St. Charles, Missouri
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Downy Woodpeckers Bark ButterWhy Feed During Summer

Summer is a great time to see new birds and strange new behaviors in your backyard. No, it's not new birds species; it's young hungry birds.

 

Many bird parents show their fledglings where to find food and how to eat from feeders. But how do you know if it is an adult or this year’s offspring? Here are some clues to look and listen for at your feeders.

Having a Shadow

Watch for one or more birds closely following or outright chasing a parent. This often occurs in the first two weeks after leaving the nest.

Incessant Chatter

When hungry, many fledglings harass their parents with an incessant "feed me." These can be single or double noted calls that sound like squeaks or chip notes. Chickadees and goldfinches are notorious for incessant feeding chatter.

Body Positioning

A fledgling may beg with its mouth open toward the parent. A juvenile may also move its head side to side and flutter its wings to get its parents' attention.

Downy Woodpeckers SuetA Motley Crew

Fledglings are still growing out their feathers so they can appear very mottled or slightly fuzzy. There are often spots or streaks on the head, back, breast and/or flanks until the feathers are fully grown.

No “End” in Sight

Tail feathers are usually the last to fully grow. Young birds' tail feathers can appear very short or it can look like a bird has no tail.

 

Keep your feeders full with high-protein mealworms and seed blends and watch for new birds and new behaviors this summer.

 

How to Feed Summer Birds

There are numerous reasons to feed your birds during the summer. A growing cast of new and different birds are visiting feeders, all birds are sporting their most vibrant plumage and the young birds are learning where and how to feed.

RAdvanced Pole System Feeder Set Upecommended Feeders

Our WBU Classic Too hopper feeder will keep your birds and food dry in summer rains. This feeder accommodates a wide variety of birds, and its curved ends let you view visiting birds on both sides at the same time. The Classic Too is available in wooden and EcoTough™ styles.

 

Our Quick-Clean™ Seed Tube Feeders are also a must for any backyard bird feeding station. They are easy to fill and clean, features that will help you keep your food fresh. Add a tray for tidy dining and to increase the number of birds that can feed.

 

The Wild Birds Unlimited Eliminator allows you to feed the birds you want while deterring squirrels and larger birds. Its patented ventilation system keeps seed dry and fresh.
The EZ-Attach Suet Feeder, with your choice of suet, will satisfy woodpeckers, their fledglings and other clinging birds.

Also, add our Raccoon Baffle to your feeding station and keep problematic raccoons and squirrels at bay.

Recommended Foods

Use safflower seed. Though seed-eating birds like it, squirrels and blackbirds don’t care for safflower. It works great in our Quick-Clean Seed Tube Feeders.

 
Our Wild Birds Unlimited Supreme Blend attracts a wide variety of summer birds, including young fledglings. This blend works well in our Eliminator and other feeders.

 

For a tidy dining combination, offer our WBU No-Mess Blends in the WBU EcoTough Classic Too.

Chickadee on Quick-Clean Tube Feeder

Quick-Clean™ Tube
with Safflower

Eliminator
Eliminator with
Supreme Blend

EcoTough Classic Too Hopper Feeder
for No-Mess Blend

 

 

Father Knows Best

Father's Day Bird Fun Facts

Stop by the store today and ask our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists which foods and feeders are best for bird dads this season. Here are some fun facts about feathered fathers!

Father-of-the-Year Award

The Father-of-the-Year Award goes to the Downy Woodpecker. Though they share daytime nest duties with their mate, only the fathers incubate and brood at night and they roost in the nest until their offspring fledge. 

Proud Provider

Chickadee and nuthatch dads feed Mom while she incubates and broods the eggs. Dad also helps feed the young once they have hatched.

Dad’s Favorite Diner

Downy Woodpecker and American Goldfinch dads like to take the family out to eat. When the young brood fledges from the nest, Dad leads them to great food sources as well as teaches them how to use his favorite backyard bird feeders.

Sharp Dressed Man

Ladies love a sharp-dressed man, even in the bird world. Only the most colorful, sharp-dressed House Finch and goldfinch males are preferred by their female counterparts. Carotenoids, a pigment found in foods that create red, orange and yellow to violet colors in feathers, help a potential dad communicate his reproductive fitness via a vibrant and bright plumage. It also shows females that he can be a good family provider knowing where to find quality food and lots of it.

It’s Good to be King

The White-breasted Nuthatch male gets a special protection detail. His mate is the "watchdog," protecting her man from trouble, leaving him more time to concentrate on hunting for food. She rarely strays far from him and stays in constant vocal contact when more than a few yards apart.

Tool Time

Dads dig tools. Nuthatches, males and females, are one of the few species of birds known to use "tools." The White-breasted Nuthatch has been known to use certain beetles as a tool by crushing ones that are stinky and sweeping them in and around their nest site to deter squirrels from their eggs and young. 

He’s a Rock Star

Adult male Song Sparrows love to perform. They sing about six to twenty different melodies every eight seconds and may average over 2,300 songs during an entire day. The larger their repertoire of songs, the more successful they are in attracting a mate and in holding their territories.

A Family Man

Mourning Dove dads love to raise families. They may have up to six clutches per year, usually with two eggs per clutch. This is the most of any North American bird, most likely due to the fact that the average life span for an adult Mourning Dove is 1 ½ years.

K-I-S-S-I-N-G

The male Northern Cardinal 'kisses' his mate during courtship. He feeds her seeds while courting her and it appears they are kissing.

 

June Nature Happenings

• June is Perennial Garden Month & National Rivers Month
• Blackberries are ripening. They're a favorite of raccoons, squirrels, box turtles, birds and people.
• Butterflies like the Tawny Emperor, Great Spangled Fritillary, Little Wood Satyr and Mourning Cloak can be seen.
• Staghorn Sumac flowering. The fruits that follow are attractive to many species of song and game birds.
• Young Woodchucks and Raccoons emerge.
• Fawns continue to be born through mid month.                                                                                                       
• Bluegill, Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass are spawning.
• Bird migration is finished. Birds that are here now are summer residents that nest.
• As the month progresses, feeders can become busy with visiting parents and fledglings.
• House Wrens are nesting.