The Wild Bird Habitat Stores
Connecting families with nature since 1993
in their backyards and beyond
 Bird of the month
Read about the Downy below
September News Notes For Birders:
  •  Hummingbirds will continue to migrate through during the month of September. Keep the hummingbird feeders ready and filled with fresh nectar for them.
  •  Migration of our Neo-tropical summer visitors is in full swing. Some have already departed.
  •  Gold Finch, Waxwings, and Mourning Doves will finish up their nesting.
  •  Hawks will soon be soaring south in groups called Kettles.
  •  This is the month to start preparing for the winter bird feeding .
  •  Suet is still an important food source for adult woodpeckers and their young.
  •  By months end most birds will have established their winter feeding territories.
  •  Rough looking birds will soon be finished molting and start to look normal again.
  •  A variety of birds will be moving through to their winter rangers during the fall bird migration
  •  Northern birds will begin to arrive by months end to spend the winter with us.
  •  Make time to take a bird walk. Enjoy the changing seasons.
 In September birds are identifying winter food sources. These include natural food plots and supplemental foods at backyard bird feeders. Keep those feeders filled and you'll enjoy birds all winter long.
Do You Have Hummers?
September is the prime month for attracting hummingbirds in the Central Plains as they slowly make their way south for the winter. This is generally a period when many people express their enjoyment about watching these little jewels at the feeder, and nectar sales are brisk. But this year, although we have received many reports of people seeing hummingbirds, they have also expressed they do not seem overly interested in the nectar feeder that readily attracted them last year.

It is likely due to the high precipitation we received in late spring and early summer. The flowers in our gardens, as well as native forbs (flowering native plants) have benefited from the abundance of moisture by producing an abundance of nectar which hummingbirds prefer. During dry summers the nectar feeders provide a good supplemental source as nectar in flowering plants is lower. So just remember that bird activity isn't static. Not only does their populations fluctuate, so does they feeding habits.   
Dave's favorite Hummingbird feeder
Is it a Downy or Hairy Woodpecker?
Find out below
Bird of the month
Downy Woodpecker on Upside Down Suet Log
Downy Woodpecker
This small woodpecker is pretty much a loner during much of the year. It often travels with other small birds during the winter months in what are called loose flocks. Lone Downy Woodpeckers will travel around with Chickadees, nuthatches and Tufted Titmice in winter. These birds established feeding territories in the early fall comprised of both natural foods and supplemental foods provided in bird feeders, and follow each other around in feeding teams exploiting those resources.
CLICK for more about Downy Woodpeckers
Peanut Feeders - A picture is worth a thousand words
Yellow-shafted Flicker
Downy feeding young
Hairy Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
photos by Dave of Wild Bird Habitat

Check out Wild Bird Habitat's Peanut Feeders


Bats in My House
what should you know - read below 
Best Woodpecker Suet Plugs

Attractor High Energy Suet Plugs available at 
the Wild Bird Habitat Stores

  • Roasted Peanut Attractor Plugs
    P-Nutbutter Logs
    Suet Log w/WP
  • Pure Attractor Plugs
  • Sunflower Attractor Plugs
  • No-Melt Peanut Butter Attractor Plugs
By the pack or by the case, woodpeckers love 'em

 Changing Season Tips for Birders Below
Is It a Downy or a Hairy Woodpecker?
Downy Woodpecker
Plumage patterns on the Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers are so similar it can be difficult to tell the difference. But although there is little difference in plumage to tell them apart there is one noticeable difference. The Downy has a larger white patch on the sides of the head than the Hairy. The Downy also has white outer tail feathers with black spots. The Hairy has similar white outer tail feathers, but they lack the spots.
Size is a good indicator as to which woodpecker you're
Hairy Woodpecker
observing. The Hairy is about a third larger than the Downy. But unless you see them together it may be a bit difficult to tell. You can think of the Downy more sparrow size (6 inches) and the Hairy more robin size
(9 inches).
The best indicator for identifying the difference between a Downy Woodpecker and a Hairy Woodpecker is the bill. The Downy has a short stubby bill, about half the length of its head. The Hairy on the other hand has a bill that looks like a spike and is longer the head. Hairys also have much larger feet.
Downys appear to be much more tolerant of human activity. It is common that they will approach feeders even if you are sitting nearby. However Hairy Woodpeckers are quite skittish and flush at the least little movement.
It can be quite exciting though when you see them both at the same time. Occasionally it does happen, but often the smaller Downey Woodpecker is more defensive of his food source and will attempt to drive off the larger Hairy Woodpecker. But be observant. Although the Downy is more populace in neighborhoods, Hairy Woodpeckers do occur in urban areas with numerous mature trees.

 Hawks at the bird feeders below
Dave's September Bird Chatter
It seems like only yesterday we were enjoying the arrival of our summer resident birds. We had the Oriole feeders out by the end of April and the hummingbird feeders up by Mother's Day. Nesting boxes were cleaned out and readied, gardens planted, and new flowers and shrubs were tenderly spaded in. The thoughts of winter were well behind us. But the avian calendar moves swiftly as already by August our summer resident birds were becoming restless and we found ourselves greeting the hummingbirds on their return trip south. Many birds that hatched early on have grown to the size of their parents and many of them will soon have molted into their adult plumage. 

CLICK for more September Bird Chatter
Best affordable 



Bats In My House
With cooler days and chilly nights, big brown bats are looking for a warm place to hibernate. They can enter through a crack as small as 1/4 inch and an attic where temperatures remain at or above freezing makes a nice place to sleep for the winter. But at times they end up inside our living quarters quite by accident. Bats are very gentle creatures and an essential component of our natural world. What should you know if a bat unintentionally ends up inside your house.

Changing Seasons
Asp Bigfoot

As seasons change from late summer to early fall birds are already preparing for the upcoming winter. They are establishing food sources during September both natural food plots and identifying supplemental food sources such as well stocked bird feeders. Here are a few tips for backyard bird enthusiast to prepare for this seasonal change. 
Medium, and 
Large cages available
Protect your bird feeder 
from  blackbirds and squirrels

Retro fit your existing seed tube bird feeder to be a safe
haven for small birds and 

Everything Is Somebody's Lunch
Soon we will begin to see the arrival of Sharp-shinned Hawks, many of which nested in the Boreal Forests of Canada during the summer. They will share the winter territory with the larger Coopers Hawk, a year round resident. Both prey primarily on other birds. As a woodland hawk 90% of their diet is other birds and often can be seen hunting near bird feeders. It may be un-nerving to watch this play out in your backyard, but it is a natural predator prey relationship that plays out across all living organisms on the planet. From plants to birds, mammals to reptiles, everything is categorized as a producer, consumer, or decomposer. This is the basis of survival know as the food chain.  Removing your backyard bird feeders because a hawk is occasionally collecting a bird will not change nature. These birds of prey will take no more than what they need to survive compared to the millions of tons of meal time leftovers discarded into landfills by humans, or the billions of birds killed by free roaming cats.

Did you know Wild Bird Habitat Store's wild bird feeds, poultry feeds, and pigeon feeds are NON-GMO, pesticide free, and premium grade
Environmentally Friendly Bird Feeders
Birds Choice Recycled Feeders
Although the durability and natural look of cedar bird feeders continue to be preferred, the new line of feeders made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic is gaining in popularity. Many of these bird feeders have a lifetime warranty against fading, pealing, cracking, and chipping. They clean up like brand new, even after years of use. And speak of easy cleaning, many of the cedar and recycled plastic feeders we stock have removable perforated steel bottoms. This also allows moisture to pass through and the seed to remain dry.

Made in the USA
Does your dog have food sensitivities?
 Don't miss ARNIE'S CORNER below
Hawk Watch at Hitchcock Nature Center
Every September through December, bird of prey enthusiasts gather at the Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek, Iowa, just 20 minutes from Omaha along the Missouri River,  to observe and count thousands of hawks, eagles, falcons and vultures that migrate south. The broad expanse of the adjacent Missouri River Valley and the updrafts created by the prevailing westerly winds that strike the Loess Hills create a "hawk-highway" that attracts tens of thousands of migrating raptors.
  •  Recognized as 1 of the top 25 birding sites in North America by Wild Bird Magazine.
  •  1 of 4 sites in the world with over 500 Bald Eagles migrating annually.
For more information visit HAWK WATCH or contact the Hitchcock Nature Center, 712-545-3283, or on the web at keyword:    Hitchcock Nature Center Honey Creek Iowa.

 Nebraska - A top birding region in North America
Learn below where to go birding in Nebraska
Arnie's Corner
The symptoms of food allergies are similar to those of most allergies seen in dogs and cats. The primary symptom is itchy skin affecting primarily the face, feet, ears, forelegs, armpits and the area around the anus. Symptoms may also include recurrent ear infections, hair loss, excessive scratching, hot spots, and skin infections There is evidence that dogs with food allergies may sometimes have an increased incidence of bowel movements. One study showed that non-allergic dogs have around 1.5 bowel movements per day where some dogs with food allergies may have 3 or more per day.
Often medicated dog foods containing steroids or anti-biotics are prescribed but do little to address the specific allergy. You may want to try a food trail for your dog. A food trial consists of feeding your dog a novel food source of protein and carbohydrate for at least 12 weeks. A novel food source would be a protein and carbohydrate that the animal had never eaten before. Examples would include bison and rice, or venison and potato. There are a number of such commercial diets available on the market. In addition, there are specialized dog foods that have fewer ingredients that no longer would trigger an allergic response. These are termed 'limited ingredient' diets.
Regardless of the diet used, it must be the only thing the animal eats for 12 weeks. This means no treats, no flavored medications, no rawhide or pig's ears; absolutely nothing but the limited ingredient dog food or dog food with "novel" protein and water.
California Naturals - a truly "limited ingredient" dog food produced in Nebraska. Why less is more? The more ingredients a dog food has the higher the likelihood it may contain an ingredient your dog may be sensitive to. CalNat uses fewer ingredients to help dogs avoid the dietary triggers commonly found in many other foods. Designed for dogs with food sensitivities, ingredient intolerances, sensitive stomachs, and skin and coat concerns
Taste Of The Wild - Made with real roasted "novel" meats, supplemented with vegetables, legumes and fruits, these grain-free formulas provide a superior taste sensation, highly digestible energy and antioxidants to support a healthy immune system. All TOW products are formulated to meet your pet's specific needs. To do so, a variety of ingredients are used to optimize the health benefits of each formula.
California Naturals & Taste of the Wild available at

A division of the Wild Bird Habitat Store
Alamo Plaza 56TH & Hwy 2

Visit us online at
 Hard copy field guide or APP?
Get free bird ID APPS below from Cornell Bird Lab
A top North American Birding Area
Nebraska Birding Trails

Listing more than 400 bird watching sites across the state of Nebraska. From the Missouri River Valley to the panhandle's rugged Pine Ridge, you'll find world class bird watching, scenic vistas, and a remarkable Nebraska Heritage around every corner.
Nebraska Metro Birding
Bird watching in seven counties in Eastern Nebraska. Find birding sites right out your backdoor in Cass, Dodge, Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy, Saunders, and Washington counties.
Central Nebraska, one of the major migratory routes on the continent. From Sandhill Cranes to Prairie Chickens, shore birds to prairie dog towns, it's an incredible journey you don't want to miss. 
Chicken Dance Trail

Chicken Dance Birding Trail, 27 counties in Southwestern Nebraska 
Birding in South Central & South Western Nebraska.

 Environmentally friendly feeders!
Check out Birds Choice professional feeders below
Made in the USA / Lifetime warranty
Identify Birds with your Android or IPhone
Wildlife Rescue needs your help
Lear below how you can help 
Bird Bath Maintenance
It can be a challenge keeping a bird bath clean during the hot summer months. Algae is always a problem as well as debris left by the birds as they bathe and satisfy their need to stay hydrated. A good first step to reducing algae build up is keeping the bath in a shady area, but not hidden from view of the birds. Sun promotes algae growth.

Some folks may opt not to provide fresh water for birds in a backyard bird bath for fear of providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The truth is a well maintained bird bath which is regularly used by birds does not create a mosquito breeding ground. Water has a surface tension quality. Mosquitoes lay their eggs on the surface where it takes approximately 3 days to hatch after which the larvae sink into the water to mature as an adult. If that surface tension is broken by bathing birds or adding water regularly, the mosquito eggs sink to the bottom and do not hatch. 

Its a bird bath full of debris, stagnant water, unused by birds and not maintained that provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes. So it is essential to maintain the bird bath to eliminate a mosquito problem and provide fresh water for birds. 

CLICK for bird bath cleaning and maintenance tips

 Deter squirrels and blackbirds with Nutra Safflower & regular safflower
Everything you need to know - scroll down
Wildlife Rescue
During spring and early summer dozens of migrating and nesting birds become injured or orphaned. Volunteers are needed to help these birds recover and return to the wild.  

Founded in 1979, Wildlife Rescue Team, Inc is a non-profit, independent, all volunteer organization dedicated to raising and rehabilitating Nebraska's injured and orphaned wildlife for eventual release back into their natural habitats. Wildlife Rescue Team, Inc relies solely on private private donations and contributions, membership fees, and donations of products for the benefit of ongoing rehabilitation efforts. 

There is always a need for cash donations as well as wildlife rehabilitators, phone volunteers, people willing to build cages, locations for animal releases, people to pick up injured or orphaned animals to transport to drop off locations, local businesses to provide discounts for supplies, and veterinarian assistance. 

Please consider joining the mission of the Wildlife Rescue Team to help orphaned and injured wildlife in Nebraska. You can make a donation or join online at You may contact a team member at
Project BEAK
Bird Education Awareness for Kids 
Connect kids with birds below

Want to know what birds birders are seeing in your area?
Want to let other birders know what birds you see?

Its fun and easy at 
Like us on Facebook
It's Finally Ready and its all FREE to download

Photo ID now in mobile apps

A new advanced version of the Photo ID tool is now available for download in the latest version of Merlin Bird ID for Android and iPhone. Select an image from your smartphone image gallery or snap a shot from the back of your cameras viewfinder, and Merlin will walk you through the 2 quick steps before showing you a list of possible species.

Learn more at PHOTO ID

Also the Merlin Bird ID app at MERLIN
Wild Bird Habitat Stores
recipients of the 2015
Best U.S. Birding Retailer
Gold Crest Distribution, Birding Business Magazine
& leaders in the Bird Feeding Industry
Nutra Safflower for Goldfinch
Nyjer thistle seed has traditionally been the preferred seed of the American Goldfinch. The cost of Nyjer seed can vary greatly as it is a product imported to North America from India and Ethiopia and they set the price, and the price is rising once again. Nyjer is an oil seed which is why it is enjoyed so much by finches. In countries where it is grown this seed is crushed and used for cooking oil, much as in North America we crush black oil sunflower and safflower seed for cooking oil.

At Wild Bird Habitat Store we have received many reports and have had personal experience that Goldfinch readily feed on Nutra Safflower seed. In fact they may prefer it over Nyjer thistle seed. This could be a great alternative to supplementing Nyjer thistle seed for attracting Goldfinch. One benefit of Nutra Safflower is that this is a product grown by American farmers.

Nutra Safflower is available in 20 and 50 pound bags at the Wild Bird Habitat Store locations or by bulk quantity.

Internet customers can order Nutra Safflower seed on line. Although Wild Bird Habitat Stores Internet store offers free shipping on orders over $100, there is no free shipping on wild bird feeds. That allows us to keep our Internet wild bird feed prices low.   Order Nutra Safflower on line.


Caged Peanut Feeders - Feed woodpeckers not squirrels & starlings
Yellow-shafted Flicker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
photos by Dave of Wild Bird Habitat

Check out Wild Bird Habitat's Peanut Feeders


 Attractor Suet Plugs - Highly nutritious 
Nebraska Birding Trails
Nebraska Birding Trails Website 
Has a New Look
The Nebraska Birding Trails was developed in 2003 listing more than 400 birding sites across Nebraska. Chaired by Dave Titterington of Nebraska's Wild Bird Habitat Stores with members of the Nebraska Bird Partnership's Birding Trails Work-group which was comprised of members from government agencies, the University of Nebraska, Nebraska Travel and Tourism, Nebraska Ornithologists Union, and conservation groups and individual birders, it was an immediate success. Recently the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission with the help of Nebraska Educational Television revised the Nebraska Birding Trails website to give it a new look and make navigation locating birding sites easier. We hope you check it out at: 


Two other websites developed by the Educational Work-group of the Nebraska Bird Partnership have also been revised. 

Project Beak
Project BEAK is an interactive, web-based curriculum that contains scientifically accurate information about avian conservation, avian form, function and other adaptations that help birds survive, Nebraska's unique avian biodiversity, Nebraska's threatened and endangered birds, plus video clips, interactive games, quizzes and diagrams, additional resources and links, and classroom lesson plans. 

This website is devoted to helping Nebraskans and visitors identify and learn about the over 400 species of birds which can be found in our state.  Are you trying to identify a bird you saw?  Use "search by characteristics", where you can search by size, color, range, and habitat. Or, you can search or browse the full Nebraska bird list by common name, scientific name, or bird group.

 Where to go  Birding in Nebraska
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4840 Orchard
(402) 464-4055
Alamo Plaza Store
(402) 420-2553
Wild Bird Habitat Store

South Lincoln, NE location
5601 South 56th Street
In the Alamo Plaza

      North Lincoln, NE location
                                                  4840 Orchard Street
                                      in the little white house

Intergity Award

Toll Free Phone: (800) 606-2553