1. Little birds hitch rides on bigger birds to journey south – No birds ride on the backs of other birds to go south. Even the littlest birds in Michigan, the ruby-throated hummingbirds, migrate thousands of miles south each fall to reach their winter homes in Mexico and Central America under their own power. They fly about 23 miles a day by themselves, not in flocks or on the backs of geese.
2. All birds fly south in the winter - In general, it's estimated
that of the over 200 species of birds nesting in Michigan, about 90 percent migrate to some
extent. Whether it’s from the U.P. to mid-Michigan or from our state to Mexico or Central America
depends on the bird. Some permanent or
non-migrating backyard birds are Downy Woodpeckers, Black-Capped Chickadees,
White Breasted Nuthatches, or House Sparrows.
Don’t start feeding birds until it snows - Birds have a varied diet and the best way to
help them develop brighter plumage is to create a habitat with lots food high
in fat in protein in the fall. Young birds like chickadees and titmice find new
territories to hook up with other young birds at the end of summer and join
local adults to form winter flocks. If you are feeding a good birdseed blend now,
you will attract lots of birds that will remain in the same general area for
the rest of their adult lives.
4. I can use last year’s seed this year - In warm weather or if you store your seed inside
buy no more than 2-3 weeks supply of seed at a time. And never pour old seed on
top on new. During the winter, foods will generally be fine for at least 3 months
if stored properly in a cool, dry place. At Wild Birds Unlimited, we guarantee our
bird food will be fresh and a healthy choice for our local birds.
Birds will eat any seed - Food is essential to provide birds with the energy, stamina and
nutrition to endure the elements. Our Wild
Birds Unlimited store in East Lansing, MI
are dedicated to offering fresh, top-quality seed that is also sifted to take
out all the sticks and field debris. Our no-waste bird seed blends are made
from 100% edible seed and have been exclusively formulated for the feeding
preferences of our local birds. No cereal fillers—just fresh, high-quality seed
your birds will love. We also carry a wide variety of other bird foods—suet
and no-melt doughs, seed
and more. 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.
6. The birds will starve if stop feeding them - Some people believe that once you start bird
feeding, it should be continued. Or that feeding your birds in the summer will
make them too lazy, too dependent or keep them from migrating at the
appropriate time. All of these old myths have been dispelled by modern research
and observation. Bird feeding is a fun and educational hobby. Birds appreciate
the food but never become dependent on your feeder unless there is a severe
storm that prevents them from foraging.
Birds’ feet will stick to metal perches - Unlike humans, birds don’t have sweat glands in
their skin to produce any moisture to freeze to metal in the winter. Heat and
moisture are accumulated in sacs, transferred to the lungs and eliminated
through the mouth.
8. Heated bird baths are like hot tubs for birds - If your area freezes like mid-Michigan, you
can provide a heated birdbath for your birds. This isn’t like a hot tub. The
bath just remains free of ice and open to the birds. Most people understand the
importance of water for drinking but many do not realize just how important it
is in bathing for birds. Because feathers are critical for flight and
insulation, birds keep them well-maintained. A good part of a bird's day is spent
just cleaning and grooming its feathers by bathing, scratching, and preening.
9. Bird houses are only used in the spring - At night or during bad weather birds often find
shelter in tree cavities, birdhouses, or under the eaves of houses. Bird houses
left up all winter also might attract young birds scouting out future nesting
10. Hawks in the yard will kill all my birds
- 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.