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

- Bird Of The Month -

American Kestrel



How To IdentifyNorth America's smallest falcon, the American Kestrel contains fierce intensity in its small body. It's one of the most colorful of all raptors.  The male's slate-blue head and wings contrast beautifully with his rusty-red back and tail; the female has a similar warm reddish on her wings, back, and tail.  The American Kestrel' s slender body is roughly the size and shape of a Mourning Dove, although it has a larger head; longer, narrow wings; and long, square-tipped tail. In flight, the wings are often bent and the wingtips swept back.


Habitat:  American Kestrels occupy habitats ranging from deserts and grasslands to alpine meadows. You're most likely to see them perching on telephone wires along roadsides, in open country with short vegetation and few trees.


Where to find one:  Hunting for insects and other small prey in open territory, kestrels perch on wires or poles, or hover facing into the wind, flapping and adjusting their long tails to stay in place. Kestrels are declining in parts of their range; you can help them by putting up nest boxes.


How to attract one to your yard:  Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young.  

Interesting fact:  Unlike humans, birds can see ultraviolet light. This enables kestrels to make out the trails of urine that voles, a common prey mammal, leave as they run along the ground. Like neon diner signs, these bright paths may highlight the way to a meal.


For more information on American Kestrels, 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.



Bring In This Coupon and SAVE
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Receive 20% off a one regularly priced non-bird food item.
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Offer valid 5/1-5/15/2015.  Subject to stock on hand.
Check out all current sales and promotions on the Moana Nursery website

Natural Rodent Control - Create A Raptor Habitat!


Rodents are common pests for farmers and gardeners. Most people who have tried growing a crop know the damage these pesky creatures cause.

Conventional methods of rodent control include trapping, poison baits, or destroying tunnels. These techniques are labor intensive and costly, and can harm non-target species. Attracting raptors as part of an integrated pest management strategy can reduce the cost of conventional control methods. And, it's a rewarding, environmentally-friendly way to reduce rodent populations.

The American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America (about the size of a mourning dove). It has a diverse diet, but its main foods are rodents and insects. They can be an integral part of an overall strategy for maintaining a healthy ecosystem.


American Kestrels nest in cavities, although they lack the ability to excavate their own. They rely on old woodpecker holes, natural tree hollows, rock crevices, and nooks in buildings and other human-built structures. The male searches for possible nest cavities. When he's found suitable candidates, he shows them to the female, who makes the final choice. Typically, nest sites are in trees along wood edges or in the middle of open ground. American Kestrels take readily to nest boxes.

Go here for instructions on how to build a Kestral Box to add to your backyard habitat: http://www.peregrinefund.org/nest-structures-kestrel


Upcoming Events



Lahontan Audubon Society:


 Bird Watching in the May Arboretum Botanical Gardens


When: Sat, May 2, 8am - 12pm
WhereWilbur D. May Center, 1595 North Sierra Street, Reno, NV 89503, United States (map)
DescriptionSpread your wings and experience an early morning walk through the Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden. You'll observe different bird species and other wildlife through a guided tour by members of the Lahontan Audubon Society. With more than 13 acres - the Arboretum's habitats of wetlands, woodlands and gardens make for a great opportunity to view the plethora of birds that call the Arboretum "home." For more information on where to meet visit our website at www.mayarboretumsociety.org



Birds of the Truckee Meadows - Wetland Birds 

WhenMon, May 4, 6pm - 8pm
WhereMoana Nursery, 1100 West Moana Lane, Reno, NV 89509, United States (map)
DescriptionThe popular Birds of the Truckee Meadows bird identification classes will begin Monday, April 20, 2015, and will be held each of the following four Mondays thereafter. The classes will be at the Moana Nursery Landscape and Design Center (same place as our LAS meetings) from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The cost is $40 for all five classes or $10 per single class, payable at the door (please arrive early enough to pay before the class starts; the door will be open at 5:30 p.m.). Class Schedule Monday, April 20: Introduction to Birding, Dave Jickling Monday, April 27: Birds of Prey, Bob Goodman Monday, May 4: Wetland Birds, Alan Gubanich Monday, May 11: Mountain Birds, Jim Eidel Monday, May 18: Backyard Birds, Alan Gubanich 


Audubon Society Bird ID Series

April 20th - May 18th

You can get details from Lahontan Audubon Society website or flyer.


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



Animal Ark:


Pinatas & Predators

May 2 @ 10:15 am - 2:30 pm

Come watch the fun as our predators break open their treat-filled pinatas! Great photo opportunities!


Event prices: Adults $15; Seniors (62+) $13.50; Children (ages 3-12) $12; Children 2 and under free. Platinum Members are FREE and Standard Members receive 50% off.

Raptor Adventures
May 2 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 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.


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


Nature Happenings



* Big Brown Bats might be seen swooping at dusk to eat flying insects.


* Dawn Chorus: It's a most delightful avian chorus as males sing their finest to start the nesting cycle.


* Hummingbirds arrive. Be sure to have their feeders up early in the month.


* Chokecherry, Serviceberry, Cottonwood are in bloom early in the month.


* Peak of warbler migration happens early in month.


* Nesting materials are being collected.


* Bullock's Orioles return and begin nesting. Be sure to have their feeders, nectar, fruit and jelly out early.


* Black-headed Grosbeaks return.


* Be on the lookout for tadpoles in ponds.


* Eta Aquarids meteor shower is early-May.


* International Migratory Bird Day is mid-May.


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