About us: We own a wild bird feeding supply 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.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Photo Share: Cold Ducks

Mallard ducks are the most common duck species of the Northern Hemisphere and are also found in Asia, North America, and many islands. They are found year-round across much of the United States. In the winter they move around generally to avoid snow and find open water and to uncovered fields.

Related Articles:
New Bird Sighted: Hooded Merganser http://bit.ly/yI7HjD
Wood Duck Nest Box http://bit.ly/y89U1v
Mallard Nesting Behavior: Can I move the nest? http://bit.ly/xawSdh
Bufflehead: Black and white duck http://bit.ly/MjFhnm

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Do birds eat pineapples?

I've had a few people tell me recently they heard it was good to put out a pineapple for the birds, especially woodpeckers. A lot of native Michigan birds enjoy fruit like apples, pears, cherries, apricots, plums, grapes, and more. I'm not so sure about pineapples. It's not a food our winter birds would usually find. Orioles, tanagers, flycatchers, vireos and other birds that winter in Central America, South America, Caribbean, and Mexico might be more familiar with pineapples.

But it wouldn't hurt to stake out a pineapple to see if you have any woodpeckers with a hankering for a little bit of something sweet this winter. If you don't get any takers in the bird world, I'm sure a the squirrels and raccoons could handle the clean-up job.

I was just watching a video from the Cornell Lab Bird Cams in Panama. Pineapple was their fruit offering of the day! A Gray-cowled Wood-Rail and a Variegated Squirrel arrived at the feeder at the same time to eat together.

Watch the video:  https://youtu.be/548BLFYAb8I

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Joy of Bird Feeding!

Why do old people feed birds? I must be getting old. I hear this question/comment so often at the checkout of the Wild Birds Unlimited store at East Lansing and I never know what to say.
A lot of people like to feed birds, both young and old. More than 40 percent of Americans make it a regular habit. Originally bird feeding began as a beneficial relationship. We helped birds survive the winter so they could go on to eat insects that bugged us and threatened agricultural production in the summer. Soon this kind act of inviting “feathered guests” turned into welcoming our “personal friends” to spend part of the day with us and de-stress.

I’ve always fed the birds. Instead of tea with dolls, when I was growing up I would share homemade jelly tarts with the birds. Oh the drama! You can learn a lot from the birds and other little visitors that frequent feeders. Friendly birds, shy birds, clever birds, squirrels crashing the party… Watching the aggressive flicking of a squirrel’s tail, the calling of the jays to announce food is served, the playful moments with a chickadee or nuthatch, the clever quickness of sparrows figuring out how to get their share and their neighbors’ share as well.

I was captivated by the natural world early and have never lost interest. Others also may have enjoyed watching birds earlier, only to become sidetracked, and then returned to watching Mother Nature’s great reality show a little later in life when they aren’t quite as busy.

Related Articles:

Why is the Dove a Symbol of Peace? http://t.co/Br4EnlB
Why should we care about birds? http://bit.ly/MFC0yr
Why feed the birds? http://goo.gl/NlZrU
Nature's impact on our well-being https://natures-impact-on-wellbeing.html
Santayana's Law of Repetitive Consequences: Loss of the Passenger Pigeon http://bit.ly/sUPlXj

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Have you been waking up to a lump of ice in your bird bath?

Freezing weather is here to stay for awhile. 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. 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.

So when temperatures drop think about putting out an all-in-one heated bird bath or adding a heater to your bird bath to provide an open water source. Wild Birds Unlimited's most popular heater is the Birdbath and Multi-Use De-Icer. I like it because it has a long cord, it fits many different water bowls, and works really well.  

Other great features include:
  • Cast aluminum construction for long-term efficiency and performance
  • Non-stick coating to reduce corrosion and eliminate lime buildup
  • Thermostatically-controlled: It only turns on during freezing weather to reduce operating costs
  • Designed for multiple uses: baths, buckets, animal bowls
  • Safe for birds and animals to drink around
  • Strong and long 5 1/2' power cord
  • 150 Watts 
  • Safe for use in plastic or concrete
  • 3 year manufacturer warranty
  • Made in the USA
Related Articles:
All-in-one heated bird bath http://heated-birdbath.html
- 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

Monday, November 26, 2018

Keep bird feeders free of mold

At the Wild Birds Unlimited East Lansing, MI store we clean feeders every day for $5.00 each and I have been cleaning a lot of feeders lately. In wet weather, the seed in the feeders might become moldy which very dangerous for the birds. 

If you are having trouble keeping your seed dry and fresh after a wet weather, two products that I recommend are weather guards and feeder fresh.

A WBU Weather Guard is designed to keep bad weather 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.

And I recommend Feeder Fresh very highly. Yes, it works. I use it myself in bad weather. It is a desiccant that you add to the seed when you fill the feeder. It absorbs excess water, is safe for birds, and made from non-toxic absorbent sand. Feeder Fresh keeps the seed in the feeder dry, keeps molds from forming, which reduces the chance of molds.
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. It's also made in the USA. Feeder Fresh keeps my feeders free of mold which makes it easier for me to maintain clean healthy feeders.

Related Articles:
How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://bit.ly/umlwXg
Prepare Your Yard for Fall Bird Feeding: http://bit.ly/pkJUmW
Do I need to clean my bird feeder?: http://bit.ly/nYKz40
Best foods for birds in winter http://bit.ly/6fkng
How long does bird seed stay fresh? http://bit.ly/tRYvG9

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Largest of all falcons

The Gyrfalcon, the largest of all falcons, is typically found way up north in the arctic tundra. But winter can force this species to move to mid-Michigan to feed. They prefer agricultural fields which
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
remind them of their northern breeding grounds, typically perching low to the ground on fence posts. The majority of prey consists of small mammals and some birds. They are capable of very fast flight, and may reach speeds of 130 miles per hour when stooping for prey.

Gyrfalcon is pronounced "JER-falcon." Both males and females have highly variable plumage coloration, ranging from nearly pure white to dark gray-brown. In North America, most are an intermediate gray color.

Related Articles:
Sharp-shinned vs. Cooper’s Hawks http://goo.gl/sBHwDY
Birds of prey: Hawk vs. Falcon http://birds-of-prey-hawk-vs-falcon.html
Hawks at Feeders http://bit.ly/zfOiVV
Cooper's Hawk http://bit.ly/ylsupp
Sharp-shinned Hawks http://bit.ly/zhi4Ng

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Why woodpecker makes several trips to the feeder

Why was the woodpecker at the seed feeder instead of the suet feeder?

Red-bellied Woodpeckers eat a wide variety of food. In the late spring and summer their diet consist mainly of insects, spiders, and other arthropods, and suet. In the fall and winter there are more acorns, nuts, and pinenuts in their diet as well as seeds extracted from annual and perennial plants and fruits and berries.

You may sometimes see Red-bellied Woodpeckers make several quick trips to the feeder because they like to take food away and wedge it into bark crevices. Just like squirrels, some birds like chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, blue jays and woodpeckers will hide or cache their food to retrieve and eat at a later time. They hide hundreds of seeds all over their territory, in a behavior known as scatter-hoarding to keep their stash a secret from competitors and help them survive during bad weather and when food sources are low. They can find each hiding spot accurately even a month later.

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

Friday, November 23, 2018

#GivingTuesday: Support your local Wildlife Rehabilitator

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.), when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. Wild Birds Unlimited store would like to encourage you to donate $5.00 to Nottingham Nature Nook (NNN). As a "Thank you" for donating at the store, we will give you a unique stocking stuffer FREE until we run out!

The "Good Luck" mini totes are so popular we always run out! So this year along with that traditional tote, I've also brought in "Santa's Reindeer" totes. These small 4 inch totes are filled with a tiny bag of birdseed, perfect to slip over a doorknob as a decoration or stuffed in a stocking as a gift.

The original has a wren on the front with the quote that reads: "It is a Scandinavian Tradition to feed the birds on Christmas Day to ensure Good Luck in the year ahead. Spread birdseed on your doorstep Christmas morning for Luck in the New Year."

http://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2015/12/unique-stocking-stuffer-ideas.htmlAnd then we have a cute little girl kissing a reindeer with a quote on back reads: "Go outside on Christmas Eve and sprinkle this at night to nourish Santa's reindeer on their long and chilly flight. On Christmas when you wake up in the morning you will find the toys, treats & treasures that Santa left behind."

Nottingham Nature Nook (NNN) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in East Lansing that raises and releases wildlife babies as well as cares for injured adult animals. If you would rather donate directly, a check can be made to Nottingham Nature Nook (NNN) 16848 Towar Ave, East Lansing, MI 48823. (517) 351-7304 or visit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/donate/

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The traveling turkey

Although wild and domestic turkeys are genetically the same species, that’s about where the similarity ends. The wild turkey in a sprint can outrun a galloping horse and fly distances of more than a mile, at up to speeds of 55 miles per hour. The domestic turkey lost its ability to fly and run far due to selective breeding that created a larger breast and shorter legs than their wild cousins.

The separation of the wild and domestic turkey began hundreds of years ago. Turkeys were being raised in Mexico and Central America for more than 500 years before the Spanish traders arrived. They took Mexican wild turkeys, domesticated by the Aztecs, home to Europe in about 1519. The turkey then spread rapidly through Europe and was introduced in England between 1524 and 1541.

After the domestic turkey spread across Europe in the 1500s, the colonists who settled the New World brought these domesticated birds with them across the Atlantic back to the land of their origin.

However by the 1900's, due to habitat loss and over-hunting, Wild Turkeys actually disappeared from Michigan’s landscape. Because turkeys do not migrate on their own, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reintroduced them in the 1950s from Pennsylvania. Gradually the Wild Turkey population in Michigan grew and is now is home to over 200,000 birds.

Related Articles:
Fun Facts on Wild Turkeys http://bit.ly/rI3Ki7
Why is a Turkey Is Called a Turkey? http://bit.ly/uKNZe5
Wild Turkeys came close to extinction in the 1930s: http://bit.ly/rgjosF
What do Turkeys Eat? http://bit.ly/uUiDsN

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Turkeys have winter flocks

More and more turkeys are learning to live near humans. A varied habitat of both open and covered area is essential for wild turkey survival. They use forested areas as cover from predators and for roosting in trees at night. In the early morning and late afternoon Wild Turkeys forage for nuts, various seeds, berries, roots, grasses and insects. They tend to stay in winter flocks until April in our area. Winter flocks are divided into male and female (and her young).

Their breeding season is in March and April normally. Males may be seen courting in groups, gobbling, spreading their tail feathers and strutting. The dominant male will mate with several females in the flock but does not provide any parental care.

Females leave the group after mating to nest alone in the spring. Their nest is just a shallow depression scratched out in the ground covered by vines. A hen will lay a clutch of 10-14 eggs, usually one per day, that hatch after 28 days of incubation by the female alone. The young turkeys (called poults) stay with the female parent through the fall (males) or the early spring (females). 

Related Articles:
Fun Facts on Wild Turkeys http://bit.ly/rI3Ki7
Why is a Turkey Is Called a Turkey? http://bit.ly/uKNZe5
Wild Turkeys came close to extinction in the 1930s: http://bit.ly/rgjosF
What do Turkeys Eat? http://bit.ly/uUiDsN

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Close-up of turkey snood and wattle

The snood is the fleshy protuberance on the forehead of turkeys, not to be confused with wattles, the fleshy bits under the neck. When a male turkey is strutting during a courtship display, the snood engorges with blood, becomes redder and elongates several centimeters, hanging well below the beak. Female wild turkeys prefer to mate with long-snooded males, and male turkeys defer to males with relatively longer snoods.

In birds, wattles are often an ornament for courting potential mates. Large wattles are correlated with high testosterone levels, good nutrition, and the ability to evade predators, which in turn indicates a potentially successful mate.  

Related Articles:
Fun Facts on Wild Turkeys http://bit.ly/rI3Ki7
Why is a Turkey Is Called a Turkey? http://bit.ly/uKNZe5
Wild Turkeys came close to extinction in the 1930s: http://bit.ly/rgjosF
What do Turkeys Eat? http://bit.ly/uUiDsN

Monday, November 19, 2018

Finding a Wild Turkey

To find Wild Turkeys it helps to get up early in the morning, when flocks of these large birds are often out foraging in clearings, field edges, and roadsides. Keep an eye out as you drive along forest edges, particularly forests with nut-bearing trees such as oak and hickory. You’ll usually find turkeys on the ground, but don’t be surprised if you run across a group of turkeys flying high into their treetop roosts at the end of the day.

Related Articles:
Fun Facts on Wild Turkeys http://bit.ly/rI3Ki7
Why a Turkey Is Called a Turkey http://turkey name
Wild Turkeys came close to extinction in the 1930s: http://bit.ly/rgjosF
What Turkeys Eat http://bit.ly/uUiDsN

Iridescent Ocellated Turkey http://iridescent-ocellated-turkey.html

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Brilliantly colored turkey

photo from Wikimedia Commons
A relative of our Wild Turkey, the Ocellated Turkey (Meleagris ocellata) is a more colorful species residing primarily in the forests in Mexico. Males of both turkey species have a distinctive fleshy wattle or protuberance that hangs from the top of the beak (called a snood). They are among the largest birds in their ranges.

However Ocellated turkeys feathers are iridescent green, bronze, blue, and black and they have a featherless powder-blue head speckled with red and orange fleshy nodules. They also have tail feathers with the green-blue 'eyespots' edged in a metallic bronze color, from which its name is derived (ocelli or 'eye' in Latin).

Related Articles:
Fun Facts on Wild Turkeys http://bit.ly/rI3Ki7
Why is a Turkey Is Called a Turkey? http://bit.ly/uKNZe5
Wild Turkeys came close to extinction in the 1930s: http://bit.ly/rgjosF
What do Turkeys Eat? http://bit.ly/uUiDsN

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Turkeys can swim and other fun facts

If you are lucky enough to get a Thanksgiving card from a little grade schooler that has traced their hand to make a Turkey tail, here is some fun turkey trivia you can share with them:
1. You can tell if you are on the trail of a boy turkey from a girl turkey by their poop. Male droppings are j-shaped while the female droppings are spiral or curly-cued. And the diameter of the droppings increases with age of turkey.
2. Male turkeys are called gobblers, after the “gobble” call they make to announce themselves to females which are called hens. Other turkey sounds include “purrs,” “yelps” and “kee-kees.”
3. The Turkey name of the bird may have come from when early traders that took the bird from America in the 1500’s shipped them through the country of Turkey on their way to delivering the birds to European markets.
4. Wild turkeys have very powerful legs and can run faster than 20 miles per hour and fly up to 55 miles per hour.
5. When they need to, Turkeys can swim by tucking their wings in close, spreading their tails, and kicking.
Related Articles:
- Hands-and-Feet Turkey card: http://goo.gl/z29nSY
- Turkey Trivia http://bit.ly/J1AIpH
- Do turkeys drown in the rain? http://bit.ly/rWtgr5
- Why is a Turkey Is Called a Turkey? http://bit.ly/uKNZe5
- What do Turkeys Eat? http://bit.ly/uUiDsN

Friday, November 16, 2018

Photo Share: Cold titmouse

Tufted Titmice live their entire lives within a few miles of their birthplace. Most reside in deciduous and mixed forests of eastern North America and are also found in older urban and suburban areas with mature trees and vegetation. They prefer areas where rainfall is greater than 24 inches per year, and are more common where rainfall exceeds 32 inches per year. The Lansing area has an average rainfall 31.73 inches per year and an average snowfall of 51 inches.

Related Articles:
Bird of the Week: Small gray and white bird with tuft http://goo.gl/6dRVfF
Tufted Titmouse’s song is a fast-repeated, clear whistle http://goo.gl/cF55yP
Titmice Fun Facts http://goo.gl/nggZtM
Why offer peanuts to birds http://goo.gl/QK4t7K

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Reasons to Serve Dried Mealworms

Do you use dried mealworms to feed the birds? Which birds will I attract? 

I do feed mealworms! Finches don’t like mealworms but most of the other birds that come to the feeders would appreciate mealworms, especially live mealworms. In the fall, winter, and early spring when there aren’t as many bugs to find naturally, the birds aren’t as choosy and will eat dried mealworms. 

Insects like mealworms are naturally a part of many songbirds’ diets. You can feed them separately in a tray feeder or just mix them in with your loose seed blend. Wild Birds Unlimited’s Dried Mealworms are nutritious and come in a handy re-sealable bag that is easy to store. Serving dried mealworms with your seed may even attract new species that aren’t attracted to seed alone like bluebirds and robins. They provide the perfect balance of protein, fat and fiber to promote bird health.

Or if you’d like the benefits of dried mealworms without the extra step of mixing them in with seed, you can also try serving a Wild Birds Unlimited Bugs, Nuts & Berry or Flaming Hot Feast Seed cylinders. These cylinders offer wild bird visitors a bountiful variety of enticing seeds, nuts, and worms to attract a number of species. The ingredients are bound together safely and compactly with gelatin and easily slip on to the Spiral Seed Cylinder Feeder. The birds can't scatter the seed and there is no waste or mess to clean up on the ground.

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/cqx9LN0rULo?t=528

Related Articles:
- Filling Up on Fatty Foods http://bit.ly/xbZ9lR
- How to get the chickadees to stay at the feeder longer http://goo.gl/Q9pxHq
- Product Highlight: Solid Seed Cylinders http://goo.gl/HbISQR
- No-mess Seed Cylinders: http://goo.gl/SPCYIK
- All-in-one seed cylinder food for the birds! https://Bugs nuts and berries.html

Photo Share: Female House Finch

Sometimes people misidentify female House Finches with a sparrow, but the bright red and brown boys are usually not far away. House finches are a welcome visitor to my bird feeders. They provide much pleasure with their welcome chattering, especially in the chilly weather. At my feeders they announce their arrival with sweet calls of "kweat" or "weet", as a way to remain in contact with a mate.

Related Articles:
Compare House Finches and Purple Finches http://bit.ly/oOogOf
What can I feed the cardinals to make them redder? http://bit.ly/vn2HK3
How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://bit.ly/rT5Hfj
Why male and females are a different color http://bit.ly/ueILUf
Baby cardinal with two distinctive head feathers http://goo.gl/J0isco Funny looking birds showing up at the feeder http://goo.gl/9CB7Fk

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

How to feed the most birds

What feeder would you choose to get the most birds in your yard. Life got busy for me and I haven't fed birds in awhile. But we're hosting Thanksgiving this year and I want a lot of activity. It brings back a lot of happy memories!

Bird Feeders come in a wide variety styles. The best feeders are the ones that cater to the most birds that already find your yard a suitable habitat. Tray feeders or fly-thru feeders are very versatile. It is comfortable for all birds and allows you to throw any seed, apple cores, leftover pie-crusts, holiday nuts, or squash seeds into it. 

Or the most popular bird feeder in our store by far is the Wild Birds Unlimited Decorative Seed Cylinder Feeder. Cylinders offer wild bird visitors a bountiful variety of entirely edible pieces sunflower hearts, peanuts, and tree nuts tightly bound together with gelatin. The feeder is easy to fill and clean, and has a beautiful perching branch for the cardinals to comfortable feed at the cylinder. You can also add an optional tray.

The Seed Cylinder feeders are popular with people who have been bird feeding a long time and for beginners. It is one of the easiest feeders to maintain and attracts a wide variety of birds. For people that aren't able to get out to fill feeders often during our harsh Michigan winters this feeder is ideal. Depending on bird activity in your yard, a 2lb cylinder can last weeks and a 4.5lb cylinder can last months.

And just when you thought cylinder feeding couldn't get any better... you can look forward to our Seed cylinder Characters from October to December at the East Lansing, Wild Birds Unlimited store! And a "hot" variety to keep deer, raccoons, and squirrels away.

You can also Decorate a Tree for your feathered friends. One of my favorite crafts is a pinecone dipped in birdseed. They are so much fun to make I thought I'd share my secret recipe. So if find there are little hands out there that need to be kept busy, this is a fun and easy project.

Pinecone Treats for the Birds
What you need:
¼ cup powdered unflavored gelatin
2 cups water
12 medium pinecones
2 cups WBU No-Mess blend bird seed
Raffia to hang

Place water in a glass bowl that is big enough to dip in a pinecone. Heat the water in the microwave for 50 seconds. The water should only be warm, but this should be supervised by an adult.

1. Pour the powdered gelatin in the water and stir until it is dissolved.
2. Dip the pinecone into the gelatin water
3. Roll pinecone in a bowl of bird seed.
4. Set the dipped pinecone on wax paper and let it dry for a couple hours.
5. Once it’s dry, tie a raffia ribbon around the cone, hang on a tree outside and watch all the birds flock.
6. Or place the pinecone in a cellophane bag and you have the perfect party favor for your guests to take home.

Additional Treat Ideas: http://www.wbu.com/education/brochures/DecorateATree.pdf

Related Articles:
- Wild Birds Unlimited Advanced Pole System http://bit.ly/rJulFz
- Best Large Capacity Bird Feeder http://goo.gl/fqmDby
- Product Highlight: Solid Seed Cylinders http://goo.gl/HbISQR
- How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://bit.ly/qizlNh
- How to feed birds with less mess http://goo.gl/VgM3Xu

Monday, November 12, 2018

Folklore claims squirrels know about upcoming winter weather

Can a squirrel’s behavior predict upcoming winter weather? I’ve seen quite a few plump squirrels in the yard.

There are several theories about squirrels’ behavior in the fall and the upcoming winter weather. For example, an abundance of overly plump squirrels is alleged to indicate a tough winter to come. A couple other theories indicating exceptionally harsh temps on the horizon include seeing squirrels furiously gathering of food or building nests higher in trees than usual. Unfortunately there is zero hard evidence to back up any of these theories.

But according to the Farmers’ Almanac’s famous long-range weather outlook, it’s going to be a “teeth-chattering” cold winter, with plenty of snow.

At a glance:
- Colder-than-normal conditions are predicted with above-normal snowfall predicted for Great Lakes.
- The coldest weather will arrive mid-February, with blustery and bitter winds, and widespread snow showers.
- Stormy winter conditions will hang on even through the official start of spring, especially for the East.

And widespread seed, berry, and cone crop failures, according to the The 2018-2019 Winter Finch Forecast means birds as well as other critters are going to have a hard time finding food all winter.