This weekend The Wild Bird Store will celebrate another Wildlife Appreciation Weekend. We sponsor this event about once every two years to introduce, or reacquaint, our customers to Tucson’s important organizations and individuals that are dedicated to the preservation, conservation, and rehabilitation of all the wonderful wildlife we share our beautiful Sonoran Desert environment with. We feel it is very important to inform and celebrate the work done on behalf of our wildlife by these dedicated volunteers who come from all walks of life within our community.
This is a FREE event and we encourage those of all ages to attend. There will be birds and animals (including bat specimens) to see up-close. In previous events we have had a variety of birds on exhibit. We’ve had Elf Owls, Screech Owls, Great Horned Owls, Harris’s Hawk, Coopers Hawks, Turkey Vultures, Black Vultures, American Kestrels, hummingbirds, and others. In most instances, viewing of these animals brings the viewer closer to the wildlife than would otherwise be possible in nature or even at the zoo. The wildlife handlers are specialists with the animals they will bring to show. As they are “educational animals”, the time they can be on public view is limited to short periods, usually an hour or two, to avoid increased stress on the animals. Therefore, if you are interested in a particular event, animal or bird, or asking questions to their handlers, please consult the current issue of the WBS Newsletter for May to view the schedule of events. Events are scheduled by the hour to assist your planning and to reduce stress on the animals.
Raffle Tickets for GAZABELL FEEDER. This is a true work of art, yet practical and functional for birds to use. This large, beautiful, and hand-crafted feeder was made in Chilton Wisconsin. It derives its name from the fact that it resembles both a gazebo and a bell tower. It is constructed of polywood and copper. The polywood body is an environmentally-friendly, recycled white plastic that is durable and holds up to our extreme weather. A 1/4” stainless steel tube feeder is suspended from the interior ceiling. It swings like a bell inside the feeder. The top is constructed of thick, hand-spun (the old-fashioned way) American copper. This feeder is large and heavy; therefore, installation requires a sturdy pole or post instead of hanging. This is a unique feeder, found nowhere else that will beautify any backyard feeding station. Its retail price in our store is $300. Raffle tickets will be available for $5.00 each or 6 raffle tickets for $25.00. All raffle proceeds will be donated to our non-profit wildlife rehabilitation organizations for their shared benefit.
We wish to encourage our Discount Club members to donate their discount club savings this weekend for any items they purchase. This amount will be matched by The Wild Bird Store, thereby doubling the amount donated to the organizations.
So, mark your calendar, schedule a trip to the store this weekend, and bring any interested friends, relatives, and neighbors to share the excitement of learning more about and getting up-close to our native wildlife. All ages welcome. A special reminder to parents - young children need parental supervision.
Submit your name and phone number to be entered into our door prize drawing. Winners need not be present and will be notified by telephone. The following high quality birding items will be announced each day at 3:00 pm:
8 ounce Hummzinger Mini hummingbird feeder and a 3 pound package of Wild Bird Store Nectar.
2 pound tub of our high-protein, high-energy insect meal, Nuts ‘n’ Bugs and a Bugnutter Feeder.
5 pound tub of our high-protein, high-energy insect meal, Nuts ‘n’ Bugs and a Multi-Feeder.
A Cedar and/or Redwood traditional hopper seed feeder made by master woodworker, Demitri Arquette.
A Wild Bird Store colorful bottle hummingbird feeder and a three pound package of Wild Bird Store nectar.
A single cake wire suet basket feeder with a no-melt suet.
A 20 pound bag of our house seed mix, Desert Blend.
Looking forward to seeing you this weekend and giving wildlife a helping hand! With thanks and appreciation,
Clarisa, Justin, Matt and Jon
Wildlife Appreciation Weekend
Saturday, May 16th and Sunday, May 17th, 2015
Last month’s newsletter informed our readers that we would be hosting another week-end to introduce individuals and organizations devoted to wildlife rehabilitation from the Tucson area. Periodically we celebrate, honor, and “shine a light” on their enduring efforts to save endangered, ill, orphaned, and injured wildlife. The work they perform is often out of the public eye, goes mostly unnoticed by the public-at-large and the media, and therefore rarely makes the news.
Rehabilitation and research are critical to the well-being of our native animals that share their Sonoran Desert habitat with the ever-increasing human population. With the growing increase of human development and the accompanying loss of natural habitat, our wildlife conservation and rehabilitation efforts become more important each passing year.
As an example, last month, I discovered a large male javelina bedded down under a Palo Verde tree behind my studio. I noticed it had a bad leg and great difficulty moving around. After a relatively short time, I realized this javelina needed professional care and attention.
I called Tucson Wildlife Rehabilitation and Rescue for help. Lou Ray, a veteran wildlife specialist, came and rescued this suffering javelina. She tranquilized him with blow-darts (he was 60-70 pounds requiring two darts) and transported him in the wildlife “ambulance” to the facility where he was inspected first. He suffered two broken legs from being hit by a vehicle and also had severe infections from several deep puncture wounds from a fight with another javelina or possibly a mountain lion (their chief predator) and I was informed that he was beyond repair and was humanely euthanized. This animal would have otherwise suffered from a long, painful death. Nature lovers always want to see all living things live a normal life in the wild. Our wildlife rehab community is dedicated to seeing this vision into reality wherever and whenever possible. Unfortunately, not all animals can always be saved.
The animals whose injuries and illnesses can be overcome, but cannot be released back to the wild for a variety of reasons, have potential for becoming what are called “educational animals”. After receiving a special permit from Arizona Game and Fish, these educational animals are sometimes presented to school groups and other community organizations so people can learn about the importance of wildlife and saving the lives of our wildlife when possible. All animals returned to full health are released back into their wild territories to resume their normal lives. The birds and animals that will be available for viewing up-close on this appreciation weekend are some of the educational animals that cannot be released. We hope to and anticipate having a variety of birds and animals over the course of the weekend, including: owls; hawks; a falcon; ducks; and some rehabilitated domestic animals like chickens and roosters, doves, pigeons, sparrows and parrots. This newsletter will have the schedule of events and times for that weekend. So mark your calendar, tell your friends and neighbors, and bring the whole family, especially the kids. This is a free event, but donations will gladly be accepted. For members of our Discount Club - if you are willing to donate your normal discount – The Wild Bird Store will match it and thereby double the amount of donations we are able to raise for these unheralded heroes to our wildlife community.
This will be a fun, stimulating, engaging and entertaining weekend. Most programs will lead off with a short introductory talk and all your questions will be answered. We hope you can attend, learn more about our native wildlife, and honor the outstanding work being done locally to benefit our wildlife neighbors here in the Sonoran Desert. See you there!
Happy Spring Migration Birding!
Matt, Clarisa, Justin and Jon
22nd of September, 2014
September is a great month for migratory birds in all habitats. And Southeastern Arizona is a wonderful area for finding migratory gold when it comes to species. This month, we will be headed down to Madera Canyon to watch for Neotropical migrants headed south during fall migration. See list from last year
We will be meeting at 6:00am in the Safeway parking lot off of I-19 at Continental Road. Be punctual, we will leave at 06:15 am sharp. A $15 fee per person(cash or check) must be made out to Matt Norris, prior to the trip date and a waiver of liability must be signed and dated by every induvidual. All participants must wear proper attire, have water, binoculars, field guide, snacks, bagged lunch, etc. All of which, are described and detailed within the waiver of liability. This will be a wonderful trip so don’t miss out. Matt may be reached at the Wild Bird Store Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. You may also reach Matt at 520-869-2828 and via email, Norbird84@gmail.com.
Attention: a $10 cash entrance fee will be charged per car at Madera Canyon if a state park pass is not presented. Car-pooling is encouraged.
Some target birds we hope to observe include but are not limited to:
House Wren (Brown-throated subspecies)
*This trip is limited so please contact Matt and get your waivers signed and payments made. You can catch Matt in the Wild Bird Store on Wednesdays through Sundays when no birding trip is taking place.
Zhangli Bu is a Chinese national who is a junior at the U of A studying journalism. Her family resides in China and she intends to make a career in journalism. Like many 22 year olds, she enjoys mucic, traveling and reading. She approached me at the store asking for permission to make a video about our business and how the business evolved. This is the result of her effort
On October 11, 2011 I was invited to do an interview on “the Jolt”, AM 1330. The show Ron Asta’s Tucson gave us a digital recording of the interview. The show runs about 36:36 minutes long. We didn’t get through all the talking points we wanted to so I’ve been asked to return for a second interview sometime in the near future. We’ll keep you posted. We did have a great conversation about the nectar eating bats that are unique to our area and a little about birding. The next conversation will focus more on the wonderful birds we experience here.
The Wild Bird Store has moved to 3160 East Fort Lowell Road, on the southeast corner of Country Club Blvd. and Ft. Lowell Road – in the Winterhaven Square. After two decades, we are beginning a new chapter in our efforts to aid and educate birding enthusiasts in a...
THE WILD BIRD STORE
Located in Tucson, Arizona and begun in 1992 as a true mom and pop business, has a strong regional
reputation as an independent wild bird store featuring our line of innovative
and unique wild bird products. Our loyal customer base depends on us for
quality products, expert advice and dedicated customer service.
Want to see a panorama of the Wild Bird Store? Click the image to zoom-in or to pan left or right.
no longer have to wait at the periphery of the yard for the feeding frenzy
to quiet down before coming to the feeder. Now, with this feeder for their exclusive use, they can feed undisturbed from sunrise to
sunset. This weight-activated feeder will accommodate the entire cardinal
family - from fledglings to adults. All other birds both heavier and lighter
NUTS 'N' BUGS
If you had to choose just one food for birds, one they would not only
survive on, but actually thrive on, Nuts 'n'
Bugs is it! Created from a recipe of ground pecans and dehydrated
insects (over 1,000 per pound), it has calcium, soybean meal, and rendered
suet to bring in insect and nut eating birds. With Nuts
'n' Bugs you can attract a wide variety of insect eating
birds- many of which are not attracted to seeds.
GOLDFINCHES IN SOUTHEAST ARIZONA
Photo by Richard at SearchNet Media
Southeastern Arizona birders have experienced a phenomenal increase in the numbers of goldfinches that can be attracted to our backyard birding stations.
Twenty years ago and more, it took us months to attract our first goldfinches. Patience, we reminded ourselves as we did our customers, is the number one rule for birders.
The preferred food for the intended species and the right feeder to deliver that food is number two. Understanding these principles will always reward us and the birds.
Nyjer seed, unlike true thistle, is the preferred choice of seed for all the goldfinch species. Most other species in our area will reject Nyjer for almost any other seed that is easily available and accessible. Almost any design of thistle feeder filled with Nyjer seed will attract mostly goldfinches. The feeder models that have food ports under the perches are species specific to goldfinches.
BIRDS, WATER AND SUMMER HEAT
Cooper's Hawk by Richard at SearchNetMedia
In our desert heat, we are stating the obvious - birds need clean reliable water sources all year round, but no more than when the temperature soars. As we write this, the projected heat for this afternoon is 113°F, and likely to remain in the triple digits for the rest of the week. As the drought deepens in southern Arizona, natural water sources continue to dry up. Our record setting fire season has taken its toll on the wildlife. Birds pant and hold their wings out from their bodies in an attempt to keep cool. Supplying a water source for the birds is of great assistance to them and the necessity of clean fresh water cannot be underestimated.
Of course, you want to do this in a way that does no harm - no drowning, no disease transmission, no increase in predation, no harm what-so-ever. Here's what you need to know about bird baths and other water features to help the birds, without harming them.
HOW TO INCREASE BACKYARD DIVERSITY
Photo by Richard at SearchNet Media
With more species of birds than almost any other region in the country, Southeastern Arizona's biodiversity offers backyard birders one of the best opportunities to attract a wide variety of birds.
The combined number of year-round resident and migrating birds that one can see in the cycle of a year's time is greater than most other regions throughout the continent. However, if you don't devote some time on a regular basis to observing, you may miss some of the migrants which only pass through our area and remain only for a relatively short time.
Southeastern Arizona is also an excellent place to notice quite a few rare and exotic species that migrate through or use our area in spring and summer as their traditional breeding territory.
With relatively little effort and expense, you can easily double and triple the number of species attracted to your feeding stations.
INTRODUCING A NEW CARDINAL FEEDER
We have become the exclusive authorized dealers in Arizona for a new species-specific cardinal feeder that serves as a less expensive version of the cedar wood model we pioneered about twenty years ago.
This model is constructed of tough polycarbonate material, can be hung or pole mounted, and is manufactured in Montreal, Canada by the Wild Bird Conservation Center. We have received our first shipment and we expect it to sell for around $60. While it was created for a cold, wet northern climate in that it is weather proof (keeps rain and snow out), it works perfectly well in our region as well. (Keeping seeds dry in Arizona isn’t too much of a concern).
So, for customers who wish for a more economical way to give cardinals, pyrrhuloxia and grosbeaks what they want most (our cardinal mix and a little exclusivity) this is the feeder you’ve been waiting for!
BASIC BINOCULAR KNOWLEDGE
Birders, whether the backyard or in-the-field- variety, need only two essential items as the basic tools for learning about bird identification and behavior - a good field guide and reliable binoculars. The Wild Bird Store carries the best field guide for our area. It is the new Birds of Southeastern Arizona by Richard Taylor and has established itself as our best selling identification guide since its publication late last year. With just these two things, you can teach yourself all you want to know about the birds of our specific region, or anywhere for that matter.
The Wild Bird Store offers a comprehensive selection of Vortex Binoculars
WILD BIRD STORE DISCOUNT CLUB
For almost twenty years we have offered our customers the opportunity of reducing costs on each and every purchase they make. The cost of annual dues is $16.00 ($1.25 per month). Discounts begin on the day a membership is activated and expires one full year from the last day of the month the membership begins.
HOW TO ATTRACT ORIOLES
Orioles are not as common or abundant as most of our year round resident birds. Yet, as a migratory species, they are reliably present from early spring to fall. We have had orioles at our station from as early as February until as late as early November.
Orioles (and their relatives, like the tanagers) have beautiful and strikingly colorful plumage, their exquisite and fluid songs, and their parenting and nesting abilities make them very desirable birds to attract and observe. The relatively small effort to attract and feed orioles rewards...