Wild Birds Unlimited Newsletter
For those passionate about birding and nature
Nature News
- Bird Of The Month -
Barn Owl

Scientific name : Tyto alba 

How to identify:  These medium-sized owls have long, rounded wings and short tails, which combine with a buoyant, loping flight to give them a distinctive flight style. The legs are long and the head is smoothly rounded, without ear tufts.  Barn Owls are pale overall with dark eyes. They have a mix of buff and gray on the head, back, and upperwings, and are white on the face, body, and underwings. When seen at night they can appear all white.
Habitat:   Barn Owls require large areas of open land over which to hunt. This can either be marsh, grasslands, or mixed agricultural fields. For nesting and roosting, they prefer quiet cavities, either in trees or man-made structures such as barns or silos.
Where to find one:  Barn Owls nest and roost in cavities, abandoned barns and other buildings, and dense trees. At night, Barn Owls hunt by flying low, back and forth over open habitats, searching for small rodents primarily by sound.
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:   Barn Owls swallow their prey whole-skin, bones, and all. About twice a day, they cough up pellets instead of passing all that material through their digestive tracts. The pellets make a great record of what the owls have eaten, and scientists study them to learn more about the owls and the ecosystems they live in.
For more information on Barn Owls, 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.  
Barn Owl Myths and Folklore

Some call it "ghost bird." Others have named it "demon bird." In fact, colloquial names abound for the widespread Barn Owl.  Found on every continent except Antarctica, and with about 30 subspecies filling its range, the majestic Barn Owl has not always been looked upon favorably.
Despite their bad reputation in folklore, Barn Owls do a lot of good. Many farmers forge beneficial relationships with Barn Owls, as a single owl family can consume approximately 3,000 rodents a year. The majority of their diet is gophers, and they also eat mice, voles, moles, and rats. In exchange for a nest box, they will keep fields clear of rodents, reduce crop damage and loss, and eliminate the need to put out rodenticide. Seeing a Barn Owl is simply a good sign that the ecosystem is healthy and resilient. So remember, Barn Owls are only a scary bird if you're a mouse!

On Sale Now!

Get Ready for Wintertime Bird Feeding!
Wild Birds Unlimited 20# Bag

 Deluxe                 $4 savings  = $19.99
 No Mess DP          $4 savings  = $35.99
 Dove & Quail        $3 savings  = $16.99
 No Mess Plus        $3 savings  = $45.99
 Finch                   $2 savings  = $40.99 
 Nyjer                   $2 savings  = $50.99
 Safflower             $2 savings  = $25.99
 Sunflower Chips   $2 savings  =  $39.99 
Seed Sale - 11/2 to 11/15/2015 
Limited to stock on hand.

Check out all current sales and promotions on the  Moana Nursery website
How Cool Is That?

Buttons the Snowman Seed Cylinder

Buttons the Snowman Seed Cylinder is a mix of safflower, sunflower chips, peanuts, cherries, blueberries and papaya to attract a variety of birds.

Simply slide the Snowman Seed Cylinder onto our WBU Seed Cylinder Feeders or WBU Dinner Bell™ feeder and enjoy the feathered holiday visitors.

The Snowman Seed Cylinder is the perfect holiday addition to any yard and a great gift idea for the nature lovers on your list.

Along with Buttons, we carry Rascal Racoon, Preston Penguin and a wide assortment of other seed character shapes perfect for holiday gift giving!

Providing High-Fat Foods

Typically, your feeders serve as a supplemental source of food for birds in your yard. In contrast, during periods of cold and severe winter weather, your birds may switch to utilizing them as the critical source of food that enables them to survive from day to day.

A 3-year study in Wisconsin concluded that when temperatures fall below 10 degrees, Black-capped Chickadees without access to feeders have only a 37% survival rate as opposed to the much higher 69% survival rate for those able to utilize feeders.

If chickadees are representative of other feeder birds, then your feeders can make a big difference in the number of birds that survive the winter.
Also, birds may burn up to 10% of their body weight in stored fat each night to stay warm...and this fat must be replaced every day.

Be sure to keep your feeders filled with the high-energy, high-fat foods that provide your birds with the crucial nutrition they need to survive.

High on the list of best choices to meet this nutritional need is Jim's Birdacious Bark Butter. This peanut butter-based treat is loaded with fat and protein and is known to attract more than 100 species of birds.

Stop by the store soon, and check out the wide selection of high-fat foods that will help your birds fatten up and stay warm.
Upcoming Events
Lahontan Audubon Society

Special Event - Nature Night 
When   Thu, November 12, 7pm - 9pm
Where   Moana Nursery at Moana Lane, Reno, Nevada, 1100 W Moana Ln, Reno, NV 89509
Description   Join six of our most talented local photographers and movie makers for a celebration of nature. Carl Adams, Jerry Fenwick, Carol Grenier, Michael Horsley, Patrick Pevey, and Tim Torell create truly inspiring images of birds and animals. See their best work and join them in discussions of technique.

Field Trip - Sierra Valley Expedition
When   Sat, November 14, 8am - 3pm
Where   120 Lemmon Dr, Reno, NV 89506
Description   Fall migration is underway, and that means wintering hawks (among others) are arriving every day. We'll spend the morning and maybe part of the afternoon looking for any early wintering raptors (Red-tailed, Rough-legged and Ferruginous Hawks) plus early wintering waterfowl (swans, ducks and geese). We can brown-bag our lunch or enjoy a great little restaurant in Sierraville (let me know your preference when you contact me). Please contact Alan to reserve your space, and give him both your email address and phone number.

Field Trip - Rancho San Rafael
When   Sat, November 21, 8am - 12pm
Where   1595 N Sierra St, Reno, NV 89503 (map)
Description   Rancho San Rafael is one of the most diverse and beautiful urban parks in Northern Nevada, with more than 13 acres and habitats that include wetlands, woodlands, and gardens. We will plan to meet at the parking lot in front of the Wilbur May Museum at 8:00am for a morning exploring the birds at this beautiful regional park. This trip is limited to 12 participants. You must contact the trip leaders (contact info. below) to register.

For more information on Lahontan Audobon activities, go to http://www.nevadaaudubon.org/

Animal Ark

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


Get Involved!  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.

Celebrating 10 years in Reno, NV! 
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