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

Scientific name: Spinus psaltria 

How to identify: Lesser Goldfinches are tiny, stub-billed songbirds with long, pointed wings, and short, notched tails.  Males are bright yellow below with a glossy black cap and white patches in the wings; their backs can be glossy black or dull green (particularly on the West Coast). They have a black tail with large, white corners. Females and immatures have olive backs, dull yellow underparts, and black wings marked by two whitish wingbars.
Habitat:  Lesser Goldfinches feed in weedy fields, budding treetops, and the brush of open areas and edges. Depending on food availability, they may concentrate in mountain canyons and desert oases, but they are also fairly common in suburbs.
Where to find one: The Lesser Goldfinch makes its home in patchy open habitats of many kinds. From the western U.S. to South America, this songbird frequents thickets, weedy fields, woodlands, forest clearings, scrublands, farmlands, and even desert oases. You can also find them in parks and gardens in both suburban and urban settings. Some common habitats in the western U.S. include oak, pinyon-juniper, cottonwood, willow, cedar, and pine woodlands, as well as chaparral.
How to attract one to your yard:  Lesser Goldfinches readily come to feeders along with other finches such as American Goldfinches and Pine Siskins. These small finches eat many kinds of seeds from the sunflower family, including the thin-hulled seeds of nyjer thistle.

Interesting fact:  Where their ranges overlap in California, the Lesser Goldfinch-though smaller-dominates the Lawrence's Goldfinch. The Lesser Goldfinch eats first at feeding stations and chases Lawrence's Goldfinches away from nesting sites.
For more information on Lesser Goldfinch, 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. 
Squirrel Wars Won!

While summer continues to be a wonderful time to feed the birds, unwanted feeder visitors can be troublesome. With the proper feeders, food and accessories, you can enjoy your birds and limit squirrel incursions. 

Offer safflower; a small, white seed that is high in protein and fat. Most song birds eat safflower, however, squirrels (and blackbirds) typically do not. 

Guard Against Them 
Take delight not only in seeing the finches, chickadees and other colorful birds you enjoy, but also in frustrating the squirrels, blackbirds and pigeons. With feeder cages, you control the size of bird that dines at your feeder. They allow small birds to go in and out to get their food but stop larger birds and animals from entering. Our cages will fit a variety of feeder styles and sizes. 

Top-of-the-Line Option 
The Eliminator™ allows you to stop squirrels from eating your seed. Featuring unique, weightsensitive technology, the feeder's seed ports are closed when a squirrel touches the perch ring. You can set the sensitivity level to also exclude large birds. It's easy to hang and holds lots of seed. It works best when used with our APS Short Extended Deck Arm. 

Baffle Them 
Our Advanced Pole System® (APS) Squirrel Baffle is designed to help make your bird feeding station squirrel-resistant. Made of durable, powder-coated steel, these baffles feature a tapered design that is very effective in stopping squirrels before they reach your feeders. Place the baf- fle on your setup so the top of the baffle is 4½' - 5' from the ground. We also offer raccoon baffles.

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

Finding Feathers 
Have you found a feather or two around your yard lately? Many birds are finishing molting this month. Evidence of this can be seen in their wings. Look for a short or missing feather on each wing while birds soar overhead. 

Presto Chango 
American Goldfinches are molting into a dull, nondescript color, even changing the color of the beak and legs from orange to black. 

Hungry Hummingbirds 
Keep that hummingbird feeder out. Feeders can help fuel migrants moving through. And, it won't keep them from leaving. Hummingbirds innately know when to head to warmer climates.
Refresh Your Feeders For Fall

Birds Choice Feeders, Birdbaths and Weather Guards.  Fall is the best time to refresh your bird feeders in time for winter enjoyment!

The new recycled finch and hopper, fly-thru and sky cafe feeders makes a perfect addition to your backyard birdscape.  A clear acrylic birdbath paired with a colorful weather guard is sure to bring in the birds!  These beautiful new products are eco-friendly and will last a lifetime!

Upcoming Events
Lahontan Audubon Society
Special Event: The Future of the Greater Sage-Grouse and its Habitat
When:  Thu, September 10, 7pm - 9pm
Where:  Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC), 7000 Dandini Boulevard, Reno, NV 89512

Program Meeting: Dancing Grebes and Ventriloquist Owls by David Arsenault, Plumas Audubon
When:  Tue, September 22, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Where:  Moana Nursery at Moana Lane, Reno, Nevada, 1100 West Moana Lane, Reno, NV 89509

Birds & Books Reading Group: The Birds of Pandemonium
When:  Wed, September 23, 4pm - 6pm
Where:  Sundance Bookstore & Music, 121 California Avenue, Reno, NV 89509

Field Trips on Saturdays - check website for additional details

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

Animal Ark
On the Wind Cheetah Run
September 13 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Majestic balloons grace the skyline at dawn, and our cheetahs race into the sunset! Come see the world's fastest land mammal in action running at top speeds - completely off-leash - around the Animal Ark run field! Reservations required due to limited seating. Children must be 8 years old to attend.

Paws and Claws
September 27 @ 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm

View Animal Ark's animals, enjoy themed hors d'oeuvres, and meet an array of wildlife experts. A plated dinner, open bar as well as silent and live auctions add to the fun! Wrap up the evening watching Animal Ark's cheetahs run at top speeds in an extraordinary display. Reservations required due to limited seating.

For more information on Animal Ark activities, go to http://animalark.org/ 
Nature Happenings
  • Sept. 15: New Moon, Sept. 29: Full Moon
  • Sept. 22: Autumnal Equinox - almost equal amounts of day and night
  • The annual elk rut begins in the high country.
  • Aspen leaves begin to change to a beautiful shade of gold which dot the mountainsides.
  • Without question, September is our most settled and beautiful month, with North American weather systems taking a breather to offer glorious warm days and cool nights as we settle into autumn's arrival.
  • Bird populations are transitioning in preparation for winter - some birds move out, some birds come back and some become nomadic in their search for food, water and shelter.
  • American Goldfinches molt into a dull, nondescript color, even changing the color of the beak from orange to black.
  • Look for nighthawks and swallows to congregate in large numbers prior to migrating south.
  • Monarch Butterfly migration peaks mid-month.
  • Bats are busy feeding, building fat for hibernation and migration.
  • Fall migration of shorebirds is in full force.
  • Fall migration peaks for warblers and others.
  • Most summer birds, such as orioles and grosbeaks, have departed.
  • Most hummingbirds have departed by the end of month.
  • Northern Flickers begin arriving.
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