• “Optimal conditions” for Bird in the Hand?


    What are "optimal conditions" for visiting the Bird in the Hand Feeding Station at The West Woods?

    Naturalist's Response

    Unfortunately it’s hard to predict when the Bird in the Hand feeder will be active. In the fall and winter, birds travel a territory in a mixed flock (chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, woodpeckers etc.). When a flock comes to a feeding station, a person might notice heavy activity for a period of time followed by a lull in activity after the birds depart, and that lull lasts until another feeding flock comes through the area. Folks who regularly observe their bird feeders may notice definitive times of the day when these periods of activity occur.

    I wish we could give definite times for our feeder, but none of us are able to observe the area consistently. So here’s the best we can do:

    1. Cold days, especially in the morning, would be a good time to check out the feeder. Birds have to start feeding soon after they wake up to put on fat and have energy to survive the cold weather. (At my home feeders, I notice a period of heavy activity 8:45 to 9:30-ish.)

    2. Late afternoon (3 to 4:30?) could also be another good time, since the birds need to stock up on food before roosting somewhere for the night.

    3. Snowy weather is usually good for feeder activity, but rainy weather – not so much.

    We hope you go and try your luck!

    -Naturalists Linda Gilbert & Dottie Drockton