FRBC: A Nature Center For You and Your
|Summer Tips for the Front Range Back Yard
1. Put Out Summer-Fruiting Plants.
Give your birds a variety of fruit and berry plants that
bloom and produce thru the summer and into the fall.
The many benefits include attracting beneficial
pollinating insects which in turn attract such favorites
as warblers, bluebirds, and hummingbirds. The
season long fruit that will attract catbirds, robins,
cedar waxwings, towhees, grosbeaks and others,
Some examples include cherry, chokecherry, current,
plum, raspberry, blackberry, grape, and elderberry.
Additionally the birds will love the thick leafy cover
these plants provide.
2. Provide Safe Water.
As with any season put out fresh water that is
protected with a non-toxic cleaner. Whether your water
is in a pedestal bath or pond, make sure it has a bird-
friendly shallow area to help avoid accidents. Keep
the water cool by using shade from hot afternoon sun
and to reduce organic growth. Place the bath far
enough away any cover such as shrubs to not give
predators an unfair advantage. You can easily double
the number of species that visit with a safe and
reliable water source!
|Springtime in My Backyard
by Shannon Jennings
Oh my gosh, what a beautiful Spring we've had! To
my delight I had five bird houses that birds decided to
nest in. Most are being used by Finches and
Sparrows. I can hear the babies " peeping." on my
backyard walks. The other night I watched three baby
Sparrows in the grass mastering their flying
techniques--hop, hop, flutter, flutter, flying short
distances, really flapping their wings as fast as they
could. Right now there are three houses being used
for a second clutch!
On April 9th I saw my first Mourning Doves. Their
whooo-whoooing is so soothing and what a nice way
to wake up in the morning. I've been feeding them
Daybreak Dove mix and safflower seed. All the other
song birds seem to like the Daybreak Dove seed mix
too, so that is what I've been putting in my caged Droll
Yankee tube feeders. Right now there are probably
twenty Doves feeding here several times a day. Since
they are ground feeders I also put out a small platform
About mid-April the Robins showed up. I've been
putting dried cranberries and raisins on the deck
railing for them. It's been fun watching the Mommy
Robin trying to teach her babies how to fend for
themselves. You can tell by their size and the
speckles on their breasts that they were born a day or
two apart. The oldest baby has just about mastered
the art of feeding himself. The middle baby has a few
more speckles and is turning orange on the lower
breast. He's starting to take a few bites of food by
himself and has just about mastered flying. The
youngest has little short wings and flutters them as
fast as he can. Watching them can be quite comical
I've enjoyed watching the House Finches turn redder
and the Goldfinches gaining back their beautiful gold
plumage. I discovered that I have Lesser Goldfinches
too! We have a Mini-Mag feeder filled with Nyjer seed
and a sock feeder filled with Super Finch mix. The
other evening I watched a Finch coaxing her baby onto
the sock. It took a while, but the baby finally came over
and seemed to really like the Super Finch mix.
In late April we had a nice surprise. A pair of Lewis's
Woodpeckers decided we had a pretty good set up
and stayed around for four days before heading off
to their next destination. They are a very dark gray with
a darker gray band above their eyes. Their breast is
white turning to red from their neck on down. We put
some Tidy Gardner on the deck railing for them and
they really seemed to like it and the apple on the fence.
I put peanut splits on the railing for the squirrels. Yes,
I do like the crafty little critters! Oh well, whoever
comes into my yard gets to eat, drink and bathe in the
bird baths. What a glorious Spring! Guess we'll have
to see what Summer has in store for us.
|FRBC OPEN HOUSE A BIG DAY!
Dove Race nets $10,000 For Jason Dahl
May 5th was spectacular as we celebrated Int'l
Migratory Bird Day in a big way. The weather held and
the 3rd annual event went off without a hitch. Local
artisans had a wide selection of handmade items and
many folks took advantage of their availability for
Mother's and Father's day gifts. The expert trainers
from HawkQuest put on a fabulous show with their
Golden Eagle, Great Horned Owl, American Kestrel,
and of course the live flight demonstration of a
Topping off the day was the release of 111 white
homing pigeons for the Captain Jason Dahl
Scholarship Fund by our friends from White Birds
Unlimited.. Our many heartfelt thanks go out to the
many dove sponsors. Their generous support helped
raise almost $10,000! Enough to fund 4 scholarships
at Denver's Metro State and San Jose State University.
It was our best open house to date. The bar has been
set for next year!
|HOGBACK HONEY HARVEST SET FOR LABOR DAY
Pure raw local honey.
The bees are working hard this spring and summer.
Our 7 healthy hives should provide a bountiful crop of
great local honey.
Bee smart and check back with us for early availability.
|FRBC BEGINS SUMMER & FALL BIRD WALK & TALK SCHEDULE
One of the most enjoyable activities at FRBC is to talk
about and share our wildlife and wildlife habitat
experiences with you our valued customers.
Call us and sign up for a free bird walk or seminar.
Sunday Aug 5th 8am-Noon
Chatfield St Park
Saturday Aug 25th 8am-Noon Waterton Canyon
Sunday Sept 2nd 8am-Noon
Chatfield St Park
Saturday Sept 8th 8am-Noon Roxborough St
Saturday Sept 22 1pm-4pm Red
|Thank you for supporting us at FRBC.Tom, Diane, Sara, Shannon, and David.
FRONT RANGE SPECIES PROFILE: RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD
By Sara Nelson
One of the easiest hummingbirds to recognize at
hummingbird feeders in Colorado is the rufous
hummingbird. People describe them as "the little
reddish hummingbird that chases all the other birds
away." That perfectly describes three aspects of this
unique bird. First, at 3 ¾ inches long, they are one of
the smallest of the more than 20 species of
hummingbirds in North America. Second, the
reddish, rusty brown color is where they get their
name, rufous comes from Latin for red. Third, the
thing that rufous hummingbirds are best known for,
both males and females are very territorial and
aggressive. They seem to be very protective of
feeders, spending more time chasing away other
birds than they actually do drinking.
Rufous hummingbirds are not typically seen in
Colorado until later in the summer, the end of June
being the earliest. This is when their unique
migratory pattern brings them to visit us. They spend
winters typically in Mexico, and in the early spring
migrate north through California as flowers begin
blooming. They then breed in Alaska, which is the
northern-most breeding ground of any hummingbird.
After breeding, they migrate south, following the Rocky
Mountains. Males arrive here first, followed by
females and then juveniles. They also frequently
wander during this southern migration, appearing at
people's feeders as far east as Nova Scotia and
Florida. The rufous hummingbirds will stay in our
area until early fall.
The broad-tailed, black-chinned and calliope
hummingbirds are also found along the Front Range.
Putting up a hummingbird feeder is an easy way to
enjoy all of these birds. Pausing to take a drink from a
feeder slows these quick birds down enough to get a
good look at them! There is a common myth that
hummingbird feeders stop hummingbirds from
migrating south on time. Not to worry, the
hummingbirds have been doing this for a long time;
they know when it is time to leave. Most of their diet is
actually insects, so they must travel south to warmer
weather to find enough food.
One more tip.
If rufous hummingbirds are being bullies at your
feeders, try this tip from our friends at Par-A-Sol,
makers of fine hand-blown feeders. Fill one feeder
with sugar water made sweeter than your other
feeders. The rufous should defend this feeder and
leave the rest to other birds. Otherwise, just sit back
and enjoy this well-traveled visitor to your yard!
The Front Range Birding Company - A Proud Corporate Sponsor of the Audubon Society of Greater Denver
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Great Optics are here at FRBC
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