FRBC: A Nature Center For You and Your
|FRBC TO SPONSOR LIFE IS GOOD FESTIVAL AT FAIRGROUNDS
Enjoy music, food, & family fun. 11am till 7pm
The Front Range Birding Company will join a host of
local good hearted companies to have a great end of
summer celebration at the Jefferson County
Fairgrounds on September 6 by helping to sponsor
the Life is good Festival.
Life is good Festivals are homegrown, family-focused
events that have become premier community
celebrations in the northeast and are quickly
spreading nationwide. Life is good Festivals are
designed with two purposes in mind:
1. to spread good vibes by bringing communities
together for good old-fashioned outdoor events and
2. to raise money and awareness for quality
children's charities, funded through the Life is good
|Check Out All the LIG Fun
A central feature of many of these good-time summer
bashes is the World's Greatest Backyard Athlete
WATERMELON SEED SPITTING!
Check out the fun and register for the backyard athlete
http://www.firstgiving.com/lifeisgood or call us at the
store for more information
Please pass the word along to others who enjoy
spreading good vibes.
The admission is free!
|FRBC SUMMER BIRD WALK & TALK SCHEDULE
Bird Walk Alert - Eaglet on nest available for
viewing. Aug 2nd walk could be last opportunity to see
him/her on nest.
Share your birding & wildlife experiences. Call us and
sign up for a free bird walk. Bring a snack, binoculars,
and wear long pants. Always dress for the weather. All
hikes are moderate to easy. Call to reserve your
space at (303) 979-2473.
Roxborough State Park
Bird Watching & History - Saturday, August 2 at
Bird Watching & Geology - Saturday, September 6
Walk the Wetlands - Denver Audubon Center at
Chatfield, 4.4 miles south of C-470 and
Sunday, August 3 at 8 a.m.
Sunday, September 6 at 8 a.m.
Hike along the South Platte River and look for birds
such as raptors, ducks, and seed-eating perching
birds. Held the first Sunday of every month by the
Audubon Society of Greater Denver, this walk always
provides surprises. No registration required, just
show up ready to enjoy the birds!
Please contact FRBC with any questions at
Also, check out our new website to stay up-to-date
with all events at www.frontrangebirding.com.
|Question & Answer: Blackbirds
by Sara Nelson
Question: My yard and feeders are overrun
with blackbirds. What can I do?
Answer: There is no easy answer to this
asked question. When people complain about
blackbirds, they are often referring to a few different
kinds of birds. Common grackles are a large
bird with an iridescent blue-black head, duller brown
body, and long black tail. European Starlings
smaller iridescent purple black bird. Brewer's
Blackbirds are an overall glossy black and can
purple or green in direct sunlight. Red-winged
Blackbirds are jet black with red and yellow
on the upper wings. American Crows and
Ravens are the largest of blackbirds. Any or all of
these birds may attack your feeders in hordes, scare
away all the pretty little birds, and eat all of your seed.
These birds need to eat too, but they can be bullies
and take more than their fair share. Here is a list of
Try a caged feeder or weight-sensitive feeder.
feeders allow small birds like finches to enter to get
seed, but keep out the larger blackbirds, and as a
bonus, squirrels also. If you already have a tube
feeder, you can buy a cage to fit over it, or fashion one
from chicken wire available at hardware stores.
Weight-sensitive feeders are designed to keep
squirrels out, but can sometimes be set to close
when the heavier blackbirds land on them.
Try a clinger-only feeder or finch feeder.
feeders designed specifically for finches and clinging
birds. Larger blackbirds can't cling or eat from the
small holes or a finch feeder. Also available are
feeders with domed tops which you can adjust the
height of the opening. If you have a feeder with a
perch, you can cut the perch to make it shorter and
harder to land on.
Don't use open platform feeders. Blackbirds
Platform feeders allow them to sit in the middle of a
pile of seed and eat as much as they want.
Change your suet feeder. If you have a
cage, the blackbirds can empty it in no time. You
might try a caged suet feeder, which little birds inside
and keep blackbirds and squirrels out. Also available
are upside-down suet feeders, which force birds to
hang upside-down to get the suet. Blackbirds have a
hard time doing this.
Try a different seed. Many times blackbirds
safflower. Sometimes they do. People get different
results with this. Safflower is mainly disliked by
squirrels as well. Avoid mixes with corn, songbirds
don't like it anyway. Try straight black oil sunflower,
opening the shell slows the blackbirds down and they
won't waste as much. Finches still love the
sunflower. Unfortunately, our popular no-mess mixes
are loved by the blackbirds, as they don't have to do
any work opening shells.
Learn to love them. Other than starlings, all
blackbirds are native to Colorado. They eat the bugs
that carry diseases and destroy our plants. For many
people the call of the red-winged blackbirds is an
announcement of springtime. Crows and ravens are
some of the smartest birds around.
So give these suggestions a try. You may need to
experiment to find the one that is right for you!
|SEE OUR FEEDERS AT THE HISTORIC RED ROCKS TRADING POST
When you visit Red Rocks Park in Morrison be sure to
drop by the historic Trading Post at the base of the
As you browse the gift shop and the official Colorado
Welcome Center be sure to pause and see the
mountain birds at the feeders we provide.
A short list of common birds seen are: Broad Tailed ,
Blackchinned, and Rufus Hummingbirds, Bullocks
Orioles, Scrub Jays, White Throated Swifts, Spotted
Towhees, White Crowned Sparrows, Song Sparrows,
Mountain Chickadees, Lazuli Buntings, and a host of
Just to name a few!
|THE FRIENDS OF REDROCKS
Friends of Red Rocks is a grassroots non-profit group
whose mission is to involve citizens in preserving the
magic of Red Rocks while developing common
sense solutions to the Park's many critical needs.
Check them out. It is a great way to give back to the
|The FRBC Crew
Thanks for your support
Tom, Sara, Diane, Shannon, and David
BE GREEN: 10 Things You Can Do for Birds Now
By Bill Thompson (reprinted from Birdwatchers Digest
1.Create a bird-friendly habitat. Let things go
one part of your property. Chances are the plants that
grow in your wild area will be natural sources of food
for the birds. A more focused approach involves
providing birds with the four things they need: food,
water, shelter, and a place to nest.
2. No chemicals! Insecticides and herbicides
definitely harmful to birds. Many of these chemicals
target the pests that are food sources for birds, so any
birds eating treated insects or seeds are also
ingesting toxic chemicals. Avoid or at least minimize
the use of toxic lawn and garden chemicals.
3. Recycle your trash. Each plastic, glass,
or tin item you recycle is one less piece of trash
cluttering up the planet and one less ugly and
hazardous item that we (and the birds) have to deal
with in the environment. Recycling also saves money,
eases pressure on habitat, and reduces pollution by
the production of first-generation materials such as
glass, tin, plastic, and aluminum
4. Keep your feeders and nest boxes clean. A
month scrub cleaning of bird feeders will go a long
way toward reducing disease transmission. Use a
solution of one part bleach to nine parts hot water.
Keeping your nest boxes clean is equally important.
Clean out old nesting material several weeks after the
nesting season is over. If the inside is really fouled
with droppings, clean it out with the same bleach
solution described above. Replace the old nesting
material with a fresh handful of dried grasses to give
the birds some insulation if they use the box for fall
and winter roosting.
5. Monitor your nest boxes. Cavity-nesting
almost constant competition from non-native species
that want to use these same cavities (hollow trees,
old woodpecker holes, and the nest boxes) for
nesting. By checking your nest boxes regularly, you
can discourage these introduced species and keep
your nest boxes availablefor native species that need
a place to nest or roost. Chickadees, titmice,
nuthatches, woodpeckers, tree swallows, wrens, and
bluebirds are among the species that commonly use
backyard nest boxes.
6. Participate in bird counts. There are dozens
national, and even international bird counts in which
bird watchers can play a part. The National Audubon
Society's annual Christmas Bird Count is one of the
longest-running counts. The Cornell Laboratory of
Ornithology conducts Project Feeder Watch and the
Great Backyard Bird Count as well as several other
specific annual counts.
7. Reduce window kills. Mylar strips, crop
branches, screens, and hawk silhouettes have been
suggested as foils to keep birds from flying headlong
into your windows. Placing these items outside, in
front of the problem panes, breaks up the windows'
reflections of the surrounding habitat so that the
windows do not fool birds into flying into them.
8. Keep cats indoors. Even the most slothful,
potato cats can catch birds if given a chance. It's been
estimated that housecats kill many millions of birds
each year-deaths that could be avoided if these pets
were kept indoors. For more information, write to Cats
Indoors! Campaign, American Bird Conservancy,
1250 24th Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC
20037; or go to www.abcbirds.org/cats.
9. Support conservation initiatives. Every day
a thousand battles we bird watchers can fight on
behalf of birds. The key is picking your spots so that
you can make the most effective impact. Not all
conservation initiatives are created equal, so be sure
you're fully informed about the issues. In most cases,
if bird habitat is preserved or created, it's a good thing.
After you've created healthy habitat for birds in your
own backyard, you may wish to contact the American
Bird Conservancy or The Nature Conservancy to see
how else you can help.
10. Make a new bird watcher today. Why not
friend along on your next bird-watching trip, to the next
bird-club meeting, or on a tour of your bird-friendly
backyard? The more bird watchers we have today, the
more good we can do for the birds tomorrow.
The Front Range Birding Company - A Proud Corporate Sponsor of the Audubon Society of Greater Denver
SUMMER CLASSICS: Life is Good & Tilley Hats: Great gifts for Mom & Dad
Look for the best in Optics here at FRBC
LEICA OPTICS NOW AT THE FRONT RANGE BIRDING COMPANY
CHECK OUT OUR FULL LINE OF DROLL YANKEE FEEDERS & CORINTHIAN BELLS WINDCHIMES HANDMADE & HAND TUNED IN USA