BIRD FACTS AND SOME THINGS PEOPLE ASK ABOUT:

Male House Finch Isolated

  1. Never position a birdseed feeder close to a birdhouse. The house probably won’t get used because there is too much activity around a bird feeder and nesting birds need privacy and secrecy.
  2. If your birdhouse faces to the West, try to put it in a shady area. The hot summer heat and high western winds are detrimental to the nestlings. Facing east to southeast is best if possible.
  3. Songbirds have little to no sense of smell. It’s okay to touch the babies if necessary.
  4. Because songbirds have hardly any sense of smell, it’s okay to pickup a baby bird and put it back in its nest if it has fallen out. The parents will gladly take the baby back if it wasn’t the parents that pushed the baby out in the first place.
  5. With a population of around 350 million, Mourning Doves are one of the most abundant birds of North America. In some locations Doves are considered songbirds….in other places they are shot for fun and a small meal. Each year hunters kill nearly 25 million Mourning Doves, more than all other game birds combined.
  6. When Doves take flight air vibrates the tips of their flight feathers,which causes a whistling sound.To make up for the lack of a strong voice to announce danger (like a crow for example) the theory is, that they use their wings. After all “coooo coooo” doesn’t give much alarm to a sense of trouble.
  7. Researchers recorded the wing whistles of a flock of doves during normal takeoff and during a panicked takeoff. When they played the normal takeoff sounds to a flock of doves and other birds, none of the birds paid much attention to it. When they played the sound of the panicked wing whistles, not only did the doves do emergency takeoffs, but the other birds did, too. It was clear that birds are able to pick up the differences between normal and panicked dove wing whistles.
  8. By the way, several doves together is called a “dole of doves”
  9. Robins were once hunted for food.
  10. Robins love it when you provide a platter of mud for their nest building … especially during a dry spring.
  11. Robins are a cup nester and will not use a nest box. Sometimes they will use a nesting platform shelf or pick your favorite hanging flower basket.
  12. Fledgling Robins tend to leave the nest 1 to 3 days before they can fly. Leave them where they are and watch for the parents will continue to feed them on the ground. 
    Keep cats, dogs, and kids away from the area!!
  13. If you don’t see a parent attend to the chick within 2 to 3 hours, then it could be an orphan.
  14.  The best place for baby birds is with their parents. If it has no feathers on its chest, then try to put it back into its nest. The wind might have knocked it out of the nest. You might need to warm the baby up first. Is he cold and lethargic? Baby bird rescue advice phone 338-0897.
  15. Geese and the ducks CAN NOT fly during their summer molt (which is usually during the rearing of their young). They have to walk. Please stop if they are in the road.
  16. Unfortunately, adult geese produce up to 3 lbs of poop per day.
  17. Watch for Mallard hens to be wandering around a street storm drain. Her ducklings probably need to be saved as they have fallen into it. Call the ACHD/public works if you have to. Their number is 387-6100. If you can save the babies, be sure to put them into a box or a paper bag until you have retrieved all of them. Turn them all loose and back to their mother at the same time. Otherwise the hen will scramble off with the first few ducklings and leave the rest behind …  if that happens please take them to the local bird rescue (338-0897). It’s on 36th street north of Hill Road, on the right.
  18. Goldfinches are late nesters and begin nesting in July. They are a cup nester and will not use a nest box.
  19. Goldfinches feed their nestlings nothing but seeds, unlike most birds that stuff protein packed bugs and other food down their chick’s throats.
  20. Goldfinches time their nesting to the peak supply of plant seed development.
  21. Goldfinches don’t go to feeders filled with old Nyjer thistle seed. If your seed is dried up and hollowed out they’ll turn their beaks up at it and move on. Nyjer seed stores for approximately 3 to 4 months tightly sealed and a month and a half in the feeder.  Freeze Nyjer if you can
  22. Fresh Nyjer thistle should have a pleasant robust aroma and look black and oily.
  23. Feed old Nyjer to your quail and doves, but if it’s moldy please throw it away.
  24. Again, please be very careful of the use of lawn products. Pesticides and herbicides kill millions of birds each year.
  25. When it comes to feeding the birds, please be patient. We live in a world of high tech where we get so much stuff in zero seconds. Watching and feeding birds should be a relaxing hobby. Yet, it seems that often I talk with people who are upset because the feeder, that they bought yesterday, isn’t getting birds yet. Also, birds that are pictured on the label of the new feeder aren’t at their new feeder! If the package had a picture of Evening Grosbeaks on it, then they had better be getting those Evening Grosbeaks or there is going to be litigation soon…
  26. Milo, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, canola seed, and STRIPED sunflower seeds are used as poundage fillers in seed blends. Songbirds don’t eat them, it makes a mess, and is an absolute waste of you money. Cracked corn is for feeding on the ground … please don’t use it in a hanging birdseed  feeder.”
California-Quail
California Quail
Grosbeak2
Male Black-Headed Grosbeak
Mountain Bluebird
Cassin's Finch
Cassin’s Finch
Norther Red Shafted Flicker
Northern Red Shafted Flicker

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