Many of our customers, now that the breeding season is here, are commenting on how much they are enjoying the sights of birds building nests, watching the incubation process, and waiting to see those cute babies welcomed into the world. Goldfinches and cardinals are into their first brood of the season. I just saw my first walnut-sized quail chicks a few days ago. I've been putting out a variety of nesting materials for birds to use and it disappears quite quickly. After walking around my property, with a sharp eye out for well-camouflaged nests, I was able to locate several. Because I know what materials they are using, I was better able to locate nests. My hummers, especially, have used all the materials I set out for them and I'm seeing more babies than I have in previous years. Breeding season lasts well into the summer months here, so it's not too late to see some of this action in your yard. We're well stocked with a wide variety of nesting materials, too!I want to extend my thanks to those of you who responded to my announcement call regarding adoption of two of my parrots. Lelo (White-fronted Amazon) and Soho (Quaker or 'Monk' parakeet) have been adopted by a wonderful, experienced couple who have good bird raising experience. The birds have made an easy and complete adjustment into their new home and their text reports back to me say they are happy, eating well, and gaining new bird friends. I hope to visit them in the not too distant future. I decided to keep my 110 year old Blue-fronted Amazon, Sinbad. While he was bonded to Shani for many years and was really "her" bird, he now has begun an intimate relationship with me. I'm really pleased with the way this has developed and will keep him for as long as possible.
We have the final apron/potholder sets Shani traditionally made for our bird store customers. These will be the last of their kind. Come peruse the great selection of them while we still have them.
And, lastly, I want to thank all our customers who have been our best ambassadors as far as spreading the word about how much they enjoy our store and encouraging their out-of-the-area visitors who also feed birds to be sure to visit once they are in Tucson. We've noticed a significant increase in word-of-mouth testimonials that resulted in many Tucsonans first discovering our store in recent months. I really love hearing folks tell me that they've been to many other bird stores in other states and ours is the best one they've ever been to.
Some other feedback from customers have been:
"You've so got so much inventory, I'm going to have to come another time or two before I feel that I've seen it all!"
"You've got so many products I've never seen before or didn't even realize existed."
"Wow, I didn't know you can get species-specific feeders or houses, or feeders that won't allow doves and pigeons to use".
It's definitely gratifying to hear such a wealth of remarks such as those as it's always been my aim to have the best bird store in the Southwest.
Clarisa, Matt, Jon
'Eight Mearns' Quail Feathers'
No, these are not real feathers. No matter how long you look at them, or what angle of viewing, you’ll have a hard time convincing yourself that these are not real feathers.
They are, in reality, a masterpiece of digital capture by Elgin artist Matilda Essig. 100% of the viewers of this archival inkjet print insist that what they are seeing is actual feathers mounted on a board and framed! This image (24"x10") represents the new frontier in digital printmaking, and for bird lovers looking for artwork that will always thrill the viewer, this may be the Holy Grail! Sale is of print only.
You may see Matilda's primary work on Native Grasses of the Apache Highlands at the upcoming 'Desert Grasslands' exhibition at Tucson Museum of Art, opening in January 2013. $250.00 #27
April Birdwalk 21 April 2013
Santa Cruz River BirdWalk
We will be meeting at 6am in the Wild Bird Store parking lot on the 21st of April. This trip is limited to 10 people. We will be car pooling in 4 vehicles so I need 3 willing drivers who’s vehicles can hold 5 people (includes driver). We will drop off 2 vehicles at Clark Crossing Road and drive to Santa Gertrutis Lane. We will be birding through a great riparian corridor and mesquite Bosque, along two miles of the Anza Trail.
Target species include but are not limited to: Gray Hawk, Black Vulture, Western Kingbird, Cassin’s Kingbird, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Summer Tanager, Lucy’s Warbler, Bridled Titmouse, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Vermilion Flycatcher, Northern Cardinal, Black-headed Grosbeak, Western Tanager, Wilson’s Warbler.
The Waiver of Liability must be signed and the $10 cash payment must be payed prior to the trip date. You can catch Matt Norris in the WBS on Tues, Wed, and Sun to get details and join. and remember that this trip is limited to 10 people so don’t wait! You can reach Matt Norris at the store 520 322 9466, on his cell 520 869 2828, or via email Norbird84@gmail.com. Thank you and happy birding.
Thank you and Good Birding.
Birding in Alaska Slideshow
We have added an article about our August trip to Alaska---Birding in Alaska with a slideshow.
Depending on your browser some may not be able to open. It does work well in Firefox and Safari.
Click the screen to advance to the next image
To return---Hit the Esc key on the top left of keyboard
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
Webster Hummingbird Feeder
We are very pleased to announce we now have in stock the authentic reproduction of the first feeder designed by man to feed hummingbirds, the Webster feeder. Originally designed in 1928 for his disabled wife to enjoy watching hummingbirds, Mr. Webster had the feeder made to his specifications by the chemistry and physics glass blowing lab at M.I.T.
The Webster’s maintained glorious estates near Cambridge and a summer retreat on a New Hampshire lake and had a large staff of gardeners and landscape architects to maintain several acres of flower gardens at each location. They let the general public stroll the grounds at no charge after church each Sunday for a few hours. As they had some of the largest flower gardens in all of New England, they also attracted large numbers of Ruby-throated hummingbirds each season. Their properties became known as the best locations in that region to observe hummingbirds.
Naturally, when the visitors saw the first hummingbird feeder, and how successful it was even surrounded by acres of nectar producing flowers, they wanted one for themselves. Mr. Webster had several hundred of these feeders created and sold them for $10.00 each (a lot of money back then!). When Mrs. Webster died in 1948, he created 500 more feeders and donated them to the Audubon Society in January of that year. National Geographic magazine featured pictures of the first hummingbird feeder being used in the February issue. The public clamored for the hummingbird feeders and the Audubon Society sold out of them within the month. They disappeared off the market until The Wild Bird Store has reintroduced them more than half a century later.
We have a very talented local glass blower, John Mims, making these authentic reproductions for us and the birds really enjoy using them. They cost $37.50 and you’ll not only enjoy watching the hummers use them repeatedly, but, you’ll also own a piece of American birding history! Order Here
We are excited to announce that we are starting to shoot some simple informative birding videos that appear on YouTube and our website. You can subscribe (for free) to see them when new ones appear by going to The Wild Bird Store YouTube Channel. We hope to offer many topics and hopefully go on location to Tucson area birding hotspots. Please submit your comments, questions or ideas.
Join us, won't you?
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...