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Migration Time

Migration Time

Posted by Grange Co-op on 3rd Apr 2014

Soon we should be seeing waves of migrating birds come through our area. Some will stay and nest in our backyards while others will just be passing through to more northerly destinations. This is a perfect time to offer fruit, nectar and insect treats at your feeding stations along with the usual fare. (You may find adding more black oil sunflower seed and less millet at your feeders will be advantageous this time of year.) Hummingbirds, Swallows, Grosbeaks, Bullock’s Orioles, Western Tanagers, and several Warblers are among the birds that will be returning shortly ready to mate, build nests, and raise a brood or two.

Here is a list of some items Wild Bird Country carries to help attract these beauties to your yard:

  • Bird baths are probably the easiest way to attract non-seed eating birds to your yard. Placing a waterwiggler in your bath keeps the water moving which is more attractive to birds, less attractive to mosquitoes.
  • Grape Jelly, (along with black oil sunflower), is loved by grosbeaks. Orioles also enjoy the grape jelly (and orange slices) as well as nectar. I’ve even seen hummingbirds eat the grape jelly. Have breakfast with the birds this spring!

Backyard Tip: Be sure to get oriole feeders up before you see them, always keeping the nectar fresh, otherwise they’ll just pass you by. They usually show up in early May depending on your locale, so get those feeders up by late April.

  • Mealworms-alive or dried these are high in protein and readily eaten by insect lovers. Do you have Western Bluebirds nesting nearby? Try to entice them into your yard with some mealworms and a nice birdbath.
  • New for 2014: Sweet Treats for fruit lovers and insect lovers. Variety is the spice of life! These can be added to your everyday seed or served by themselves to give your birds a treat they’ll love and the energy they need.
  • Orange, Raisin, Berry, or Mealworm Suet may be attractive to spring migrants for that extra energy need during migration.
  • Dried Insect Topping can be sprinkled on top of any seed mix or put out in its own dish.
  • Mealworm +Trail Mix Topping This product contains a mixture of nuts, dried fruits and insects.
  • Sugar for making nectar solutions for the hummingbirds and orioles.

Backyard Tip: It is fairly easy to attract hummingbirds to feeding stations. Make nectar solutions using 1 part sugar to 4 parts water, (1/4 cup white table sugar to 1 cup water), bring water to a boil, stir in and completely dissolve the sugar, cool completely and serve. Food coloring is unnecessary; table sugar is best choice. Do not use honey or artificial sweeteners. Any leftover solution can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Try our handy “Not Your Nectar” storage bottles with an easy pour spout for your extra solution. Change the solution before it grows cloudy or discolored and remember that during hot weather, sugar water ferments rapidly to produce toxic alcohol. During hot weather the nectar should be changed and feeders washed at least every 2-3 days.

Come in and check out our new daisy feeders and “snack bowl” feeders perfect for offering fruit, nectar and insect treats to all our spring birds.