Archive for April, 2006

Lots Goin’ On!

We’ve been awfully busy at the store, but the good news is that we have most of our spring merchandise out for display and I think we have a great selection of wild bird accessories that will help folks enjoy backyard birding even more than they currently do.

Lots of new sightings in our backyard, including a bunch of white-throated sparrows. Also, I think we’re going to be lucky enought to have a mating pair of cardinals for the season - our first and it’s just great watching them feed and drink water together. We’re certainly into the time that many folks are starting to see the spring migrants, including warblers starting to appear.

In fact, on Saturday, May 6th, Ruth Stewart, a local VINS volunteer and birder, will be conducting a spring bird walk on Equinox Pond. It starts at 7a.m. and if you’re interested in attending, meet outside the VINS Manchester office at 80 Union Street. More details can be found here>>

And just four days later on May 10th, The Bird place will be sponsoring a talk to be given by VINS Manchester Office Director Peter Corradino on nectar feeding birds at the VINS Manchester office. For more details, just click here >>

 Hope to see you at one of these events - they both should be very interesting!

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Spring crowds at the feeders and bird bath

The feeders continue to be active and with a completely different cast of characters than in winter. We have never had so many purple finches as we do this year. There are at least 5 pairs of males and females that have really settled around the neighborhood. And between the male purple finches and the male American goldfinches, it often looks like an easter egg basket on our platform feeder.

Our new platform feeder has been a real treat. All the birds seem to love grabbing a bite off of it, and many of them spend a good 10-15 minutes on the feeder, especially the purple finches.

I have just started putting some live mealworms on the platform feeder and the American robins are just LOVING it. They jump up right on the feeder, eat about 7 or 8 worms and then fly off. It took about 20 minutes after I put them out to see a robin start eating them.

A very nice addition to our feeding station.

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The rythmic forest - ahh it’s Spring

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a few customers come in with some Woodpecker “issues”. And since it’s Spring, it’s a little wonder.

In most cases wild birds use songs to attract mates and stake out their territory. And while woodpeckers do have calls that they use, this time of year they start “drumming.” On our road, it’s actually been a bit comical over the past few days, as they’ve discovered that some of their favorite sounding “posts” aren’t trees at all.

I’ve heard them on the side of houses, both with siding and logs (our specifically), on metal flashing and a variety of other hosts. It actually gets pretty loud sometimes.

So if you’re out walking in the woods, listen to the drums of Spring - and see if you can find the Woodpecker it belongs to!  Here in Vermont it could be a Downy, Hairy or Pileated, with Pileated being the loudest of them all.

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What do April showers bring?

Green, green, green… and already a few flowers. It’s amazing what a little bit of rain can do this time of year. Since the little snow we had melted a couple of weeks ago, the only thing colorful in the landscape were the wild birds visiting our feeders.

The grass, forest, and surrounding meadows were all a VERY dry brown. Last night we had a pretty good soaking rain with a little thunder, and this morning green was sprouting up everywhere. Now this is a wild bird blog, and the point is now that it’s starting to look like Spring, the time is getting close when even more of the summer migrants are going to start showing up.  

Also, if you’d like to get started on planting a summer garden for wildbirds, hummers or butterflies, don’t forget to stop in the store. We’ve got everything you need!  

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Northern Flickers Everywhere

A big part of the fun in owning a wild bird store is that I get to hear what people are seeing in their backyards from all over the area. So I can usually tell when someone has a wildbird sighting that is unusual, or one of the seasonal migrants have returned.

So I can very comfortably say the Northern Flickers are back. I’ve had no less than 3 customers in the past 8 hours that the store has been open reporting that they have seen flickers. In fact one customer had eight of them in his yard. We even had 2 Wednesday evening when I got home from the store.

Keep an eye out, more are on the way!

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It’s busy at The Bird Place

Which explains why I haven’t kept this updated as well as I should have. And it’s not only busy at the store. Our feeders have been going crazy and we’ve had some unusual visitors (for us).

In the past week we’ve had any number of purple finches, our now regular male and female cardinals, tons of juncos, nuthatches, titmice, chickadees, blue jays, American robins, etc. But in the past week alone 3 very cool visitors.

1. Fox Sparrow - doing it’s birdy aerobics ($10 please John). It is the best leaf rustle we’ve ever seen and for a native sparrow, a very pretty bird. Haven’t seen him the past couple of days, so he may have headed north, but for about 5 days, he was there along with one other on one day.

2. Evening Grosbeaks - out of nowhere last Sunday, two pairs stopped by the feeder. We have never had one, and now I know they have the largest beak in their family, as the books state. Just beautiful.

3. White-throated Sparrow - the name kinda says it all, but for 2 days now, he’s been shuffling under the feeders.

And once again, I think the addition of a bird bath is really making the difference. Even saw the robins jump in this morning.

More updates on what’s going on at the store tomorrow, but if you’re local, stop by and see!

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More and more purple

In the last post I noted that we had one pair of purple finches visit our feeder that day. Well we’re up to at least 2, if not three pairs and they’ve come back each morning now for the past 3 days. One of our loyal customers also called and let me know that they’ve had them as well. So watch your feeder, they might visit you as too!

The rest continue to come as well and the combination of colors and sizes is truly a joy to watch. I can’t stress enough how important it is to take about 15 minutes and really watch your feeders. You just never know what might come by, especially this time of year.

I also found it interesting that the bat house we’ve had up for almost 5 years now, finally has attracted the interest of a winged creature… too bad it’s not a bat. A downy woodpecker has been working on it for several days. No real damage, but he does spend a good deal of time pecking away at it… Go figure.

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