Wild Birds Unlimited Newsletter
~ For those passionate about birding and nature ~
April 2018                                                                                          Volume 4.18

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Nature News
Bird of the Month
BOM: Lesser Goldfinch
Scientific name: Spinus psaltria 

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.
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.
The Lesser Goldfinch makes its home in patchy open habitats of many kinds. 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 include oak, pinyon-juniper, cottonwood, willow, cedar, and pine woodlands, as well as chaparral.
In the Reno and Sparks areas, 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.
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

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Upcoming Events

Lahontan Audubon Society
Tuesday, April 10 6:00pm
LAS Board meeting

Tuesday, April 17 4:00pm
Birds and Books

Tuesday, April 24 6:30pm
Program Meeting - Chickadee Daily Foraging Routines, Angela Pitera

Tuesday, May 8 6:00pm
LAS Board meeting

Tuesday, May 22 6:30pm
Program Meeting: Tricia Dutcher
Tahoe Institute of Natural Science

Tue Apr 03 @ 4:30PM - 06:30PM
South Lake Tahoe Science Expo
Fri Apr 06 @ 9:00AM - 04:00PM
Relay Ridge Snowshoe Trek
Sun Apr 08 @ 8:30AM - 11:30AM
Bird Watching Outing
Go to website for full list of outings 

Nature Happenings

* Project FeederWatch continues, www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw
* Male Red-shafted Northern Flickers can be heard throughout the day defining their territory and showing off for potential mates.
* In a heavy snow year, meadowlarks can be seen eating mealworms along with cracked corn.
* Wildflowers might begin to bloom if snowfall is light. You might see Western Trillium, Bitteroot and Larkspur.
* Meadowlarks can be heard singing.
* Killdeer call for their mates and can show up in the most unlikely places seeking out suitable nesting sites.
* Townsend's Solitare are often seen on their favorite food source - Juniper berries.
* Male American Robins can often be heard before dawn defining their territory and calling for a mate. They are also the last birds calling in the evening.

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Moana Nursery | 1100 W. Moana Lane | 11301 S. Virginia St. | 7655 Pyramid Hwy. | Reno/Sparks | NV | 89509