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, July 27, 2017

Finding feathers on the ground

Have you noticed more feathers on the ground or bald birds at the feeding station? Or just seen birds eating much more than usual? Many birds are losing and replacing their feathers in a process known as molting. This complicated process requires a lot of energy and may take up to eight weeks to complete.

Most birds’ feather loss and replacement is gradual and you may notice they look a little ruffled. But then there are also a select few that go bald. Some Cardinals, BlueJays, and Grackles go through an abnormal molt that leaves them bald. Don't worry the feathers will grow back. However, the quality and depth of the red coloration of the cardinal’s feathers is the result of amount of the pigment ingested, and then deposited in the new fall feathers. A study done by the Ohio State University found that juveniles, less efficient foragers than adults, often have a duller red feather coloration.

You can help by offering high-protein bird foods, such as sunflower seed, safflower, peanuts, Nyjer® (thistle), suet and mealworms, to ensure that your birds have a reliable source of protein to help them during this stressful time.

For the customers at the East Lansing Wild Birds Unlimited store, we recommend feeding the No-Mess Blend. Our unique No-Mess Blend contains sunflower seeds, peanut pieces and white proso millet without the shells. No shells on the seeds make for a tidier feeding area, since there's nothing on the ground to clean up. Pound for pound, our No-Mess Blend offers the best value because you do not pay for the shells and the best food for the birds because it's fresh and full of protein.

Related Articles:
There’s more to a jay than any other creature http://goo.gl/8OrUq
Birds Molting: Out with the Old, In with the New http://bit.ly/M2Flrs
Raggedy birds during late summer feather molting http://raggedy-birds-during-molt.html
When is bird migration over? http://bit.ly/M2FgUD

How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://more-colorful-birds.html

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