Issue No. 11.14
November 1, 2014
"Nature News" from Wild Birds Unlimited at Moana Nursery
~ High Desert Bird of the Month ~
November 1-15th Special!
Seed Cylinders, Stackables, Seed and Suet Cakes!
Come in and stock up for the winter!
We carry a great variety of seed and suet feeders.
Great for first time feeders and during the winter months.
Come in and check out our selection!
Read more here on how to help your backyard birds for winter
November High Desert Bird-of-the-Month:
Scientific name: Pica hudsonia
How to identify: Magpies are black and white overall with blue-green iridescent flashes in the wing and tail. The upperparts are mostly black with a white patch in the outer wing and two white stripes ("backpack straps") on the back. Black-billed Magpies are slightly larger than jays with much longer, diamond-shaped tails and heavier bills. In flight, their wings seem to be too short to support their graceful flight. Magpies move in groups and give a variety of trill, cackle, and whistle calls. They flap steadily in flight, alternating deep and shallow wingbeats, and use their very long tails to negotiate abrupt turns.
Habitat: Black-billed Magpies are widespread in towns, fields, and stream corridors of the West. They also concentrate in flocks at feedlots and other areas where food is easy to find.
Click here to read all of the Bird-of-the-Month article.
Carmel's Backyard Birding Blog
Winter Shelter For Birds While birds do have many ways to keep warm in winter, the freezing rain, wind chill and deep snow of the season can easily be fatal if birds don't have at least minimal protection. Unfortunately, just at the time when the birds need extra shelter, deciduous trees are losing their leaves and providing less protection not only from the elements, but also from winter's hungry predators.
Types of Winter Bird Shelters
There are many ways to provide safe shelter for winter birds, and providing that shelter will help attract birds. The most popular winter bird shelters include: Evergreen Landscaping, Brush Piles, Roost Boxes, Bird Houses, Roost Pockets.
To make winter bird shelters most effective...
- Position shelters facing to the south to take the most advantage of passive solar heating from the winter sun, and paint roost boxes dark colors to absorb the most heat.
- Protect all supplemental shelters from predators by removing perches and placing boxes or houses in isolated, safe areas.
- Position brush piles, roost boxes and winter bird houses in areas sheltered from the wind and the heaviest snowfalls, such as putting them in a fence corner or under eaves.
- Provide insulating material in roost boxes, nesting pockets and bird houses such as wood chips, dry grass or nesting materials for birds to plug cracks and holes to retain body heat more efficiently.
- Prune landscaping in the spring rather than the fall so birds can take advantage of extra insulating spaces and natural cover throughout the winter.
By providing shelter for backyard birds in the winter, it is possible to overcome the cold winds, icy rain and snow that claim many birds' lives in the winter months. By providing suitable shelter and protecting it adequately, birders will enjoy a warm and happy backyard flock all winter long.
November Nature Happenings
* Project Feeder Watch starts and extends until April, www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw
* Average temperature: 36.2°F, Average precipitation: 0.52"
* The onset of winter snow and cold in the higher elevations can often bring "irruptions" of mountain species into the valley and plains.
* Steller's Jays, the beautiful black crested jay of the mountain forests, may relocate to lower altitudes.
* The local Blue Jays and Western Scrub-Jays will squawk their resentment of the Steller's, as they all search for high-energy nuts and oil seeds.
* Pinon Jays, normally found exclusively in the southern pinon/juniper lands, may move further north in search of winter food.
* Pine Siskins may move in large numbers to lower regions, and will socially join flocks of American Goldfinches to visit finch feeders.
* Juncos and Tree Sparrows become common at feeders.
* Waterfowl migration peaks this month.
* Peak of White-tailed Deer breeding season. Use caution while driving.
* Pine and Evening Grosbeaks begin to arrive.
* Mule Deer bucks go into rut.
* Red-tailed Hawks replaced with Rough-legged Hawks from the North.
* Wooly Bear Caterpillars search for late blooming Asters, clovers and sunflowers.
* Long-tailed Weasels (Ermine), as well as Snowshoe Hares, are changing into their winter coats.
* Open water is important if there's an early freeze. Put out heated bird baths for a winter water source.
* Leonid meteor shower is mid-month.
Upcoming Meetings & Events:
Lahanton Audubon Society
Monthly Meetings are held every fourth Tuesday, August through May, 6:30 p.m. (social) 7:00 p.m. - meeting begins. Monthly meetings are held at the Moana Nursery Landscape and Design Center, 1100 West Moana Lane, in Reno. Moana Nursery is on the southwest corner of Lakeside Drive and West Moana Lane; the Landscape and Design Center is a separate building, located on the west side of the parking lot (not in the nursery shop itself). We look forward to seeing you there!
Field Trips:The nearby Plumas Audubon Society also has field trips scheduled that area birders may find of interest. For more details please visit
For information on the Lahontan Audubon Society, click here.
Last Day of the 2014 Normal Operating Season Animal Ark is open Tuesdays through Sundays, April 1 - November 2, 2014. This is your last chance before Animal Ark closes for the winter. We will reopen, weather permitting, for Thanksgiving Weekend, Martin Luther King Weekend and Presidents Day Weekend.
November 28&29 @ 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Thanksgiving Weekend If you are not wild about hitting the malls for the annual holiday shopping frenzy after Thanksgiving, why not drive out to Animal Ark? Have family in town? You can enjoy our animals when they are active in late fall's cooler temperatures. Event prices: Adults $12, Seniors (62+) $11, Children (3-12) $10, Children 2 and under are free....
Click here to visit the Animal Ark website
Preparing for Cold Temperatures Ahead
Now is the time to protect your trees & shrubs with Bonide Annual Tree & Shrub.
Apply now to protect your plants for one full year.
Quart regular $24.99 - now $19.99 (save $5.00)
One gallon regular $69.00 - now $57.00 (save $12.00)
Plant of the Month - Amaryllis
This giant bulb is available in many color choices for you to give as the perfect holiday gift.
Just plant about a third of your bulb in soil, rocks or water and enjoy the bloom. Put one in a favorite pot with a couple of trailing ivy or Pothos for a no fuss houseplant.
FALL BULBS 30% off Plant your bulbs now to enjoy this spring and for years to come!
Put your garden to bed with a blanket (3 to 4 inches) of mulch. The mulch will help retain moisture in our cold, dry winters and protect the roots of your plants. As the weather warms you should check on your mulched garden plants, uncover the crowns of the perennials but keep the roots protected. In mid-February add more mulch to help keep the weeds away, keep the moisture in and give your garden beds a manicured look that shows off your spring growing gardens.