“Where have all the birds gone?” Something we often hear at this time of the year.

July, August and September are quiet month’s for many garden birds’ as much of their focus goes into evolving their new feathers and having a rest after the breeding season.

The garden can look quite empty at this point in late summer when it comes to birds. Sometimes it hard to get any feathered activity at all.

Don’t worry that they may seem to be missing as usually our fears are unwarranted, it’s nothing sinister. It is simply because the birds are tired after the breeding season and because they are undergoing their annual moult.

This is the changing of old feathers for new ones. Feathers are wonderful things, but they are not indestructible.

They wear out, and need replacing. Many birds loose the ability to fly so often hide away until the moult is over.

Moulting by ducks are really interesting at this stage, you might be wondering where all the male Mallard’s have gone? The males moult into plumage which is almost identical to the females. They look like this until they can fly again after a few months. They lose the ability to fly during this process it seems.

House Sparrows seem to disappear from our gardens at this time but at this time of year they flock together on farmland fields and hedges to take advantage of ripening grain and the harvest.

Once that food source is scarcer and the moult is over, our garden birds will be back in our gardens. For us all to enjoy once again.

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