Wild Birds Unlimited Newsletter
~ For those passionate about birding and nature ~
August 2019                                                                                          Volume 8.19
Tips for Bird Watching While You Travel 
Whether you plan to do some local camping this summer at the lake or take an exotic excursion to Costa Rica, there are always new and exciting birds to be found. Bird watching is a fun and rewarding way to explore the new territory you are visiting. Below are some quick tips and tricks to consider when traveling to your next destination.

  1. The destination. Decide up front where it is you want to go and how much time will be spent at each location. That decision will help with budgeting, packing and reservations. When traveling to a new place it may be easier to see fewer places and spend more time exploring and locating the birds. Especially if it's a new place to you, finding birds may take some time.

  2. Study a regional field guides.  Regional field guides exist for nearly every part of world and North America. These can come in handy to get you familiar quickly with the local birds. Even experienced birders should take along an appropriate field guide when traveling to an unfamiliar birding destination-if only for the range maps.

  3. Leverage online resources: Tin this day and age technology has enhanced our ability to find very specific information in seconds. This applies to birding information, too. Online databases such as eBird and state and local bird sighting email lists, conveniently assembled by the American Birding Association, can help you figure out the best locations to find your target species.

  4. Consult local resources: Contacting a local, state, or regional bird club can put you in touch with local birders who know the best bird watching spots and the best times to visit. Resources such as the Bird Club Finder and Birdingpal.org can help you make these connections. Birders always seem willing and eager to help other birders.

  5. Know your route and schedule. Know exactly where you're going before you get there so you don't waste time that could be spent birding. No matter where you are in the world, the birds are usually most active early and late in the day. Plan your schedule so that you are at good birding spots at these times. Midday hours can be used for traveling to your next destination. And it's wise to allow for more travel time between sites than would seem to be required. It's rare that a two-hour drive between birding spots can be made in just two hours-especially if you're birding along the way.

  6. Gather gear. Review the climate and weather that's expected at your destination and pack accordingly. The key is layering. If you're flying, pack lighter. If you're driving, that's not such a big deal. Make sure you have the right footwear. Depending on the weather, critical gear can include sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, binocular rain guard, optics cleaning kit, prescription meds, emergency medical kit, and other personal stuff.

  7. Check the weather and plan accordingly. In this information-heavy age of ours, it's fairly easy to check the seasonal weather in a far-flung destination. You may even be able to contact local birders for advice on the birding and weather conditions. Packing the right gear for inclement weather can be crucial in making or breaking a trip.

  8. Be safe, have fun. It's always a good idea to leave a printed copy of your planned itinerary with a friend or family member, especially since birding can take you well off the beaten path. Including phone numbers of your planned places of lodging is wise and mitigates the inexplicable lack of cellphone coverage that seems to plague great birding areas. Safe travels are always the best travels!


Happy Birding!

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15% off Birdbaths
Give your birds a place to drink and clean their feathers. Our Bird Baths are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and are great for attracting birds not already visiting your feeders.

Don't forget to check out our current Moana Nursery Garden Specials
Maintaining your Birdbath
Cleaning a bird bath is not difficult if you have the proper tools to keep the bath sparkling and take the time to be sure it is thoroughly cleaned.
  1. Dump Out the Old Water
    This water can be dumped on the grass or nearby flowerbeds, but should not be allowed to puddle where birds can use it before it evaporates.
  2. Remove Debris
    Remove loose material from the bottom of the birdbath. Use a disposable rag or a scrub brush to remove any large deposits of spilled seed, feces, debris, and other contaminants. The pressure attachment of a hose can also be effective, but be mindful about wasting water.
  3. Scrub With a Bleach Solution
    Create a bleach solution made from 1 part chlorine bleach mixed with 9 parts water. If your birdbath is positioned within garden plantings or on the lawn, remove the basin and wash it in a spot where the bleach will not strike plants or grass. Scrub the basin, lip, and any areas of the birdbath where birds land, perch, drink or bathe. For extremely dirty birdbaths, it may be necessary to allow the bleach solution to soak for several minutes. While soaking, monitor or securely cover the birdbath to make sure no birds approach the bleach-filled water.
  4. Rinse the Birdbath
    After washing, rinse the birdbath thoroughly with running water until there is no persistent chemical foaming. A very slight chlorine smell may remain, but it should not be a strong or pungent odor (it should not smell as strong as a public pool, for example).
  5. Allow the Birdbath to Dry Completely
    Once rinsed, allow the birdbath to dry fully in bright sunlight, which will break down any remaining chlorine so it does not contaminate the refilled water. This is a good opportunity to clean the area around the birdbath, refill feeders or do other bird-related chores.
  6. Refill the birdbath
    Use fresh, clean water, ensuring the basin is balanced and stable so it will not spill.
  7. Your birdbath is now fresh and clean, ready for songbirds to fill your yard with their activity.

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Upcoming Events

Lahontan Audobon Society

Friday, August 2  7:00am
Field Trip - Tahoe Meadows
Tuesday, August 13  6:00pm
LAS Board meeting
Thursday, August 15  5:30pm
Birds & Books Reading/Discussion Group - The Cattle Empire - The Fabulous Story of the 3,000,000 Acre XIT Ranch by Lewis Nordyke
Friday, August 23  7:30am
Field trip - Crystal Peak Park
Tuesday, August 27  6:30pm
Program Meeting - Ken & Teri Pulvino, Island Conservation

Tahoe Institute of Natural Science
   Go to Tinsweb website for full list of outings 
Sagehen BioBlitz
Saturday, August 03, 2019 07:30am-12:30pm
UC Berkeley's Sagehen Creek Field Station 11616 Sagehen Road, Truckee, CA 96160

Family Science Day
Saturday, August 03, 2019 01:00pm-04:00pm
Commons Beach, Tahoe City, CA

Bob Anderson Memorial Hike
Sunday, August 04, 2019 08:30am-01:00pm

Nature Happenings

* NABA National Butterfly count.
* Our longest days bring our highest average temperatures, and all those thunderstorms make for our second wettest month.
* Rufous Hummingbirds visit mid-month on their southbound leg of the longest migration distance of any bird for its size. 
* Calliope Hummingbirds, our smallest bird in North America, also visit on their southern migration.
* Black-chinned Hummingbirds spill over from the mountains and visit feeders.
* American and Lesser Goldfinches are our last birds to nest, waiting for mature thistle plants to provide nesting material and food for their young. 
* Robins have finished nesting but will readily visit yards in search of worms and berries. Plant berry-producing shrubs or offer cherries, cranberries, raisins, grapes or blueberries to help robins feed their young.
* Delta Aquarids Meteor shower peaks in late-July.

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