The Meadowlark Times The Official Newsletter of The Front Range Birding Company
Summer 2005


FRBC: A Nature Center For You and Your Family

in this issue
  • SUMMER TIPS from our friends at Duncraft

  • SUMMER TIPS from our friends at Duncraft

    Summer is the perfect time to outfit your existing bath with a mister, dripper or fountain, buy a brand new bath or add an exciting water feature to your landscape.

    Water wisdom: Hot topic in the summer heat.

    Birds don't bathe for fun - they bathe to keep feathers in top flight condition. This is essential in order for them to flee from predators.

    Keep your bird bath clean! It's healthier for birds and reduces potential spread of disease. We suggest you scrub your bath every other day with a brush and a solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water. Or purchase convenient bottles of ready-made cleaning solution.

    Active, moving water is a magnet for birds! You'll entice a wider variety of species when you add a mister, dripper or fountain to your bath. It's easy and inexpensive to convert your existing bath into a "water park" for the birds.

    Mike and Sharon Dunn - Duncraft Feeders

    Regardless of how sophisticated you may choose to get, here are some additional birdbath tips provided by renouned Birding expert Scott Shalaway reprinted from a Windstar Institute article:

    Keep a bath at least 15 ft. from any feeders. Seed hulls and droppings soil water rapidly.

    Keep the water no more than two inches deep. This is not a problem with most saucer- style baths, but if you install a small pool or pond, pile a stack of rocks to make one end shallow enough for small birds to bathe.

    Place the bath in open shade. It should be shaded between noon and 4 p.m. so the water doesn't get too hot. Overhead cover also provides safe haven when a cat or bird-eating hawk enters the area.

    Come in and see us at the store for your water needs. We have many simple solutions when it comes to water to help your property become more wildlife friendly.


    The 2005 Dove Race for Youth, which raised $5,000 for the Captain Jason Dahl Scholarship Foundation and The Greater Littleton Youth Initiative, took place on May 14th.

    The doves (homing pigeons) were released from the Jefferson Village Shopping Center. Two hundred local individuals and businesses sponsored individual doves with their charitable contributions. The race was conducted in two divisions, one division for the general public (people's division) and one for local business owners (corporate division.). Sponsors "competed" for prizes donated by many local businesses. The 200 doves immediately raced back to their lofts in Arvada where the winners were tabulated.

    A check for $1,200 was presented to The Greater Littleton Youth Initiative on June 10th at a small ceremony held at the South Metro Chamber of Commerce quarterly meeting.

    A check for $4,000 was presented to The Captain Jason Dahl Scholarship Foundation on July 11th at a small ceremony at Q's Pub & Grill. The funds were enough to provide scholarships for two worthy individuals at Denver's Metro State University.

    Congratulations to the following (peoples division) winners!

    1st Place: Taylor Forst of Littleton

    • Taylor won a pair of 8x42 Binoculars from Audubon Binoculars.

    2nd Place: Ryan Fograrty of Littleton

    • Ryan won a signed copy of John Fielder's book Mountain Ranges of Colorado.

    3rd Place: Renee Howell of Centennial.

    • Renee won a beautiful etched wine glass set by local artist P. J. Lenorovitz of Blue Heron Studio

    Congratulations to the following (corporate division) winning local companies!

    • 1st Place: Q's Pub and Grill
    • 2nd Place: 1st Bank of Colorado
    • 3rd Place: Deer Creek Animal Hospital

    Joining The Front Range Birding Company and White Birds Unlimited, Inc in the fund raising event was the entire Student Senate at the Collegiate Academy Charter School in Littleton. These outstanding students were instrumental in helping raise the funds for the two charities.

    The "dove race" supports both The Greater Littleton Youth Initiative and The Jason Dahl Scholarship Foundation. These two charities were birthed because of the far-reaching tragic events - Columbine High School in 1999, and the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001.

    We give our most humble thanks to the Sheltered Wings Company, John Fielder and Westcliffe Publishers, Blue Heron Studio and the many other companies that provided prizes for race sponsors.

    White Birds Unlimited, an Arvada company, provided the 200 white homing pigeons for people to sponsor.


    Three members of the Mile High Girl Scout Council have taken over the monitoring duties of the FRBC Bluebird Trail. Actually, our trail is part of the Ken- Caryl Valley trail that local residents monitor as they help assist Park Rangers tabulating nest box data. These "citizen scientists" are joining the Cornell Lab of Ornithology scientists to study and conserve North American cavity-nesting birds.

    The volunteer scouts are Girl Scout Juliettes working on their Girl Scout Silver Award. At last report, on the first of July, one of their boxes contained three baby Tree Swallows just about to fledge. Ken-Caryl Rangers also report success with both Tree Swallow and Mountain Bluebird nests in many valley boxes. It seems to be a good breeding year so far.

    Together, with Lab researchers, you could become a citizen scientist as well. Check out the many hands on programs the Cornell Lab has to offer. Call them at (800) 843-2473(BIRD) or on the web at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/.


    Birds of Colorado Field Guide by Stan Tekiela.This field guide is a perfect book for a beginner birdwatcher or anyone with a backyard bird feeder. A lot of our customers come in looking for an easy to use bird guide, and when it comes to Colorado birds, this book has everything.

    With many guides I have used, you end up flipping through the entire book until you find a bird that might look like what you saw. Then you look at all the information listed and end up being even more confused. The Birds of Colorado Field Guide makes it easy to find just the bird you are looking for. The pictures are large, detailed color photographs. The birds are organized by color, so if the bird had any obvious color you have a good starting place. If you find a picture that looks correct, you can read the compare section to look up other similar looking birds.

    For each species, the book gives information like size, nesting habits, and favorite foods. Each bird also has interesting notes and "gee-whiz" facts. The book contains 130 species found in Colorado, and shows males and females which can often look quite different.

    For the first time birder or anyone new to Colorado, I highly recommend this easy to use field guide. We also have a large collection of other field guides, such as guides by National Audubon, Sibley, and Petersons, if this guide is not what you are looking for.

    Seed of the Month & JUGS! JUGS! JUGS!
    Starting in August we will start a "Seed of the Month" promotion. Each month we will select an outstanding seed and place it on a 15% off special. during that entire month you can purchase that seed at the reduced price.

    It will be an excellent opportunity for you to target the seed you like best, take advantage of the sale price, and store it away in our "Seed Vault." You will then be able to pick it up fresh at your convience without stacking it up in the basement or garage.

    Seed of the month for August is 25lb bags of raw Peanut halves. They are a great item for Jays, Nut Hatches, Chickadees, and any Woodpecker. Stock up and be ready to attract them to your yard all winter long!

    Buy 2 and get 1 free!Our 5 1/2 lb jugs of Superfinch are on sale while supplies last. These clear plastic jugs are a great way to store your Finch food and are super convenient. The jug sale gets you the Gold and House Finch's most favorite diet at a 33% saving!

    Superfinch and all of our bird food is delivered fresh every week from the Audubon Park Company located just 50 miles east of Denver. In our opinion there is not a better supplier of top quality premium bird seed in the country.

    visit audubon Park on the web

    Audubon Equinox 8by42 HP Binoculars $259.99
    Some of you have asked us to start a layaway program, so we just did. Recognizing that some of our items can strain many a household budget, ask us how it works. We can stretch out the payments so you can afford the value and quality of any item we offer in the store.

    Even though it my be hot as blazes outside, it's never to early to start shopping for Christmas. Our great selection of quality binoculars is just on item you might think of paying down on for that hard to buy for nature lover.

    Our optics come from the Sheltered Wings Company located in Middleton. Wisconsin and are the Audubon and Vortex brands. We offer them at the minimum allowed price and are not available at any dealer supported store at a lower price.

    Check them out at the Sheltered Wings web site listed below. You will find exceptional optics at an extremely affordable price.

    Audubon Equinox 8by42 HP Binoculars $259.99

    Visit Sheltered Wings and Audubon Binoculars on the web


    Wow! What a spring we had for birding. Seems the drought is over, for the time being anyway, and wild birds up and down the Front Range are having a bountiful breeding season. Orioles, Finches, Hummingbirds, and Chickadees have been in plentiful supply for backyard feeders. You don't have to venture far into the open space either to get excellent viewing of Western Meadowlarks, Mountain Bluebirds and a wide variety of Raptors. Many of you have brought us pictures of even more interesting visitors to the backyard. We have posted Lazuli Buntings, a Clark's Nutcracker, a White Crowned Sparrow, Spotted and Green Tailed Towhees, and Black Headed Grosbeaks just to name a few. We hear a new story every day it seems and we would love to hear more. Please keep them coming.

    Following up on this great spring, we are looking forward to a great summer as well. So, trying to make it easier for you to enjoy nature, check out the following programs we have started at the store.

    The FRBC Seminar Series:

    This summer and fall we are instituting a seminar/lecture series in which we bring in guest speakers who share their knowledge and expertise on a variety of nature related subjects. Our plan is to have a seminar at least every other month for about an hour with questions to follow. Seminars will tentatively be held at 9am on a designated Saturday of the seminar month. The Audubon Society of Greater Denver has graciously provided their classroom located at The Discovery Pavilion in Waterton Canyon. It is a perfect location and known as "the classroom in the wild."

    Our first seminar will feature Audubon Colorado's Colorado Wildscapes... Bringing Conservation Home. Connie Holsinger, Project Coordinator, will introduce you to this new and easy wildscaping guide which also features nature illustrations by Susie Mottashed, author of Who Lives in Your Back Yard. Connie will speak on how you can make your backyard wildlife friendly, water efficient, and beautifully decked out in native plant species. Learn about, and become, a Habitat Hero - people who make a difference for wildlife. Susie will show you how to create your own nature journal by observing and sketching who lives in your backyard. It is quick, easy and fun! No prior sketching experience is necessary. Bring a sketchpad and pencils.

    The seminar will last about an hour and a half followed by a short nature walk along the Platt River. You will have a golden opportunity to practice your newly acquired wildlife sketching skills. Each will be available for book signings at the seminar if you are interested. A portion of all sales will be donated back to ASGD.

    Check out Audubon Colorado's web site at www.audub oncolorado.org and click on Audubon At Home. Learn more about nature journaling by visiting Susie at her web site at www.sketchesfromtheheart.com. I think you find each one very informative and extremely interesting.

    Keep a lookout for a future seminar in November as we complete our first year's schedule. There is no cost or obligation to attend and, for your attendance, you will receive a 15% discount on the smoothie of your choice at Squeeze and a 10% discount on any storewide purchase at The Front Range Birding Company. In case you haven't noticed, the Squeeze is located right next to our store in Jefferson village.

    So, come on down to the ASGD's neat classroom, learn something cool, then swing by the Squeeze for a smoothie to browse our store with. It makes for a great Saturday outing!

    Summer/Fall Seminar schedule:

    • September 24 9am Backyard Natural Habitats Connie Holsinger & Susie Mottashed
    • October: No seminar scheduled
    • November (Check for date & time) subject to be announced
    • December No seminar scheduled

    New "Seed Vault" Program is under way

    On the first day of summer started a new program in which you can pre-purchase seed or any bird food from us. The program allows you to take advantage of seed sales without having to haul home inordinate amounts. We have all our seed delivered directly from the Audubon Park Company located in Akron, Colorado so it is always fresh and ready for pickup when you are. Audubon Park is one of the best seed suppliers in the country and we are fortunate to have them located so close to us just east of Denver.

    Check out our extensive selection of wild bird food in the store. We can certainly help you make choices that will bring the widest variety of birds to your property.

    Calling all Pepper Cards!

    We have found the Pepper Card to be extremely popular. Almost everyone has recognized how valuable the card can be. Named after our faithful dog Pepper, the card allows you to accumulate $10 store credit after only $100 worth of purchases. Your "FRBC cash" can be used unrestricted on any subsequent store wide purchase. This is a truly fast and extremely liberal redemption program. Some folks are letting their FRBC cash credit build up as they eye one of our neat Audubon binoculars from Sheltered Wings. The only problem we have noticed was some folks would occasionally forget to bring back the card or could not find it among their numerous other frequent buyer cards. We now give you the option of letting us keep the Pepper Card for you in the store. We think it will help lighten your load and just be plain more efficient. Pepper wanted to make it as easy as possible for you. After all, it was his idea, and a dog gone good one at that!

    Find out more
    Quick Links...

    Cornell Lab of Ornithology

    North American Bluebird Society

    Colorado Audubon At Home

    Sketches From The Heart: Susie Mottashed

    Boulder County Audubon Society

    Colorado Field Ornithologist

    Denver field Ornithologist

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