Wild Birds Unlimited Newsletter
~ For those passionate about birding and nature ~
July 1st, 2016                                                                                               Volume 07.16
Nature News

High Desert Bird of the Month
Cedar Waxwing

Scientific name: Bombycilla cedrorum

How to identify:  Cedar Waxwings are sleek, masked birds with unusual red, waxy deposits at the tips of their secondary feathers. They are cinnamon-colored, with grayish wings and tails and yellow terminal tail-bands. They have distinctive crested heads, black throats, and black masks lined with white. Their bellies have a yellowish tinge, and their undertail coverts are white. Juveniles are mottled gray-brown, and have black masks and yellow tail-bands. The red feather-tips increase in number and size as the bird ages. 
Habitat:  Cedar Waxwings inhabit open, lowland woodlands with shrubs and small trees, especially when berry-producing shrubs are present. They are often found in streamside woods and avoid the forest interior. They are common in forest clearings, wetlands, edges, residential areas, orchards, and stands of Russian olive.
Behavior:  Cedar Waxwings are social birds that you're likely to see in flocks year-round. They sit in fruiting trees swallowing berries whole, or pluck them in mid-air with a brief fluttering hover. They also course over water for insects, flying like tubby, slightly clumsy swallows.

Where to find one: Cedar Waxwings are often heard before they're seen, so learn their high-pitched call notes; visit ­ http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Cedar_Waxwing/sound Look for them low in berry bushes, high in evergreens, or along rivers and over ponds. Check big flocks of small birds: waxwings are similar to starlings in size and shape, and often form big unruly flocks that grow, shrink, divide, and rejoin like starling flocks.

How to attract one to your yard: Cedar Waxwings love fruit. To attract waxwings to your yard, plant native trees and shrubs that bear small fruits, such as dogwood, service berry, cedar, juniper, hawthorn, and winter berry.

Interesting factsThe name "waxwing" comes from the waxy red secretions found on the tips of the secondaries of some birds. The exact function of these tips is not known, but they may help attract mates.

Cedar Waxwings with orange instead of yellow tail tips began appearing in the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada in the 1960s. The orange color is the result of a red pigment picked up from the berries of an introduced species of honeysuckle. If a waxwing eats enough of the berries while it is growing a tail feather, the tip of the feather will be orange.

The Cedar Waxwing is one of the few North American birds that specializes in eating fruit. It can survive on fruit alone for several months. Brown-headed Cowbirds that are raised in Cedar Waxwing nests typically don't survive, in part because the cowbird chicks can't develop on such a high-fruit diet.
Many birds that eat a lot of fruit separate out the seeds and regurgitate them, but the Cedar Waxwing lets them pass right through. Scientists have used this trait to estimate how fast waxwings can digest fruits.

Because they eat so much fruit, Cedar Waxwings occasionally become intoxicated or even die when they run across overripe berries that have started to ferment and produce alcohol.

Building a nest takes a female Cedar Waxwing 5 to 6 days and may require more than 2,500 individual trips to the nest. They occasionally save time by taking nest materials from other birds' nests, including nests of Eastern Kingbirds, Yellow-throated Vireos, orioles, robins, and Yellow Warblers.

Go to the WBU site for more Bird of the Month newsletters & articles. 
The heat is ON!
Buy 3 seed or suet stackables
get a cylinder feeder for FREE!

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Summer Cylinder Simplicity

Summer bird feeding can't be beat with our Wild Birds Unlimited cylinders and cylinder feeders. 

Made of different combinations of tightly packed ingredients, our exclusively formulated seed cylinders keep birds at the feeder longer because birds have to work to remove seeds. So instead of birds swooping in, grabbing a bite and taking off to eat it elsewhere, cylinder feeding offers a few extra moments of enjoyment. 

They also last longer allowing birds to feed while you're on vacation. Our Cylinder Feeders are a perfect match for seed and no-melt suet cylinders because they are easy to fill, provide a protective roof and allow perching and clinging birds to comfortably feed. 

Simply drop in one of our cylinders, hang the feeder and watch your birds enjoy. Try different cylinder flavors to see what the birds prefer in your yard.

Fun Facts About Waxwings

Cedar Waxwings are found in flocks throughout the US. They are winter migrants in the southern US from coast to coast while they are year-round residents in the northern part. Cedar Waxwings are more common throughout the US whereas the Bohemian Waxwings are occasionally found in the more northern realms in winter.

The highly social Cedar Waxwing is one of the last species of North American birds to nest each year, delaying its breeding until an abundance of insects and summer-ripened fruits are available to feed their young. They have been known to nest together in loose clusters and fledglings from neighboring nests may flock together within a few days of leaving the nest.

Waxwings are predominantly fruit eaters, especially from fall through spring. Sometimes people come across a seemingly sick and docile waxwing in the spring. They are actually drunk from eating fermented berries. Insects are added as a large part of their diet in summer. Waxwings can be seen flying out from an exposed perch to catch insects (or snowflakes) on the wing. They also like to feed on the emerging aquatic insects.

They are gregarious and it is unusual to find Cedar Waxwings on their own. Due to the nature of the fruit and insects being in patchy distribution it is easier to find this food in groups.

The waxwing name came from the tips of the bird's secondary flight feathers looking like they were dipped in red wax. The cedar part of the name comes from their fondness for cedar berries.

Waxwings like to build nests high in the trees and often there will be a few nesting near each other. The female does most of the construction sometimes utilizing old nests for building materials or even renovating previously used nests. There will be one to two broods from June to August with usually three to five eggs. The nesting season may go longer if the fruit crop is very good and the weather is favorable.

Upcoming Events
Lahontan Audubon Society

Field Trip - Wildflowers, Birds, and Falls (Mt Rose)

When Sat, July 9, 7:30am - 2:00pm
Where Mt. Rose Summit 

Description The Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS), Tahoe Rim Trail Association (TRTA), and Lahontan Audubon Society (LAS) are sponsoring this moderately difficult hike (6.5 miles all above 8,000 ft.) from the Mt. Rose Trailhead to Galena Falls in search of mid-summer wildflowers and spectacular scenery. TINS' naturalist, Sarah Hockensmith, and a few trusty TRTA guides will lead the way as we enjoy nature's treasures before soaking up the great views of Galena Falls. Galena Falls and the alpine meadows will be surrounded with colorful wildflowers. Bring sunscreen, water, and a lunch. This hike is free, but reservations are required. 

Animal Ark

July 1 @ 8:00 am - July 31 @ 5:00 pm
We offer free admission for all active and reserve personnel. Military family members will receive 50% regular admission prices. We're grateful for your service! Directions: From Reno, take Highway 395 North, right on Red Rock Road, go 11.5 miles, then right onto Deerlodge Road to our driveway at 1265 Deerlodge. Phone: 1-775-970-3111 (area code required when dialing from Reno).

Wolf Howl Night
July 9 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Join us for a howling good time! The park opens at 6:00 p.m. so you may see the other residents of Animal Ark prior to the fun and educational Wolf Howl Program at 7:00. Hear wolves and coyotes howl then participate in our contest, with prizes to be awarded to the best human howlers. Select Type: Adult $15.00 USD 

All American Cheetah Dash
July 30 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Reservations required due to limited seating. RSVP at 1-775-970-3431 Celebrate Americas birthday month at Animal Ark and enjoy yourself with an incredible experience: Watch these magnificent cats running with extraordinary speed, off-leash, across the desert in pursuit of an enticing lure. Admission: $40 for Adults, $35 for Seniors, $30 for Children (8-16 years old) *Children must be at least 8.

Nature Happenings
July 3: Full Moon, July 19: New Moon * July 28 - 29: Delta Aquarids Meteor shower peaks.

July: NABA National Butterfly countbird for its size. 

Calliope Hummingbirds, our smallest bird in North America, also visit on their southern migration. 

Black-chinned Hummingbirds spill over from the mountains and visit feeders. 

Butterfly Weed is in bloom. 

Look for Monarch caterpillars on milkweed foliage. 

American Goldfinches are our last birds to nest, waiting for mature thistle plants to provide nesting material and food for their young. 

Keep finch feeders full of fresh Nyjer® (commonly referred to as thistle) seed. 

Robins have finished nesting, but will readily visit yards in search of worms and berries.

Plant berry-producing shrubs or offer cherries, cranberries, raisins, grapes, or blueberries to help robins feed their young.

Look for hummingbirds feeding on Trumpet Creeper, Columbine and Penstemon. 

Mallards and Wood Ducks molt into their "eclipse" plumage and are unable to fly for several weeks. 

First brood of immature hummingbirds begins to show up at nectar feeders later in the month. 

Rufous Hummingbirds visit mid-month on their southbound leg of the longest migration distance of any

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