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.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Why bird feeder activity increases in summer

Why are the birds eating so much right now?

Well the easy answer is there is at least twice as many birds at the feeders. Most feeder birds have already had at least one batch of babies. You'll see a lot of stressed out parent birds are bringing their families up for quick bites. And the goldfinches have just now settled down to one territory to begin nesting.

If you haven't seen an increase at the finch feeders, wash your feeders and put in fresh food. Finches left off feeding regularly at the feeders for a few weeks in June but they should be devouring the food again now until they bring up their babies and complete their full molt in October.

Birds have to eat a lot of high protein foods to produce a new coat of feathers and bulk up for a journey south or prepare for a harsh winter. Most birds go through a full molt of their feathers in the late summer. This complicated process requires a lot of energy and may take up to eight weeks to complete. Feathers are made of more than 90% protein, primarily keratins, so every molting bird needs extra proteins to grow strong feathers for proper flight and effective insulation.

And don't be surprised to see some bald cardinals, jays and blackbirds in July and August. It is normal for some birds to go through an abnormal molt or replacement of feathers.

For the next few months, offer high-protein bird foods, such as No-Mess blend, Nyjer® (thistle), peanuts, suet and mealworms, to ensure that your birds have a reliable source of protein to help them with growing families and molting.

Related Articles:
Types of Bird feathers http://bit.ly/w0U1M6
Dirt baths help birds stay clean http://bit.ly/rJR7Ex
Why birds molt http://bit.ly/rGaqRL
Do Birds Go Grey or White Feathered in Old Age? http://bit.ly/rRwSeP
Bald Cardinals in Summer http://bald-cardinals-in-summer.html

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