Wintering birds decrease after winter weather

Winter weather took toll on NEA bird population

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - When you look in your yard, you may notice fewer bluebirds, songbirds, and feeder birds this Spring. The winter weather in February took a toll, causing a “double disaster” for wintering birds.

Extremely low temperatures mixed with snow covering the ground for days made finding food and survival hard.

Karen Rowe, Nongame Bird Program Leader for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said many people are finding dead bluebirds in nesting boxes.

Some are concerned about how this will affect the population for years to come. However, Rowe said not to worry.

“Fortunately, birds like bluebirds can nest up to three, possibly, four times a year, and that makes up for the declines they face when a natural disaster hits such as this past winter,” Rowe said.

Rowe added that although there is a decline this year, they look at trends over 20 to 30 years, meaning that this year will likely not cause significant damage to the overall bird population.

“And so natural disasters for the birds such as we saw this winter are normal but very very upsetting for the people that have to experience finding dead birds in their yard or nest boxes,” Rowe said.

She anticipates the bird population will rebuild in Arkansas over the next few years.

You can make a difference in your yard just by planting shrubs and berry bushes for the birds to snack on.

For more ways to help birds during severe weather, click here.

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