WBU header
    Issue No. 1.15
January 1, 2015     
  


 

"Nature News" from Wild Birds Unlimited at Moana Nursery

High Desert Birds of the Month
  
 White & Golden Crowned Sparrows
  
      
 
click here to read more...

 

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 ~ Rewards Members Special ~
  
15 % OFF
 All Bugs, Nuts & Fruit Cakes or Cylinders. 
January 16-31st
  

   

  
One of the newest WBU products and
the Northern NV birds absolutely love these treats!
  
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WBU Featured Item!
  
New No Mess Plus Seed Blend
  
 
  
Great Product for Winter Feeding! 
 
No-Mess Plus Blend features:
Medium sunflower chips, shelled peanuts, chopped tree nuts, suet nuggets,
cherries, cranberries and calcium carbonate
creating a 100% edible blend to meet your birds' needs
with seeds, fats and fruits. 


 


 

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Get Involved! 

Project Feeder Watch

 

Great activity for kids and adults alike

 


 

http://feederwatch.org/

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Celebrating 10 years in Reno, NV!

 

 

 



January High Desert Birds-of-the-Month:

 

Bird of the Month

 White-crowned and golden-crowned sparrow

Scientific names: Zonotrichia leucophrys, Zonotrichia atricapilla

 

     


 

How to identify:

 White-crowns are a large sparrow with a long tail.  They are easy to identify with the crisp black and white crown stripes of the adults and their pink or yellow bill.  First winter (immature) birds sport buff and brown head stripes.  White-crowned males are one of the few birds you will hear singing in the winter; their song is described as a series of clear whistles followed by buzzy notes.  Female birds will sometimes sing, also.

 

Another winter resident is the Golden-crowned sparrow.  In summer Golden-crowns have a black crown with a fiery gold forehead.  In winter, when we are more likely to see them, their colors are more muted with a brown head and paler yellow on the crown. 

 

Habitat:

Both sparrows are most visible during migration and winter, when they frequent forest edge, shrubs, chaparral, and backyards of the West Coast. They nest much farther north, in low, shrubby areas of tundra or at the edges of boreal forests.

 

Where to find one:

While White-crowns are found almost everywhere in the U.S., the Golden-crown's range is limited to the west coast.  Nevada is about as far east as they are found, although vagrants are sometimes reported in the eastern U.S. 

 

How to attract one to your yard:

Both sparrows will eat seeds from ground feeders as well as fruits, buds, and flowers from garden plants. Be watchful, though, because they might also nibble on your cabbages, beets, and peas.

 

Interesting fact:

Male white-crowned sparrows can actually be bilingual, learning and using distinct song dialects from their home territory and a bordering one.

 

 
 

Click here to read all of the Bird-of-the-Month article


 



Carmel's Backyard Birding Blog

 

Sparrows as Symbols

A small bird that is internationally recognized as a harbinger of good or bad luck, the sparrow is seen throughout literature and folklore as a sign of spiritual benevolence, an omen of death and a catcher of lost souls.

 

 

Harbingers of Love

Indonesian superstitions if a sparrow enters a home, Indonesians believe that a wedding will occur, and if a woman spies a sparrow on Valentine's Day, she will find happiness by marrying a poor man. If a sparrow enters a home and builds a nest, it will bring good luck.

 

Christian Symbolism

In the Bible, sparrows were often mentioned as an offering made by a person without any means. Birds such as sparrows, eagles and doves were all symbols of the presence of God.

 

Soul Catchers

Sparrows, according to ancient Egyptians, caught the soul of a person recently deceased. Many sailors would tattoo the image of a sparrow on their bodies with the hope that the sparrow would catch their soul, carrying it to heaven if they died while at sea.

 

Sparrows in Dreams

When sparrows appear in dreams, they are said to signify the dreamer's benevolent nature toward others, specifically when listening to sad stories. A sparrow seen in a dream represents the dreamer's feelings of being loved and comforted, but to dream of a sparrow being hurt is an omen for future sadness.

 

 



January Nature Happenings

 

* Project FeederWatch continues, www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw
* Watch for Bald Eagles along the rivers.
* Beaver mating season.
* Rather than search for worms in the frozen soil, large winter flocks of robins will visit fruit trees for food.
* Cedar Waxwings will visit yards in search of fruit, often staying for hours before moving on.
* Juncos will hunt for fallen seed, often before dawn.
* The smaller the bird, the earlier it hunts for food in the winter darkness.
* Listen for Great Horned Owls' "hoot" as they pair up for mating season.
* Now through late March is a difficult time for birds; providing food and an open source of water is important.
* Winter is a great time to look for birds' nests. Admire the craftsmanship, but leave the nest in place.
* Rather than search for worms in the frozen soil, large winter flocks of robins will visit fruit trees for food.
* Cedar Waxwings will visit yards in search of fruit, often staying for hours before moving on.
* Juncos will hunt for fallen seed, often before dawn.
* Tree-loving birds such as Black-capped Chickadees, nuthatches and various woodpeckers will leave their winter night's cavity or roost box in search of high-calorie food.
* Bushtits, our smallest winter visitors, can be seen in large flocks flitting all over suet feeders and other high-protein sources of food.
* Listen for Great Horned Owls' "hoot" as they pair up for mating season.
* Now through late March is a difficult time for birds; providing food and an open source of water is important.
* Winter is a great time to look for birds' nests. Admire the craftsmanship, but leave the nest in place.
* Aldo Leopold's (Father of Wildlife Conservation) birthday Jan. 11
* Quadrantid Meteor Shower early in the month. See up to 60 falling meteors per hour!

 



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Moana Nursery | 1100 W. Moana Lane | 11301 S. Virginia St. | 7655 Pyramid Hwy. | Reno/Sparks | NV | 89509