GREETINGS TO OUR CUSTOMERS - OCTOBER 2016
Happy Autumn, everyone! We hope you’ve been enjoying Fall migration here in Southern Arizona! We have been having a great time birding, seeing different birds at our feeders, and bat watching.
Arizona is home to over 28 species of bats. Although some people are afraid of bats, they are truly important members of our ecosystem. By eating incredible amounts of insects they are natural pest control, slowing down insect – spread human diseases, and assist farmers by eating insects that prey on crops. If you’ve been watching your hummingbird feeders go empty overnight – it’s the nectar eating bats ( Mexican Long Tongued Bat and the Lesser Long Nosed Bat). These nectar eating bats are incredibly important pollinators for many of our native cactus.
People fear bats due to superstition and concerns of disease. These fears are quite unfounded. One fear people have is of bats flying at them or landing in their hair. Like most wild animals, bats do not want to come into contact with humans. They do their best to avoid us. The other major fear is of rabies. In reality, only a small percentage of bats contract it. In fact, they contract rabies at about the same rate as other mammals. That being said, if you see a bat on the ground, and you have to move it, wear gloves and be very gentle as they are very fragile creatures.
Bats are protected by law and disturbing a colony with babies can result in dead bats and large fines according to Arizona Game and Fish. In addition, Arizona Game and Fish states that all Arizona bats are protected, cannot be collected or killed and it is unlawful to use pesticides or chemicals directly on bats.
In addition to watching bats at our hummingbird feeders at night, we have been going to the bridges at Pantano \ Broadway and Campbell \ River to watch them emerge at dusk. It truly is an amazing sight.
Image by Doris Evans at Campbell/ Rillito Bridge on Sept 12. The main flight was between 6:10 and 6:15pm
We encourage our friends and customers to help the bats by allowing them to drink your hummingbird nectar at night and perhaps putting up a bat house.
If you would like more info on bats, please check out the bat section of our birding article archives on our website. In particular, we recommend: “Nectar Eating Bats in Southern Arizona” by Sandy Wolf and “Bat Night 2011”
The Wild Bird Store offers an assortment of bat houses
Sometimes a little change is a good thing...
New Seeds, Better Prices, Higher Quality, Happy Birds!
We at The Wild Bird Store are pleased to announce our transition to a new seed supplier, Kaylor of Colorado. This is an exciting and positive change for us. But what does this mean for you, our loyal customers? We think you’ll be pleased with the many positive changes in store for you. First, prices have been reduced on most of our seed mixes and just about all of our single seeds. We are so glad that we are able to pass the savings on to our customers! Another positive aspect to note, the new seed supply is fresher. Freshness of our seed inventory was and is always a primary concern for us. Our seeds were always fresh, but Kaylor’s freshness standard is outstanding. Being located in the Midwest, where much of the seed farming is done, this company is close to the heart of the industry. It is their policy to only carry two weeks- worth of seed on hand in their facility at a time. That means seeds are no older than two weeks old from the farm to our store! All seeds from Kaylor of Colorado are triple cleaned and much of their products are coated with canola oil as well, which preserves and protects the seeds. This also means the seeds are much cleaner with virtually no chaff and dust.
Some of our mixes have changed and we’d be happy to consult with you on which would be the best seed blend for you to transition over to.
- If you used Desert Blend, we now recommend Songbird Blend. It’s a fine all seed mix that is actually a bit richer with all of the seeds Desert Blend had to offer-Black Oil Sunflower, White Proso Millet and Safflower with Sunflower chips and peanut pieces added! The Songbird Blend is less expensive as well.
- If you preferred No Waste Mix for your feeding station, we now have Complete Patio Blend. Patio Blend contains Hulled Sunflower chips, White Proso Millet, and Peanut pieces. We switched over to this blend at home and the transition was smooth and seamless. We’ve found there is even less waste than the No Waste Mix had and the peanut pieces are easier for the smaller songbirds to eat.
- If you used our Sonoran Blend, we now have No Milo / No Mess. This blend is high in Millet with cracked corn, Black Oil Sunflower, and Wheat. It’s a higher quality blend for less money!
- Our Thistle is about the same price per pound, however, it’s triple cleaned and oiled. Without sticks and dust this seed is much nicer to handle and cleaner for the feeder, and therefor better for the goldfinches, too!
- We have a new Cardinal / Grosbeak blend, too. We will continue to hand blend our Exclusive Cardinal Mix on site. Although, you may consider adding in to the cardinal mix our new Banquet Fruit and Nut blend with Cashews, Shelled Peanuts, Black Oil and Striped Sunflower, Sunflower Hearts, Raisins, Cranberries Pumpkin seeds and Cherries!
- Our Shelled Peanuts are much less expensive at $2.25 per pound or $39.99 for 20 pounds.
Safflower is now $1.65 per pound or $28.99 for 20 pounds.
Black oil Sunflower is now $1.29 per pound, $19.99 for 20 pounds or $38.99 for 40 pounds.
So far, we have been delighted with the change. We’re sure you will be too!
Support for Merry & Mike Starr
Many of you have met our newest employee, Merry Starr. We have known her and her husband Mike pretty much since the start of the Wild Bird Store. First, she was a customer. Then, she became a friend. Now, she’s working with us a day or two a week. She’s always upbeat, with a smile on her face, enthusiastically ready to help. Her family has recently fallen upon hard times. Mike has had two heart attacks within 6 days of each other and been in and out of the hospital for the last month or so. He was their primary breadwinner and is now unable to work. He’s kind of a self - taught genius. He worked on the Mars Lander, he worked on the CERN collider, is an amateur music producer, and more recently held a job at Caterpillar as a test engineer in Green Valley. We have started a gofundme account to help with their bills and the expenses of daily life since they only have one part time job between them now. If you’d like to contribute go to gofundme.com/2m7qdqv8. The Wild Bird Store family sincerely appreciates any help you can give.