Wild Birds Unlimited Newsletter
~ For those passionate about birding and nature ~
July 2018                                                                                          Volume 7.18
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Product info, videos and much more!
Nature News
Bird of the Month
Mountain Chickadee
Poecile gambeli 

Like all chickadees, the Mountain Chickadee has striking black-and-white markings on the head and gray elsewhere. The white stripe over the eye identifies Mountain Chickadees from all other chickadees. They are tiny, large-headed birds with small bills, with a long, narrow tail and full, rounded wings.
The Mountain Chickadee is found in the dry, mountainous forests of the West. The similar Black-capped Chickadee often occurs along streams and in broad-leaved trees, while Mountain Chickadees stick to the evergreens on higher slopes.
They are common across most of the evergreen forests of Western mountains, particularly pine, mixed conifer, spruce-fir, and pinyon-juniper forests. Mountain Chickadees use conifers heavily, typically leaving deciduous stands to the Black-capped Chickadee. The exception is in nesting, when Mountain Chickadees will seek out any available aspen trees for their soft, easily excavated wood.
Mountain Chickadees eat protein-rich insects and spiders during warm months, supplementing them with seeds and nuts as available. They come to bird feeders all year round. Many kinds of insects are eaten, including beetles, caterpillars, wasp larvae, aphids, and leafhoppers, as well as hard-to-reach scale insects and fly larvae hidden in plant galls. In fall and winter, seeds of montane pine species are very important.
Energetic models suggest that a half-ounce chickadee needs to eat about 10 calories per day to survive. That's equivalent to about one-twentieth of an ounce of peanut butter.
For more information on Mountain Chickadees, 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

Build Your Own Chickadee Nest Tube

Chickadee Habits
Naturally, chickadees either excavate their own nests in rotted tree snags or take over old downy woodpecker cavities. Both sexes engage in the initial construction, but once the nest chamber is about 10 inches deep, the male stops helping, and the female builds a nest in the bottom of the cavity. The nest is cup-shaped and constructed from moss, grass and sticks -- they then add rabbit fur or some other soft material to line the cup.

Make the Tube
To construct your own nesting tube, use 12-inch sections of 4-inch PVC pipe. Drill a 1 1/8 inch entrance hole 1 to 2 inches from the top of the tube. Make the interior of the pipe slightly rough, by using a rasp or sandpaper, to help the birds move in and out. Use a cap on each side of the tube to keep the nesting container dry. Use nontoxic spray paint to camouflage the white pipe. Always use earth tones -- if possible, paint the tube to match the color of the local trees.
Finishing Touches
Because of their excavating instincts, black-capped chickadees do not often use empty nesting boxes. Instead, they prefer to use nesting boxes with wood shavings inside. The shavings allow them to use these excavation instincts, which improve the chances that the chickadees will accept your nest boxes. Carolina chickadees do not appear to be as finicky as black-capped chickadees are, and will inhabit empty nest boxes.

Wild Birds Unlimited Freshest Bird Seed in Town!

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Don't forget to check out our current Moana Nursery Garden Specials!

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Feeding Wild Birds By Hand

Here's a fun time-lapse video of our very own Jim Carpenter (President, CEO) feeding wild birds by hand. In this video you'll see Mountain Chickadees and a Clark's Nutcracker feeding right from Jim's hand!

Upcoming Events

Lahontan Audubon Society
Saturday, June 30  All day
Nevada Audubon Chapters Birding Trip to Ruby Mountains & Marshes
Sunday, July 1  All day
Nevada Audubon Chapters Birding Trip to Ruby Mountains & Marshes
Friday, July 6  7:00am
Field Trip - Spooner Lake and Chimney Beach
Tuesday, July 17  4:00pm
Birds and Books Reading/Discussion Group

Tahoe Institute of Natural Science

Thu Jul 05 @10:00AM - 03:00PM
Northstar Adventure Camp


Fri Jul 06 @10:00AM - 03:00PM
Northstar Adventure Camp


Sat Jul 14 @10:00AM - 01:00PM
Colors of Summer Hike


Sun Jul 15 @ 9:00AM
NABA Butterfly Count


 Go to Tinsweb website for full list of outings 

Nature Happenings

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 bird.

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