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.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Small gray bird with loud song

The charming Warbling Vireo breeds across the entire state of Michigan, and can be found from late spring to summer in the woods. About the size of a sparrow, this vireo lacks splashy field marks but you can still find them by listening for their loud, caroling song.

Males arrive in early spring from Mexico and northern Central America before the females. Much of their time is spent defending territories through song.

During courtship, a male approaches his prospective mate head-on, rhythmically weaving his body from side to side. With quivering wings, he closes the gap between them to about an inch, and if the female likes the male she will strike repeatedly at his open bill with her closed one.

Warbling vireos forage for insects in trees, hopping along branches and sometimes hovering. They also eat berries, especially before migration. Watch the video: https://youtu.be/i3PRxFpHnUw

Friday, August 30, 2019

Where did the bluebirds go?

Usually, Eastern Bluebirds will gather in large family flocks at the end of nesting season. If you have fruiting trees or bluebird feeders and a reliable source of water, you may host the bluebirds year-round. Scientists think it’s due to genetics whether they want to fly south or winter over. Some birds are compelled to move south and others are not.

The Eastern Bluebirds are considered partial migrants. Often, the birds from Canada and the northern U.S. will leapfrog over mid-Michigan in order to avoid competition for food and migrate all the way down to Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and the southern portions of Alabama, Georgia and Texas. But our bluebirds might hang around in the woods if it is a mild winter and just shift short distances in search of food and water.

They forage for fruits, nuts, and berries from shrubs, trees, and vines. Some of those include dogwood, hawthorn, mountain ash, sumac, holly, bittersweet, pokeweed, grape, and honeysuckle fruits.

Related Articles:  
What do American Robins eat in the winter? http://bit.ly/wQh59Q
Bird of the Week: American Robin http://bit.ly/pnUKqk
Bird of the Week: Eastern Bluebird http://bit.ly/xgm1V4
Ultimate Bluebird House http://bit.ly/A4kliS
The Migration of Eastern Bluebirds http://bit.ly/yCLcQH

Thursday, August 29, 2019

What's with all the feathers in the yard?

Poor birds. I don't remember a year when the birds looked so scruffy. I have so many bald jays and cardinals, and molting woodpeckers and finches with fluffy plumes sticking out all over it looks like they've been in a battle. I have feathers all over the yard!

At the end of summer many birds are beginning a transformation, losing and replacing their feathers in a process known as molting. Molting is when a bird replaces some (partial molt) or all (full molt) of its feathers. This complicated process requires a lot of energy and may take up to eight weeks to complete. Molting is so physically demanding for most ducks and geese that they can’t fly and will molt in seclusion to avoid predators.


Either molting or growing a 2nd head
Bathing also helps a molting bird remove itchy feather sheathes from new feathers and promotes feather grooming (preening), leading to tighter, shinier, more waterproof feathers.

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. For the next few months, offer high-protein bird foods, such as sunflower seeds, Nyjer® (thistle), peanuts, suet and mealworms, to ensure that your birds have a reliable source of protein to help them with molting.

Related articles:
- Types of Bird feathers http://goo.gl/W9rzP
- Why Birds don't Freeze After They Take a Bath in the Winter: http://bit.ly/mPa0Y8
- How small birds stay warm in the winter: http://bit.ly/q3dDqj  
- Why birds molt: http://bit.ly/ox5Hwi
- Blue Jays aren't blue: http://bit.ly/pMN37k
- Fossils of colored feathers: http://bit.ly/nc2UeA

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Feeding Hummingbirds in the fall will NOT delay migration

Hummingbirds are the only birds that can hover in still air for 30 seconds or more. The wings of some species flap up to a hundred times per second. Having a feeder up close lets you watch them in action.

In July, after chicks fledge you may see an increase of hummingbird activity at the feeders. The numbers of birds feeding will grow and then decline as migration begins in late summer and early fall. You will literally see these tiny, skinny hummingbirds loading up for several days and turn into round, rolly-polly birds. Then when the perfect wind blows they head south.

The first wave to depart is mainly made up of male hummingbirds, followed by the females and then the young. In addition to your loyal, frequently feeding hummingbirds, migrants from farther north may stop for a rest and a sugar-water pick-me-up as they are passing through. So keep your feeders clean and full of fresh nectar. If they find you on the way south, they will find you again on the way north next spring.

Keeping your feeders up in the fall will NOT cause hummers to delay migration. Many factors trigger birds to migrate, but the strongest one is day length. As days grow shorter in late summer, hummingbirds get restless and start to head south, regardless of whether there are feeders around.

In fact, several hummingbird accounts in Birds of North America Online also note that feeders may help hummingbirds survive in early spring or late fall when flowers are not in bloom.

Related Articles:
- The Best Hummingbird Feeders http://bit.ly/FQ9iGc
- How Many Species of Hummingbirds are There in Michigan? http://bit.ly/yCeR1c
- Where should I hang my hummingbird feeder? http://bit.ly/FQ9kxU
- When did people start to feed hummingbirds? http://bit.ly/yhfoMG
- How to Stop Your Hummingbird Feeder from Dripping. http://bit.ly/yROgU5
- How Do I Keep Bees Off My Hummingbird Feeder? http://bit.ly/Aj07oq

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

How can sugar water be healthy for hummingbirds?

One less mosquito
Why don’t hummingbirds get sick from too much sugar?
We use hummingbird feeders so we can observe our amazing hummingbirds up close! The four parts water to one part white sugar nectar recipe is comparable to natural flower nectar hummingbirds like to drink. Unlike humans, hummingbirds digest sucrose with almost 100 percent efficiency to support their speedy lifestyle. That doesn’t mean more is better. A ratio of water to white sugar more than 4:1 is harder for them to digest. And don’t ever use brown sugar, honey, or any other type of sweetener. Birds have a hard time metabolizing the wrong type of sugars, and it wears out their livers and kidneys.

The nectar we provide by planting flowers and maintaining feeders, supplies energy to hummingbirds but doesn’t complete their diet. These impressive high-energy birds also need proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals to stay in tip-top shape.

What else do hummingbirds eat?
Most Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that breed in the U.S. and Canada winter south of the U.S./Mexico border. To accomplish their incredible migration south they must double their body mass, from 3 grams to 6 grams (or from the weight of a penny to the weight of a nickel). Hummers feast on nectar but round out their diet with a lot of small flies and gnats, ants, tiny insect eggs, larva and even small spiders. They are excellent hunters. Hummingbirds can catch insects in flight, or pluck them from leaves, or catch spiders from their webs. They also raid spider webs for prepackaged bugs. (Sometimes I suggest throwing old fruit or banana peels near your hummingbird feeders to attract fruit flies for the hummers.) While migrating, hummingbirds can also drink sap from shallow wells drilled in tree trunks by Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers as well as pluck any insects that get stuck in the sticky stuff.

Related Articles:
What is the nectar recipe for hummingbirds? https://faq-about-hummingbirds.html
Fun Facts about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds http://goo.gl/jcjcr
The Best Hummingbird Feeders http://bit.ly/L4yY3i
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker laps sap https://yellow-bellied-sapsucker.html
When did people start to feed hummingbirds?: http://bit.ly/o8Y8HR

Monday, August 26, 2019

Small yellow gray bird with tail spots

Female American Redstart photo via Wikimedia Commons
I just saw a female American Redstart taking a bird bath in Columbia, SC. Are they rare in South Carolina?
Late summer can be a busy time, not only in your day to day activities but also at the bird feeders. Goldfinches are feeding their babies, young birds from other bird species are dispersing, birds are molting, and new birds are passing through during migration.

April-May and August-October is the best chance to see a redstart in migration. You can check out the migration maps at: https://ebird.org/birdvis/

Male American Redstart photo via Wikimedia Commons
American Redstarts are one of the most numerous warblers in North America. They visit active yards with bird feeders or lots of natural foods consistently every spring and fall on their way to nesting or wintering grounds. They join in with chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, and other warblers, particularly in fall.

The females are a similar size and coloration of a female American Goldfinch. But if you keep your eyes open in the fall for the American Redstart's distinctive habit of bouncing around in pursuit of insects, fanning their tail back and forth, and revealing two distinct bright yellow spots, you'll get a nice show! Their supercharged pursuit of insects in the trees and flashing wing and tail patches give the birds the nickname “candelita” or “little candle” in their Central American wintering grounds.

Females and young males are gray-olive with yellow patches on each wing, on the sides of its breast, and at the base of its tail on either side. The males are black where the female is gray and orange where the female is yellow.

Related Articles: 
Provide a safe habitat to encourage migrating birds http://provide-safe-habitat.html
Birds of Michigan Field Guide http://bit.ly/oW0XCD
Blue-headed Vireo's peak migration http://blue-headed-vireos.html
Wagging Warbler http://wagging-warbler.html
Black-and-yellow Warbler http://black-and-yellow-warbler.html
Nashville Warbler not from Tennessee http://nashville-warbler.html 
Bay-breasted warbler pictures http://bay-breasted-warbler.html 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

DO NOT take your feeders down on Labor Day.

Am I supposed to take down my feeder on Labor Day? DO NOT take your feeders down on Labor Day. In mid-Michigan, you can leave your hummingbird feeder up until mid-October. 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 whether there is a feeder up or not.

Why are there more hummingbirds in the fall? Nesting season is over for the hummingbirds in Michigan by the end of June. Once breeding territories no longer have to be guarded, hummingbirds wander widely. Just before they answer the call to travel south, hummingbirds eat in excess to build a layer of rich fatty fuel just under their skin. You can notice the extra fat along the belly, back, and throat. A hummingbird actually gains 25 – 40% extra body-weight to have enough fuel to migrate thousands of miles south. You will notice them getting fatter and fatter and then one day they fly to their wintering grounds.

Do I make the nectar recipe stronger to give them more energy? It's not necessary to make your sugar solution stronger. The 4:1 ratio is the closest to the favorite flowers that hummingbirds visit. That would be four parts water to one part plain white sugar. Click HERE for the nectar recipe.

Should I make the sugar solution weaker to encourage them to leave? I would continue to feed the hummingbirds the same nectar solution until they are fat enough to move further south. Don't rush them. Let them leave when they have enough energy and the weather is favorable.

Do hummingbirds migrate on the backs of geese? Some think that the rumor of hummingbirds hitching a ride with geese was started by Mr. Audubon himself. During migration hummingbirds fly about 23 miles a day by themselves, not in flocks or on the backs of geese. Individual adult males get the urge to leave first, followed soon after by the females, and then finally the juveniles. Amazingly, once the young have gained enough weight, they find their own way to the same winter habitat as their parents - someplace where they have never been, using the GPS in their head.

Where do Ruby-throated hummingbirds spend the winters? Most Ruby-throated Hummingbirds winter in southern Mexico, Central America, South America, and the West Indies. A few remain along the Gulf coast and on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Related Articles:
What is the nectar recipe for hummingbirds? https://faq-about-hummingbirds.html
Fun Facts about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds http://goo.gl/jcjcr
The Best Hummingbird Feeders http://bit.ly/L4yY3i
Why the color on a hummingbirds’ throat flashes http://bit.ly/JZ31qX
When did people start to feed hummingbirds?: http://bit.ly/o8Y8HR

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Brown bird with blush of red feathers

Growing red feathers!
Most birds grow a fresh coat of feathers in the fall. During this feather molt, birds may become less agile in flight and seek a protected habitat with a reliable food supply.

And because feathers make up 4–12% of a bird's body weight, it takes a large amount of energy to replace them. For the next few months, keep your feeders clean and full of fresh food to help them during this stressful time.

Right now I am watching juvenile male House Finches growing their red feathers. I wrote before about how the young House Finches were sporting baby feather plumes on their head. Now you are going to see a lot of young house finch males putting on their big boy colors. The girls will remain brown and creamy but the you will start to see red on the boys.
Last week's younger finch with downy head feathers sticking up.

The House Finches are a familiar sight in mid-Michigan today. These 6″, talkative little birds get their name from their habit of hanging around houses. They build their nests in the hanging baskets, wreaths, or in trees, and their cheery warble or a variety of chirps is a constant around the bird feeders. The amount of red the finch has can vary depending on the quality of their food during molt.

Related Articles:
- House Finches: Those Year-round Red Heads http://bit.ly/oOPJYR
- Where do you place finch feeders? http://bit.ly/qr78Dd
- 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
- Remove all winter wreaths before finches begin nesting in them http://goo.gl/OeyOS

Friday, August 23, 2019

Photo Share: Finches ride the flowers

The goldfinches are feasting on the flowers at the Wild Birds Unlimited store. Brown Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba) is a plant that will grow under diverse conditions. Even with the dry, hot summer we had this year, there were enough clusters of flowers to attract a charm of finches. Goldfinches will eat the tiny black seeds on the plant, and as the seeds scatter on the ground they will attract buntings, sparrows, and other birds.

Related Articles: 
Common winter birds in Michigan and their food preference: http://bit.ly/yp9YQA
How to choose the best suet cake http://bit.ly/xATYPQ
How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://bit.ly/qizlNh
How to winterize your bird feeding station http://bit.ly/xucuF8
Why do Birds Scatter Seeds from Feeders? http://bit.ly/vZ6gzM
Why Wild Birds Unlimited is best for the budget https://best seed.html
Feeder Fresh: Prevent your seed from becoming moldy https://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2011/12/feeder-fresh-prevent-your-seed-from.html

Thursday, August 22, 2019

When orioles migrate south

I am still enjoying some orioles at the jelly, suet, and seed cylinder feeders. But their season is almost over. Some Baltimore Orioles leave Michigan by the end of July but peak migration is August to early September.

Migration can be triggered by a combination of changes in day length, lower temperatures, changes in food supplies, and genetic predisposition. There is no rigid timetable. Birds have to gather their energy and grow new feathers. Then they wait for favorable weather conditions to help push them in the right direction.

One day they are there and the next day the Baltimore Orioles will ride a favorable frontal system south. They may start out in small groups composed of mixed ages and sexes. It's possible for them to travel about 150 miles each night in these flocks, flying at about 20 miles per hour. If the weather is right, an oriole could complete migration in about 2-3 weeks.

Most Baltimore Orioles migrate to the Neotropics and overwinter primarily in Central America and northern South America, although some do overwinter in the southern states. You can watch for favorable weather fronts on real-time bird migration maps that show intensities of actual bird migration as detected by the US weather surveillance radar network. View Live Migration Maps

Related Articles:
Can birds predict the weather? http://bit.ly/w3bhs8
Facts on the Baltimore Oriole http://bit.ly/GzSTbi
Close-up of Baltimore Oriole http://bit.ly/GAf6T7
Favorite Oriole feeders http://t.co/OjG4Lz4

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Photo Share: Adorable juvenile Mourning Dove

I hope this adorable baby dove makes it. He showed no fear of me while I took his picture. He seemed more interested in looking at the pine cone, the squirrel, and all the new stuff in the world. He even ignored his parents' warning about a fast moving bike rider nearby. They wing whistled away while he studied some wood chips. (Mourning Doves use a wing whistle noise to warn their flock about approaching enemies.) Fortunately the darkly mottled juvenile plumage of a Mourning Dove camouflages the bird among the natural debris.

I don't actually know if this bird was a boy. To our human eyes, both male and female juveniles look alike. In September the kids will grow adult grayish brown feather coats with one black spot behind and slightly below the eye and more black spots on both wings. Newly emerged feathers on head and neck of males have olive tipped edges that wear away during the winter to reveal distinctive bluish gray cap and nape and pinkish face, throat, and breast. Females are less showy. They have olive gray cap with neck feathers usually tinged with olive green iridescence, although some pink iridescence occasionally occurs.

Source: https://birdsna.org/moudov/
Related Articles:
Why is the Dove a Symbol of Peace? http://bit.ly/wMKEKF
How Do You Keep Doves From Dominating a Feeder? http://bit.ly/zDAwR2
How Mourning Doves defend their nests http://bit.ly/LiE7TH
Do Birds Sip or Slurp? http://bit.ly/N6syCY
Mourning Dove nesting facts and figures http://goo.gl/WeLWy

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

More ants this year than usual

Photo via Wikimedia Commons
A cold spring isn’t good for the breeding of a lot of bug species but ants seem to thrive. There is a total of 113 species of ants recorded in the state of Michigan. Only a handful are seen near our homes but their population seemed to explode in the strange weather we experienced this year. While they are pests to us, to many plants they are the key to their survival. In the eastern US, ants are integral to plant biodiversity because they help disperse seeds.

So what do you do to deter them from the nectar, fruit, and jelly feeders? You can help birds eat in peace if you install an ant "moat" between the feeder and the hanging hook. An ant moat is a small cup-like device that hangs between your feeder and your hook. Just like a water moat protects a castle, fill an ant moat with water, and it creates a barrier the ants can’t cross to get to the nectar. We carry several styles of ant moats, and there are also feeders that have built-in ant moats.

It is best if you don't poison the ants. Generally, ants are not dangerous. The primary concern is their ability to cause a nuisance. Northern Flickers also help to control the ant populations. Any poisons spread on the ground could unintentionally harm them. Flickers also squash ants and apply them to their bodies. Ants produce formic acid, which kills parasites on the bird's skin and feathers.

 
Related articles: https://youtu.be/flicker vs ants
The Best Hummingbird Feeders http://bit.ly/II4RQ4
Where should I hang my hummingbird feeder? http://bit.ly/H2U4P4
Hummingbird Information on Habitat and Habits http://bit.ly/H2Ua9s
What is the nectar recipe for hummingbirds? http://bit.ly/H7xvp3
Fun Facts About Hummingbirds http://bit.ly/II5sBl
Photo Share: Strange visitor at the high-perch hummingbird feeder http://bit.ly/II7dy

Monday, August 19, 2019

Where to put a bird bath

Can I put a bird bath right next to the bird feeders?
It’s best to put a bath in a spot that is easy to view but is also close to a faucet so you can change the water frequently. I can foresee only a couple problems with a bath near a feeding station. If it is right next to a feeder there could be seed spray dirtying the bath. And then there are doves. Mourning Doves like to shove as much food as they can into their crop and then find some where to perch to digest. Sometimes when a bath is close by you can have doves wading in a bath for 30 minutes or more after they’ve visited a feeder. This doesn’t bother me but if you feel the doves wearing out their welcome move it to another area.

Related Articles:

- Why Birds Preen http://goo.gl/8hqh0W
- What kind of bird bath is the best? http://goo.gl/tXz65
- Birds Don't Sweat: The Importance of Birdbaths http://bit.ly/OjpFPn
- Why crows dip their food in bird baths http://bit.ly/zgpw2i
- Do Birds Sip or Slurp? http://bit.ly/yAHTTV
- Why do birds poop in the bird bath? http://bit.ly/whKqHg

Saturday, August 17, 2019

How to clean feeders

Late summer is a stressful time for finches. Parents are caring for young, all the birds are growing new feathers, and there is a lot of competition at the feeders. This is the most important time to keep your feeders clean! Whenever birds are concentrated in a small area, the risk of a disease spreading within that population increases.

Bird-Feeding Guidelines:
1. Space your feeders widely to discourage crowding.
2. Rake the beneath feeders to remove droppings and old, moldy seed.
3. Change your bird bath water every other day and scrub and rinse at least every 2 weeks.
4. Soak your feeders at least once a month if not more with a 10% vinegar or bleach solution (1 part vinegar and 9 parts water) and be sure to scrub well around the feeder ports. Or Wild Birds Unlimited in East Lansing can wash your feeders year round. Just bring a feeder in and pay $5.00. We will disassemble, soak, scrub, and reassemble your feeder and have it ready for you the next day we are open. Or prepay $20.00 and you will receive a Bird Feeder Wash Card that is good for 5 washes. This will give you a savings of $5.00! 

Related articles:
Do I need to clean my bird feeder? http://bit.ly/HNX410
What to know about feeding birds in the spring http://bit.ly/HOjECH
How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://bit.ly/umlwXg
Can birds predict the weather? http://bit.ly/HNZTPx

Friday, August 16, 2019

Hummingbirds can starve to death in hours

On the nights when it gets cold or it rains you may wonder where a little hummingbird that weighs as little as a penny goes to spend the night. While sleeping, hummingbirds are vulnerable to an attack by a predator, even more so than other birds. Most birds find a sheltered perch to roost at night, lock their toes on a branch and sleep with one eye open, always on the lookout for danger.

Hummingbirds find a nice and sheltered place at night, and they latch onto a branch with their tiny feet, and then they go to sleep. But they don't just sleep, they go into a deep sleep called torpor, where they can lower the amount of energy they use by about 85 percent. They do this by basically shutting down a bunch of their bodily functions. It is like a mini hibernation where they lower their body temperature and their heart rate drops to only a few beats per minute. However, unlike hibernation, hummingbird torpor can occur on any night of the year so it is referred to as daily torpor or noctivation. Even tropical hummingbird species that also have limited metabolic energy, rely on daily torpor to conserve energy.

Hummers in torpor are fluffed but rigid and cold to the touch. In the morning, it takes them 20 to 30 minutes for their body to raise their internal temperature back up. They take that risk just to have enough energy in their tiny bodies to make it to the next morning. It is important for them to load up right before they sleep and then in the morning hummingbirds will eat 25% of their daily intake as soon as they recover from torpor. So keep those feeders full of fresh nectar.

Related Articles:
Migration vs. Hibernation http://goo.gl/C1GtY
How Do Birds Sleep? http://goo.gl/EyGqT
Why geese sleep in the water http://goo.gl/GP784
Where Do Birds Go At Night? http://goo.gl/Aurhv 

Video Hummingbird waking from torpor https://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2013/03/do-birds-snore-watch-video.html

Thursday, August 15, 2019

European Starling growing winter feathers

Baby starling
European Starlings are pretty common to see at mid-Michigan bird feeders. But the way they wear their feathers can make their identification difficult at times. After a long winter starlings have worn off their stars and look black or an iridescent purplish-green in the sun with yellow beaks. The babies almost look like a different species. They have fluffy dark gray feathers when they first fledge.

A juvenile European Starling (also known as Co...Image via Wikipedia
Juvenile European Starling growing winter feathers
At the end of summer the babies start to grow a black and white spotted vest. Then eventually their whole body will be covered by dark feathers with white tips. The white tips give the bird a spotted look or the appearance of “stars” covering their body, hence the name starling.

Adult starlings also go through a complete molt in late summer. Their bill color changes from yellow to black and new feathers with white tips are grown as winter approaches.

Over the winter sunlight and weather dulls the speckled look and by breeding season they are back to the uniform dark brown or black. Males sport a bluish spot at the base of their beaks, while the female displays a reddish pink speck.

Starlings tend to leave the feeders in the fall. They switch their diet in the winter to mainly fruits, nuts, and berries. During the day you can see them hanging out on wires along the roadside.
Related Articles:
Fun Facts About European Starlings http://bit.ly/KldcZK
Bird of the week: European Starling http://bit.ly/KXORtK
How to deter mobs of blackbirds from bird feeders http://bit.ly/IaZlky
How do thousands of European Starlings fly without colliding? http://bit.ly/vwM3Ra
Starlings stealing shiny money from machine http://bit.ly/uKaP8b

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Birds involved in ornithophily tend to be specialist nectarivores

You may have noticed the beak or bill on a hummingbird is longer in proportion to their body than other birds. This is so they can reach deep down into tubular flowers to get nectar. Both flowers and hummingbirds benefit when a hummingbird comes by for a drink.

Ornithophily is the process where plants are pollinated by birds. When a hummingbird comes to a flower to get a meal, it brushes against the male parts of the flower and gets dusted with pollen grains that are transferred over to pollinate the next flower. As a result, species of hummingbirds and species of flowers often evolved together, or co-adapted.

Most bird-pollinated flowers have a lot of nectar, often at the bottom of bright red, orange or yellow tubular petals. Bird pollination is considered a costly strategy for plants and it evolves only where there are particular benefits for the plant. High altitude ecosystems that lack insect pollinators, those in dry regions, or isolated islands tend to favor the evolution of ornithophily in plants. 

Sources: 
The Important Role of Birds in Pollination  http://www.role-of-birds-in-pollination/

Related Articles:
What is the nectar recipe for hummingbirds? http://goo.gl/MK3AU
Fun Facts about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds http://goo.gl/jcjcr
The Best Hummingbird Feeders http://bit.ly/L4yY3i
Why the color on a hummingbirds’ throat flashes http://bit.ly/JZ31qX
When did people start to feed hummingbirds?: http://bit.ly/o8Y8HR
Hummingbirds hunt and eat insects as well as nectar http:/hummingbirds-hunt insects.html

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Birds missing feathers

Birds have to keep a low profile while they are going through a molt.
In a few more weeks this chickadee will be ready for winter,
Molting can be a dangerous period for birds if there are not sufficient resources for them to molt properly. Flying may be difficult if not impossible while molting, which makes birds more susceptible to predators, and while feathers are missing, a bird's insulation and protection from poor weather is compromised.

Dolly is an inside cat so this bird is safe for now.
If a bird does not get proper nutrition while molting, its feathers may be thinner or poorly formed, creating difficulties that can last for months or years. You can help ease the dangers of molting by providing a rich, reliable food source for birds to take advantage of, along with safe, secure shelter for birds that become more elusive and shy while molting.

Plant plenty of native trees, shrubs and berries that offer nutrient rich food and harbor protein rich insects. If birds trust their habitat to meet their molting needs, they will stay around during this uncertain period, giving birders the opportunity to witness molting firsthand and enjoy ever more intimate knowledge of their favorite feathered friends.

Related Articles:
Types of Bird feathers http://bit.ly/w0U1M6
The best heated bird baths http://bit.ly/uDQdse
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
How do the small birds stay warm in the winter? http://bit.ly/sASDaX
Bird body odor: a link to extinction? http://bit.ly/rNhAU0

Is there a bird without feathers? http://bit.ly/t9C55s