[CT Birds] Snow, Feeders, Window Strikes

David F Provencher david.f.provencher at dom.com
Thu Jan 20 13:45:32 EST 2011

I had a conversation with Jayne Amico this morning and she mentioned the increased occurrence of window strikes with the newly encrusted snow cover. Many birds, including raptors, are having greater difficulty finding food with the snow cover and hard crust. This is concentrating more activity, again including raptors, at feeders with a concurrent increase in window strikes. Many people who feed birds set up their feeders near windows (of course) and the result is birds flying from the feeding area and striking windows. Now with the ground cover conditions being what they are, there is greater raptor pressure on feeders and more instances of panicked birds scattering into windows. Most of us don't realize how many small mammals (mice, voles, shrews) there are per acre. Now access to these mammals is reduced and non-accipiter raptors will be increasing the number of attacks they make on avian prey. So this is a good time to try to reduce the likelihood of window strikes by moving feeders closer to windows (Jayne recommended 3 feet or less) to reduce the speed birds can achieve before hitting glass, alternatively moving feeders considerably further from windows, or installing some of the film products mentioned on this forum in earlier posts. If anyone has effective anti-strike measures they have employed at their feeding stations I encourage them to post brief descriptions.

Oh by the way, I have had a few friends mention to me that they stopped feeding birds because it was a hassle to do so in the snow. Please do NOT do that. If you have habituated birds to feeding at your station, you will have a sudden detrimental effect on their winter survival if you stop feeding just when natural food sources are much harder to find.

Dave Provencher
Naturally New England<http://naturallynewengland.blogspot.com/>

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