Wild Birds Unlimited Newsletter
~ For those passionate about birding and nature ~
Feb  2017                                                                                              Volume 2.17
Nature News

High Desert Bird of the Month
Dark-eyed Junco

 
 

 

BOM :  Dark-eyed Junco

Scientific name : Junco hyemalis

 

How to identify:  The Dark-eyed Junco is a medium-sized sparrow with a rounded head, a short, stout bill and a fairly long, conspicuous tail. Juncos vary across the country, but in general they're dark gray or brown birds brightened up by a pink bill and white outer tail feathers that periodically flash open, particularly in flight.

 

Habitat:  Dark-eyed Juncos breed in coniferous or mixed-coniferous forests across Canada, the western U.S., and in the Appalachians. During winter you'll find them in open woodlands, fields, parks, roadsides, and backyards.

 

Where to find one: Dark-eyed Juncos are birds of the ground. They hop around the bases of trees and shrubs in forests or venture out onto lawns looking for fallen seeds. You'll often hear their high chip notes, given almost absent-mindedly while foraging, or intensifying as they take short, low flights through cover.

 

How to attract one to your yard:  Dark-eyed Juncos are primarily seed-eaters, with seeds of chickweed, buckwheat, sorrel, and the like making up about 75% of their year-round diet. At feeders they seem to prefer millet over sunflower seeds. During the breeding season, Dark-eyed Juncos also eat insects including beetles, moths, butterflies, caterpillars, ants, wasps, and flies.

 

Interesting fact:  The Dark-eyed Junco is one of the most common birds in North America and can be found across the continent, from Alaska to Mexico, from California to New York. A recent estimate set the junco's total population at approximately 630 million individuals

 

For more information on Dark-eyed Juncos, visit one of the three Moana Nursery store locations:  1100 W. Moana Ln. & 11301 S. Virginia St., Reno and 7644 Pyramid Hwy., Sparks. 

 

Carmel Ruiz-Hilton is Manager of Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shops at Moana Nursery in Reno/Sparks


Your Backyard Counts!
Take Part in the Great Backyard Bird Count: 
February 17-20, 2017

When you feed birds in your backyard, it shows that you value having a daily relationship with nature and that you are willing to take action to foster it.
Like many of us, if you have been feeding birds for a while...you probably have a reputation. Your friends, neighbors and relatives likely see you as a person who loves nature, and they value your willingness to share the enjoyment of "your" backyard birds at a moment's notice.
Your hobby and your backyard truly count as things that bring you joy and are important to you.
The Great Backyard Bird Count gives you the opportunity to make them count even more than ever by participating in this annual event which links citizens with scientists in an effort to collect important data about backyard birds.
The GBBC is a joint project of Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society and is sponsored by Wild Birds Unlimited. It takes place each February. Count the birds in your backyard, and then simply report the information online at http://gbbc.birdcount.org/.
Your information becomes part of an extensive data base that is analyzed by scientists to better understand important trends in bird populations, range expansions, habitat changes and shifts in migration patterns.
Make your backyard count even more for the birds when you participate in this year's GBBC. And to ensure the birds all show up to be counted, visit our store for the widest variety of great bird food products!

Wild Birds Unlimited Freshest Bird Seed in Town!
Red Hot Prices All Month!

Deluxe Blend: 21.99 reg. / 17.99 sale
Medium Sunflower Chips: 39.99 reg. / 35.99 sale

            

       

Suet is a simple and easy treat to make

If you enjoy feeding wild birds in your neighborhood then you know how important it is to feed them the proper diet during each season of the year. While many people feed suet cakes year round to the wild bird community it is not necessarily what the wild birds need in their diet year round. Below is what wild birds should be fed during each season: Winter, Fall, Spring and Summer. 

Winter: Water and food is not as easy to find and wild birds need to keep warm and full to make it through the sometimes harsh Winter weather. The high fat content in a suet cake will keep them warm by giving them added fat on their bodies.  Feeding suet cakes that are high in fat and protein will sustain them through the Winter months. Adding nuts and peanut butter to your suet cakes will give added protein and fat during the cold Winter months.

Spring: Spring is mating and nesting season for wild birds.  They will be returning from the warmer climate regions and they will be foraging for nesting materials as well as food that will sustain them during the mating season.  The food available to wild birds in the woods is still scarce so feeding suet cakes, fruit, nectar and birdseed is a good idea. Wild birds LOVE to eat mealworms, eggshells and raisins during the Spring.

Summer: During the Summer months weather is mostly warm and sunny and the wild birds have plenty to eat in the wild.  Summer is a great time of year to switch gears and start storing your suet cakes in the freezer and start adding fresh fruit to your suet feeders and cages.  You can cut an orange in half and place the two halves into a suet cage.  Birds will LOVE this and will flock to your feeder all Summer long.

Fall: With the temperatures starting to drop, especially during the evening and nights wild birds are starting to look for food in more places than just the ground.  Keeping your feeders filled is a great way to keep your local wild birds happy.  You can also start to feed suet cakes again. Keeping in mind the temperatures outside as you do not want to have a beautiful homemade suet cake melt outside if the weather is still too warm.
 
Upcoming Events
 
Lahontan Audubon Society

Saturday, February 4
9:00am
Field Trip - Virginia Lake

Saturday, February 11
9:30am
Stillwater NWR Tour

Tuesday, February 21
4:00pm
Birds & Books Reading Group

Thursday, February 23
6:30pm
Nature Night Photography Exhibit

Saturday, February 25
9:00am
Field trip - Annual Riverview Park Winter Bird Trip

Tuesday, February 28
6:30pm
Birds, Mammals and Reptiles of Tanzania, by Tom & Ann Howell - Program Meeting


Nature Happenings

* Great Backyard Bird Count, Feb. 17 - 20, www.birdsource.org/gbbc 

* Feb. 1 - 29: Project FeederWatch continues 

* Feb. 2: Groundhog Day 

* Feb. 7: Full Moon, Feb. 21: New Moon 

* February is National Bird Feeding Month 

* Unfrozen, fresh water ensures survival; keep heated bird baths plugged in. 

* Red-shafted Northern Flickers, our largest woodpecker, begin drilling holes for spring nesting
* Put up a "flicker" specific nest box to provide a much-needed nesting habitat and to deter them from entering your attic. 

* Bluebirds are searching for nesting cavities or nest boxes. Insects and berries can be scarce; offer mealworms, dried fruit, sunflower chips and more. 

* English House Sparrows and House Finches begin early nesting activity. * Black Bear cubs are born at the beginning of the month. 

* Time to put up a bird house or clean your existing ones. 

* Owls are the earliest nesters after beginning courtship in December and January. Listen for their nightly courtship serenades. 

Feed Our Local Birds!
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Moana Nursery | 1100 W. Moana Lane | 11301 S. Virginia St. | 7655 Pyramid Hwy. | Reno/Sparks | NV | 89509