Wild Birds Unlimited Newsletter
~ For those passionate about birding and nature ~
May  2017                                                                                              Volume 5.17
Nature News

High Desert Bird of the Month
Anna's Hummingbird
BOM:  Anna's Hummingbird

Scientific name: Calypte anna

How to identifyTiny among birds, Anna's are medium-sized and stocky for a hummingbird. They have a straight, shortish bill and a fairly broad tail. When perched, wingtips meet the tip of their short tail.  Anna's Hummingbirds are mostly green and gray, without any rufous or orange marks on the body. The male's head and throat are covered in iridescent reddish-pink feathers that can look dull brown or gray without direct sunlight.
HabitatAnna's Hummingbirds are common in yards, parks, residential streets, eucalyptus groves, riverside woods, savannahs, and coastal scrub. They readily come to hummingbird feeders and flowering plants, including cultivated species in gardens.
Where to find oneAnna's Hummingbirds are common in urban and suburban settings as well as wilder places such as chaparral, coastal scrub, oak savannahs, and open woodland. They are notably common around eucalyptus trees, even though eucalyptus was only introduced to the West Coast in the mid-nineteenth century.
How to attract one to your yard: Anna's Hummingbirds are welcome backyard birds and are easy to attract. Set out a hummingbird feeder, then mix your own hummingbird food using one part sugar to four parts water. Don't use honey or food coloring. Unlike most North American hummingbirds, Anna's Hummingbirds either don't migrate or else migrate a very short distance to better feeding grounds.
Anna's Hummingbirds eat nectar from many flowering plants, including currant, gooseberry, manzanita, and many introduced species such as eucalyptus. They also eat a wide array of insects from understory leaves, crevices, streambanks, or caught in spider webs, plucked from the air, or taken from flowers. They also help themselves to tree sap (and insects caught in it) leaking out from holes made by sapsuckers.
Interesting fact:  In rare occasions, bees and wasps may become impaled on the bill of an Anna's Hummingbird, causing the bird to starve to death.
For more information on Anna's Hummingbirds, 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

Fun Facts About 

- There are 18 hummingbird species in North America. Hummingbirds are found no where else in the world except the New World (North, Central, and South America.)

- The oldest known wild hummingbird on recorded was a Broad-tailed Hummingbird that was over 12 years old.

- There are over 325 species of hummingbirds, making them the second largest bird family in the world, second only to flycatchers.

- Hummingbirds weigh 1/10th of an ounce; about the weight of a penny.

- Hummingbirds' brains are about the size of a BB.

- Hummingbirds' hearts are larger proportionally to their body than any other bird or mammal.

- Hummingbirds have such underdeveloped legs that they are unable to walk well.

- A mother hummingbird weighs only about eight times more than her egg.

- Hummingbirds lay the world's smallest bird egg.

- Hummingbirds generally lay two eggs, each about the size of a blueberry.

- Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have one of the highest nesting success rates of any neotropical migrant.

- Ruby-throated Hummingbirds will have two broods, each taking 45 days from nest construction to fledging.

- Hummingbirds use spider webs as glue to attach the nest to a tree branch as well as a binding agent for the building materials.

- The nest is about the size of a golf ball; around 1 ½ inches in diameter.

- Only about 20% of Ruby-throated Hummingbird fledglings survive their first year.

- Hummingbirds eat about every ten minutes.

- Hummingbirds learn to associate flower colors, like red, with food. They do not have an innate preference for red.

- Hummingbirds can be very protective with feeding areas. One Anna's Hummingbird was seen killing another using its bill as a spear when a freeze killed a significant portion of flowers in the area. You can offer birds a helping hand in harsh weather times by providing extra feeders.

- Hummingbirds can drink up to twice their body weight in nectar every day (most birds only eat ¼ - ½ their body weight).

- They drink nectar from plants and sugar water from feeders.

- Hummingbirds lap up nectar with their long tongues. There is a groove on either side of the tongue that creates a capillary action to help draw the nectar up the tongue and into the mouth during the lapping action.

- Hummingbirds can extend their tongue approximately a distance equal to the length of their bill.

- While lapping up nectar, Hummingbirds can move their tongues in and out of their bill at a rate of up to 12 times a second.

- Female Hummingbirds' tongues are longer than the males.

- They eat insects and insect eggs on the ground and in trees. They love spiders and spider eggs. They use their bill and not their tongue to catch insects.

- One research study recorded an Anna's Hummingbird visiting over a 1,000 flower blossoms a day.

- Hummingbirds can fly up to 60 miles per hour, but typically fly at 30-45 miles per hour.

- They can hover and are the only birds able to fly backwards and upside down. They can do this because of an extremely mobile shoulder joint.

- Their wings beat 20-80 times per second.

- The flight muscles of a hummingbird are 25-30% of their body weight compared to other birds at 15-25%.

- Hummingbirds will bathe in shallow water sources like natural pools or dishes, and enjoy "showering" in sprinklers and misters.

- To keep their feathers in top shape, hummingbirds will leaf-bathe by fluttering against wet leaves.

- During the night, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can enter into a state of torpor to save energy. Similar to a type of short-term hibernation, torpor reduces their metabolic activity and drops their heart rate from 1,200 beats per minute to 50 beats per minute.

- Hummingbirds body temperatures are generally 105°-109°F (40.5°-42.7°C)

- Hummingbirds can be very feisty and aggressive when defending their territories and will even chase away much larger birds.

- The iridescence in the hummingbird's feathers has led them to be called the "jewels of the garden." 

- The male hummingbird's gorget (throat patch) is iridescent and reflects certain color wavelengths. Some of these unique throat colors can be used to identify specific male species. Anna's Hummingbird flashes neon pink; Costa's is violet; Magnificent is green; Ruby-throated is ruby-red; and the Blue-throated is vivid blue.

- Hummingbirds have been known to fall prey to Bull Frogs, Praying Mantis and large spiders.

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Red Hot Prices May 1-15!

Finch Seed 43.99 / Sale 40.99 

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Sweet Sippers of Spring!

Hummingbirds and Orioles are two of the coolest birds to grace our backyards. We have the expert tips and high quality foods and feeders to help bring these beauties to your yard this spring.

Arriving Mid-May these hand-blown glass feeders make a wonderful spot for backyard viewing of these graceful birds.  Mother's day is right around the corner and paired with our Sweet Seed Nectar wine bottles, you are sure to make an impression!

Upcoming Events
Lahontan Audubon Society

Wednesday, May 3
LAS Birds of the Truckee Meadows Classes - Backyard Birds

Tuesday, May 9
LAS Monthly Board Meeting

Wednesday, May 10
LAS Birds of the Truckee Meadows Classes - Birds of Lakes and Marshes

Friday, May 12
Field Trip - Hunter Creek Trail

Saturday, May 13
4th Annual Celebrate Washoe Valley

Tuesday, May 16
Birds & Books Reading Group

Wednesday, May 17
LAS Birds of the Truckee Meadows - Raptors, Birds of Prey

Thursday, May 18

Friday, May 19

Saturday, May 20

Sunday, May 21

Wednesday, May 24
LAS Birds of the Truckee Meadows - Mountain Birds

Friday, May 26
Field Trip - Tahoe Meadows

Animal Ark

May 6 @ 10:15 am - 2:30 pm
Animal Ark1265 Deerlodge Road 
Reno, NV 89508 
Come watch the fun as our predators break open their treat-filled piñatas! Great photo opportunities! Event prices: Adults $15; Seniors $13.50; Children $12; children 2 and under are free.

May 20 @ 8:30 am - 10:00 am
Animal Ark1265 Deerlodge Road 
Reno, NV 89508 

It's the fifth annual Animal Ark Stampede! Run through the beauty of nature at Animal Ark on this challenging 5K course or enjoy a brisk morning walk. A fun, one-mile Kids Run and a Tiny Tot Run available along  with face painting and raffle prizes for the entire family. 5K entry fee of $35 for adults, $20 for kid's one mile run and...
Find out more »

May 28 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Animal Ark1265 Deerlodge Road 
Reno, NV 89508 
Reservations required due to limited seating. RSVP at 1-775-970-3431 May 28th is the day for the Indianapolis 500 and the Cheetah 500! Come see the world's fastest land mammal in action as our cheetahs run at top speeds - completely off-leash - around the Animal Ark run field! Event prices: Adults $40; Seniors $35; Children (8-16 years old) $30. Children..

Nature Happenings
* Big Brown Bats might be seen swooping at dusk to eat flying insects.
* Fishing season begins in earnest with Rainbow and Green-Backed Cutthroat Trout filling lakes and rivers.
* Dawn Chorus: It's a most delightful avian chorus as males sing their finest to start the nesting cycle.
* Orioles arrive to build beautiful woven grass nests in colonies in deciduous trees.
* Male Western Tanagers arrive and are often seen traveling in pairs.
* Warblers, kingbirds, mockingbirds, catbirds, swifts delay their arrival until abundant flying insects are available.
* Spotted Towhees will sing from dawn to dusk in search of a mate.Western Wood-Peewee, one of our latest arriving migrants, return this month.
* Wild Morning Glory, Blue-eyed Grass, Indian Paintbrush, Sky Lupine, Fiddleneck, Winecup Clarkia, Fire Poppy, Globe Lily and Chinese Houses bloom this month.
* American Badgers give birth to up to five cubs early this month.
* Porcupine mothers give birth to their single pup this month.
* Rhododendrons bloom this month all over California.
* Peak of warbler migration happens early in the month.
* Black-headed Grosbeaks return.
* Lesser Goldfinches begin nesting.
* Peak of bird courtship. Listen for the morning chorus.
* Nesting materials are being collected.
* Chickadees and titmice become scarce at feeders as they nest and raise their young.
* Eta Aquarids meteor shower is early-May.
* International Migratory Bird Day is mid-May.
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Moana Nursery | 1100 W. Moana Lane | 11301 S. Virginia St. | 7655 Pyramid Hwy. | Reno/Sparks | NV | 89509