By now our yards should be busy with our normal residents plus a variety of winter residents: Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Rufous Hummingbird etc. But they aren't.
I have heard the occasional Ruby-crowned Kinglet but the only winter resident to have moved in so far is an Orange-crowned Warbler.
Okay, perhaps there haven't been enough cold fronts to push a lot of birds down here from the northern states and Canada, and maybe more birds will arrive soon. However, that doesn't explain where our year-round residents have gone. I should point out that their disappearance isn't recent. We haven't see a Blue Jay in two months and have only had a couple of brief visits by Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Northern Mockingbirds and Northern Cardinals in that time. Even the Carolina Wrens (below) and Carolina Chickadees that normally visit several times a day only seem to appear at widely-spaced intervals.
Luckily, our Downy Woodpeckers are still with us.
And for better or worse so are a few White-winged Doves. I thought doves were essentially seed eaters but our White-wingeds seem to have developed a taste for peanuts also.
Definitely for worse, the only birds that are visiting our yards in any numbers are House Sparrows. We somehow managed to avoid attracting them to our yards for years but now a large flock has discovered our feeders. The other day I counted 37 birds in our backyard.
There is a birdhouse on the wall of our garden shed, right opposite our main living-room window. The other day I was excited to catch a glimpse of movement in it. Had the house finally attracted the attention of Carolina Wrens or perhaps Brown-headed Nuthatches? We should be so lucky! Other people get birds in their birdhouses but we get rats.