Attracting winter bluebirds

I'm still feeding my bluebirds. When do they migrate south? ~ Bath, MI

Eastern Bluebirds can stay in mid-Michigan year round. Bluebirds usually gather in the woods after their nesting season is done. There they forage for fruits, nuts, and berries from shrubs, trees, and vines.

Flocks can be as large as 100 but typically range from 5 to 20 birds in mid-Michigan. Winter flocks forage for food together and wander about exploring possible roosting sites like bluebird houses or tree hollows.

How to help the bluebirds survive the winter
Bluebirds are attracted to water. You can provide a heated birdbath for your birds. This isn’t like a hot tub. The bath just remains free of ice and open to the birds to get drinks or clean their feathers.
Photo by Tom T. WBU So. Yarmouth, Ma.

Feathers are critical for flight and insulation, birds must keep them well-maintained. A good part of a bird's day is spent just cleaning and grooming its feathers by bathing, scratching, and preening. The feathers covering the body give the bird a water resistant, aerodynamic shape for efficient flight. The feathers also provide insulation by trapping body heat close to the skin.
What to you feed bluebirds
The only time it may be hard for birds to find food in the winter is during storms. Freezing rains or heavy snows can cover their natural food and make it almost impossible to feed. Otherwise in the winter, bluebirds forage naturally for fruits, nuts, and berries from shrubs, trees, and vines. Some of those include dogwood, hawthorn, mountain ash, sumac, holly, bittersweet, pokeweed, grape, and honeysuckle fruits.
If you want to supplement their diet or attract bluebirds to a feeder, most people like you do, feed mealworms. I also like to add chopped apples in the same tray I offer the mealworms. Both bluebirds and live mealworms enjoy eating my apples.
Other foods you can offer are shelled sunflower seeds, nuts, berries, or suet. Bluebirds enjoy raisins or chopped grapes too but these can be harmful to dogs so I don’t suggest that if your little buddies can access the feeding area.

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Male birds can't fool their mates for long

New research reveals that some male birds use their song to dupe females they have just met into thinking they are in excellent physical condition. Singing is a test of a bird's condition because it uses a lot of energy.

Researchers at the University of Exeter studied zebra finches to establish how trustworthy birdsong was in providing honest signals about the male's value as a mate. Fit and healthy birds are thought to be able to sustain a high song rate for longer, making them more attractive to females.

Researchers discovered that male birds in poor condition could "cheat" and vary their song to give a false impression to stranger females. But they did not even try to fool female birds who knew them.

Dr Sasha Dall, of the University of Exeter, was involved in the research. He said: "Every man wants to cast himself in a favorable light when he meets an attractive female, and we have shown that birds are no different. But just like many humans, it seems zebra finch males are unable to dupe females who know them well enough. When the birds were in an established relationship, the female could tell the true condition of a male by his song, and judge whether he would make a good father for her next brood."

Zebra finches are Australia's most popular finch. They make common pets and are used widely in scientific research because they adapt extremely well. For zebra finches, both color and birdsong are important factors in choosing a mate.

Dr Morgan David, who led the research, said: "This is the first study to find evidence that the link between male body condition and birdsong differs depending on the context of the encounter with the opposite sex. It could have significant implications for learning more about the evolution of courtship patterns such as birdsong."

Story Source:
Birdsong bluster may dupe strange females, but it won't fool partners

Why juncos are called snowbirds

A Dark-eyed Junco subspecies - the Slate-color...Image via Wikipedia
• Dark-eyed Juncos are often called “Snowbirds,” possibly due to the fact that they are more likely to visit feeding stations during snowy periods. Many people also believe their return from their northern breeding grounds foretells the return of cold and snowy weather. Another possible source of the nickname may be the white belly plumage and slate-colored back of the Junco, which has been described as “leaden skies above, snow below.”

• According to Project Feeder Watch, Juncos are sighted at more feeding areas across North America than any other bird. Over 80% percent of those responding report Juncos at their feeders.

• To avoid the competition, many females migrate farther south than most of the males. Up to 70% of Juncos wintering in the southern U.S. are females. Males tend to stay farther north in order to shorten their spring migration and thus gain the advantage of arriving first at prime breeding territories.

• Juncos, along with some other members of the sparrow family, practice an interesting foraging method called “riding.” They fly up to a seed cluster on the top of a grass stem and “ride” it to the ground where they pick off the seeds while standing on it.

• The longevity records for Dark-eyed Juncos is 10 years.

Source: WBU Educational Resources-Juncos

Why Bird Feeders Must Be Cleaned

When was the last time you cleaned your feeders? Like most people, birds don't like to eat off of a dirty plate. It's recommended that you clean your bird feeders at least once a month. 

And this winter it is especially important to maintain a clean feeding station. Canada’s natural seed crops were horrible this year and lots of birds that usually like to winter further north are going to have venture south to Michigan to find food.These flocks of birds are going to be stressed and susceptible to disease.

In order to keep healthy birds at your feeders, consider the following:

1. Feeders should be cleaned at least once a month, year round. Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing - will clean your feeder for $5.00. Or you can purchase professional cleaners like Scoot at Wild Birds Unlimited, or use a mild one part vinegar to nine parts water solution to clean all of your feeders. Disassemble feeders and immerse them completely for three minutes. Scrub with brushes (we have these too), rinse thoroughly, and let air dry. 
2. Check your feeders after a rain and snow to make sure the seed is dry. If not, replace it.
3. Store seed in a cool dry location. Wild Birds Unlimited has closed steel containers that work well to protect seed from unwanted seed thieves or bad weather. 
4. When choosing a new feeder look for something easy to clean and fill.
.If you keep these measures in mind, you can keep this hobby enjoyable for your family and safe for your birds. Bon appetite!

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Photo Share: Falling snow

Fun snow facts:
- Snow is formed by the crystallization of water and since all water molecules have six sides, so do all snowflakes.
- On average an inch of rain can become one foot of snow.
Snowflake- There are 7 major snowflake shapes: tubes, stars, hexagonal plates, ridged arm stars, hexagonal columns, needles, and irregular.
- In 1755 the red dust from the Sahara desert caused red snow to fall over Europe when the dust became condensation nuclei for flakes.
- Fluffy (powdery) snow which falls at very low temperatures can be up to 95% air, while warmer temperature will produce very wet heavy flakes.
- An average snowflake is made up of 180 billion water molecules.

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Save your Christmas tree for the birds

"Life is a series of little deaths out of which life always returns." ~ Charles Feidelson, Jr.

Last week was the Winter Solstice, the day the Earth's Northern Hemisphere has the shortest day, and longest night, and the sun's daily maximum position in the sky is the lowest. The birds might consider it the beginning of the "real" New Year. I did too! It’s the day when the whole annual cycle begins all over, and I can look forward to the gradual lengthening of days.

You can’t help but admire our hardy winter birds in Michigan. When I go out to fill the feeders in the morning and hear the nuthatches and woodpeckers “laughing,” I feel happy that they’ve made it through the night.

And remember if you feel a little guilty about just throwing away your Christmas tree, its usefulness can be extended by placing it outside near feeders for added shelter against the weather and predators. In a matter of minutes, the old tree is providing a new natural cover.

The birds had an advantage with the milder November and early December which allowed them to seek natural foods. Though it might seem strange to humans, wild birds prefer to forage over visiting feeders (with the possible exception of the House Sparrows).

However, as the temperatures dip and natural food sources may become covered with snow or locked in ice, the supplemental food and water we provide is more widely appreciated and has a bigger impact on the birds’ survival.

I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season and I wish everyone a future filled with great birding experiences. Happy New Year!

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Nature up Close: A look at different bird beaks

The bird's beak or bill is a remarkably useful instrument that comes in all shapes and sizes. The bill shows various adaptations for methods of feeding.

Birds with all-purpose bills have general sort of diet using a bill that can cut, crush, rip, and open just about anything.

Some other examples are short thin bills for insect eaters, short thick bills for seed eaters, long thin bills can be for probing flowers for nectar or probing soft mud for worms and shellfish, strong hooked bills for tearing meat.
The Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco), the largest member of the toucan family, possesses the largest beak relative to body size of all birds. The toucans use this exaggerated feature to attract mates and pick fruit from the thin ends of branches that can not support the birds weight. A recent study also found the bill can help the bird keep its temperature under control.

Flamingos are filter feeders, and have many complex rows of horny plates that line their bills to strain food items from the water.

Of course, gathering food is not the only use for the bird's bills. Birds use their bills in fighting and in defense of their territory, gathering nesting materials, building nests, grooming feathers, attracting mates, scaring predators, and other important rolls.

Day of Peace

Closer look at birds that fly south and those that are migrating north

I’m excited about seeing all these new finches from Canada this winter! I’m keeping my feeders full so I can watch all the activity. Will they stay around because they have such a good thing down here or will they leave in the spring?

What a wonderful question! I wrote earlier about how this was going to be a good season for bird watching because Canada’s natural seed crops were horrible this year and lots of birds that usually like to winter further north are going to have venture south to Michigan to find food.

Those hardy Canadian birds that irrupt occasionally are wonderful to observe but generally heed their hormonal urge to leave in the spring when it’s time to nest. So enjoy them now.

On the other hand studies have revealed that more and more southern birds are moving north and sticking around mid-Michigan in the winter. Land development, a steady increase in global temperatures, and bird feeding during the last half of the 20th century may have played a small role in the northward expansion of some southern birds.

For example, the northern edge of the Cardinal’s range has expanded greatly since the days of John James Audubon. Originally a southern bird, the Northern Cardinal began expanding its range into northern states around the 1900’s. After nesting season Cardinals stop defending territories and begin to flock together. During the early days of their expansion they would migrate back south during the winter. But in time they became year round residents of Michigan.

The Tufted Titmouse has also been expanding their range northward since the 1940’s and is now found even in Canada. Speculation for their expansion includes warming winter temperatures and the increase in mature woodland habitat.

Or take the Turkey Vulture. Once only a southern US bird, by the 1960's they had extended their breeding range into Michigan. The popular theory is that the interstate highway system increased the availability of food in the form of roadkill.

So what do we make of all this? How do animals know when and where to go? The usual explanation is that the migration is driven by instinct, hard-wired into birds. But birds might be evolving. Whether or not a bird flies south for the winter depends a lot on what food the species eats.

Every year we get more and more sightings of orioles, hummingbirds and other birds that normally migrate, sticking around. Amazingly, if a bird can get enough food, it apparently can survive even the worst weather.

That’s why information gathered from the citizen science projects like the Great Backyard Bird Count, along with observations from the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird, helps to us see the “big picture” about what is happening to bird populations. The longer data is collected, the more meaningful it becomes in helping scientists investigate far-reaching questions, like:

• How will the weather influence bird populations?
• Why winter finches and other “irruptive” species appear in large numbers during some years but not others?
• How will the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?
• How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?
• What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities versus suburban, rural, and natural areas?

For highlights of past results, visit

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Bird of the Week: Small gray and white bird with tuft

Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 
Tufted titmice are 15 to 17 cm long and have wingspans of 23 to 28 cm. Both males and females have white undersides, gray backs, rusty-brown sides, pointed crests on their heads, and large dark eyes.

Tufted titmice are active birds often seen flitting about in trees and hanging upside down while searching beneath twigs for insects. They are active during the daytime and do not migrate extensively, remaining in residence throughout the winter. They are fairly confident birds and can be trained to come at the sound of human voices and take food from their hands, though not as easily as their cousins, the black-capped chickadees. Tufted titmice store food under bark or under objects on the ground. Males are dominant over females and they form pairs that persist until the death of one of the mates. Pairs separate from winter flocks in preparation for mating by February.

Eats insects, spiders, snails, various berries, acorns, seeds and suet. Forages in trees, sometimes upside down, often in mixed species flocks like chickadees. Most Tufted Titmice live their entire life within a few miles of their birthplace. They only occur in areas where rainfall is greater than 24 inches per year, and are more common where rainfall exceeds 32 inches per year. The Tufted Titmouse is very appealing visitor to the feeder. A group of titmice are collectively known as a "banditry" and a "dissimulation" of titmice.  

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Bird at Play

We know crows are very intelligent birds and they often exhibit playful behavior. But have you ever seen one sledding in the snow? The accompanying video shows a hooded crowin Russia sliding down a snowy roof on a jar lid.

It is a remarkable demonstration of deliberate play by a bird. The crow uses a found object, searches for the best sledding path, and slides down the roof repeatedly (for fun?).

Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor for The Atlantic, put the issue of crows and playful behavior to Alan Kamil at the Center for Avian Intelligence at the University of Nebraska.

"It is in keeping with the general reputation of corvids," said Kamil, after watching the video. "I don't know what to make of it scientifically but it is a cool example of a play-like behavior in a corvid."

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Photo Share: Coot, Egret, Heron

Joshua Chrisman (Creator and Admin of Michigan's Wildlife on sent us lots of  of lovely pictures that he took this year. Most of the pictures are taken around the Greenville, Grand Rapids, Stanton, and Saginaw areas. Some are also taken in the Upper Peninsula. I will be posting them gradually over the next few weeks on our Friday Photo Posts.

Thank you for sharing your photos! If anyone else would like to share a photograph of nature send it to and I'll put it on the Friday Photo posts.

Brighten your winter garden with a touch of copper

Wild Birds Unlimited Copper Top Series has arrived! These unique yet functional copper topped bird feeders or bird houses add a touch of elegance to your garden.

Made in the USA, these well designed feeders have curved sides to view birds easily, heavy plexi-glass lens to view the seed level, comfortable perching areas to attract a wide variety of birds and a thick roof covered in solid copper to create an attractive appearance that will stand out in any yard.

The copper topped houses are also exceptional and built to last several seasons. Each house is made to specific dimensions, with proper ventilation and drainage and are easy to clean and hang. They add a decorative touch to your garden in addition to attracting many bird families.

Wild Birds Unlimited also offers copper hummingbird, oriole and finch feeders. Any of these unique metal bird feeders and houses will add an elegant and luxurious, upscale quality to your deck or yard space. These American made, reasonable priced feeders and houses also make the perfect gift!
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Nature up Close: Winter Solstice

The tip of Earth's axis causes the northern hemisphere in winter
to face away from the sun and toward it in summer. Credit: NASA
Is anyone else tired of it being dark at 4pm? Don’t worry, the winter solstice is this week and for everyone in the northern hemisphere that means the days will start to get longer.
The first day of winter or the December solstice marks the longest night and shortest day of the year when the sun's daily maximum elevation in the sky is the lowest.

Depending on the shift of the calendar, the winter solstice usually occurs on December 21 to 23 each year in the Northern Hemisphere, and June 20 to 23 in the Southern Hemisphere.

Winter Solstice celebrates the birth of the new Solar year and the beginning of winter. Cultures around the world have had celebrations of rebirth for centuries at this time of year.
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Winter approaches and birds abound

Mid-Michigan is lucky enough to see lots of birds during the long cold winter months. I’ve listed some of the most common birds you’ll see and the food they like at feeders.

1. House Sparrow- White Proso Millet, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips
2. Black-capped Chickadee- Shelled peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Nyjer Thistle, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
3. Northern Cardinal- Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Shelled peanuts, Striped Sunflower seed
4. Downy Woodpecker- Peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Suet
5. White-breasted Nuthatch- Peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
6. Mourning Dove- Oil Sunflower seed, Peanuts, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, White Proso Millet, Nyjer Thistle
7. Red-bellied Woodpecker- Peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
8. Northern Flicker- Peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
9. Dark-eyed Junco- White Proso Millet, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Nyjer Thistle
10. American Goldfinch- Nyjer Thistle, Sunflower Chips, Oil Sunflower Seed
11. Blue Jay- Peanuts in the Shell, Nuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
12. Tufted Titmouse- Shelled peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
13. House Finch- Safflower, Nyjer Thistle, Sunflower Chips, Oil Sunflower Seed
14. European Starling- Shelled peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
15. American Crow- Peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
16. Cooper’s Hawk- Songbirds, Squirrels, Unrendered Suet
17. Carolina Wren- Shelled peanuts, Oil Sunflower seed, Sunflower Chips, Safflower, Suet, Striped Sunflower seed
18. Eastern Bluebird- Shelled peanuts, Suet, Suet Nuggets, Mealworms
19. American Robin- Shelled peanuts, Suet, Suet Nuggets, Mealworms
20. Cedar Waxwing- Mealworms, Suet Nuggets, Berries and Wild Fruit

Click HERE for the Eastern Seed Preference Guide

Of course there are a lot more birds in Michigan during the winter and they don't just eat from feeders, but this gives you a start. For more information we have Birds of Michigan Field Guides or you can visit our online Bird Guide to identify birds at

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Fun Facts on Woodpeckers

  • A Pileated Woodpecker "drums" on hollow trees with its bill in order to claim territory.
  • A group of pileated woodpeckers are collectively known as a "crown" of woodpeckers.
  • Beetle larvae make up about one-third of the Pileated Woodpecker’s natural diet. Ants are the next most important food item.
  • The barbed tip of a woodpecker’s tongue is very sensitive to touch and can both detect and impale insect larvae. The tongue is coated with sticky mucus that is secreted by large salivary glands; this coating helps to ensure that its prey does not slip away.
  • Woodpeckers are among a very few birds that have zygodactyl feet – which simply means they have two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing backwards. Most birds have an arrangement of three toes forward and one backwards. Having two sets of opposing toes gives them a much better grip on the trees they land on and climb.
  • In order for woodpeckers to survive the 10G’s of force that they can sustain with every blow against a tree, they have the following special adaptations:
    -The bones between the beak and the skull are joined by a flexible cartilage, which cushions the shock of each blow.
    -The skull is made of spongy, air-filled bone and the brain is packed very tightly into the brain cavity, with little room to rattle around during impacts.
    -The shear force from each blow is directed not to the brain, but downward towards very strong neck muscles that act as shock absorbers.
    -A woodpecker’s head and body are always in a perfectly straight alignment when hitting a tree to avoid breaking its neck.
  • When feeding on wood, grubs make an audible sound that could be heard by a woodpecker.
  • Woodpeckers have a better sense of smell than most birds and may be able to detect the strong odor of the formic acid that ants, bark beetles and termites excrete (smells like Sweet Tarts.)
  • If you want to provide good habitat for woodpeckers, consider leaving the dead tree snags in and around your yard.
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    How to pronounce Pileated Woodpecker

    Pileated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus
    Order: PICIFORMES Family: Woodpeckers (Picidae)

    The Pileated Woodpecker is Michgan's largest woodpecker at sixteen and a half inches in length and a wingspan up to 30 inches. Its size, sleek black back and wings, offset by a red crest, are obvious field marks. The males have a characteristic red "mustache", which is actually a stripe near the beak. The female's stripe is black. Another distinct field mark is the large white area under its wing which is viewed when the bird is in flight.

    There is some confusion on how to pronounce "pileated". Some lean toward "PIE-lee-ate-ed", while others say "PILL-ee-ate-ed". Both pronunciations are accepted. The name comes from the brilliant scarlet crest of feathers on the top of its head, called a pileum (PIE-lee-um). The genus name, Dryocopus means "oak tree cutter".

    Pileated Woodpeckers are known for the large holes or excavations they produce while foraging for food and producing their nest cavities. The holes can be greater than a foot in length. They have even been known to break smaller trees in half! They are searching for carpenter ants and wood-dwelling beetles, a favorite snack. During their quest, they produce large holes that are relied upon by many mammals, birds, and reptiles for shelter and nesting. They also will eat fruit and nuts. Pileated Woodpeckers will frequent feeders near a large woods.

    Though Pileated Woodpeckers are not in any imminent danger, there is reason for concern. Pileated Woodpeckers rely heavily on big trees for their nest cavities. They prefer large dead trees within mature forests. With many areas losing large trees due to disease and clear-cutting, one should watch his species closely. Since so many other creatures depend upon this bird for survival, it would be devasting, if it was lost.

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    Top 5 fantasy bird pick

    Which 5 birds would make your day perfect if you saw them in your garden?

    Thank you for your thoughtful question. I like all the birds that visit regularly and I am thankful they like what I have to offer in the way of food and habitat. We are lucky in mid-Michigan to have an amazing diversity of wild bird species. Some that I’m especially excited about are the

    1. American Goldfinches for their lovely song and butterfly flight pattern
    2. Red-breasted Nuthatch because they are another tiny bird with a large laughing call and bold friendly behavior
    3. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds because they just seem like miracle birds
    4. Purple Martins are not suitable in my very wooded suburban habitat but I would like to have some swooping in my yard and
    5. Great Horned Owls are big beautiful birds that would make my day perfect if I saw them in my garden.
    That doesn’t mean I don’t love my jays, cardinals, sparrows, wrens, chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers, hawks, waxwings, robins, orioles or other rare birds not in our area like birds of paradise or pink flamingos. But it would be a grand to see my chosen group of birds in a single day even though some are summer birds and some are winter birds.

    Do you have a top 5 fantasy pick of birds you want to visit your yard in one day?

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    Photo Share: Trumpeter Swans with Cygnets

    The Trumpeter Swan was hunted nearly to extinction for its meat and feathers in the early 20th century. This magnificent bird measures in at 5-6 feet long and is the world's largest species of waterfowl. The name trumpeter refers to the bird's loud, bugling voice that is produced when air is forced through their long neck.
    Joshua Chrisman (Creator and Admin of Michigan's Wildlife on sent us lots of  of lovely pictures that he took this year. Most of the pictures are taken around the Greenville, Grand Rapids, Stanton, and Saginaw areas. Some are also taken in the Upper Peninsula as well. I will be posting them gradually over the next few weeks on our Friday Photo Posts.

    Thank you for sharing your photos! If anyone else would like to share a photograph of nature send it to and I'll put it on the Friday Photo posts. 

    How to choose the best bird feeder for the beginner birdwatcher

    My niece and her new husband are moving in to their first house and I want to give them a bird feeder. What would you recommend for a family just starting the bird feeding hobby. I want a good quality feeder that won't fall apart in 3 months but nothing big. ~ Holt, MI

    The Wild Birds Unlimited (WBU) East Lansing, Michigan stores actually just developed a budget-friendly Green Solutions line of feeders and the feedback has been fabulous!

    Even though the Green Solutions line isn't as high-end as our other WBU line, it's still high quality and may meet the needs of some cost conscience shoppers. The feeders are smaller and all hang but they are still made in the USA from recycled plastic containers and have a lifetime guarantee like most of our feeders. 

    They are an attractive light green in varying sizes and styles. There are 3 different hoppers, 2 tray feeders, and a fly-thru feeder. All are excellent for the beginning or experienced bird feeding hobbyists.

    The Green Solutions feeders are all easy to clean with a unique expanded rust-resistant mesh screen bottom that provides excellent drainage to keep seed dry and fresh and promote healthy bird feeding. The feeders recycled plastic will last forever, and most important, the design will attract a wide variety of birds.

    Wonderful! I gave my son Ben the WBU window feeder you recommended 3 years ago when he moved into his first apartment. He's moved a couple times since then but he told me after each move, when he watches the birds, it feels like home. See you soon. Jennifer

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    Why green, red, and white are Christmas colors

    Have you ever wondered why the colors green, red, and white trigger thoughts of Christmas? For me, December means the bright red Northern Cardinals sitting in a white snowy evergreen “chip, chip, chipping” away.

    Green, red, and white are some of the most common colors that stand out in nature during the winter. In fact, at a time when most plants are barren, those plants that remain green with berries, like holly and mistletoe, captivate attention. There is also a red and white magic mushroom (Amanita muscaria), that grows almost exclusively beneath green pine trees in Europe.

    All these plants were used in winter traditions during ancient times and integrated into the Christian world.

    The most important clue to the origin of the Christmas tree ball ornaments comes from the miracle play on Christmas Eve about the Tree of Good and Evil performed in late Middle Ages to teach religion. In the play Eve picked an apple from the forbidden tree, Adam ate it and both were exiled from Eden. But original sin was expiated by Jesus born on the 25th of December. The apple tree was usually represented with a fir tree set on the stage with some apples put on its branches to symbolize the future coming of Redemption, wafers to symbolize the presence of Jesus, and sweets and gifts for children to enjoy.

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    Species of Pigeons

    Pigeons and doves constitute the bird family Columbidae within the order Columbiformes, which include some 300 species of near passerines. On the pictures below you will see the various species of pigeons. Focus is especially on the species which are difficult to find in wilderness.

    jacobin jim ecker

    komorner tumbler darrell sebastian

    maltese noe rodrigga

    modena rex arnold

    mookee james jensen
    Pigeons and doves constitute the bird family Columbidae within the order Columbiformes, which include some 300 species of near passerines. On the pictures below you will see the various species of pigeons. Focus is especially on the species which are difficult to find in wilderness.

    nun john heppner

    odc layne gardner

    persian roller brad child

    pigmy pouter tally mezzanatto

    pomeranian pouter matt williams

    saxon pouter tally mezzanatto

    scandaroon john heppner
    Pigeons and doves constitute the bird family Columbidae within the order Columbiformes, which include some 300 species of near passerines. On the pictures below you will see the various species of pigeons. Focus is especially on the species which are difficult to find in wilderness.

    schmalkaldnener mohrenkopf pariseau lofts

    show king joe neehercot

    swiss mondaine emily isom 
    Tumbler pigeons