Jun 15, 2023 | Bird Feeder Survey, The Sandpiper

Years ago, while walking through a park in Manhattan, I noticed a young man eating his lunch, a male house sparrow hopped over, cocked his head and looked at him, the young man immediately responded by tossing a bit of bread to the bird. It made me wonder why we have the urge to feed things? Birds will feed the residents of their nest even though their own babies have been replaced by parasitic birds such as cowbirds. In “little shop of horrors” Seymour feels obliged to feed “Audrey” the plant from outer space when she demands “feed me”. When our dog sat up and begged we threw him a snack.

Some feeding urges seem to be a response to instinct while others a response to some type of positive feedback. When we threw a snack to our dog the feedback was thinking how smart he was. Feeding the birds in our yard gives us a benevolent feeling and the feedback is the joy we get by bringing the birds close so we can view them. The GSBAS feeder survey has been run for many years, I have enjoyed compiling the survey for more than 10 years, I will no longer be running it after this last survey. 

Over the years I have enjoyed hearing from everyone, and hope you will continue to fill your feeders and stay aware of the nature on your doorsteps. 

Thank you, Helga Merryman!

We had 8 participants; Banaszak, Cafarelli, Fogarty, Gale, Horman, Merryman, Preisinger and Wilson.

7 areas were represented; Babylon, Blue Point, Brightwaters, Deer Park, Medford, Ridge and West Islip.

Red-tailed Hawk 0/2/1

Sharp-shinned Hawk 0/0/0 

Cooper’s Hawk 1/3/2

Mourning Dove 59/54/44 

Red-bellied Woodpecker 4/7/8

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 0/0/0

Downy Woodpecker 8/9/10

Hairy Woodpecker 2/1/2

Northern Flicker 1/2/1

Blue Jay 17 / 15 

Blue Jay 14/23/9 

American Crow 10/4/1

Black-capped Chickadee 15/19/11

Tufted Titmouse 5/5/9 

Red-breasted Nuthatch 2/2/4 

White-breasted Nuthatch 8/4/6

Carolina Wren 4/6/6

American Robin 0/0/4

Northern Mockingbird 3/2/1

European Starling 68/18/22 

Fox Sparrow 0/0/1 

Song Sparrow 10/1/14 

White-throated Sparrow 14/13/15 

Dark-eyed Junco 10/16/18 

Northern Cardinal 12/12/11

Red-winged Blackbird 0/1/17

Common Grackle 15//7/66 

Brown-headed Cowbird 0/0/1

House Finch 24/21/39

American Goldfinch 15/13/13

House Sparrow 43/37/41 


Raven 2/0/1

Turkey 1/0/0

Herring Gull 1/0/0

Bald Eagle 2/2/1

Great Blue Heron 0/1/1

Purple Finch 0/0/1


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Located at Brookside Park
59 Brook Street
West Sayville, NY 11796

GSBAS made possible through the generosity of Suffolk County Parks.