I received this message from Mark Richards. If anyone wants to follow up on this with Mark email me and I will give you his email address. You also may reach him via info@...
He is co-chair of Alaska Backcountry Hunters. He lives over 100 miles from the nearest village in the eastern interior.
I was gonna write another birder friend about this ... but just got this note so is fortuitous. First off, we are temporarily back home this morning after two nights at wall tent camp on bluff downriver, had evac-ed in anticipation of a very bad (late) breakup. But it has been cold the last couple days, first a major snowstorm, then it cleared off yesterday and got to 11 deg. last night.
Anyway, during the snowstorm we had a "fallout" of songbirds, white-crowned sparrows, juncos, flycatchers, lapland longspurs. Some had already arrived some days earlier during the much warmer weather. Well at the tent, the sparrows would not stop coming in through the cracks under the tent flap doors, seeking any open non-snow-covered ground, or maybe heat, not sure, and it annoyed Lori no end trying to sleep with them pittering about in the tent, though I found it rather amusing <grin>. But today, back at home, the dog lots where there is no snow, dog houses, and parts of yard, are littered with dead birds. Do you have any idea what causes that? Were they starving? Froze to death? Also a bunch of dead flycatchers floating just off the bank in slack water.
Been the most freaky spring and breakup we've ever had! We were freezing last night in the tent, I finally got up at 3:30 am and started a fire in the stove. Weren't expecting to be camping in that kind of weather. Taking the chance today that the colder weather has prolonged water rushing down, and hoping to spend the night here then back to bluff camp in the morning. Imagine it will hit high forties today then supposed to hit 60 by wednesday.
Best, Mark (ps, if you can put me in touch (or fwd the bird part) with anyone in interior who may know more about the fallout of songbirds and all this, would appreciate it.)