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Wild Bird Scoop, Issue #716
June 07, 2012
Welcome

to the "Late Spring" 2012 edition of the “Wild Bird Scoop…"

If you received a Wild Bird Scoop, Issue #715, please delete it as it was sent in error. This is the one #716 that was intended. Sorry for the inconvenience and hope you enjoy!

It is our goal at the Scoop-on-wild-birds-and-feeders.com to help you and your family enjoy the beauty of nature, through discovering the fascinating world of our feathered friends.

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It is a wonderful time of year to be a bird watcher!

And this spring in particular because it has been so early and everyone is well under way mating and nest building. The Common Grackles here are feeding their young on the lawn already.

You also may have noticed your "Hummers" were back at least 2 weeks earlier than usual. It really doesn’t seem to matter how long you have been feeding and enjoying them in your backyard, they are always a wonder and a thrill to see.

Here are some of the pics I took this spring of one of our hummingbird feeders in action.

female Ruby Throated Hummingbird photo
Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird

female Ruby Throated Hummingbird photo
Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird

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I am often asked about problems which arise around feeding Hummers, I just wanted to share with you some tips for feeding Hummingbirds:

    1. To prevent nectar feeders from dripping do not twist the bottom on too hard. It’s often that last twist which over extends the threads and causes it to leak. As soon as you feel it “catch” when you are twisting it on, “stop”.

    2. Have you observed a “royal” battle taking place at your feeder and no one is able to feed peacefully? Hang another nectar feeder in your yard preferably where it cannot be seen by the other one. This will ease the competition for the one “hot” spot.

    3. Another often asked question is, how often should I change the syrup in my hummingbird feeder? It is a good practice to change the syrup more often than not. If the temperatures are high, then every 2-3 days will not be too often. It does not take the mold spores long to begin to grow.

    4. How should you clean your feeder? Use a drop of bleach and a drop or two of detergent and rinse extremely well. Warm water is sufficient as hot water on the plastic parts may cause your feeder to drip.

    5. What is the best ratio for the sugar water mixture? One part white sugar and four parts water is the closest sweetness strength to flower nectar. If it is too strong it could cause health issues for the birds.

If you would like to read more about any of these 5 tips click here:
Hummingbird Food: Recipe For Energy Drink

And for other backyard bird feeding problems find solutions here:
Bird Feeding Problems: Just the Facts

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We have had some wonderful experiences shooting pictures of wild birds this year too. I am very excited about this and want to share these with you and hope you will enjoy them as much as I do even though not all of them are “beautiful” birds. You will see what I mean with the photos included in this newsletter.

Yes, Turkey Vultures!

They are absolutely fascinating and aren’t at all like their reputation. They are not predators,but scavenge for their food and if it wasn’t for them our highways across North America would be littered with the remains of rotting carcasses. But this large, well-adapted bird provides a great service by keeping it all cleaned up.

They are quiet birds as they do not have a voice box, so they rely on hissing and grunting for audible communication. This along with their bald heads and ambling gate when walking may be factors in why many people are wary of vultures.

The three birds in the pictures below were joined by a fourth bird on the other end of the perch. When it landed a great shuffle of position began. The one in the middle stared down the one on the end until he left. Then the bird on the other end ambled down the perch to be closer to the other two. But when he got close the two remaining birds shuffled right to the end of the perch. Then the one that had been closest to the one joining them, shuffled back to be close to the new comer. (I believe the one which shuffled along to be closer to the new comer was a female, and all the others were males, vying for her favor. Finally the one left on the end flew away. Then the female started nipping at the one which came to join them and he flew away not feeling welcome. Very interesting behavior.

Turkey Vultures photo
Turkey Vultures

Turkey Vultures photo
Turkey Vultures

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You may find these live bird cams interesting to watch:

    1. Great Blue Heron Nest at Cornell

    2. Phoebe the Hummingbird

    3. Great Spirit Bluff Falcons

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    It is a very interesting time of year for backyard bird watchers (but then again, when isn't it) so keep your eyes on the skies and those who rule them!

    … and that’s "The Scoop" for now!

    Happy birding! Judy

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    Please contact us if you have any comments or questions. We’d love to hear from you and we will respond as quickly as possible.

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