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What prompted my thinking about the competition of various feeder birds was
the AMERICAN BIRDS "Cause Effect" article volume 58 about changes in boreal
bird irruptions and declines of Evening Grosbeak, Boreal Chickadee, Purple
Finch, Pine Grosbeak, etc..   The article stated that PUFIs were in decline
before the arrival of House Finches to the eastern states most likely due to
boreal forest changes, however, I still wonder if the presence of aggressive
HOFIs will have some effect on current populations of other feeder birds
surviving through harsh winters.
The Amer. Birds article is excellent: explaining why we saw large flocks of
Evening Grosbeaks in the seventies (due to increased food supply of spruce
budworms), why many boreal species have declined since then, and the value
of Christmas counts and long term data bird records.  It was good reading
for a snowy day while the SCNWR was closed due to winter storms.
Tommie Rogers
Mound City, MO

----- Original Message -----
From: "Edge Wade" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2005 2:37 PM
Subject: Re: Competion of Purple Finches and House Finches


> In the years that the House Finch population was very high in my
> neighborhood, I saw few Purple Finches--fewer than in previous years,
> but numbers were never high.  The House Sparrows also disappeared here,
> completely.  I saw no reduction in American Goldfinch, Black-capped
> Chickadee or Tufted Titmouse numbers.
>
> With the die-off attributed to the eye disease, the House Finch
> population went to nearly zero here.  Their numbers have increased
> again, but have not reached anything similar to the population peak.
> Purple Finches rebounded, House Sparrows have reappeared (thanks in part
> to the feeding practices of a nearby birder), chickadee and titmouse
> populations are pretty constant, and the goldfinches come and go in
> small and large numbers, both seasonally and in weather events.  Pine
> Siskins come in as erratically as before.
>
> I know this will not set well with many, but...
> Why not "let nature take its course."  That is, perhaps people who feed
> birds should not agonize over the appearance of a diseased House Finch
> and respond by "sanitizing" or removing the feeders altogether.
>
> The die-off of House Finches here has resulted in a more balanced bird
> community.  The House Finches, Purple Finches and others share the
> feeders, competing individually for perches both inter and intra
> species.  The die-off may also have had other "advantages" for the House
> Finch population/gene pool.
>
> Edge Wade
> Columbia, MO
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Thursday, February 10, 2005, at 08:24 AM, Tommie Rogers wrote:
>
>> For the past two years I have noticed that Purple Finches come by my
>> house to inspect the feeders and leave shortly thereafter.  Lone Pine
>> Siskins and Black-capped Chickadees do the same.  In my opinion they
>> cannot compete with the greedy, aggressive House Finches which occupy
>> sunflower seed feeders from dawn to dark.  Has anyone else noticed
>> this?  I believe this competition would surely have some impact on the
>> future survival of Purple Finches in the east.
>> I have found that sprinkling seed on the ground, like Kim March does or
>> on the deck railing, that some of the less aggressive birds will get
>> seed during bad weather.
>> Tommie Rogers
>> Mound City, MO
>>
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>
> __________________________________________________
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__________________________________________________
*        Audubon Society of Missouri's           *
*         Wild Bird Discussion Forum             *
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*    SIGNOFF MOBIRDS-L                           *
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