calif. towhees, spotted towhees, goldfinches, house finches, bushtits, nuthatches, bluebirds, orioles, thrashers, a few others. And crows, many many crows. Several kinds of hawks--Cooper's, red tails, red-shouldered, occasionally a kestrel. Owls. But this year I have not seen nor heard a mockingbird or a scrub jay, which is very unusual. And we also usually have many acorn woodpeckers on all the power poles around, and I am not hearing any at all. When I take walks up Mountain Drive, this time of year there are always mockingbirds calling, and I haven't heard any in months.

edney Jun 07, 2021 07:46 PM
Missing Birds?

Ummmmmm.
Drought?
https://ca.audubon.org/news/drought-and-birds

ginger1 Jun 07, 2021 09:10 PM
Missing Birds?

They're not missing, they're over here. Be glad to send the 'peckers and mockingbirds back. Send me your address and I'll tell them. I running out of stones to toss at them. The doves are no problem and are nesting and so we'll let them be. The jays are okay, as long as they get their peanuts every day. PS: my two free-to-range cats do not terrorize the birds and tree squirrels. They're fine bringing home blue belly lizards (alive and usually unharmed) and occasionally gophers and we're fine that they're dead.

PitMix Jun 08, 2021 06:54 AM
Missing Birds?

My cat murdered everything that moved so now I have dogs. They chase lizards but have never caught one.

PitMix Jun 08, 2021 07:00 AM
Missing Birds?

How good is anecdotal evidence?

"The national study found that populations of some common birds nosedived over the past forty years, with several down nearly 80 percent. In California, Northern Pintail, Horned Lark, and Loggerhead Shrike topped the list with declines between 96 and 75%, mirroring national trends in the same species."
https://ca.audubon.org/californias-common-birds-decline

greytfull Jun 08, 2021 08:02 AM
Missing Birds?

Thank you! I am so delighted to hear about the abundance of birds! It doesn't matter if I don't get to see them, I'm just happy that they're still in business here.

Jamespoe Jun 08, 2021 09:14 AM
Missing Birds?

Around our house and feeders on Knoll Circle Dr (Eucalyptus Hill) , we get (in order of numbers)
crows
house finches
mocking birds
humming birds
doves
California towhee
white headed woodpeckers
scrub jays
wrens
junco
California thrashers (rare)
Ducks in the pool! These call for a squirt from the hose that, I hope, sends them down the hill to the bird sanctuary. As to cats, we have four but they have never been outdoors, don't want to go outdoors, and don't belong outdoors - they're house-cats. Screens on windows and doors is all that's needed to have an open house but safe cats and birds.

Minibeast Jun 08, 2021 06:11 PM
Missing Birds?

JAMESPOE: According to Audubon.com: "The White-headed Woodpecker is an unusual woodpecker restricted to mountainous pine forests of the western states and British Columbia." If there are White-headed woodpeckers on Knoll Circle, I would love to come see one. (Sure you don't mean "Acorn woodpeckers"?)

tMo Jun 08, 2021 09:40 AM
Missing Birds?

I think we have the most birds we have ever had this year!

pxn Jun 08, 2021 04:25 PM
Missing Birds?

A pair of oak titmouse birds nested in my birdhouse unsuccessfully last month -- I found two dead chicks in the house. Another house at my son's place had a nest of bluebirds. I built a feeder and have had a modest number of nonpaying customers -- bluejay, oak titmouse, western oriel, and some birds I don't know. The oriel was only around for a few days. Crows don't seem to use the feeder -- seeds are from Costco.

Minibeast Jun 08, 2021 06:15 PM
Missing Birds?

PXN: *Hooded oriole (more than likely) * Western scrub jay

ACF Jun 08, 2021 09:58 PM
Missing Birds?

I"m happy to say my bird population has been fairly stable in recent years. The regulars are house and purple finches, pine siskins (who have just left for the north), lots of lesser goldfinches (with their progeny), nuthatches, titmice, a few warblers that change with the season, acorn woodpeckers and the occasional Nuttalls, two mourning doves, lots of bushtits, a Bewick's wren pair, etc. Missing is the mockingbird, probably because s/he hates our 5-6 scrub jays. The Cooper's hawk was very busy courting a month or so ago and hasn't been seen since (maybe they have chicks now?). So I'm pleased with my expensive crowd! I serve hulled sunflower and niger. (We'll be bankrupt one of these days!)

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