We’re Glad You Asked!!

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in bird food, wildlife | Posted on 09-02-2010

Rencently I had someone ask me about the feeding frenzie at their local feeder! Activity at the feeder, whether you are a bird, deer, fish or HUMAN, the behavior before a storm, whether conscious of it or not, tends to result in eating. We are thankful for the inquiry, as this gives opportunity to share great information on our feathered friends that like to hang out and EAT in your neck of the woods.

Enjoy – The Birdhouse Guy!cold bird

 

Q: Filled hummer feeder Sunday-it’s already half gone! what’s up? do they feed more before storms? babies? never happened before?

 

A: The increased number of birds at your feeder at this time of year during or before a storm likely pertains to migrating birds that have been forced to stop en route. Warm weather in the NE recently may have coaxed such birds as White-Throated and Song Sparrows north. Blackbirds such as Red-Winged and Common Grackles are also moving north. Stopping at feeders is a logical place to feed and wait it out until the winds again become favorable to their journey.

Insects seem to become more agitated as the atmospheric pressure drops before a storm; when the pressure is high on a “nice” day they move about more lazily and are easier to approach.

In addition, ‘many birds store food and have exceptional spatial memory to relocate it, even a month later.’ (from the on-line resource, Birds of North America)

Other interesting facts: 

  • Generally birds need more food in cold weather. Small birds need relatively more food than larger ones, and they generally eat smaller items, so they are more likely to be affected by a blizzard. A small bird’s survival may depend on how well it can conserve energy during a storm. A chickadee, for instance, will increase its feeding intensity during cold weather.
  • In general larger birds cope with the cold better than smaller birds.
  • Did you know that individuals of a species living in colder regions tend to be larger than individuals living in warmer areas!
    The Birdhouse Guy!

    The Birdhouse Guy!

* For more information on how you can help house and feed birds, whether local or migratory, visit: www.wildlife-houses.com

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Weaver Ants: Can Robots Mimic Them?

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in wildlife | Posted on 05-02-2010

Weaver ants (Oecophylla sp.) put the finishing touches on their nests in Buton Island, off the southeast peninsula of Sulawesi, Indonesia. As their name implies, they use living plants to “weave” leaves together to construct their nests, which they vigorously protect. Silk produced only by the larvae helps hold the nest together. 

Weaver Ants

Weaver Ants

Scientists are studying the ants’ ability to complete complex tasks in order to examine how these findings can be applied to applications for robotics. If ants can produce these intricate constructions, perhaps robots can be developed to mimic their productive behavior.

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LEAF MONKEY OF TOKYO JAPAN!

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in Francois' Leaf Monkey, wildlife | Posted on 11-01-2010

Here is a neat wildlife bit that was in the news recently. A new born leaft monkey by the name of Tantan, born on or around November 20th, 2009, was relaxing with his parents at the zoological gardens Zoorasia in Yokohama, near Tokyo Japan. What a neat little creature and very colorful breed to behold. Wild life comes in many different sizes, shapes and colors which is what makes it one of the greatest creations on earth.

Francois Leaf Monkey!

Francois Leaf Monkey!

MONKEY CHARACTERISTICS

These little monkey’s, The  Francois (pronounced frawn-SWAH) monkey, Presbytis francoisi, is one of several species sometimes called leaf monkeys because of their diet. These leaf monkeys are seen with long limbs and tails, long slender hands and feet and they have very short thumbs. Their muzzles are short and their face is usually a dark color and hairless. They don’t have cheek pouches, but they do have enlarged salivary glands which help them to digest leaves easier.  The pads on their butts, called ischial callosities, are separate from the females, united as one in males. The monkeys body lengths are anywhere from 20 – 26 inches and weigh about 13 pounds! Your bowling ball may weigh that much. Their face is a bit comical, like a ventriloquist figure, as they have prominent brow ridges which resemble raised eyebrows. The pointed crests on their heads make the leaf monkey very distinguishable. As seen above, the young are a bright apricot color which is a contrast from the black color of mom and dad.

DIET 

The Francois leaf monkey’s, both the young and the old,  eat mainly on leaves hence the name Leaf Monkey. Other dietary suppliments consist of fruit, buds, bark, seeds and flowers. Facinating enough, the Leaf Monkey drinks very little water.

REPRODUCTION AND GROWTH

These little monkeys, typically partake in single births following a gestation period of about 200 days. The infant monkey may nurse for up to two days, but once they are weaned, it will cease to have any contact with the mother. Very different from most other animals. The male leaf monkey becomes sexually active at about four years of age. Aren’t we glad our children don’t start that early? The females become sexually mature at the age of 3-4 years old. Physical growth is not complete for these little wonders until 6-7 years of age.

BEHAVIOR

These little guys are hilarious and noisy! They use both arms and legs to swing, bounce and crash through tree branches. Leaf monkeys are active during the day time and spend a good portion of their time in the trees. (Go figure, they’re monkeys right)? These leaf monkeys are really into grooming their self. About 5 hours a day. That’s longer than my wife takes, so don’t feel so bad guys when she takes a little longer to make herself look pretty for you, we all could be Francois’ Leaf Monkey’s and have to wait 5 hours!

ENDANGERED SPECIES

Unfortunately, these little guys ARE and endangered species. One is the fact that they are losing local habitat due to building, etc. The other problems they face is hunting by people. There is a belief that the Leaf Monkey body parts have medicinal value and therefore , they are hunted for that purpose. These little guys are widely inhabitants of the Indian subontinent, Burma and China going southward through Indo-China and malaya to Sumatra, Java and Borneo. They are native to northwest Vietnam, southeastern China and west-central Laos, where they inhabit tall riverside crags in tropical monsoon forest in limestone mountains.

The Birdhouse Guy!

The Birdhouse Guy!

Hope you have enjoyed this exclusive wildlife story and if you are ever in Asia, keep a look out for these beauties of creation.

 

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The Twelve Days of Christmas Birds: Fun Holiday Bird Facts!

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in wildlife | Posted on 28-12-2009

 (All respectable publications should have their holiday traditions. This evergreen post, first written in 2004, has become a 10,000 Birds staple. Merry Christmas!)

Everybody knows the Christmas carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Easily the most endless song this side of “99 Bottles of Beer,” this old tune has simultaneously delighted and horrified holiday celebrants for centuries. Of particular note is the song’s emphasis on avifauna. No Christmas carol features birds as prominently as this one. To the birder, this begs the question: what species of birds appear in the Twelve Days of Christmas?

The origins of this song, as so many things more than a century old, shrouded in mystery. A popular bit of religious propaganda making the rounds posits that this song is a “catechism song” written to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith. The partridge in a pear tree is said to represent the Christ Himself, and each other gift has a numerological equivalent in Catholic doctrine.  Still, although we know that this song is old, dating back to the 17th century or earlier, it’s true origin is unclear. Perhaps a French love ballad or maybe an English drinking song, this carol makes one thing perfectly clear: birds make festive Christmas gifts!

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me: A Partridge in a Pear Tree
The partridge, a member of the pheasant family, has been a traditional game bird in England for centuries. The plump, hen-like bird perched precariously in the pear tree is probably, in this case, a Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix) although a Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) might be a more festive tree-topper.

A Partridge

A Partridge

 

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Two Turtle Doves
The Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) is a common summer visitor to England. It is a dainty dove, smaller and darker than most other pigeons.

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Three French Hens
Exhaustive inquiry turned up nothing about the distinctive qualities of Gallic galliforms. This gift is no doubt one of fancy domesticated chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) from France, cooked perhaps in the Parisian style.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Four Calling Birds
One usually interprets “calling bird” to mean “song bird.” This could refer to any of the passerines, though most likely a canary or similar caged exotic. However, in this case, a bit of research paid off. It is widely accepted that the original gift was one of four “colly birds,” not four “calling birds.” The word colly means “black as coal.” Thus, the gift on the fourth day could be none other than the Common Blackbird (Turdus merula), ubiquitous in the UK. This discovery seems rather unappetizing in light of the realization that these gifts are meant to be enjoyed in a gustatory fashion. Suddenly, that bit about “four-and-twenty blackbirds baked in a pie” seems way too literal for my modern tastes.

Colly "Calling" Bird

Colly "Calling" Bird

 

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Five Golden Rings
This is another case where a literal reading of the verse obscures its true meaning. Why would the benefactor in this ballad vacillate from birds to jewelry to birds again? Another interpretation of this line introduces consistency to the offerings. The golden rings are actually ring-necked birds. Common (Ring-necked) Pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) were introduced to England from China and other parts of Asia in medieval times. Like so many of the birds of that era, pheasants were yet another source of sustenance.

Common "Ring Necked" Pheasant

Common "Ring Necked" Pheasant

 

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Six Geese-a-Laying
This line does not require inference or imagination to understand. The geese in question are probably domesticated, so we can cover our bets with the Greylag Goose (Anser anser), the ancestor of most domesticated geese. The Greylag Goose is a large, bulky native of the United Kingdom.

Geese A Laying

Geese A Laying

 

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Seven Swans-a-Swimming
At this point, the gifts seem to turn from edible to ornamental, since I’m not sure that any generation has come up with a decent recipe for swan. The graceful, white waterbirds meant to thrill the recipient of this yule bounty is probably none other than the bane of the Chesapeake watershed, the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor). This super-competitor, the bird that launched the Migratory Bird Treaty Reform Act of 2004, is a Eurasian endemic and as lovely a swimmer as one is likely to find.

Swan A Swimming

Swan A Swimming

The rest of the song, with its lords-a-leaping and maids-a-milking, is inconsequential from an ornithological perspective and irritating from an aesthetic one. Those first seven verses, on the other hand, offer an astonishing insight into the extravagant gifting conventions and ravenous appetite for bird flesh in England during the Baroque era.

(*Special Recognition: All photos by Charlie Moores and Mike Bergin. )

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Rid Woodpeckers ~ The Safe and Legal Way!

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in wildlife, Woodpecker Deterrent Ideas | Posted on 10-12-2009

“Hoo – Hoo – Hoo –  Ha Ha,  Hoo-Hoo – Hoo Ha Ha, Ha Ha Ha Ha Haaaaaa”!  Ah yes, we all remember the irritating laught of the old cartoon character Woody the Woodpecker. He was always into mischief, which is what really made the cartoon funny. He had the characteristics of real woodpeckers.

Woody Woodpecker!

Woody Woodpecker!

Now that was just a cartoon, but in real life, woodpeckers can be a real menace and better yet can damage your homes and trees on your property. Now if you have the spirit of Yosemite Sam, you probably reach for the old double barrel shot gun and attempt to rid yourself and your home, of this spreader of property damage and irritation. Ah, Ah, Ahhhh, not so fast Yosemite, you may be in violation of the Federal Law if you do that and may face some hefty charges if caught. I want to explore some safe and legal ways of ridding woodpeckers from your property which may save your home and may save you money and time in jail.

What Are The Federal Laws?
Woodpeckers are a federally protected bird under the North American Migratory Bird Act. Do not use lethal control on woodpeckers without contacting your Federal Wildlife Officer. You will need to institute non-lethal control strategies before you will receive permission to implement lethal control. And those are what we want to look at here.

  1. Why In the World do Woodpeckers Peck Your Home?
    Woodpeckers damage structures for basically three reasons:
    1. Searching for insects;
    2. Creating cavities for nesting and shelter; or
    3. Marking territory (a common phenomenon called drumming primarily during the months of March/April/May).

Don’t give up hope!  In one study, the birds stopped drumming 50 percent of the time within two weeks or so whether the homeowners did anything or not.peck7[1]

What Are Some Non-Lethal Strategies to Control Woodpecker Damage ?
Unfortunately, there is no easy guaranteed solution. So with that being said, try the following strategies:

  • 1. Cover all holes as soon as possible. Place aluminum flashing over the areas where the woodpecker is pecking. The flashing will stop the pecking at that spot because: 1) it is metal, 2) it changes the sound, and 3) woodpeckers don’t like shiny objects. Just make sure that the woodpecker is not living in your home.
  • 2. Harass and scare the woodpecker causing damage, using one or more of the following techniques
    A.  Mylar tape: You can also try running some Mylar tape (1-inch-wide strips) around the area where he is pecking. Woodpeckers don’t like shiny objects. If you don’t have Mylar, use tinfoil or small mirrors. Remember, no harassment technique works all the time or in every situation. 
    B.  Distress tapes: There are machines that digitally recreate woodpecker distress calls. These are NOT ultrasonic devices, which do not work. When you turn on the device, it spooks the woodpecker. 
    C.  Scary eye balloons: These balloons mimic the look of an owl, which spooks the woodpeckers. 
    D.  Garden hose: One animal damage controller recommends placing a garden hose with a sprinkler set at an angle to reach where the bird is drumming. The woodpeckers leave after a few squirts because they don’t like hanging on to wet structures. There is an automatic sprinkler on the market called the Scarecrow which may be useful when the temperatures are above freezing. 
    E.  Attack spider: This is a relatively new (2003) technique. It activates using a sound detector to scare woodpeckers through sight and motion. 
    F.  Owl effigies: These are only effective if you are willing to move them around on a daily basis. Understand that at best the effigy will work only in the short term, if at all. 
    G.  Exclusion techniques: If woodpeckers are damaging your siding under an eave, hang some netting from the eave line down to the ground. If the net is extended away from the house wall, the woodpecker can’t get close enough to damage the wood. Some homes actually leave the hooks up year round and then hang the netting as needed.

Also, as soon as you notice problems, take action quickly before the woodpecker decides your home is a nice place to live.

When all else fails, apply for a depredation permit to remove the problem woodpecker.

If all else fails, What Are Some Lethal Control Techniques?

These techniques require federal and sometimes state permits.

1.  Shooting: Make sure you follow all relevant federal, state, and local ordinances. 
2.  Lethal trapping: Probably the safest and most effective lethal control method.

The Birdhouse Guy!

The Birdhouse Guy!

* Another way to deter woodpeckers is to set up their own feeders. You can do so by simply going to: http://www.wildlife-houses.com/product_info.php?cPath=4&products_id=107

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Dead Birds ~ What to do if you find one

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in Bird Flu, Dead Birds, wildlife | Posted on 09-12-2009

Q. What should I do if I find a dead bird?

A. West Nile Virus and avian flu have raised everyone’s awareness and concern when they see a dead bird. Dead birds are sometimes of interest to health officials and scientists.dead bird

 If you’re aware of a disease outbreak or you are concerned about health issues, contact your local or county health department or the National Wildlife Health Center. Proceed in collecting or disposing of the dead bird as they direct you to. In many cases health departments will not be able to analyze a bird that has already started to decay, so you may be asked to double-bag it and put it in your freezer, or to take it to them immediately. If you do pick up the bird be sure to wear disposable gloves, and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.After any health and safety issues have been resolved, and especially if you know this bird was killed by a cat or in a collision with a window or automobile, or in some other way not associated with disease, you might turn your thoughts to collecting the bird for scientists at a university or museum. Start by contacting a wildlife professional that has a federal and state permit to collect birds or bird parts. (You may find such a person at a nearby university, museum, nature center, as well as some elementary and high schools.)

Remember the bird’s location. Do not pick up the bird without permission, because this is illegal. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 protects birds and bird parts (feathers, eggs, and nests) of all native American birds by forbidding anyone without a permit to own or handle birds or bird parts. Though at first glance the law may seem overly strict, it serves an important conservation purpose by allowing authorities to curtail activities that harm birds.

If you’re instructed to bring the bird in under the authority of someone else’s permit, remember to record your name and contact information, the date and location, the bird’s species (if known) and a description of the circumstances, including your best guess about the cause of the bird’s death. Use a pencil or permanent ink. If you’re instructed to freeze the bird until you can bring it to the facility, double-bag it in plastic, and put the paper with this information between the two layers.I hope this is helpful information should you, a family member or friend, come accross a dead bird. Common sense is also a plus when dealing with a situation such as this.

To learn more about birds in your neck of the woods and their behaviors and habitat, simply check out some of these great resources at: http://bit.ly/7h5ks2

Birdhouse Guy!

Birdhouse Guy!

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Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) ~ Questions and Answers

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in Bird Flu, wildlife | Posted on 07-12-2009

Avian Influenza

 

How is avian influenza detected in humans?
Avian influenza cannot be diagnosed by symptoms alone, so a laboratory test is required. Avian influenza is usually diagnosed by collecting a swab from the nose or throat during the first few days of illness. This swab is then sent to a laboratory, where they will either look for avian influenza virus using a molecular test, or they will try to grow the virus. Growing avian influenza viruses should only be done in laboratories with high levels of protection. If it is late in the illness, it may be difficult to find an avian influenza virus directly using these methods. If this is the case, it may still be possible to diagnose avian influenza by looking for evidence of the body’s response to the virus. This is not always an option because it requires two blood specimens (one taken during the first few days of illness and another taken some weeks later), and it can take several weeks to verify the results.

 

What are the implications of avian influenza to human health?
Two main risks for human health from avian influenza are 1) the risk of direct infection when the virus passes from the infected bird to humans, sometimes resulting in severe disease; and 2) the risk that the virus – if given enough opportunities – will change into a form that is highly infectious for humans and spreads easily from person to person.

 

How is avian influenza in humans treated?
Studies done in laboratories suggest that the prescription medicines approved for human influenza viruses should work in treating avian influenza infection in humans. However, influenza viruses can become resistant to these drugs, so these medications may not always work. Additional studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of these medicines.

 

Does seasonal influenza vaccine protect against avian influenza infection in people?
No. Seasonal influenza vaccine does not provide protection against avian influenza.

 

Should I wear a surgical mask to prevent exposure to avian influenza? Currently, wearing a mask is not recommended for routine use (e.g., in public) for preventing influenza exposure. In the United States, disposable surgical and procedure masks have been widely used in health-care settings to prevent exposure to respiratory infections, but the masks have not been used commonly in community settings, such as schools, businesses, and public gatherings.bird flu

 

Can I get avian influenza from eating or preparing poultry or eggs?
You cannot get avian influenza from properly handled and cooked poultry and eggs.

There currently is no scientific evidence that people have been infected with bird flu by eating safely handled and properly cooked poultry or eggs.

Most cases of avian influenza infection in humans have resulted from direct or close contact with infected poultry or surfaces contaminated with secretions and excretions from infected birds. Even if poultry and eggs were to be contaminated with the virus, proper cooking would kill it. In fact, recent studies have shown that the cooking methods that are already recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for poultry and eggs to prevent other infections will destroy influenza viruses as well.

So to stay safe, the advice is the same for protecting against any infection from poultry:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw poultry and eggs.
  • Clean cutting boards and other utensils with soap and hot water to keep raw poultry from contaminating other foods.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure you cook poultry to a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit Consumers may wish to cook poultry to a higher temperature for personal preference.
  • Cook eggs until whites and yolks are firm.

The U.S. government carefully controls domestic and imported food products, and in 2004 issued a ban on importation of poultry from countries affected by avian influenza viruses, including the H5N1 strain. This ban still is in place. For more information, see USDA’s Animal and Animal Product Import.

 

We have a small flock of chickens. Is it safe to keep them?
Yes. In the United States there is no need at present to remove a flock of chickens because of concerns regarding avian influenza. The U.S. Department of Agriculture monitors potential infection of poultry and poultry products by avian influenza viruses and other infectious disease agents.

 

The Birdhouse Guy

The Birdhouse Guy

For additional information about avian influenza visit pandemicflu.gov.

 

*(Special thanks to CDC)

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Cardinal Birds ~ A Picture Perfect Bird!

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in Attract Local Birds, Bird Preservation, wildlife | Posted on 22-11-2009

One of the most beautiful bird species of all North American birds is the Cardinal. This is a facinating bird from its vibrant red and black colors to its flight patterns and a great eyeful to watch as they feed. We want to look at some cool facts concerning these wild birds, which are an all-time favorite amongst most backyard birds. There is probably not another bird that looks good with a snow back drop as does the Northern Cardinal.  The word cardinals, which means “principle,” comes from the Latin “cardo” for “a hinge or pivot.” This bird is named for its color which matches the robes of Catholic Cardinals.Cardinals have greatly increast their breeding range over the past 80 years. Cardinals do not migrate, but simply keep pushing farther and farther North and West as suburbs and bird feeders proliferate. The Cardinal ranges throughout most of the Eastern and Central states, the entire South and much of the arid Southwestern states.

The Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal

HOUSING: Cardinals prefer dense, shrubby habitat. If that is provided in your neck of the woods, or in your yard, then you will keep this feathered beauties happy. The nest in the shrubs and viney tangles at least twice every summer. If the shrubs provide fruit, then that is even better. Some of the shrubs you may want to consider when attracting a Cardinal are Junipers, Dogwoods, Honeysuckle and Viburums.

SEED DIET: The Seeds that the Cardinal prefers are Black Oil Sunflower and Safflower, or a mixture of both. The Cardinal’s large bill also allows them to crack open the larger striped sunflower seeds. WATER: Like most other birds, having a year-round water source is a great help in attracting Cardinals. Just to name a few of their favorites which include: Deck Mounted Bird Baths, Heated Bird Baths and Hanging Bird Baths w/ a copper, rough surface which causes the bird to feel safe.

HOUSING: Unfortunately, the Cardinal will not use a nesting box. They like the fruit bearing shrubs and viney vegitation for their nesting pleasure.

FEEDERS AND FEEDER PLACEMENT: The Cardinal is not a real hard wild bird to please. If you provide their favorite seeds, they will often be the first bird that you feed in the morning, and the last one you’ll see feeding at night. In the Spring, you’ll enjoy seeing the male Cardinal offer the female a carefully selected seed as part of their Mate Feeding Ritual. Cardinals are also good ground feeders, however, they will feed on flat surfaces also. They prefer a wider perch when feeding. The perches on most tube feeders are too small for them to feed on so a regular feeder would suit them best.

Best to you as you endeavor to attract these Christmas Card beauties. They are a real joy to watch and listen to also. For more information on how you can attract Northern Cardinals and find out more about them, simply go to:  http://www.wildlife-houses.com/product_info.php?cPath=13&products_id=281

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White Breasted Nuthatch ~ Featured Bird of the Week

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in Attract Local Birds, Organic insect control, wildlife | Posted on 17-11-2009

It’s been awhile since we featured a bird of the week.  Have you seen the white-breasted nuthatch crawling down a tree? There’s a good reason for this. Learn how to attract the white-breasted nuthatch to your yard. Hope you enjoy the fun facts as you familiar yourself with this little guy, who is very popular in the U.S. Happy Birding!

White Breasted Nuthatch

White Breasted Nuthatch

Here are some fun facts about the White-Breasted Nuthatch, our featured feathered friend of the week.

  • Scientific Name: Sitta carolinensis.
  • Family: Nuthatch.
  • Length: 5-3/4 inches.
  • Wingspan: 11 inches.
  • Distinctive Markings: Males and females look similar, with a short tail, bluish-gray back and wings, black cap and white breast.
  • Nest: Hair, fur and shredded bark built in natural cavities and birdhouses. Lays five to 10 white eggs with multicolored markings.
  • Song: Nasal “yank-yank-yank” call.
  • Habitat: Area with plentiful trees.
  • Diet: Insects and larvae; pine, fir and maple seeds; mountain ash and juniper berries; oak, beech and hickory nuts.
  • Backyard Favorites: Sunflower seeds, unsalted peanuts, birdseed mix and suet.
Map of Habitation

Map of Habitation

  • The White-breasted Nuthatch is normally territorial throughout the year, with pairs staying together. The male has to spend more time looking out for predators when he’s alone than while he’s with his mate. That’s the pattern for most birds, and one reason why birds spend so much time in flocks. But the female nuthatch has to put up with the male pushing her aside from foraging sites, so she spends more time looking around (for him) when he’s around than when she is alone.
  • In winter, White-breasted Nuthatches join foraging flocks led by chickadees or titmice, perhaps partly because it makes food easier to find and partly because more birds can keep an eye out for predators. One study found that when titmice were removed from a flock, nuthatches were more wary and less willing to visit exposed bird feeders.
  • If you see a White-breasted Nuthatch making lots of quick trips to and from your feeder – too many for it to be eating them all – it may be storing the seeds for later in the winter, by wedging them into furrows in the bark of nearby trees.
  • The oldest known White-breasted Nuthatch was 9 years 10 months old.
  • * For more information on how you can attract these little guys and feed them with suet, etc visit: www.wildlife-houses.com !

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    Tube Bird Feeder vs. Hopper Bird Feeder: Which Is Better?

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    Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in Attract Local Birds, bird food, wildlife | Posted on 09-11-2009

    When considering a tube feeder or a hopper feeder, one is not necessarily better than the other. Hopper feeders, because of their ease of access to the seed, tend to attract a larger variety of birds. This sometimes include grackles, which can wipe out a supply of seed in a hurry. Tube feeders tend to discourage larger species. If grackles are a problem try using a tube feeder, maybe even shortening the perch. This will often leave the tube feeder available for finches, nuthatches and other smaller species. No matter what type of feeder that you choose, there are a few basic facts to consider.

     1.  Wooden parts of feeders should be made of weather-resistant cedar or be stained or painted to protect against moisture.

    2.   Feeders should be easy to clean.

    3.   Plastic feeders should be reinforced with metal around the feeding ports to discourage squirrels. Perches should be metal or a replaceable dowel.

    4.   Look for durable construction to provide you and your birds years of enjoyment.        

    Hopper Bird Feeder

    Hopper Bird Feeder

    Here are a few differences between the two feeders that may be helpful to you, when selecting the right type of feeders for the birds that inhabit your area or that you wish to attract to yer neck of the woods.

     

    Hopper Feeders: There are a lot of different styles, but the basic style looks like a barn, gazebo or covered bridge:

    • Hopper feeders hold a lot of seed, eliminating the need to fill them daily.
    • The lift-off roofs make them easy to refill
    • The sides are usually panels of Plexiglas, so you can see when the feeder needs a refill of seed.
    • Hopper feeders can be pole-mounted or hung from a tree limb or hook
    • Look for a hopper feeder that can be disassembled and cleaned.
    • Any type of bird feed can be used in a hopper feeder.
    • Small and large birds such as doves, jays, grosbeaks, cardinals and woodpeckers can land and feed comfortably 

     

    Tube Bird Feeder

    Tube Bird Feeder

    Tube Feeders long cylinders with perches at the feeding ports. Tube feeders are available in upside-down and seed tray models:

    • Tube feeders discourage squirrels.
    • Tube feeders are usually used for small woodland birds like chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers, nuthatches and finches
    • Tube feeders usually have holes large enough for sunflower seeds to fit through. Some tube feeders are made especially for tiny thistle or niger seeds.
    • Make sure there is no dead space at the bottom port. Seed can collect, rot and mold.
    • The perches on tube feeders are small and discourage large birds such as cardinals, blue jays, grackles, blackbirds and doves.

      

    Birdhouse Guy

    Birdhouse Guy

    *For more information on tube bird feeders and hopper bird feeders, simply visit: www.wildlife-houses.com.

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