About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Product Highlight: Roosting Pockets for Birds

So how do the small birds stay warm in the winter?

They fluff their feathers, which traps air between their feathers and bodies to create a natural layer of insulation. They sleep with their bills under their wing feathers and breathe in warmer air. Their food gives them energy to shiver and generate warmth. And of course they seek shelter out of the wind and cold. Some, such as the chickadees & titmice, huddle together in natural shelters like bushes. Also nesting boxes become roosting boxes in the winter. Or there are also roosting pockets.

Invite Birds to this Charming Village

Birds will stay nice and cozy in these delightful roosting pockets woven of all-natural grasses. It offers essential protection to enable survival.

· Fill with seeds or with nesting materials
· Turn your backyard into a bird sanctuary
· Helps birds conserve energy for winter survival

Hang them from tree branches, vines or fences to provide safe, warm nooks for small birds.
They add charm to the garden year-round and they may even serve as nests in the spring.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nature up close: Why don't birds' feet freeze?


Birds actually use several tricks to keep their legs from freezing. First they can stand on one leg and pull the other up under their feathers when one leg starts getting too cold. And if it gets really cold, they can squat to cover both legs with breast feathers. If you see a bird doing this, they may be getting uncomfortably cold legs.

Also birds’ feet are mostly bone and tendons, so unlike mammals, they have a limited supply of nerves, blood vessels or muscles to freeze. Their feet are also covered with scales which isn’t a living tissue and less susceptible to freezing.

Finally, birds don’t have sweat glands in their skin to produce any moisture to freeze. Heat and moisture are accumulated in sacs, transferred to the lungs and eliminated through the mouth. No moisture escaping through their feet is also the reason they don’t stick to metal perches in the winter.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Question of the week: Do birds know when a storm is coming?

There is always a crowd at the feeder right before a storm. Can birds predict the weather?

Most birds have a special middle-ear receptor called the Vitali organ, which can sense incredibly small changes in barometric pressure. So if the activity at feeders suddenly becomes much more intense a storm may be approaching. Birds flying low or lining up on power lines also indicate swiftly falling air pressure.


During storms birds may think of your feeder as a known source of food. While not dependent on feeders, it may make it easier for wild birds to brave a storm.

Even so winter storms can be hard on small birds like chickadees. In severe weather chickadees fly as little as possible to reduce the amount of heat lost though flight. It also helps if there are patches of dense vegetation or roosting boxes that give protection form the wind.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Quick Fun Facts: Birdbrains? Think again.

How would you deal with a situation where your ability to remember where you put something might actually mean life or death?

This is the situation Black-capped Chickadees find themselves in every winter. They need 20 times more food in the winter than they do in summer because they can lose 10% of their body weight just during a cold winter night. So they've got to eat often.

As autumn approaches, they begin hiding or caching seeds for the winter by the hundreds. In a behavior called "scatter-hoarding," each seed is individually hidden under tree bark or dead leaves.

The amazing thing is that they can accurately remember the location of each seed they hoard. Not only that, they also remember the quality of items they initially stored, making more of an effort to retrieve the higher quality food.

Scientists have found that the hippocampus region of the brain , the area associated with this type of spatial memory, is proportionately larger in chickadees than in other birds that do not cache food. Not only is it generally larger, it actually increases in size in the autumn and shrinks back to its original size each spring.

Look for the chickadee’s scatter-hoarding behavior at your feeders this fall, and just maybe you will learn a few tips from them on how to remember where you put the car keys.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus
Order: PASSERIFORMES Family: Titmice and Chickadees (Paridae)

Chickadees are small black, white and gray birds that flit from place to place. The male, female, and immature birds all look alike. Described as friendly or cheery, chickadees are the darlings of the backyard birdfeeding world.

Chickadees tend to feed one at a time because there is a hierarchy that allows the most dominant bird to feed first. Generally, chickadees take one seed from the feeder – sometimes choosing with care to get the heaviest seed – and they fly away to eat it and return for more. Their favorite foods at the feeder are peanuts, suet, mealworms, sunflower, and safflower seeds. They will also forage for insects, small caterpillars, spiders, snails, slugs, centipedes, flower seeds, and berries.

Chickadees are very vocal as they call to their mate to announce food or a warning. Because chickadees generally do not migrate, they are good at finding food sources and other birds such as nuthatches and woodpeckers sometimes join them in foraging for food. They have particularly strong legs that let them hang upside down while searching for food.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Harris Nature Center- Fall Back Hike

Harris Nature Center
3998 Van Atta Road in Meridian Township
For general information, call Kit Rich at (517) 349-3866.

"Fall Back"
Hike Daylight Savings Time will be over, so its time to "fall back" into nature on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. for a guided walk to discover the autumn woods. The fee for this program is $2/person or $5/family due at the walk.

Halloween Adventures
The Harris Nature Center has Halloween adventures for the whole family on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. There will be a fun house, games, hay rides, a real pumpkin piƱata, a trail walk through the "Friendly Forest" and a pumpkin to decorate. Also, in the main display area of the nature building enjoy refreshments and see live animals on loan from Preuss Pets. Again this year, food vendors will be available on site and there will be a campfire going for roasting marshmallows. Children can participate in all of these activities for just $5 and their accompanying adults are free. No registration is necessary for this event and it will continue regardless of the weather.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Use the talents you possess - for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except for the best. ~ Henry Van Dyke

"No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings."
William Blake (1757-1827)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Product Highlight: Weather Guard & Feeder Fresh

It can be a challange keeping your seed dry and fresh during the fall. Two products that I have found useful are weather guards and feeder fresh.

A WBU Weather Guard is designed to keep snow and rain from spoiling your seed in the tube. This is a clear plastic dome that slips on top of most of our WBU tube feeders. It will not deter birds from feeding, in fact, many enjoy feeding under the shelter and out of the wet weather. It has a lifetime guarantee and is made in the USA.

Feeder Fresh is added to the seed when you fill a feeder. It absorbs water and humidity, is safe for birds, and made from non-toxic absorbent sand. Feeder Fresh keeps the seed and feeder dry, keeps molds from forming, and thus reduces the chance of Aflatoxin and other mycotoxins.

Once the Feeder Fresh absorbs its own weight in water it will discontinue absorbing, and be identical to the silica grit that birds normally ingest. Made in the USA.







Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Did birds evolve from dinosaurs or reptiles?

The theory that birds came from dinosaurs has been supported by many researchers. There was was a recent NOVA on PBS that I enjoyed. If you missed the show on TV watch NOVA online:It talks about the discovery of a 130 million-year-old fossil of a creature with four wings.

Dubbed Microraptor, the crow-sized fossil is one of the smallest dinosaurs ever found and challenges conventional theories and assumptions about the evolution of flight.

NOVA commissions a model of Microraptor complete with feathers and moving joints to be tested in a wind tunnel.

Their hope is that the model will settle the debate between theories that birds evolved from fast running dinosaurs flapping their feathered arms or reptiles in the trees that glided from the treetops.

Microraptor is the unexpected missing link that has reignited the debate and is a clue from the long-ago era when the ancestors of birds first took to the air.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Quick fun fact

Has your family lived in America longer than the House Sparrows?

House Sparrows have learned to thrive in close association with mankind, unlike the many other species that have declined or disappeared as a result of our activities. In fact, they actually owe much of their success directly to us.

Between 1874 and 1876 a few House Sparrows were brought over from England and were released in Jackson and Owosso, Michigan to control insect infestations on crops. They quickly multiplied into thousands as they regularly raised three to five broods per year, each brood averaging around five babies.

Then it was discovered that 60% of the House Sparrows' diet consisted of the farmers’ seed crop instead of the bugs. However the information came too late to stop the population growth.

Today due to several releases of a few House Sparrows across the US they are the most abundant songbirds in North America and the most widely distributed birds on the planet. And the House Sparrows in your yard may be 100th generation Americans.

So, love them...or hate them...they are here to stay.

Our challenge is to learn to live with them as well as they have learned to live with us by mitigating their impact on our native species, while fully understanding the niche they now occupy in our avian landscape.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bee Hummingbird

Are there hummingbirds in Europe?

What is the smallest hummingbird?

Based on fossilized bird skeletons, there haven’t been hummingbirds seen in the wilds of Europe in over 30 million years. It’s not clear why the hummingbirds of the "Old World" disappeared but today they are found only on the western hemisphere.

Bee Hummingbird Mellisuga helenae
Family: Trochilidae Order: Trochiliformes

The smallest hummingbird in the world is the Bee Hummingbird of Cuba. Only 2 inches long and weighing less than 0.04 ounces, this tiny hummingbird beats its wings 80 times per second. Its ability to pivot its wings allows it to stop, hover in midair, and fly backward.
The bee hummingbird's diet consists mainly of nectar and insects. They eat half their total body mass and drink 8 times their total body mass in water each day. The bee hummingbird can be found in woodland, shrubbery, and gardens in Cuba and the Isle of Pines.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

NWF Green Hour

National Wildlife Federation
Green Hour - Discover the Wonder of Nature

Did You Know?

  • We know less about life in the earth than we do about the far side of the moon. Yet everything depends on its vast hidden ecosystem.
  • Each shovel of soil holds more living things than all the human beings ever born. Dig into this underground universe and meet its tiny but helpful residents.






Friday, October 17, 2008

The Mischievous Sparrow

Glad to see you, little bird;
'Twas your cheery chirp I heard?
What did you intend to say?
"Give me something this cold day?"

That I will, and plenty, too;
All the best I have for you.
Don't be frightened-here's a treat;
I will sit and watch you eat.

Shocking tales I hear of you;
Tweet, and tell me, are they true?
Robbing all the summer long;
Don't you think it very wrong?

Pop Pop says you stole his grass;
Baz complains, you gave him sass.
Stealing houses built for Blue,
Even though I think you knew.

But I will not try to know
What you did so long ago;
Here's your breakfast, eat away;
Come to see me every day!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Michigan Made Suet Log

The 16" hand carved suet log feeder is made in Michigan out of white cedar. It features 3 holes to insert suet plugs. The birds really flock to this feeder because the natural wood is so inviting and the suet is easy to access.

Fill the feeder with the specially designed suet plugs that are filled with assorted seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects to attract a variety of wild bird species. Simply insert the plug in the suet log feeder and watch the woodpeckers and other suet-eating "clingers" gather.

Watching birds can be a meditative and restful experience. There are several unique birds attracted to suet. Some walk upside down and some have a call that sounds like they are laughing. All are fun to watch.

We have a variety feeders. Several from Michigan. For more information visit our website: http://lansing.wbu.com/

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Does the Woolly Bear predict the weather?

On these last few warm sunny days you may notice Woolly Bear Caterpillars moving around looking for a safe spot to spend the winter. Some crawl in the crevices of tree bark, others under some dead leaves.

Does the length of the black and tan predict whether it will be a harsh winter or not?

No real study has ever been conducted. In 1948 Dr. Curran did a loose study where he recorded the stripe length of a small sampling of caterpillars and then the harshness of the following winter. His experiment was publicized in the paper and made the Woolly Bear Caterpillar one of the most recognized caterpillars in North America. Scientist today think, if anything, the stripes would tell what the last winter was, not the future. But no large study has ever been completed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What birds eat suet?

If you have never fed Suet, you have missed some great neighbors. Common birds that eat suet are downy, hairy, red-bellied, and pileated woodpeckers. Chickadees, northern flickers, nuthatches, and starlings are also avid suet eaters. By adding Suet to your wild bird's menu, you will also attract wrens, warblers, thrushes, brown creepers, brown thrashers, and blue jays. You can also attract orioles, pine siskins, titmice, and the ever popular bluebird.

What is suet?

Suet is animal fat. It is the most concentrated source of energy you can offer wild birds. Our Suet is made with only the highest quality processed beef kidney fat. Special processes remove impurities that cause low melting points and spoilage problems.

Why do birds eat suet?

Suet is one of the top three foods to feed wild birds. Birds have high metabolic rates. It is not unusual for birds to consume 1/4 to 1/3 their body weight worth of food a day! Offering peanut/suet cake provides a high caloric energy source.

How do I feed suet?

Suet is traditionally fed in wire cages. There are also recycled plastic suet feeders with a tail prop, squirrel proof suet feeders, decorative suet feeders, suet log feeders... Come in and see our wide selection. If you buy extra suet, it can be stored in the freezer.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Quick Fun Facts on Goldfinch & Bluejays

Goldfinches are the only species that go through a complete color change molt two times a year. In the fall they take off their bright yellow, black, and white coat and switch to a muted olive color. In October the Goldfinches separate into two groups based on age. Studies show that the birds hatched this year will generally stay in Michigan for the winter but their parents will go further south to winter. One thought is that the first year finches didn’t have to go through a molt and have more energy to survive a winter.

Just the opposite was found with Blue Jays. Studies show that the first year Blue Jays go further south to winter in a more plentiful habitat. While their crafty parents, perhaps knowing several survival tactics, stay the whole year.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus
Order: Piciformes Family: Woodpeckers (Picidae)


The Red-bellied woodpecker is often confused with the Red-headed woodpecker because they both have red on the head and the Red-bellied Woodpecker really doesn’t have a red belly – just a pale rosy tint. The rest of this medium-sized woodpecker has a black and white barred pattern on its back and wings, with white to pale grey across the breast and along the sides.

One of the most common woodpeckers, it is found all along the eastern half of the United States.

This woodpecker is unusual in that it will sample any food it finds. It eats seeds, fruit, acorns, insects and loves suet when it’s available.

In the fall and winter it will store its food in the barks of trees to pull out and eat later.

Special cells on the end of their bills are constantly replaced because of the repeated pounding.

They are important to many other bird species because they drill new nest holes each year and leave the old cavities for birds like swallows, owls, bluebirds, and a huge array of small birds like wrens and chickadees to use.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How do woodpeckers handle all that pecking?

Woodpeckers, as their name suggests, peck on the wood of trees to look for or hide tasty treats, and to build nests. In addition to drilling holes, woodpeckers will knock their heads to send sound signals.

So how do their bodies handle vigorous, repeated blows to the head as they peck? They are well equipped!

1. FEET: They have two toes that point forward and two that point backward that allow them to cling to tree trunks. Other backyard birds have three toes forward and one in back.

2.TAIL: They have special stiff tail feathers that support their bodies as they pound. Some Wild Birds Unlimited Suet feeders have tail props to make it more comfortable for the birds to feed.


3. EYE BALL: The woodpeckers close an inner eyelid a millisecond before a strike comes across the bill to prevent harm from flying debris and hold the eyeball in place.

4. NECK: Dense muscles in the neck and mouth contract just before impact, which transmits the impact past the brain and allows its whole body to help absorb the shock.

5. SKULL/BRAIN: Woodpeckers' brains sit snugly in a relatively thick skull with spongy bone to cushion the brain. There is very little cerebrospinal fluid meaning the brain won't bang around as the head moves back and forth.

6. TONGUE: The tongue is most unusual as it starts out on top of the mouth, passes through the right nostril, between the eyes, divides in two, arches over the top of the skull and around the back part of the skull passing on either side of the neck, coming forward through the lower mouth, and uniting into a single tongue with sticky barbs on the end which can extend up to 4" from the beak. The tongue is also thought to act as an additional buffer to the brain.

When they are drilling, they can peck about 15 times in a single second. All their drilling and tapping can add up to about 12,000 pecks a day. Woodpeckers have evolved to deal with pounding wood with gripping feet, "shock-absorber" head musculature, extremely long tongues, and stiff tail feathers helping them perch upright on trees. Woodpeckers are simply impressive birds.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cats captivated by birds

Birds are blue,
Red and brown.

Watch them go
Up and down.
 

See one flit
When it flies.

Bound to catch
Our 'lil eyes.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Would it be a crazy/stupid idea to have a kestrel house?

I have several bird feeders and 3 bluebird houses in my yard (usually filled with barn swallows), which I really enjoy. I also have kestrels in my area and love watching them...would it be a crazy/stupid idea to also have a kestrel house? Would the kestrels feed on my finches and swallows???

The American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America. As a cavity nester they will use holes in trees, crevices in cliffs or buildings, or artificial nest boxes. The habitat for the kestrel and screech owl are similar and the nest boxes made for them are identical. Wild Birds Unlimited has the nest boxes available or you can build your own. Plans can be found on the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) Website.

The box should be 10 to 30 feet above ground in trees along the edge of a woodlot, on a lone tree in a field, on a barn, or mounted on a pole. Space the boxes one mile apart.


Kestrels hunt by perching, watching, and then flying down. Their habitats are open country, farmlands, and even urban environments.

Kestrels in Mid-Michigan usually go south for the winter. Females migrate before males and pick out the best wintering territories, but they both return to the same breeding territory in the spring.

The average kestrel is 9" nose to tail, has a 22" wingspan, and only weighs 4.1 oz. Their diet consists mainly of rodents, insects, and small reptiles. But, when one gets really hungry, or the opportunity presents they will occasionally eat a bird. They are not a serious threat to any of the larger bird species. But American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) is commonly known in as the "Sparrow Hawk" because it will hunt smaller birds like sparrows.

So the answer to "will the kestrels feed on my finches and swallows" is maybe, but they won’t decimate the bird populations in your area. There is a natural balance. For more facts about Kestrels visit: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/American_Kestrel.html

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Do Honey Bees Migrate in the Winter?

No they stay in their hive all winter.

During the summer the worker bees live for an average of only six weeks. As fall approaches the queen reduces her rate of egg laying. Those that hatch approaching autumn will live over the winter for up to six months. The queen can live for a few years.

As temperatures dip below 50° Fahrenheit, Honey Bees form a winter cluster and stay in their hive except for bathroom breaks. This means they squeeze together as tight as possible around the Queen bee in the center of their hive. The bees rely on honey and pollen stores collected over the summer for survival.

They generate heat from eating honey and flexing their flight muscles without moving their wings. This perpetual shivering by the worker bees creates enough heat to keep the Queen at about 80°F. The outer part of the cluster is about 48°F.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about bees. National Public Radio did an interesting interview Oct 4, 2008 with Professor Thomas Seeley of Cornell University. He talks about how it was discovered that only a few “streaker” bees scout out and then direct a whole colony to a new hive. Click on the link to hear the whole interview: Bees Follow Their Leaders

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Norris Ingells and the Nature Education Fund for Youth

Please help us honor the memory of Norris Ingells

Norris Ingells was a photo journalist at the Lansing State Journal for many years. He initiated a weekly nature feature and illustrated it with his own photographs. His passion and curiosity about nature riveted the readers of the paper. He was a valued member of the Board of Directors of Friends of Fenner Nature Center (FOFNC).

In honor of the spirit and passion of Norris Ingells, the Friends of Fenner have instituted the Norris Ingells Walk for Nature. With this walk, it is our desire to get more people out into the natural world and also take this opportunity to raise funds to further nature education in the community.

Information: Contact Fenner Nature Center at 517-483-4224 or visit http://fenner.homestead.com/events/norris_ingells.html

Monday, October 6, 2008

Let's all share Nature's bounty

Now is the time for fall harvest. As you start preparing for the holidays, don’t forget about your birds!

Here are a few ways to take advantage of seasonal items to attract birds to your yard:

1. Squash and pumpkin seeds
Whether you are carving a pumpkin, or preparing a pumpkin pie, set aside the seeds. Nuthatches love them, and many other birds will eat them as well. You also may have noticed squirrels rearranging the face of your Jack O’Lantern as they have quick nibble.

2. Apples
When you are making apple pies don’t throw away the apple cores. There are a number of birds which may be attracted to apples, including Cardinals. You can also roll birdseed in with extra pie dough and bake it in the shape of a bagel. When cool hang from trees. The pie crust usually has lots of fat which is substitute for the insects that birds eat but are not plentiful in cold weather.

5. Nuts
Many insect eating birds greatly appreciate this high protein food. Too much salt isn’t good for the birds, but a few leftover party nuts mixed with other bird seed can be a treat. You can also collect nuts from the trees in your neighborhood, including acorns and walnuts.

6. Peanut Butter
Smear peanut butter on a tree trunk. You’ll be surprised how many cute birds this will attract up and down your tree. Or spread Peanut butter on pine cones, old bread, or cookies. Then roll them in birdseed and hang them on your bushes with raffia string.

7. Orange Rinds
Cut a large orange in half and eat the inside. Poke holes ¼ inch from the rim and attach a twine handle. Mix the last handful of unsweetened cereal at the bottom of the box with stale crackers or bread crumbs, dried out raisins or holiday stuffing. Fill the orange half and hang the filled feeder from a tree.

8. Ornamental Corn
Autumn decorations for your home can also provide the birds with food. Blue Jays and Squirrels will enjoy ornamental corn.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Should I clean my bird feeders?

Imagine you’re coming home and you spot a new restaurant. It looks good from the outside. Then you go in and they give you a water glass with lipstick on it. Yuk! And when you peek into the kitchen you see the chef pick out something moldy from the fridge and throw it in the deep fat fryer. Disgusting! You would walk out and never come back.

Now imagine a bird spots your feeder. It looks good from the outside... When was the last time you’ve cleaned it?

It can be detrimental to the birds if you don’t clean your feeders regularly. In order to keep healthy birds at your feeders, consider the following:

1. Feeders should be cleaned at least once a month, year round. Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing - will clean your feeder for $5.00 and it is ready the next day. Or you can purchase professional cleaners like Scoot or Poop-Off at Wild Birds Unlimited, or use a mild one part bleach or vinegar to nine parts water solution to clean all of your feeders. Disassemble feeders and immerse them completely for three minutes. Scrub with brushes, rinse thoroughly, and let air dry.



2. Check your feeders after a rain to make sure the seed is dry. If not, replace it.

3. Store seed in a cool dry location. Wild Birds Unlimited has closed Aluminum containers that work well to protect seed from unwanted seed thieves.

4. When choosing a new feeder look for something easy to clean and fill.

If you keep these measures in mind, you can keep this hobby enjoyable for your family and safe for your birds.

Bon appetite!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Will Safflower seed keep squirrels and chipmunks off my bird feeder?

Safflower is a small, white seed that is high in protein and fat. People use the oil expressed from Safflower seeds primarily as a cooking oil, in salad dressing, and for the production of margarine. However in recent years, it has also become popular in wild bird feeding.

Feeding Safflower has become the solution to attracting specific birds to your feeder and repelling others. The shape of the shell and the bitter taste makes this seed unattractive to blackbirds and mammals like squirrels.

While popular backyard birds including Cardinals, Chickadees, Blue Jays, House Finches, Mourning Doves, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmice, and Nuthatches, savor safflower.
However, unlike squirrels, Chipmunks will stuff their cheeks with safflower seeds. So in areas where they are a problem, safflower should be offered with the same baffles that are used to keep squirrels off feeders or have patience with them until they start to hibernate.

I have never seen a chipmunk actually eat the seed. I imagine them taking it home and fashioning a nice bean bag chair for their long winter nap. Or else it's a big disappointment when they discover the summer bounty they collected tastes like...




Friday, October 3, 2008

Photo Friday



WaBU Gallery- A little art in the middle of Wild Birds Unlimited


This month we are featuring the Photography of Gar Watson, a Lansing native who enjoys sharing his vision of the natural world by interpreting light through the lens of a camera. His work deals largely with flora, fauna, and scenes of nature.

The youngest son of Claude and Anne Watson, Gar is a graduate of Lansing Eastern and earned an Associates Degree in Photojournalism from Lansing Community College before pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Journalism at Central Michigan University. After spending 13 years in the Virgin Islands where he worked as a charter captain, Gar returned to the states two years ago and he began a job delivering cars around the country.
“Having been an Eagle Scout in my dad’s troop and raised in a scouting family, I developed a deep respect and appreciation for the natural world around us at a young age. My current job allows me some freedom to stop and take photos during my travels. It has given me the opportunity to stop at many parks and botanical gardens. Most of the work in this show centers around plants, animals, and landscapes.”

Come in to see his framed and matted work and blank note cards he has on display for sale until the end of October 2008.