Desperate feeding behaviour

We put fat balls out and mainly sparrows, starlings and occasionally blue & great tits. In the last two weeks we have observed an almost desperation in the feeding. Usually the fat balls last a couple of days but they're gone now in hours and we've seen a male blackbird feeding on them this morning several times. There's a desperation about the way they're feeding as though they're expecting to not feed for a while or bad weather. I've been a birdwatcher for years and never seen this behaviour. I'm also a gardener and have noticed a drop in caterpillars and greenfly/black fly. Is this a climate change adaption? Has anyone else seen this behaviour? 

  • Yes, now you mention it, I too have seen far fewer aphids. Had a few field beans briefly overrun with black bean aphids. But, very few blackfly on obvious targets like nasturtiums and have seen about two greenfly on me. Very few ladybirds too. Even harlequins seem thin on the ground.

    I don't feed the birds other than niger. Blackbirds here are consuming bird cherries and raspberries.

    2021 has clearly been a disaster for caterpillars and therefore their adult forms too. Shouldn't affect species like starlings you refer to, They are likely to have benefitted from 2021 weather and certainly have here after a diasterous decade overall.

    I think there is bound to be 'Climate Change' in there somewhere, but location of jetstream has been the biggest factor over the last 6 months.