[CT Birds] how will early blooming season effect the birds (if at all)?

Tammy Eustis teustis at killingworthlibrary.org
Fri Jun 4 21:48:50 EDT 2010

Hi, All!
Having read the comments about fewer (and fickle) orioles this year, and general comments about odd bird numbers, I have to throw some other observations out. Don't know if any of this is connected, but...
My family and I - and other people who garden - have noticed that all of the plant life is anywhere from 2-3 weeks ahead of its usual seasonal schedule. We have had roses out in our garden for two weeks now (they're usually a June plant, but they came out in May); our lilies have buds that will be open soon (they're July flowers); and our poplar tree's blooms have nearly gone by (they're usually out in mid-June). It's all beautiful, but somewhat eerie. The pollen has been extreme this year, and for the first time, our water garden's water has gone murky green and we can't clear it through any of the methods we've tried, indicating some hyped-up form of algae.
I'm curious to know how this might effect the birds, in particular their feeding and migration patterns. For example, our orioles usually arrive with the apple blossoms; they're drawn to the trees, where we hang oranges, and they also go "anting" with the insects they find on the blossoms. This year, the blossoms came out 2 weeks early and they were gone by the time the orioles arrived. The birds never came down to the trees. We have had flocks of waxwings working over our cherry tree for the past week, and this usually doesn't occur until mid-summer. I have to wonder, if nature is so stepped up in its production this year, will other food sources (berries, nuts, seeds, etc.) come and go sooner than when the birds need them?
Just wondering if anyone else has similar observations, or thoughts. It's really a very strange year, plantwise.
- Tammy Eustis, Chester

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