Wild Fall Festival
FREE FAMILY EVENT
Friday, October 17th,
The Pioneers Park Nature Center will be hosting a free family event full of hands-on learning activities, wildlife illustration, photography, geocaching, turtles of Nebraska, guided nature walks, storytelling, and a lively campfire. Everyone is encouraged to take part in the fun! There will be food available for purchase from vendors and hayrack rides for $3 a person. Tell everyone you know, this is a great way to celebrate the season! Come early for the activity stations, stay late for an evening under the stars.
Hands-on Activities 4-6:30 pm
Indoor Animal Displays 4-7 pm
Hayrack Rides 4-8 pm
Campfire Activities 6-8 pm
Get more information by calling (402) 441-7895
Wild Bird Habitat becomes a
Patron Member of the
Cornell Bird Lab
On our recent trip east Linda and I stopped at the Cornell University Bird Lab in Ithaca, NY. We have worked with the bird lab for over ten years promoting the Great Backyard Bird Count held each February. It was good to meet the folks we work with face to face. While there Wild Bird Habitat became a Patron member of the Cornell Bird Lab. The bird lab is the leader in bird education, research, and collecting data about the birds of North America and the world. Learn more at All About Birds
Brome Bird Care
Squirrel Buster Classic
Squirrel Proof Bird
This squirrel proof bird feeder has openings in the wire shroud that align with the seed ports and provide birds access to the seed. When a squirrel climbs onto the feeder, its weight automatically forces the shroud down, closing access to the seed ports.
Birdbaths sculpted from ancient granite boulders thousands of years old. Durable as time itself. A birdbath that will become a family heirloom lasting for generations. Exclusively at Wild Bird Habitat
October Bird of the Month
The House Finch, a now common bird that visits bird feeders throughout the Eastern, Midwestern, and Central Great Plains states, is actually a western bird species that was introduced from California into Long Island, NY by caged bird dealers around 1940. They were being sold in the pet trade as Hollywood Linnets, or Hollywood Finch since many were captured around the Los Angeles area. When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found out agents put a stop to it. House Finches are federally protected birds and the trapping and attempted selling of these birds was highly illegal. Heavy fines and jail terms were threatened, so those in possession of these birds turned them loose....read more about the House Finch
Dave's October Bird Chatter
Most of our summer birds should now be on their way to warmer wintering territories. There may be a few stragglers. The molt will finish up and our permanent avian dwellers will return to the bird feeders. The nights will begin to cool down, days become noticeably shorter. Blackbirds are becoming restless. Birds have always been the true harbingers of changing seasons. Our earliest ancestors and Native Tribes relied on watching the birds to time the change in seasons
....more bird chatter
Winter Wild Bird Feeds
Linda and I have had an exciting summer feeding birds using a variety of wild bird feeds in various style of feeders. We kept a large platform bird feeder stocked with peanut rejects and peanuts in the shell. Blue Jays, Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Cardinals dined there all summer long, even bringing their young to feed. On our other platform bird feeders and ground feeders we supplied the birds with Nutra-Saff safflower seed where the Mourning Doves, Chickadees, House Finches, White-breasted Nuthatches and Cardinals readily fed. In several squirrel proof bird feeders we provided sunflower hearts, a favorite of many backyard birds, and those feeders with a cage to protect the hearts form squirrels and blackbirds served the smaller birds and woodpeckers. A few Goldfinches were regulars at the thistle feeder and the suet feeders were always busy. On a lone platform bird feeder on the back fence we placed a general wild bird mix and black oil sunflower seed where everyone enjoyed squabbling over a bite to eat.
Now that autumn has arrived, the birds we enjoyed through out the summer are visiting the feeders less often, instead taking advantage of the natural foods that have become available. We continue to see them off and on throughout the day, mostly in the early morning and again early evening before they go to roost for the night. These birds know the bird feeders are waiting for them and they will return in good numbers as we edge toward the winter months and colder temperatures.
The blackbirds, who were not too much of a nuisance during the summer, are grouping in flocks preparing to migrate south ahead of winter. They seem to ravage the bird feeders and will for the next few weeks. It is just part of the changing seasons. The caged feeders with sunflower hearts, thistle feeders, and platform feeders with safflower seem to keep them at bay allowing our favorite birds to grab a meal. But when these hordes of blackbirds begin to leave as the season changes, and they will leave, we will also change the types of wild bird feeds in our bird feeders.
We will continue to offer safflower seed on the ground feeders, adding a little white Proso millet for the Juncos and ground feeding birds. There will still be a platform feeder dedicated to safflower seed, but in other platform bird feeders protected from marauding squirrels we'll replace the safflower seed with sunflower hearts. More black oil sunflower seed will be made available in feeders, and several thistle feeders will be added filled with Nyjer seed in anticipation of the return of the Northern Goldfinch population we enjoy during the winter months. And this may be the year many Pine Siskin return to the Plains to spend the winter. These little finch are avid thistle eaters. And yes, suet will continue to be a staple in our backyard bird feeding program during the winter as it is all summer long.
BIRD FEEDING 101
Published by Dave Titterington
Nebraska's Wild Bird Habitat Store
|Become A Citizen Scientist
It's for the birds!
Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. FeederWatchers periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. FeederWatch data help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.
Check out the other "citizen scientist" opportunities where you can make a difference and help our birds. Visit the "Cornell Bird Lab"
Fall Clean up
Rake less leaves and enjoy more birds!
LEARN HOW & WHY
If you see a small brown bird scratching the ground with their feet, similar to that of a chicken foraging for food, it's a definite native sparrow or other native ground foraging bird and deserves closer observation. House sparrows are actually "Weaver Finch" introduced in the 1850's and sweep the ground and feeders with their beak.