Late Spring Proving Deadly for Some Migrant Birds

April 18, 2018 06:48 PM

(ABC 6 News) – This year’s longer than usual winter weather is having an effect on the lifespan of the local birds.



Brandi Bakken says she has found several dead on her Byron property so far this spring.


"I tried to move one and he moved a little bit and then I came back like a half an hour later and he was dead,” said Bakken.


And according to Jaime Edwards, the nongame wildlife specialist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, she's not the only one.


"With this late spring, we're starting to see some bird mortalities with the early migrants. Things like bluebirds, robins, phoebes, things that tend to be a little bit more of insect eaters when they come in the spring."


Viki Morris, who lives in Rochester, says she has noticed "They're starving; it's unbelievable how much they're eating.”


Netta Putzier, the owner of Rochester Pet and Country Store says they can’t get to the food they need right now.


"Now with the snow, they can't get to any of the worms and you don't have the flying stuff out there either. So they just need some help and need some energy to keep going,” said Putzier.


But Edwards says there are things people can do to help, "People can mitigate some of the loss by providing supplemental food.”


According to the Rochester Pet and Country Store, they're seeing a lot of people already taking action.


"I would say there's probably a good 30 to 40-percent increase looking for what to feed the Robins. Cause most of the time, Robins won't eat out of a feeder. They're more of a ground feeder,” said Putzier.


It includes customers like Morris who says she spends about $10 a day to help keep our feathered friends alive.


"And I would go out to the feeders and refill them with six more quarts and throw it all over the ground and there would 200 birds again. I think I did that 3 three times on the day it snowed all day,” said Morris.


Edwards says people can help save some birds by putting more protein-like food in feeders and on the ground.



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