We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.
1983 Zumbehl Road
St. Charles, MO 63303
Phone: (636) 949-9191
Fax: (636) 949-9192
Email: Send Message
Mon - Fri: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
As the excitement builds towards the solar eclipse on August 21st, we are fielding lots of questions about what impact this spectacular event will have on birds and other wildlife.
There are numerous anecdotal accounts and observations that appear to show that many species of birds and other wildlife do react in different ways to the eclipse. These reactions can occur as the eclipse progresses and enters totality, as well as when the sun re-emerges.
Here are some of the reactions by birds and wildlife that have been reported to occur during previous total eclipses:
Just as people make seasonal wardrobe changes, many birds are beginning a transformation of their own by replacing their old and worn feathers in a process known as molting.
Molting is when a bird replaces some (partial molt) or all (full molt) of its feathers.
This complicated process requires a lot of energy and may take up to eight weeks to complete. Molting is so physically demanding for most ducks and geese that they can't fly and will molt in seclusion to avoid predators.
Molting season varies by species and time of year. Right now many birds are beginning their main molt of the year, however American Goldfinches are one of the last to molt. Due to their late nesting period, they won't start their molt until late August.
Distinguishing birds that are molting from those that are not can be difficult. Though some birds may lose patches of feathers and appear "balding," most birds' feather loss and replacement are far less noticeable.
Feathers are made of more than 90% protein, primarily keratins, so every molting bird needs extra proteins to grow strong feathers for proper flight and effective insulation.
Research shows that a consistent and reliable source of food actually helps birds grow higher quality feathers. Keep your feeders filled and also offer high-protein foods such as Nyjer® (thistle), peanuts, Jim’s Birdacious® Bark Butter® and mealworms, to ensure that your birds have the reliable source of protein and fats to help them with molting.
Visit us soon for all of the high-protein foods that will meet your birds’ needs. We have everything you need to help your birds keep going (and re-growing feathers) during this critical time.
During the hot and often dry conditions that make up the “dog days of summer," you will be doing yourself and your birds a big favor by providing them with a reliable source of water.
Water is very important to birds. Whether they are feeder visitors or not, birds need water. Offering a dependable source of water is probably the simplest and most important step you can take to greatly increase the variety of birds in your yard.
It can also significantly increase your enjoyment of your birds by allowing you to watch their often comical antics as they drink, bathe and preen.
However, as entertaining as it is for us, water (or the lack thereof) can be deadly serious for birds. Birds must be ready to fly at all times, and bathing is a critical part of feather maintenance and staying in top-flight condition.
Water is also vitally important when it's extremely hot and a bird’s ability to regulate its body temperature can become stressed. Birds do not sweat and must remove excess body heat through their respiratory system. So when temperatures rise, a bird's respiration rate increases, sometimes to the point that it can be seen panting like a dog. This activity dehydrates birds and increases their need for a reliable source of water to replace lost fluids.
So, while the addition of a bird bath, fountain or mister to your yard can supply hours of enjoyable bird watching entertainment for you, it may also be providing a lifesaving necessity.
How to Provide Water for Summer Birds
Ceramic Bird Baths
Plastic Bird Bath
Metal Bird Bath
To attract the greatest variety of birds to your yard, provide a source of water along with your feeders.
Bird baths come in many shapes, sizes and materials, and they can be placed on the ground, pedestal-mounted or hung.
Ceramic bath styles can range from simple to very decorative. Their light weight makes them easy to relocate about the yard and to clean.
Plastic and metal baths are light, versatile and able to be easily moved about your yard. These baths work well with a bird bath heater and, unlike concrete and ceramic baths, they can be used in freezing conditions.
Birds prefer to bathe and drink in different depths of water. Use a bath with a sloped edge or add stones to vary the depth so birds can bathe comfortably.
Place your bath 10 to 12 feet from shrubs so predators can’t surprise the birds. Shrubs also offer birds a place to preen their feathers and dry off.
You will attract more birds with moving water. Use the Water Wiggler™ to create motion in your bird bath and to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the water.
Regular cleaning will help reduce algae and is good for your birds’ health. Scrub your bath regularly with our EcoTough™ Scrubber Brush, rinse well, and replace with fresh water.
Attach our WBU Dripper to your bird bath to provide a source of moving water. Many birds will creep down the dripper spout to take a drink.
Enjoying Your Hummingbirds More
With hummingbird migration beginning soon, what can you do to further enjoy the most exciting and captivating birds to visit your yard? Improve the view, offer multiple feeders and take a closer look.
Improve the View
• Get a closer view of hummingbirds with our Decorative Window Hummingbird Feeder, or bring your exisitng hummingbird feeders closer to your window with an Advanced Pole System® or hummingbird pole.
Multiple Feeders: Ban the Bully!
• Hummingbirds, particularly adult males, can be very feisty and aggressive when defending their territories. Multiple feeders, spread throughout your yard, will encourage more hummingbirds to visit and keep bullies at bay.
Take a Closer Look
• Watch hummingbirds' tongues as they move in and out of the mouth (up to 12 times per second) to lap up nectar.
August Nature Happenings
• Peak of fall migration for Barn Swallows.