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


FRBC: A Nature Center For You and Your Family

in this issue
  • FALL TIPS from our friends at Duncraft
  • FOCUS ON OPTICS: Value & Function

  • FALL TIPS from our friends at Duncraft

    Welcome new guests to your feeders this fall!

    Beautiful birds are often year-round residents in many yards. Invite a whole new group of birds to visit during fall migration season. Weary winged travelers heading towards their winter homes appreciate an offering of food, drink, bath and shelter along their migratory route.

    Feeders and food for one and all!

    First, examine the feeders you currently use--are they clean, safe and fully operational? If not, scrub, repair or replace old feeders. An assortment of feeder styles will attract a variety of birds--certain birds prefer platforms, others will only use ground feeders, and many respond well to suet feeders.

    Build a brush-pile for the birds.

    Locate an inconspicuous corner of your yard and heap raked leaves, clippings, branches and twigs into a mound. Insects will thrive beneath the cover of the brush-pile and insect-eating birds will happily forage through the debris looking for food. Birds will also use the pile for shelter on a cold or windy night

    Birds must have water for survival.

    Migrating birds need a clean source of water for drinking and bathing. Bathing keeps feathers in top- flight condition. In our region where temperatures dip below freezing at night purchase a bath with a built-in heater, or add a plug-in heater to your existing bath. Check your baths daily and remove any debris immediately--and keep them filled to ensure an abundant supply of fresh, clean water.

    You're sure to experience a tremendous sense of satisfaction knowing you have assisted our feathered friends along in their amazing, yet arduous autumn journey. Fall truly is an exciting time of the year for bird-lovers!

    FOCUS ON OPTICS: Value & Function

    It’s that time of year again when nature enthusiasts get outside to watch the wide variety of birds fly south for the winter. It’s a great time to think about upgrading your binoculars. At FRBC we offer high quality, affordable optic products from the Sheltered Wings and Vortex companies.

    You can be expertly prepared for fall migration with one of our rugged, waterproof, full-size roof prism binoculars that offer great light-gathering capability. We have on hand both 8x42 and 10x42 Audubon Equinox Classic and HP binoculars. Additionally we carry a complete line of Vortex roof prisms from the Stokes Birding Series.

    These exquisite pieces offer high performance coatings, glare reduction systems, soft tapered eyecups, and are fully phase corrected. Each offer very wide fields of view and close focus down to 5 feet! Simply put they are perfect for any birding or wildlife-watching outing.

    You might also want to check out our new Audubon Lightwave 15-45x60mm spotting scope. It is great to use out on the porch or at your favorite natural area. At only 25.2 ounces it is never a burden. Thanks to the angled zoom eyepiece and fully multi-coated lenses, you get great clear images of far-off birds and other wildlife. Adverse weather is not a problem for this waterproof and nitrogen purged scope. It comes complete with a deluxe tabletop tripod, and padded storage case. Compare this $140 value with other scopes that can sore in costs in the thousands of dollars. All the above have lifetime warranties and are priced at the absolute minimum price allowed by the manufacturer.

    We offer many other family and sporting binoculars and accessories for every budget. Purchasing a pair of binoculars is a very personal event. Stop by and see if we have the right fit for you. We will be happy to explain the product features and let you decide for yourself if they meet your individual needs. If you are not buying for yourself, imagine the thrill a loved one would have by finding one of these under the tree this holiday season!

    For more information on their fine products, check out the Sheltered Wings company on the web at ww w.shelteredwings.com.

    Hummers leave mid October

    The time of year has come when the snow can start to pile up and we begin to think about warm and sunny places to the south. While most of us can’t just pack up and spend the winter in Mexico, some birds have to do just that. They begin on a journey of sometimes thousands of miles to find a place with enough food to last them through the lean winter months. So, which birds will be leaving Denver, and which ones can we expect at our feeders this winter?

    Some of the most famous migrants are the hummingbirds. People have already started noticing fewer and fewer hummers visiting their feeders. These birds are beginning their journeys to central and southern Mexico. Bullock’s Orioles, another Denver resident, have begun their trip to over-winter in the tropics. You don’t need to take hummingbird feeders down in order to force the hummers to leave. They can tell by the decreasing amount of daylight when the proper time to leave is. However, be sure to bring feeders in when there is a chance of freezing for they may break. Mourning doves will also begin to leave in September and October for Mexico and Central America, although some may stay locally depending on the weather.

    Other birds can be seen even more in the winter. Black-capped Chickadees stay year round, and can be even more obvious than in the summer when they are busy raising their families. American Goldfinches are more common in winter, but are easier to miss since the males lose their brilliant yellow coloring when they are not breeding. House Finches are abundant all year, and Dark-eyed Juncos come down out of the mountains to spend the winter at Denver’s lower elevation. American Robins can be seen year round, although the birds you see in winter are probably ones that spent the summer further north. Northern Flickers and Downy Woodpeckers are common winter visitors, especially to suet and peanut feeders.

    Stop in the store if you want to learn more about migration or feeding birds over the winter. For more information about local birds, check out the book Birds of Denver and the Front Range by Chris C. Fisher and Greg Butcher.


    On a gorgeous Saturday morning this past September 24th we kicked off our new “seminar series” program. It was a great subject, presented by the perfect experts, at the perfect place. Our first seminar was held at The Audubon Society of Greater Denver’s Chatfield State Park facility in Waterton Canyon. This “classroom in the wild” is certainly a hidden gem for all comers to enjoy. Connie Holsinger, collaborator of Colorado Wildscaping, Bringing Conservation Home, and Susie Mottashed, author of Who Lives In Your Backyard, jointly presented a program on how to attract birds and other wildlife to your backyard.

    Connie showed attendees the many benefits of using native plants. They are beautiful, water efficient, and attract a wide variety of wild birds for up close viewing. She demonstrated that by also adding a water feature and specific feeding stations, your property can explode with the movement and color of most every avian species Colorado has to offer. She shows you how you can become a “Habitat Hero” and even get your property officially registered as a wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

    Susie followed by introducing the fantastic time honored way of taking the birding and naturalist hobbies to a new level - sketching what you see and journaling about it. I was amazed at how she was able to bring out the “Lewis and Clark” in the most skeptical of participants. Check out Susie and the lost talent of nature journaling and sketching on the web at http://www.sketchesfromtheheart.com.

    We plan to continue the seminar series throughout each season as we identify subjects that folks want to learn about and find experts to present them. Our next scheduled seminar will occur in January 2006. At that seminar, noted beekeeper Jerry Webb, owner of the Beekeeper Company, will introduce the fascinating subject of how to become a backyard beekeeper. Hope to see you there!

    Seed of the Month

    Seed of the month for November is 25lb bags of striped Sunflower seed Striped Sunflower is a favorite of virtually every bird that visits the backyard. It offers high fat and protein which are musts for birds in winter when they need energy to keep body temps high on long and cold nights.

    visit Audubon Park on the web


    Store celebrates with Seed & Sidewalk Sale 20% off all wild bird food & Up To 50% Off sidewalk items Oct 24 thru 30

    Seems like October 20, 2004 was just yesterday when Diane and I officially helped our first customer. Since that time our new endeavor as retail entrepreneurs has truly been an uplifting, rewarding experience. Of course the enjoyable hobbies of birding, and backyard naturalist have been the principal reasons. We simply cannot think of another type of business we would have taken the plunge for. We contemplated the nature store idea over 12 years ago and much forethought and personal research went into the idea before the above launch date. As local residents and consumers we saw the continued trend toward “box” stores and franchises. We witnessed American know-how and manufacturing skills outsourced overseas. At the same time our urban areas sprawled increasingly into formally natural habitats and agricultural areas. This all seemed to make customer service and listening ears a distant memory in our trend toward a hurry up/throw away society. Our goal is that you will come to view and associate us with such concepts and ideals as family owned, independent, great friendly service and value, supporting the community, American made, promoting local artist and craftsmen, etc.

    Diane and I would like to say thank you for accepting us in the community and making our first year a great success. As a token of our thanks, please come by anytime October 24 – 30 and enjoy 20% off all wild bird food products. Also we are having a “sidewalk sale” with items up to 50% off. It will be a great opportunity to start our “seed vault” program or pick up an early Christmas gift for that nature lover on your list.

    Thanks once again for your continued support and Happy Birding!

    Join the Pepper Card Club!

    After just $100 of purchases your Pepper Card is worth $10 Front Range Birding Cash.


    Great style and function for both men and women. Perfect for cold/wet weather birding!

    Hogback Honey Is Now In Stock! (from the Bush family hives)

    The fall harvest and extraction is now complete and we have 200 lbs of great raw honey from our 6 hives located just inside the Dakota Hogback in Willow Springs. Come on in while supplies last. This sweet clover & wildflower honey is our best so far!



    Check us out for unique gift ideas for that hard to buy for person on your holiday list.

    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

    TILLEY WINTER HATS - The perfect gift for the holidays!


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