Wild Birds Unlimited Newsletter
For those passionate about birding and nature
Nature News

- Bird Of The Month -

Bullock's Oriole



Scientific name: Icterus bullockii

How to identify: 

Male Bullock's Orioles have a black crown and back, a black eyeline and chin.  The remainder of the male's body is orange-yellow to yellow.  Their wings are black, edged in white with a large white patch.  In contrast, the female and immature are mostly grayish brown to yellow.  The female may also show some black on the throat and has pale white wingbars.


Habitat:  Preferred habitat for the oriole is riparian (along rivers, streams, lakes) where there is likely to be cottonwood and willow.  They can also be found in urban parks, especially near water or in suburban neighborhoods that have cottonwood trees. 


Where to find one: Bullock's Orioles winter in Mexico and nest all across the western half of the U.S.  They were once lumped with the eastern Baltimore Oriole; but now scientists believe they are not even closely related to that species. They are members of the same family as blackbirds, meadow larks and grackles.


How to attract one to your yard:  The diet for both adults and young is almost exclusively insects.  However, the adults will come to a nectar feeder, using the same solution as for hummingbirds.  Feeders designed specifically for orioles often include a shallow dish for grape jelly and a place to attach orange halves.  Oriole feeders, nectar and nesting material balls can be purchased at Moana Nursery. 


Interesting fact:  The Bullock's Oriole is one of the few songbird species in which the female also sings.  Her song varies somewhat from the male's.  She will sing up to and during nest building, and may actually sing more than the male. For a sampling of the oriole's song, visit www.allaboutbirds.org.


For more information on Bullock's Orioles, 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.



Birdfood Sale Small file
Our Top Seed Blends Sale!
Dove & Quail 20lb       Reg. $19.99    SALE $17.99
Deluxe 20lb                Reg. $21.49    SALE $23.99
No Mess 20lb              Reg. $39.99    SALE $35.99
Seed Sale limited to quantity on hand. Prices valid June 1-15th, 2015
Check out all current sales and promotions on the Moana Nursery website

Natural Rodent Control - Create A Raptor Habitat!

Tips and Tricks for Attracting Hummingbirds 


The nectar-feeding season is just around the corner! At this point in time, humming birds bid their winter territories goodbye to revisit their breeding grounds. Create a sanctuary in your backyard!

Hummingbird in flight

Lure hummingbirds into your garden with the following tips:


1. Feed them.

Provide enticing food for humming birds in three ways: through feeders, plants and insects.

  • Feeders - Clean, fill and hang feeders about two weeks prior to expected arrival (southern/coastal areas: March or earlier; Northern U.S: Mid-April to Mid-May). There are various feeders available in the market today such as saucer dishes, gel packs and inverted tubes. They come with ant, wasp or hornet guards and are often in red or orange color.
  • Just so you know, humming birds can see these colors. In fact you can hang red or orange ribbons to help them find your feeders more easily. Fill the feeders with commercial nectar concentrate or with a homemade hummingbird nectar recipe. In warm weather, make sure to change nectar every three days. Use vinegar water and rinse well with every nectar change.
  • Plants - Hummingbirds love flowers with plenty of nectar! Turn your yard into a perfect hummingbird habitat by planting hummingbird magnets. Put red flowers at the top of your list such as bleeding hearts, Columbia lily, red fireweed, desert trumpet, cardinal flower, trumpet vine, petunias, salvias, impatiens, larkspur, bee balm, cannas, coral bells, honeysuckles, columbine, and butterfly bush. These flowers are also shaped for hummingbirds' long bills. Add red gazing balls to nectar-rich, non-red flowers to attract these flying jewels.
  • Insects - Hummingbirds feed on insects, including spiders. Avoid using insecticides or pesticides that will exterminate this food source. In addition, these chemicals can also harm hummingbirds.

2. Supply Clean Water.

Hummingbirds are attracted to water, especially moving water sources like drippers, fountains, waterfalls and sprinklers. Water keeps them clean and fresh so you will often see them perching in a spray or flying through moving water to bathe. Setting up misters is a bright idea because hummingbirds love to take "leaf baths". It's refreshing for them to rub their feathers against wet leaves or simply sit on a branch enjoying the mist. To attract dozens of hummingbirds, position water sources near nectar-rich blooms.


3. Provide Shelter.

Of course, hummingbirds need to take a rest. They love to preen on perches, including thin vines, trellises, wires, shrubbery and clotheslines. Aggressive hummingbirds scout out for perches that allow them to protect their territories. If you want to make use of perching plants and shrubs, it's best to position them near food sources.


4. Make Good Nesting Spots Available.

Hummingbirds are different from most backyard birds because they do not use nesting boxes; rather they build their cup-shaped nests in shrubs and trees. Some birds also build their nests along wires or poles. Attract dozens of beautiful hummingbirds by providing safe areas for nesting. You may also supply nesting materials like animal fur, fine lint and short strings.


Upcoming Events



Lahontan Audubon Society:


SPECIAL EVENT - Lake Tahoe Bird Festival

When:  Sat, June 13, 9:00am - 2:30pm
Where: Taylor Creek Visitor Center, Visitor Center Road, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150



 Field Trip - Birding Page Meadows
When:  Sun, June 14, 6:30am - 10:30am
Where:  Page Meadows, Tahoe City, CA


For more information on Lahontan Audubon Events, visit the website: http://www.nevadaaudubon.org/



Animal Ark:


Wolf Howl Night
June 6 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Join us for a howling good time! The park opens at 6:00pm 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. Event prices: Adults $15; Seniors (62+) $13.50; Children (ages 3-12) $12; Children 2 and under are free.


Raptor Adventures
June 21 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm


Get up close and personal as awe-inspiring hawks, falcons and owls demonstrate the amazing skills of raptors in this fascinating, entertaining and educational presentation by falconers Jim and Kathleen Tigan. When not inspiring guests at Animal Ark, the true stars of this program protect vineyards, airports and industrial areas from pest birds, acting as true "green pest control." Your donation during the program provides for Animal Ark to host more expert presentations.

Dash 4 Dads Cheetah Chase
June 21 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


What Dad doesn't enjoy watching top speeds? Cheetahs accelerate 0 to 45MPH in just three strides, acceleration faster than a sports car! We predict Dad will be impressed! Reservations required due to limited seating. Children must be 8 years old to attend.



For more information on Animal Ark activities, go to http://animalark.org/ 

Nature Happenings




June is Perennial Garden Month & National Rivers Month.


Beautiful Columbines (Colorado State Flower) will begin to bloom.


Some cavity-dwelling species may attempt to start a second brood. Be sure to check your nest boxes.


Add suet dough to your bird feeding station during the hot summer.


Bird migration is finished. Birds that are here now are summer residents that nest.


As the month progresses, feeders can become busy with visiting parents and fledglings.


Keep cats inside to help protect fledglings.


House Wrens are nesting.


Viceroy, Fritillary and Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly mating seasons.


Keep nectar feeders fresh and change sugar solutions every three days as the temperature rises.


Many summer birds are not frequent feeder visitors but will seek out fresh water to beat the summer heat.


In new open space, watch for Say's Phoebes, Western Kingbirds, shrikes and various flycatchers to search for flying insects and water to wash them down.


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