Merry Christmas Everyone,
With the first arctic blast to arrive those of you whose feeders have been a bit slow should see a definite uptick in activity, including birds like Goldfinches, which can be scarce at feeders in the fall because of all the natural food sources available and migration. Make no mistake we do have Goldfinches during the winter months. They lose their bright yellow spring-summer plumage and have a somewhat dull appearance. Many customers have converted from using nyjer seed to the Finch Blend, or the Fine Sunflower Chips, and have seen a noticeable difference in Goldfinches coming to their feeders.
Hopefully, we will see good number of winter birds like Pine Siskins and Purple finches. They are always a nice addition to the usual visitors. Look for Pine siskins as they sometimes blend in with Goldfinch flocks. They make a very distinctive sound which is usually the first thing to tip me off that they are present. You can go to allaboutbirds.org to hear their call.
Fortunately we’ve seen some much needed rain in the past couple of weeks but keep those birdbaths full as lots of Cedar waxwings are being seen and they love visiting water. For some great photos of these elegant birds go to mgwpics.com, a website by long-time customer and friend Mary Glynn Williamson.
Water is extremely important to birds in the winter months because keeping feathers clean ensures protection from harsh elements. We are stocked and ready with birdbath de-icers and a few choices of heated birdbaths. The heated birdbaths do not really heat the water but simply keeps it above the freezing point. They are thermostatically controlled so very energy efficient.
Bluebirds, too, have been taking advantage of birdbaths lately and as many of you know they love live mealworms which we have in stock year round. Remember mealworm customers we will re-use the Styrofoam containers. Let’s keep them out of the landfill. And, furthermore, if you have your own container from home we can fill it for you.
Speaking of recycling let’s all do as much as we can. The plastic bags used for seed in The Wood Thrush Shop are recyclable. They may be put in the plastic bag bins offered at Publix and Kroger. For more info on recycling #2 and #4 plastics visit www.plasticfilmrecycling.org
Ground feeding is something not many people do but this is the time of year it is most effective. Our Wood Thrush Mix makes a great ground feed consisting of black oil sunflower and white and red millet. Scatter on the ground (I use the driveway) and watch for White-throated, White-crowned and Fox sparrows, Juncos, and Cardinals.
And here’s a tip to both help and attract birds. Next time you’re doing some yardwork make a brush-pile or two from fallen branches and plant trimmings. Birds love brush-piles for the cover and protection from weather and predators. They draw birds almost immediately.
And if you haven’t tried Suet and Peanuts before you will be amazed at the attention they draw from many species of birds. Aside from woodpeckers, nuthatches, titmice, and chickadees it is very possible to see Bluebirds, Kinglets, Brown creeper, Orange crowned and Yellow-rumped warblers at both offerings. There are squirrel proof feeders available for suet and peanuts.