This is a subject we talk a lot about in the store and after reading an article about it I thought I would delve into this subject some more. There continues to be research done on the affects of red dye in hummingbird nectar and until someone tells me otherwise I will continue to sell and share the recipe for clear nectar. The article I read was from Sherry Teas at Happinest and she takes in many hummingbirds that are lethargic and unable to fly. What she notices is that their droppings are red and we all know what the doctors say when we see red in our urine go see your doctor. The thought on why people feed red nectar is that it will help to attract the hummers when in fact there is enough red on the top of the feeder to do just that. We had thought that boiling beets and using the water to mix with sugar was a good idea, and even though there has not been any proof that it is dangerous, when my mother tried it in her feeder in Florida the hummers would not come back to the feeder. Here are some tips to help attract them into your backyard: Put your feeders out by the middle of April as the males are coming through at that time and then the females will be here within a couple of weeks them arriving, next saturate your yard with red – try placing a red tablecloth over a patio table and putting red ribbons in your trees (this will also make your neighbors wonder what your doing), start your feeders at flower height and raise them up gradually to a place where they are more visible to you. The last two are very important – Patience and keeping the feeders clean. You can expect to wait several years to attract these beauties to your backyard and will have better success if you are within a couple of blocks of water – where there is water there are insects. Keeping the feeders clean is very important because with the sugar content it can ferment very fast and make the birds sick. Clean your feeders every 4-5 days when the temperature is below 20 degrees but once the temperatures soar above 20 degrees you will need to clean them every 2 days. Purchasing the right feeder is just as important so if you would like to learn about feeders please come visit us in the store.
Have you ever done a bird walk? There are so many choices in and around the city. Yesterday Dave and I decided we would venture down to Weaselhead as we have heard from our customers that there is lots of activity, and boy were they right. Within the first 5 minutes we came across Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers. My husband had never seen a Hairy and could not believe the difference in size, a Downy is 6 3/4″ and a Hairy is 9 1/4″. For some people, like myself, numbers don’t mean much but when you see these two side by side you can really see the difference. Walking on down the hill and within 2 minutes of where we saw the woodpeckers we came across another area where there was lots of activity. Chickadees of course were everywhere and who doesn’t want to see them, they are so adorable. We did see lots of feeders and seed around which of course keeps them close to the pathway. Next we saw Nuthatches, this is another one of those size differences that until you see them side by side you can’t appreciate the difference. Red Breasted nuthatches are 4 1/2″ and White Breasted are 5 3/4″ and the White Breasted aren’t often seen within the city so always nice to see. We saw lots of Downy and Hairy woodpeckers in this spot too as well as finches. We decided to cross the bridge over the river and once on the other side we saw a Slate Colored junco. So I encourage you to take advantage of the lovely parks within the city and here is a list of them: Weaselhead, Carburn Park, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Bebo Grove, Hulls Wood, Lafarge Meadows, Votier Flats and Shannon Terrace. If you are looking for something outside the city here are some really great trips: First, and my personal favorite is Ellis Bird Farm (east of Lacombe-opens in May), Frank Lake, Sandy Cross Conservation and Ralph Klein Nature Park. Check them all out, as each of them have something to offer, from songbirds to birds of prey and water fowl. If you need help finding these locations pop in to the store and ask to see the map. We also have FREE bird walks that we do every second Saturday starting at 9:00am. Here are the next three – March 25th at Hulls Wood, April 8th at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and April 22nd at Weaselhead. Feel free to share your experiences with us in person or on Facebook.
March 11, 2017
The time has come for The Wild Bird Store to move. We have outgrown the space we are in now and desperately need to have our warehouse in the same location as the retail outlet, and that cannot happen in the current location. There are a few locations that Kris and Dave are actively looking at to see what will work best for the store and our valued customers. Our plan is to find a location that is South of 58 Ave, West of Macleod Trail, East of Deerfoot Trail and North of Heritage Drive.
We would greatly appreciate your input as one of our many valued customers. We will consider all of your input which will help us make your birding experience even better.
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