From:                              Wild Birds Unlimited at Moana Nursery <>

Sent:                               Friday, January 01, 2016 10:01 AM

To:                                   Customer Service

Subject:                          January Nature News from Wild Birds Unlimited at Moana Nursery


Issue 1.16                                                                                     Jan 1, 2016



Wild Birds Unlimited Newsletter

For those passionate about birding and nature



Nature News


- Bird Of The Month -

Mountain Bluebird


Scientific name: Sialia currucoides

How to identify:  Mountain Bluebirds are fairly small thrushes with round heads and straight, thin bills. Compared with other bluebirds they are lanky and long-winged, with a long tail.


Habitat: Dry, mountainous forests of the West. Male Mountain Bluebirds are sky-blue, a bit darker on wings and tail and a bit paler below, with white under the tail. Females are mostly gray-brown with tinges of pale blue in the wings and tail. They occasionally show a suffusion of orange-brown on the chest. Mountain Bluebirds' bills are entirely black. Juveniles have fewer spots than the young of other bluebirds.


Where to find one: Male Mountain Bluebirds lend a bit of a colorful sparkle to open habitats across much of western North America. You may spot these cavity-nesters flitting between perches in mountain meadows, in burned or cut-over areas, or where prairie meets forest-especially in places where people have provided nest boxes. 


How to attract one to your yard: In winter, search for areas with berry-laden junipers and watch for flocks of birds feeding on those berries. Mountain Bluebirds often mix with Western Bluebirds, American Robins, and Cedar Waxwings when taking advantage of such fruity abundance.  Offering brushes bearing fruits and putting out mealworms may bring them into a backyard habitat for feeding.


Interesting fact:  A female Mountain Bluebird pays more attention to good nest sites than to attractive males. She chooses her mate solely on the basis of the location and quality of the nesting cavity he offers her-disregarding his attributes as a singer, a flier, or a looker.


For more information on Mountain Bluebirds, 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


Go to the WBU site for more Bird of the Month newsletters & articles. 



Great Winter Project! Build a Bluebird Nesting Box


Bluebird House 


Want to do something that's good for bluebirds and fun for you? Build them a nesting box! You'll be charmed by the brilliant birds' beauty and their cheerful singing. Since their diet consists primarily of insects and grubs, your garden may benefit, too.


In the past, bluebirds relied on woodpeckers and other cavity-dwellers to provide the majority of their nesting places. They'd select abandoned cavities in dead trees or rotten fence posts to raise their families. As development wiped out many of these natural nesting sites, the bluebird population declined dramatically. But man-made nesting boxes have played a vital role in reviving the beloved bluebird. They have fairly specific requirements, so these DIY birdhouse plans are designed to meet their needs.


Find the instructions here:



Heated bird baths can be a bird's best friend!



Come in and ask us about our winter selection

of bird baths and heaters!



These make great gifts for our backyard feathered friends. 


Check out all current sales and promotions on the Moana Nursery website



Fun Facts About Winter Nutrition


Bird feeders can be an important food source during winter. When severe weather impacts wild food supplies, some species of birds will turn to feeders as a critical food resource. It is during these times that feeders play their most vital role. If a storm is of long duration or extreme impact, a feeding station may mean the difference between life and death for these birds.

Studies show that birds do not become dependent on bird feeders. Research studies on Black-capped Chickadees have shown that only 20-25% of its diet will come from using feeders, the rest still comes from natural sources...even in winter. It is reasonable to conclude this is true of other feeder birds and that 80% of their diet is still from the natural sources.

Birds usually eat a quantity of food necessary to satisfy their energy needs, their food intake fluctuates with environmental temperature, their activity level, and the energy concentration of the diet.

Have you noticed how ravenously the birds eat at your bird feeders, especially first thing in the morning and just before dusk? They are stoking their internal heater to get the day started and replenish fat reserves for another cold night.


The average bird in an average environment must forage about five hours per day to meet its energy requirements. In winter, they may have to forage longer for much-needed energy.


  • During cold weather chickadees have been found to need twenty times more food than they do in summer.
  • When the temperature falls below 10º F (-12ºC), chickadees with access to feeders have a higher winter survival rate of 69% versus a 37% survival rate for populations without access to feeders.
  • Lipids are the most concentrated energy source that a bird can consume.
  • Lipids are substances such as a fat (like suet), oil (found in seeds) or wax (usually from tree fruits).
  • A bird expends 60% of its energy through body heat.
  • The top recommended carbohydrate food for ground-feeding birds is primarily millet. Recommended blends include Select and No-Mess.




Upcoming Events


Lahontan Audubon Society


Pyramid Lake Christmas Bird Count

When  Fri, January 1, 2016, 7am - 7pm

Where  Crosby's Lodge, Sutcliffe 


Minden Christmas Bird Count

When  Sat, January 2, 2016, 7am - 7pm

Where  TBD 


For more information on Lahontan Audobon activities, go to



Animal Ark


For more information on Animal Ark activities, go to 



Nature Happenings



* Project FeederWatch continues,

* Coldest month of the year. Keep your bird bath open with a deicer.
* Give woodpeckers, nuthatches, bushtits and chickadees the calories they need by providing suet.
* Look for over-wintering Yellow-rumped Warblers at your water source and suet feeders.
* Large raptors begin nesting late in the month.
* The goldfinch population peaks; keep your feeders full.
* Downy Woodpeckers are drumming and drilling.
* First Anna's Hummingbirds fledge; keep feeders full and clean.
* Great Blue and other herons and egrets begin nesting.
* Bald Eagles are present in the local mountains.
* 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.
* 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!


Celebrating 10 years in Reno, NV! 



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