Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Where are the birds?

Blueberries grow really well here. I have three Rabbiteye-type blueberry bushes in the sunny front garden, and one each in the shady back and side yards. Most years, the bushes produce enough ripe berries that for three or so weeks in late June and early July I bring in two or three quarts of berries every day. That is enough to leave some in a bowl on the kitchen counter for snacking, some to freeze/can/dehydrate/make desserts with, and some to give away. Then, the birds find the bushes and they strip off all the berries.

The arrival of the birds always makes me a little sad, because three weeks isn't quite enough, and I end up wishing that the birds would give me a few more days. Well, you know how they say, "watch out what you wish for?" This year, I got my wish. Every day for six weeks now the berries have been ripening untroubled by birds, with the exception of one family of three cardinals. Now, my freezer is bursting with quart bags full of blueberries. I've given away quarts, and quarts, and quarts, and I still need to go out and pick today. I shouldn't complain, I know, because blueberries are good food, and plenty of people in the world are hungry and would love to have this problem. I would like, though, to know what happened to the hungry birds.


  1. Any updated thoughts on the lack of birds?

  2. My most hopeful guess is that some other food source trumped the blueberries. I did notice that the wild black cherry trees were especially productive in my neighborhood this year, so maybe the birds were gorging on cherries instead of my blueberries. Less optimistically, some birds may be missing. Catbirds have traditionally been some of the worst blueberry gluttons, and I haven't seen (or heard) any catbirds in my yard this year.


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