For weeks now our yards have been surprisingly - I say "spookily" - empty of birds. Our normal Northern Cardinals, Carolina Chickadees, Carolina Wrens and Red-bellied Woodpeckers have been almost total absent since early or mid September. Even visits by White-winged Doves and House Sparrows have been few and far between, although I can't say I'm too upset by this.
Luckily, a couple of our resident species have still been visiting regularly, with the most frequent visitors to our feeders being two Northern Mockingbirds.
Our sole winter resident to date, an Orange-crowned Warbler, usually comes to get suet once or twice a day also.
I've tried everything I know to bring back our missing resident birds. I've put peanuts and peanut butter on our fences. I've hung up more suet feeders. I've put up a new sunflower seed tube-feeder. I've added a platform feeder with sunflower seeds, nuts and other goodies. Nothing has worked yet.
My wife suspects that our birds have been deterred by the caged birds that a new neighbor has put in the yard next to ours. I suspect a more probable cause is another new neighbor. This one moved in a few weeks ago and perches on our rooftops and trees!
Early last week I was sitting in my home office when I noticed what looked like an Eastern Bluebird sitting on our back fence. I grabbed my camera and ran outside. No fewer than 4 Bluebirds were in our yard! So that was a nice - and unexpected - addition to our list of yardbirds.