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.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Birds looking to fill their winter cupboards

Because of this year's poor cone, nut, and seed crops, it is going to be a bad year for the birds as well as the squirrels and other little mammals that don't hibernate. I threw a scoop of Wild Birds Unlimited No-mess bird seed out for the squirrels this morning because it was so chilly. He took a nut, walked two feet away and buried it (actually just patted it in the grass a couple times) and grabbed another. Squirrels plan ahead and bury nuts and seeds at various locations and return to them throughout the year when food is scarce. Chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, woodpeckers, Blue Jays, and some other birds also plan ahead for those rainy and snowy days. They not only eat lunch at our feeders, they also take doggie bags away.

I watched the cutest Red-breasted Nuthatch grab a nut from the squirrel pile and secret it away in the crevices of the tree bark, right outside my window! He'll probably hide hundreds of seeds all over his winter territory, to retrieve later. It is a behavior known as "scatter-hoarding" and it is a bird's backup plan if food sources become scarce or the weather is too bad to forage.

Each seed is placed in a different location and neurobiologists have discovered that the part of the bird brain that processes spatial information increases in fall to help them remember where they hid each yummy morsel and shrinks in the spring. Not only can they accurately remember the location of each seed they hoard a month later, they also remember the quality of items they initially stored, making more of an effort to retrieve the best food.

Recent research has shown that a consistent and reliable source of food helps birds to
build body fat reserves, reduces their physiological stress and helps to maintain a healthy body condition. By providing easily accessible, quality food, you can help your birds with their caching needs in the fall so they will stick around your yard all winter.
Related articles:
- Birds Move Trees http://bit.ly/oPqFgG
- Screech Owls cache uneaten prey items in cavities http://bit.ly/pJ7jCP
- Red-Bellied Woodpecker stores its food in the barks of trees http://bit.ly/nqYS7j
- Mine! All Mine: Why Squirrels Hoard http://bit.ly/qFANnl
- Michigan’s Top 20 Winter Backyard Birds http://bit.ly/qq5xu1
- What birds migrate from Michigan? http://bit.ly/ngkPX3

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Beast suet feeder has many advantages

We created our own suet cage because the openings on the retail ones are too big. However, the raccoons and some other animals have managed to pry the suet out through bars. Are there alternatives?
Built by the same people that developed our innovative Advanced Pole System (APS), The Beast is an indestructible suet feeder!

The Beast suet feeder has many advantages:
  1.  The Beast is a heavy duty suet feeder with openings too small for little mammal mouths to reach in but perfect for birds. The bars are so thick there is no way for critters to bend or chew through the feeder.
  2. It weighs over 2 pounds - more than twice the weight of an average gray squirrel!
  3. The S hook on The Beast chain fits snugly on our poles making it very difficult for a critter to remove - in the video, you see it simply hanging on APS deck set-up - a raccoon has never removed it!
  4. You can also convert the Beast into a starling stumping suet feeder. By hooking the chain to the edge of your suet cage the weight of the feeder is balanced and the feeder hangs level horizontally. Blackbirds can’t cling to the bottom of the cage to feed. This is a quick fix to keep the voracious blackbirds from eating all your suet in the spring. 
https://youtu.be/GynE6ePNoCo
  
Related Articles:
- What birds eat suet? http://bit.ly/q2Sfje
- Can I make my own suet? http://bit.ly/rsc1JT
- How do I Attract Woodpeckers? http://bit.ly/o4CLqI
- Filling Up on Fatty Foods: http://bit.ly/ob0NIq 
- Can I feed suet year-round? http://bit.ly/I4Ow8l

Friday, October 19, 2018

Large sparrow with white stripes on head

We had our first frost yesterday and guess who showed up this morning mixing in with the House Sparrows. The White-crowned Sparrows have come for a short visit! White-crowned and White-throated Sparrow usually visit for a couple weeks in the fall right when the weather is going to turn freezing. They will return in the spring on their way north just when the weather is going to unfreeze. They breed all along the upper parts of Canada and winter along the southern United States.

At 7 inches, these are some of the largest sparrows that come to our feeding areas. Their size and the bold black and white racing stripes on their head make the White-crowned Sparrows a happy addition to the usual suspects in the yard. Mainly ground feeders, they scritch and scratch the dirt looking for leftover sunflower seeds and millet. They also eat weed seeds, berries, buds and moss.
White-crowned Sparrows have about 10 different calls. During migration you will usually hear their high thin seet or sharp pink call.
 
Related Articles:
White-throated Sparrow fun facts http://white-throated-sparrow-fun-facts.html
Sparrows Native to mid-Michigan http://bit.ly/oy9XGz
Which one of these birds is not like the others? http://bit.ly/qM1LQt
What birds winter in Michigan? http://bit.ly/rqQgU2

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Frozen birdbath!

Did you wake up to a frozen birdbath? Now is the time to put out your heated birdbath. The Wild Birds Unlimited heated baths have a built-in, fully grounded heater that is thermostatically controlled to conserve energy. As soon as temperatures reach freezing the bath will turn on to heat the water just enough to thaw ice. You can mount it easily to deck rails or place it in a stand sold separately.

Most people understand that birds need to drink but many do not realize just how important it is that birds also bathe, especially in the winter. A good part of a bird's day is spent grooming their feathers by bathing, scratching, and preening. The feathers covering the body give the bird a water resistant, aerodynamic shape for efficient flight. And properly fluffed up feathers also trap body heat close to the skin.

So when temperatures drop think about adding a heater to your bird bath or switch to an all-in-one heated bird bath to provide an open water source. Water sources in winter are an easy way to attract a variety of birds including the American Robin, Eastern Bluebird and other birds that don’t usually visit feeders.

Related Articles:
- Are there heated birdbaths that are solar? http://bit.ly/tnTrK4
- Last Minute Gifts for Birdwatchers http://bit.ly/tXwHJ8
- How to Prepare Your Yard for Winter Birdwatching http://bit.ly/uduvLm
- Attracting Bluebirds in the Winter http://bit.ly/sw0H6P
- Most common winter birds in Michigan http://bit.ly/vSkLTn

Fun facts about bird feeding

1. 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 Northern Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, Downy Woodpeckers, Black-Capped Chickadees, White Breasted Nuthatches, and House Sparrows.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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—Seed Blends, suets, seed cylinders, mealworms 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.
5. 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.
6. 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 sites.

Related Articles:
What birds like peanuts? http://bit.ly/zispJK
What seeds do wild birds eat? http://bit.ly/wKyQNB
How can birds survive this cold weather? http://bit.ly/xbkaPP
Why pay more for seed at Wild Birds Unlimited? http://bit.ly/xJZMFe
How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://bit.ly/qizlNh

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Flock of teeny tiny birds under the bush


Keep your eyes open for a little bird that flutters in the pines and bushes. It's time for the Ruby-crowned Kinglets to pass through mid-Michigan on their way to the southern and southwestern United States and Mexico for the winter. These teeny, tiny birds make the chickadee look big!
Photo taken outside Wild Birds Unlimited East Lansing, MI

They forage actively in trees or shrubs, mainly eating small insects and spiders, some berries and tree sap. They may hover over a branch while feeding and sometimes fly out to catch insects in flight. They flash their little red crest occasionally when agitated or in display.

They often come to birdfeeders if you feed suet, or a blend with nuts like the Wild Birds Unlimited No-mess Blend.

Little groups of kinglets usually migrate by night, so you may wake up to discover your yard is a migratory stopover for the birds to rest and feed in evergreen tangles during the day. They are well camouflaged but sometimes betray their presence with lovely alto songs and flashing wing movements and hops like they are buzzing on caffeine.

Related Articles:  
Bird gangs form in the fall http://bird-gangs-form-in-fall.html
Why feed birds in the fall http://goo.gl/Jq4Aj
You get more birds if you feed year-round http://goo.gl/IsJKJ
Shilly-shallying Golden-crowned Kinglet: Adorable! http://goo.gl/d50zT
Black-capped Chickadee: Nature’s Backyard Charmer http://goo.gl/ji1vh

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

How late do hummingbirds stay in Michigan

Rufous Hummingbird
I still have one Hummer. She has actually slowed down on her nectar intake. I plan on keeping the food full and clean. My question is "does anyone else have hummers around"? Is it not very late for her.

My last hummer was on October 10th, but it’s not unheard of for hummingbirds to still be around even until November. The Ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common hummingbird in Michigan. We also have reports of the Rufous Hummingbird especially in the fall. They aren’t as common as the ruby but are the most widely-distributed hummingbird in North America. They winter in Mexico but these feisty birds can survive in extremely cold temperatures if there is food available.

The rule of thumb is if you haven't seen a hummingbird for two weeks in the fall it's safe to take your feeder down. Depending on where you live it is usually at the end of September to the middle of October. The hummingbirds aren't in as big a rush to go down south as they were to find nesting grounds in the spring but they will leave us when the weather conditions are right for traveling down south.

Related Articles:
· Don't take your feeders down on Labor Day http://bit.ly/vawleL
· Do hummingbirds migrate together? http://bit.ly/rVOJVm
· Hummingbird chauffeured to Florida http://bit.ly/qSZYhK
· The Best Hummingbird Feeders: http://bit.ly/qgukNI
· How fast can a hummingbird fly?: http://bit.ly/qimFPY
· When did people start to feed hummingbirds?: http://bit.ly/o8Y8HR

Monday, October 15, 2018

Where all the cardinals have gone

My cardinals have gone away. Had tons this summer and I would say 99% have disappeared. I have a few bluebirds that arrived about the time the cardinals left. Could they have run them off. I miss the cardinals.
I have an abundance of Northern Cardinals this year! They are the first bird to visit my feeder in the morning and the last to stop by and grab a bite at night. The increase in the number of birds chipping in the evergreens foreshadows a change in seasons. By late summer, nesting is over and cardinals relax their territory boundaries. The birds sing less but are forming winter flocks that use "chip" calls to communicate.

Just because you are not seeing cardinals this week doesn’t mean a flock won’t fly in next week. After young cardinals leave their natal home they don’t have a set territory and can move around freely in search of food. They can drop in several older cardinals' established groups only to drop out again in search of a territory that can sustain them with enough food and shelter.

While cardinals are figuring it all out, bluebirds remain in their family flocks and can forage their usual territories until spring when they disperse.

I also have had an increase of chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, jays and all the other bug eating birds that over-winter in Michigan. They are having a horrible year. The cold spring, dry summer, and now a fall that isn’t producing enough pine or tree nuts means they are looking to our feeders to supplement their diet. The 2018-2019 Winter Finch Forecast predicts it is going to be one of those years we're are going to see a lot of birds! Keep your feeders clean and full of fresh food.

Related Articles:
What can I feed the cardinals to make them redder? http://bit.ly/rAArXw
What are the different types of cardinal birds? http://bit.ly/v0IBhS
Northern Cardinal Fun Facts http://bit.ly/twE6NV
Cardinal Bird Feeders Made in the USA: http://bit.ly/qXJPFM
How to Attract Cardinals: http://bit.ly/pjh7mO
Birds of Michigan Field Guide http://bit.ly/uMSTs6

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Peak migration of the Field Sparrows through Michigan is mid-October

Field Sparrow photo via Wikimedia Commons
Pay attention to flocks of sparrows under your feeders. Mid-October is the Field Sparrows peak migration through Michigan. They winter in most of the south eastern states below Michigan. You may see these smaller, warm-colored birds foraging in flocks that contain multiple species of sparrows during migration.

Field Sparrows eat mainly grass seeds, throughout the year. Grass seeds make up less than 50% of their diet in the summer, but more than 90% in the winter. In the summer they also eat adult and larval insects and spiders. At the feeders they would look for millet, or sunflower seeds.

Related Articles:
White-throated Sparrow fun facts
http://white-throated-sparrow-fun-facts.html
Sparrows Native to mid-Michigan http://bit.ly/oy9XGz
Which one of these birds is not like the others? http://bit.ly/qM1LQt
Chipping Sparrow Juvenile with adult male http://goo.gl/8U5Ud2

How to get rid of sparrows http://goo.gl/9tAwkY

Saturday, October 13, 2018

October Song Sparrows

I spotted another sparrow among the House Sparrows at the feeders. It was a Song Sparrow eating No-mess blend bird food at the feeder.

Song Sparrows often have a dark spot in the center of their streaked breast and dark feathers under the bill that look like mutton chops. The Song Sparrow lives up to its name, being one of the most persistent singers throughout the spring and summer. The scientific name Melodia means "melody" in Greek. Click here to hear the song.

All of October Song Sparrows migrate though mid-Michigan. In recent decades, mild winters and an abundance of backyard bird feeders have enticed an increasing number of Song Sparrows to overwinter in Michigan. Sunflower seeds, millet, peanuts and peanut butter suet are some of the most popular foods that attract Song Sparrows to tray or ground bird feeders.

Related Articles:
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How do you become a birdwatcher? http://bit.ly/rquunU
Attracting Michigan Songbirds http://goo.gl/0qggF
How do Birds Migrate? http://bit.ly/nNCI6d

Friday, October 12, 2018

Photo Share: Geese in flight

When it gets dark we think of most birds tucking in a bushy spot or tree hollow to sleep. But during the spring and fall migration many birds take flight at night including geese.

Geese fly at both night and day but most usually begin at dusk. They move in a V formation, with experienced individuals taking turns leading the flock. Migrating flocks include loose groups of families generally.

Geese have excellent memories and vision especially with the full moon, allowing them to spot and remember landmarks on the ground and in the sky. Their ability to see in the dark is 12 times greater than ours.

Their autumn migration can be seen from September to the beginning of November. We usually see some Canada Geese year-round in mid-Michigan as long as there is unfrozen water. However some geese that breed in the High Arctic fly through Michigan to the southern United States for winter.

Related Articles:
- Have you ever heard of a wedge of geese? http://goo.gl/2oDPB
- Goose Gaffe? http://goo.gl/sDx9H
- Strange deer and goose pairing http://goo.gl/im8Pj
- Why geese sleep in the water http://goo.gl/X9gV9
- Why do geese fly in a V formation? http://goo.gl/h1icv

Thursday, October 11, 2018

How long birds sleep on average

Where’s Dolly (Cat)? That is one of the most frequently asked questions at Wild Birds Unlimited, East Lansing, MI. Dolly has lived at our store for many years, but as you may know cats require 16 to 20 hours of sleep each day to function without crankiness. I need about 8 hours a night and what about birds?

Sleep requirements vary slightly for different species. Most of our backyard birds are diurnal, meaning they’re awake during the day and asleep at night. On average those birds probably need about 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night. Nighttime predators on the prowl, however may mean birds only get short little bursts of sleep. Many sleep with only half a brain and one eye open, always on the lookout for danger. Keeping one half of the brain at rest is called unihemispheric slow-wave sleep (USWS). But don’t worry they follow Dolly's lead and can take “cat naps” in the day if needed.

Related Articles:
How Do Birds Sleep? http://how-do-birds-sleep.html 
Where birds sleep http://where-birds-sleep.html
Why geese sleep in the water http://why-geese-sleep-in-water.html
Where birds go at night http://where-birds-go-at-night.html
Do birds snore? Watch the video http://do-birds-snore-watch-video.html
What birds see at night http:/what-birds-see-at-night.html

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New sparrow at Michigan bird feeder in October

The hot start to the beginning of the week was welcomed by some but I love cold weather. That's why I was sooo excited to see a flitter, flutter of a new dancing sparrow under the feeder yesterday. The White-throated Sparrows have come to town!

Watch for these little brown birds with plain gray underparts, and conspicuous white throat and yellow lores above the eyes between black-and-white or black-and-tan stripes on the head. They only visit mid-Michigan right before the first frost in the fall on their way south.

You may notice them as they do an energetic chicken scratch dance under the feeders. These sparrows only hang around for a couple weeks mixed in with other sparrows before they continue to their wintering grounds in the eastern states below Michigan and in small numbers in southwestern states.

You may hear the birds before you see them. Birders describe their song as "Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody". Be on the look-out for the White-crowned Sparrows too. They usually pass through around the same time as the White-throated. Their visits to feeders tend to be early and late in the day. And Dark-eyed Juncos are sure to follow.

Watch the video:  https://youtu.be/sL_YJC1SjHE
 
Related Articles:
White-throated Sparrow fun facts http://white-throated-sparrow-fun-facts.html
Sparrows Native to mid-Michigan http://bit.ly/oy9XGz
Which one of these birds is not like the others? http://bit.ly/qM1LQt
What birds winter in Michigan? http://bit.ly/rqQgU2

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Cat made out of bird seed

A bird's revenge!
This year's line up of Seed Cylinder Characters include the snowman, owl, racoon, squirrel, penguin, and a cat and mouse!

They’ve finally arrived! Wild Birds Unlimited in East Lansing, MI just received a large shipment of Seed Cylinder Characters. Seed Cylinders are tidy, long-lasting, tightly packed seed shapes held together with gelatin that slip on a cylinder feeder.

Bird food cylinders are a win-win for you and your birds. The birds stay longer eating at the feeder instead of grabbing a morsel and flying quickly away to eat it elsewhere. And the cylinders are packed with high-calorie nuts to provide birds with enough energy stay warm. They can help attract many of your favorite birds, including cardinals, chickadees, woodpeckers and goldfinches.

We also have our little seed shaped hearts, stars, bells, individual wildlife seed critters and bird seed houses for a limited time! 

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What to feed birds in the winter http://bit.ly/rCdQqM

Monday, October 8, 2018

The only Michigan hawk that nests on the ground

Credit: Doug Racine/USFWS

The Northern Harrier is a long tailed hawk with a white rump patch. It is often seen soaring in a "wobbly" fashion low over marshes, wet meadows, and open fields with wings held out in a shallow "V."

This is the only Michigan hawk that nests on the ground, typically in tall grasses or under shrubs near wetlands. They feed largely on small rodents, particularly meadow voles. Harrier numbers are much reduced for reasons believed related to the destruction of its marsh habitat by humans. They are listed as a species of Special Concern by the Michigan DNR. Northern harriers, once known by the fitting name of "marsh hawk," are found Statewide, but now nest most commonly in the eastern Upper Peninsula. They migrate and winter, further south away from areas that receive heavy snow cover.

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Frozen Woodpecker http://bit.ly/ubSCTR
Is it safe to feed the birds out in the open? http://bit.ly/rBErxI

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Woodpecker in bird houses

Do woodpeckers nest this time of year (fall). I had a woodpecker work two whole days on making the wren house hole bigger.

In our mid-Michigan area woodpeckers only nest once a year. But many are year-round residents and look for a place to roost during the cold months. Bird houses imitate the natural cavities provided by trees. Wild Birds Unlimited has several functional houses for woodpeckers as well as roosting pockets made of woven grasses or felted wool that you can also put up as a shelter.

And if you need to shrink the woodpecker expanded hole on your bird house for the wrens next spring we have metal and wood portal protectors to cover any damage and resize the hole.

Related Articles:
-How do I stop woodpeckers from pecking on my house? http://bit.ly/KGItqF
-What’s the best suet for Michigan wild birds? http://bit.ly/tcKasp
-Hairy Woodpecker vs. Downy Woodpecker http://goo.gl/WMH31
-How many woodpeckers are in Michigan? http://goo.gl/P2qRv
-How do I Attract Woodpeckers? http://bit.ly/o4CLqI

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Goldfinches stick around all winter

Many people have been commenting on the large number of finches coming to the feeder this fall and asking if they will slow down.  American Goldfinches are in Michigan year-round. They usually visit less frequently when the dandelions bloom in the spring but then come back in late summer as they create a family and will stick around all winter.

Chickadees and woodpeckers can sometimes be spotted at the finch feeders and soon several other bird “invaders” might come down from Canada too.

Canada’s natural seed crops were horrible this year and lots of birds that usually like to winter further north will venture south to mid-Michigan to find food. In late November to February expect to see siskins and redpolls in the mix of birds at the feeders.

Right now our bright yellow and black goldfinches are changing over to their duller olive green winter wardrobe. 

Fun Facts on Goldfinches:
- Unlike many birds, goldfinches molt their body feathers twice a year, bright, attractive yellow feathers in the spring before breeding and much denser olive brown feathers after nesting in the fall.
- The color of the legs, feet and bill of the American Goldfinch change with each feather molt too. In winter plumage, their legs, feet and bill are dark grayish brown. In breeding plumage they change to a buffy yellow orange color.
- Goldfinches are sometimes referred to as wild canaries, but are actually in the finch family as their name suggests.
- American Goldfinches are common feeder visitors and prefer Nyjer® (thistle) and sunflower seeds.
- Due to their almost exclusive diet of seeds, the goldfinches drink frequently and will stay close to reliable sources of water.
- The genus name, Caruelis, is from the Latin word carduus, which means “thistle.”
- Residential flocks of American Goldfinches roam widely during the winter and have been recorded moving over 4 miles between multiple feeding stations in a single day.
- Female American Goldfinches are dominant over males in the summer and appear to be subservient to them in the winter. See if you call tell a difference at your feeders.

Related Articles:

Friday, October 5, 2018

Photo Share: Cardinal pose

A cardinal goes through one full molt in the fall, and their health, and how well they are eating determines how healthy their plumage will be for the following year. Their feathers come in with brown tips that wear off during the winter making them even brighter in the spring, just in time to impress a mate.

Northern Cardinals as well as other red feathered birds get their red plumage from pigments called carotenoids. Birds can’t synthesize carontenoid pigments but must obtain them from their food like wild grapes, apples, raspberries, dogwood fruits and various seeds including sunflower and safflower seeds at the feeders.

If anyone would like to share a photograph of nature send it to bloubird@gmail.com and I'll put it on the Friday Photo posts.

Related Articles:
What can I feed the cardinals to make them redder? http://bit.ly/rAArXw
What are the different types of cardinal birds? http://bit.ly/v0IBhS
Northern Cardinal Fun Facts http://bit.ly/twE6NV
Cardinal Bird Feeders Made in the USA: http://bit.ly/qXJPFM
How to Attract Cardinals: http://bit.ly/pjh7mO
Birds of Michigan Field Guide http://bit.ly/uMSTs6

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Most common winter birds in Michigan

Wild Birds Unlimited East Lansing, MI offers bird food, feeders, baths, houses and fun nature themed gifts. Michigan is a great state to bird watch! Not only do we see a lot of birds nesting with us in the spring and summer we also keep a lot of birds all through the fall and winter.

I’ve listed some of the most common winter birds you’ll see in mid-Michigan and the food they like at feeders.

1. Northern Cardinal - Sunflower seed, Safflower, Peanuts, White Proso Millet
2. American Goldfinch - Nyjer Thistle, Sunflower Seeds
3. House Finch - Safflower, Nyjer Thistle, Sunflower Chips, Oil Sunflower Seed
4. House Sparrow - White Proso Millet, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips
5. Dark-eyed Junco - White Proso Millet, Sunflower seed, Nyjer Thistle
6. Mourning Dove - Sunflower seed, Peanuts, Safflower, White Proso Millet, Nyjer
7. Tufted Titmouse - Peanuts, Sunflower seed, Safflower, Suet, Mealworms
8. Black-capped Chickadee - Nuts, Sunflower, Safflower, Nyjer Thistle, Suet, Mealworms
9. Carolina Wren - Peanuts, Sunflower seed, Safflower, Suet, Mealworms
10. Red-breasted Nuthatch - Peanuts, Sunflower seed, Safflower, Suet, Mealworms
11. White-breasted Nuthatch - Peanuts, Sunflower seed, Safflower, Suet, Mealworms
12. Downy Woodpecker - Peanuts, Sunflower seed, Safflower, Suet, Mealworms
13. Blue Jay - Peanuts, Sunflower seed, Suet
14. Red-bellied Woodpecker - Peanuts, Sunflower seed, Safflower, Suet, Mealworms
15. Northern Flicker - Peanuts, Sunflower seed, Safflower, Suet, Mealworms
16. European Starling - Peanuts, Sunflower seed, Suet, Mealworms
17. Cedar Waxwing - Mealworms, Suet Nuggets, Berries and Wild Fruit
18. American Robin - Shelled peanuts, Suet, Suet Nuggets, Mealworms
19. Eastern Bluebird - Shelled peanuts, Suet, Suet Nuggets, Mealworms
20. American Crow - Peanuts, Sunflower seed, Suet
21. Cooper’s Hawk - Songbirds, Squirrels, Suet

Of course there are a lot more birds in Michigan during the winter and they don't just eat from feeders, but this gives you a start. For more information we have Birds of Michigan Field Guides or you can visit our online Bird Guide to identify birds at http://www.allaboutbirds.org/.
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