Tuesday, September 30, 2008
For birds in Michigan studies indicate that Black-Oil Sunflower, Fine and Medium Sunflower Chips, Peanuts, White Proso Millet, Safflower, and Nyjer® Thistle are among the most preferred seed types.
For the East Lansing Wild Birds Unlimited store, customers’ preference by far is WBU No-Mess Blend. Our unique No-Mess Blend features seeds that have had their shells removed so only the meat of the seed is left. No hulls on the seeds make for a tidier feeding area, since there's no debris on the ground to clean up. Pound for pound, our No-Mess Blend offers the best value because you do not pay for the shells. The birds eat everything.
Each of our blends is regionally formulated to attract the birds that live in our area. We do not include cheap filler grains like oats, wheat and milo that decrease the price per pound of a mix but aren't eaten by the birds in Michigan. Therefore, there is no wasted seed. Wild Birds Unlimited blends actually end up costing less to use while attracting more of the birds that you want to watch.
Monday, September 29, 2008
- First transplant of human eye
- First automatic teller machine ATM is installed in the United States
- Creation of ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet
- First Manned Moon Landing
- Battery Powered Smoke Detector
- First tube feeder invented 1969
In 1969, Peter Kilham developed the first tubular bird feeder, leading to a new and exciting approach in bird feeding. As an artist, engineer and inventor, he cared about using quality materials and innovative design to create a feeder that birds loved and people found easy to use.
Kilham wanted his new feeder to have multiple feeding stations, discourage squirrels, protect the seed from weather, prevent larger birds from feeding, and the ability to use a variety of seeds for feeding. Today, they are one of the most popular feeders.
Wild Birds Unlimited tubular feeders feature a revolutionary removable base. The WBU Quick-Clean™ Seed Tube Feeders are a snap to clean. A quick press of two buttons and the base pops off for easy access.
The feeder attracts birds such as finches, nuthatches, chickadees and woodpeckers. It comes with a lifetime guarantee that includes raccoon and squirrel damage which is surely a testament to the quality of our feeders. The tube of the feeder is a UV-stabilized, clear polycarbonate that protects the food from the sun's rays and won't yellow with age. Also as with most of the Wild Birds Unlimited products it’s made in the USA!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Wild Birds Unlimited stands behind its mission to bring people and nature together through its conservation fund, Pathways To Nature.
All Wild Birds Unlimited stores donate a portion of proceeds to this fund to support education, conservation and wildlife viewing projects at wildlife refuges, parks, sanctuaries and nature conservancies throughout North America
A growing wave of research indicates that people who spend time outdoors are healthier, overall, than their indoor counterparts.
Has your child had a Green Hour today?
By giving our children a "Green Hour" a day -- a bit of time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world -- we can set them on the path toward physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Green Hour is a National Wildlife Federation program supported by Wild Birds Unlimited. For more ideas, visit http://www.greenhour.org/
Friday, September 26, 2008
Send me your photographs related to nature and every "Photo Friday" I'll select a few to share on my web log.
To start off I'm publishing a few personal photos of me as a kid with my family as we appreciate nature. Feed the birds!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
1. CALL FOR ADVICE! The best course may be no interference. The following is a small list of the local rehabilitators:
- East Lansing, MI ♦ 517.351.7304 ♦ Cheryl Connell-Marsh ♦ birds and small animals
- Lansing, MI ♦ 517-646-9374 ♦ Tiffany Rich ♦ white tailed deer, squirrels, raccoons; Vet. Tech. on center.
- DeWitt, MI ♦ 517.930-0087 ♦ Wildside Rehab & Education Center ♦ birds and small animals
- Eaton Rapids, MI ♦ 517-663-6153 ♦ Wildside Rehab & Education Center ♦ birds and small animals
- Holt, MI ♦ 517-694-9618 ♦ Carolyn Tropp firstname.lastname@example.org ♦ Waterfowl, small birds and mammals
- Howell, MI ♦ 517-548-5530 ♦ Howell Conference and Nature Center ♦ All wild animals except bats, skunks, starlings, raccoons, pigeons, or house sparrows.
- Bath, MI ♦ 517-819-0170 (day) 517-641-6314 (evening) ♦ Denise Slocum ♦ Small mammals
For a complete list of Michigan Licensed Rehabilitators visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources at: http://www.michigandnr.com/dlr/
2. Avoid stressing the bird further by eliminating any distractions. If you have other animals, or children keep them away so as not to harm the bird.
3. Find a cardboard box to hold the bird. Scoop up the bird in a towel and very gently place it into the box, towel and all. Keep the box in a dark, warm area where there are no loud noises. If you have to take the bird in yourself to the rehab center, do not have a radio on in your vehicle- noises will frighten the bird.
4. Do not attempt to feed the bird or perform any first aid. Birds are very easily stressed by handling and need an experienced veterinarian to care for them.
5. It is illegal (in the USA) for unlicensed individuals to possess any wild bird for any reason beyond overnight care before transporting to a rehabilitation site. Birds have diverse requirements for diet, care and wild birds do not adapt well to captivity.
6. Ask the rehabilitation expert if you can release the bird if he is able to get well again. Often birds should be released near where they were found. That is the best reward for the kindness of rescuing an injured bird!
National Public Radio did a story on finding exhasted migratory birds. Click on the link for the full story. A Lost Bird
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Dr. Klem actually studied window collisions by conducting several experiments in which he hung clear panes of glass, mirrors, and picture windows adjacent to one another in a woody thicket facing an old field habitat. A strike was registered when a specimen was found beneath a window or a feather, body smudge or blood smear was found on the glass.
A copy of his study can be found on the following link: http://www.birdsandbuildings.org/docs/WB1989BirdWindowCollisions.pdf
I've also included a link to an interview he did on NPR
Windows: A Clear Danger to Birds
Right now there are still young birds around learning the ropes and unfortunately, many times it's the inexperienced birds that fall victim to window strikes. Birds also strike windows as they quickly try to escape predators, hitting glass in a moment of panic. And during spring and fall migration, window strikes increase as birds unfamiliar with the area pass through.
Window strikes are hard to totally eliminate, but there are ways to reduce them and/or reduce their severity:
- Locate feeders and birdbaths about 20-30 feet from windows so birds have time to change direction or within 1-2 feet of them so they can't gather enough speed to cause significant injury.
- Window screens will reduce injury even if a bird flies into it. Use them where practical.
- Decals like Window Alert placed on the outside of windows have had the most positive feedback from customers. Each decal contains a component which brilliantly reflects ultraviolet sunlight. This ultraviolet light is invisible to humans, but glows like a stoplight for birds. It takes multiple decals on the window surface; one stuck in the middle won't make a difference.
- Mylar reflective strips hanging loose in front of the window will move in the breeze and alert birds flying too close to a window.
- Use a yellow highlighter to draw X's on the inside of a window. The fluorescent highlighter is visible to birds, because the fluorescent ink will simultaneously absorb UV and release visible light. However it works best in sunlight, and worst in low light or on overcast days. This last suggestion comes from an experiment conducted by David Sibley, author of the Sibley Guide to Birds. http://sibleyguides.blogspot.com/search/label/bird-window%20collisions
Monday, September 22, 2008
You either love them or you hate them. However, if you feed birds long enough, a Hawk will likely show up staking out a perching site or hovering overhead.
Sometimes the hawk settles in for a while. It is on those occasions that the phone starts ringing: "How can I get rid of this thing? It's killing my birds!" Well, yes it is. That is what certain kinds of hawks do.
The most common neighborhood hawks are the sharp-shinneds and Cooper's hawks. They are usually woodland hunters, and with their habitat shrinking more sitings have been reported at well-stocked feeding stations.
Hawks have to eat, too, and whether they are hunting around your feeder or off in the woods, they are going to catch about the same number of birds each day. Consider yourself lucky that you have a front row seat to one of nature's more dramatic dances.
However, most people do not put up feeders with the intention of attracting hawks. They want sparrows and chickadees and the occasional woodpecker. Having a hawk blast through, scattering the birds and perhaps carting one off, is not the experience most bird watchers want.
What Steps Can I Take?
- First and foremost, federal and state laws prohibit the capture, killing, or possession of hawks and owls. Raptors at bird feeding stations are a problem only when they perch nearby all day. The birds return as soon as the Hawk flys away. So rather than get upset, enjoy a close-up look at these magnificent birds while they are in your yard.
- Place your feeders where there is ample natural protection. Evergreen shrubs and trees can provide an easy escape for the birds. If there is none available, consider planting a few varieties this spring.
- Lastly, acknowledge that a few birds and squirrels will be caught by Hawks at your feeders. This is part of the cycle. Raptors play an important role in controlling the populations. Also keep in mind; songbirds are difficult for hawks to catch. Few are caught by birds of prey.
- Ultimately, the only thing you can do when a hawk comes to dinner is wait it out. Most hawks that settle in at feeders do so for two or three weeks and then they are off again to different territory.The presence of hawks at your feeders should in no way cause you to discontinue feeding birds. Just take a few simple steps to protect them and enjoy a season of bird feeding.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
This nice story has been passed down from generation to generation. Maybe people originally thought it was impossible for the tiny hummingbird to migrate south on its own and believed that hitching a ride under the wings of geese was the only way hummingbirds could make the long journey south.
However as nice as this story is, it does a disservice to the mighty hummingbirds' abilities.
Hummingbirds migrate thousands of miles south every fall to reach their winter homes in Mexico and Central America under their own power. Migratory geese don't even end up as far south as the tropics. Also, Hummingbirds leave earlier than Geese. They start migrating in mid-July and are mostly gone by mid-October. Geese don't start migrating until mid-September and are not gone until early November.
Many hummingbirds migrate around the Gulf of Mexico, through Texas and northern Mexico to winter in Central America. Others will fly from Florida across the Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan Peninsula.
Regardless of which migration route they take it's inspirational.