February News From
The Wild Bird Habitat Stores
Connecting families with nature since 1993
in their backyards and beyond
 21st  Annual 
Great Backyard Bird Count
February 16 - 19, 2018
Details in Below
Wild Bird Habitat Store's 
MID-WINTER SALE
thru February 20th

 

Celebrating February 
&
University of Nebraska
School of Natural Resources Lecture Series
"CAT WARS"
Details below
February News Notes:
  • Up to now this has been a sparse winter for northern finches with the exception of Northern Goldfinch populations. Some Pine Siskins and Redpolls have been seen at feeders, but very few Purple Finch 
  • We should remain alert for any new birds wandering down from the North Country.
  • If deep snows return, put some grit out for the birds. Birds need it to digest their food.
  • Suet will be in big demand for the remainder of winter, and even more so from March to August during the nesting season.
  • Open water and well stocked bird feeders can increase the survival of birds during extreme winters by up to 50%.
  • If you choose to plant for wildlife this spring begin planning now. Carroll Henderson's book "Landscaping for Wildlife" is a great resource and available at Wild Bird Habitat Store.
  • Make plans now to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, February 16 - 19.
  • February is National Bird Feeding Month. Keep the feeders filled, maybe add a new bird feeder. Checkout our Mid-Winter Sale on bird feeders
 

 Bird of the month - Harris' Sparrow
Read about this native sparrow  below
Coming in February
the 21st Annual
GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT
GBBC Window
Go to


This four day count is open to those with all levels of birding experience. Great fun for individuals, schools, and families to become citizen scientists and help track birds during the winter for the biologists at the Cornell University Bird Lab.
 
  •  Lots of fun for families, individuals, classrooms, youth and adult clubs and organizations.
  •  For all levels of birding experience. Beginners and experts are needed.
  •   Count on one or all four days
  •   Count birds in backyards, parks, nature centers, anywhere.
  •   Become a "Citizen Scientist" and provided valuable data about the birds you see to biologists to Cornell.
  • Just Count! Its for the birds.
  •   Best of all there's not cost to participate. ITS FREE
Its As Easy As 1, 2, 3
1. Plan to count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, February 16 - 19, 2018. You can count for longer than that if you wish! Count birds in as many places and on as many days as you like -one day, two days, or all four days. Submit a separate checklist for each new day. You can also submit more than one checklist per day if you count in other locations on that day. Locations are entered by zip code.

2. Count the greatest number of individuals of each species that you see together at any one time. You may find it helpful to print out your regional bird checklist to get an idea of the kinds of birds you're likely to see in your area in February. You could take note of the highest number or each species you see on this checklist.
 
3. When you're finished, enter your results on the Great Backyard Bird Count website. You'll see a button marked "Enter Your Checklists!" on the website home page beginning on the first day of the count (February 16, 2018). It will remain active until the deadline for data submission on March 1, 2018. 

Mark your calendars and count for the birds!
 
The Great Backyard Bird Count is FREE and for all levels of birding experience from the beginner to the novice and provides valuable data  to the biologists that track birds, This is a joint venture by the Cornell Bird Lab, Bird Studies Canada, and National Audubon
 

Great Backyard Bird Count Event - Saturday February 17
Come join Wild Bird Habitat Store for the Great Backyard Bird Count in the Chet Ager Building at the Pioneers Park Nature Center. Refreshments will be served while we count the birds in the bird garden with Dave & Linda from the Wild Bird Habitat Stores and take a short bird walk along the trails at the Pioneers
PPNC Logo
Park Nature Center for the Great Backyard Bird Count.
Pioneers Park Nature Center
Saturday, February 17 / 9 AM - 11 AM
 (402) 441-7895

Great Backyard Bird Count Event - Saturday February 16 & 17
Be a citizen scientist and discover our Nebraska birds of the prairies. Guided family-fun walks Friday and Saturday. Help Spring Creek Prairie help the birds
 

Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center
February 16 & 17
10 AM till NOON
FREE
121700 SW 100th Street
(402) 797-2301

Great Backyard Bird Count Event - Saturday February 18
No better time to boost your birding skills and become a better eBirder than 2018 and the YEAR OF THE BIRD! Join Spring Creek Prairie on Sunday for the Great Backyard Bird Count for a fun and information workshop on why eBird is not only fun and simple but important for our birds and their habitats.

  Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center
February 18
1 PM for kids & families
3 PM for adults
FREE
121700 SW 100th Street
(402) 797-2301

KID'S BIRD enCOUNTer
Saturday, February 17


The Wild Bird Habitat Stores
are proud members of the
Wachiska Audubon's 
February Birding Field Trip
Information below
Wingtip:
Did you know Nebraska has warmed over the past 20 years leading the USDA to change 90% of the colder plant hardiness zone #4 of the northern half of the state to a milder plant hardiness zone #5 . What impact warmer temperatures will have on birds and habitats in the future is yet to be determined nor fully understood.
Don't miss Dave's February Bird Chatter
Just scroll down
Feb. 8, 2018 Time: 7:00 pm
UNL's Hardin Hall /  Room 107 (Auditorium)
33rd & Holdrege, Lincoln, NE

Pete Marra, an ornithologist and conservation biologist, will present a talk around themes of his book "Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer." The event is free and open to the public.

Marra's book tells the story of the threats free-ranging cats pose to biodiversity and public health throughout the world. His lecture will trace the historical and cultural ties between humans and cats from early domestication to the current boom in pet ownership, along the way accessibly explaining the science of extinction, population modeling and feline diseases.

A book signing will follow the talk. Copies of "Cat Wars" will be available for purchase before and after the event.

Pete Marra, PhD,
 Research Scientist, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Migratory Bird Center, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC

CLICK to read more about Pete Marra, his love of cats, and his attempt to find common ground between cats and wildlife. 
 

NOW ON SALE

NYJER THISTLE SEED &
WBH FINCH MIX
NOW JUST $1.49 LB  -   Was $1.65 LB
Bottle, Bucket, or Sack
Thru February
Triple cleaned, fresh & pure
Wachiska Audubon's
FIELD TRIP: Birding the Cedars at Branched Oak Lake
 
Sunday, February 11, 1:00 PM - 
NOTE: Great opportunity to see Harris' Sparrows along with migrating Bald Eagles
 
Join Wachiska Audubon members on a jaunt to Branched Oak Lake north of Lincoln for a birding hike through both cedar and deciduous areas .  Cedars can occasionally host large numbers of robins, yellow-rumped warblers, golden-crowned kinglets, fox sparrows at seedy edges and openings, and of course cedar waxwings. We'll also check the lake for bald eagles and waterfowl that could potentially be present in substantial numbers depending on the amount of ice remaining on the lake. Meet at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, February 11, at Branched Oak Lake State Recreation Area in the parking lot at the south end of the dam which is located just north of the intersection of W. Raymond and N.W. Crounse Roads. Anyone preferring to caravan from Lincoln can meet at 12:30 p.m. on the south side of the Capitol at 15th and H Streets across from the governor's mansion. A vehicle entry permit is required and is available for a daily fee of $6 per car. The public is welcome. If you have questions call John Carlini at 402-475-7275.
The Wild Bird Habitat Stores offer one of the highest quality lines of wild bird feeds on the market. We offer over 20 mixes and single seed wild bird feeds, with deliveries made directly to our stores from Des Moines Feed twice weekly and rotated to maintain freshness. Our wild bird feeds are guaranteed to attract more birds. Our customers know and so do the birds.
Bird of the month
Harris Sparrow

Harris' Sparrow
Fall and spring migration is a time of the year I always look forward to. This is when we begin to see many of our winter birds beginning to arrive or prepare to depart. And one bird that is always exciting to see during migration  is the Harris's Sparrow. This is truly a bird that the Central Great Plains can lay claim to as one of our indigenous fall and winter species. Although they breed along the edge of the Boreal forests and tundra in the upper reaches of north-central Canada, they winter from the South Dakota to Southern Texas. Rarely are they found east or west of middle North America.  Their eastern range is extends to roughly Interstate #35 in Iowa, and to the west not much beyond the Nebraska border into Colorado and Wyoming, except during migration. In Nebraska they winter in the eastern quarter of the state and south-central counties, down into Kansas, Oklahoma, and Eastern Texas. 
CLICK to read more about this beautiful native sparrow
House (English) Sparrow
Not really a sparrow
Find out what they are below
Dave
Dave's February Bird Chatter
Winter is far from over. And as the natural food sources for birds become increasingly scarce or covered by snow, the bird feeders will continue to draw more visitors. Recent snows to our north may drive more birds into our area, and new ones can arrive at any time. Keep vigilant about new birds at the feeders. Already this seems to be a banner year for Northern Goldfinch.
CLICK to read more of Dave's Bird Chatter 
Arnie's Pet Foods
a division of Wild Bird Habitat
For the best nutrition for you pets
read about Arnie's below
DON'T FORGET THE GRIT!
Birds need grit to help grind and digest the foods they eat. Often they can find gravel and various materials to aid in their digestive process. But when ice and snow pack cover the ground it becomes more difficult to find such products. You can help by offering grit to your birds. It can be placed out separately, or even a little mixed in with food on a platform feeder. An occasional hand full of sand or gravel tossed on the ground will work, or you can purchase granite grit at the Wild Bird Habitat Stores. A little grit can go a long way.

Arnie's Pet Foods, a division of Wild Bird Habitat in the Alamo Plaza at 56th & Hwy 2, now offers a full line of high quality all natural foods for your dog or cat, along with all natural treats and chews. Our products are produced by family owned and operated companies, not outsourced to corporate dog food manufacturing plants. This assures the pet foods you purchase are produced to the highest standards in the industry. Check us out. I think you'll like what we have to offer at Arnie's Pet Foods. Visit us at
Arnie's Pet Foods
a division of Wild Bird Habitat
The House Sparrow is No Sparrow at All
When the word sparrow is mentioned, all to often one thinks of the common house sparrow, an aggressive cavity nesting bird introduced into North America-ca from England in the mid 1850s, becoming the most populace bird in North America by the turn of the century. Besides reeking havoc on our native cavity nesting birds, it is also seen as a nuisance bird that can over-take our feeders driving off many of the smaller birds and consuming large quantities of precious bird seed. However, the house sparrow, also referred to as the English sparrow, is not a true sparrow at all. It is a Weaver Finch, having no relation-ship to the sparrow family. So how can you tell if that little brownish bird feeding in your yard is a true sparrow? Simple! Just watch their feeding habits. The house sparrow, or Weaver Finch, use their bill to sweep for food. That is why many times they shovel seed out of the bird feeder. True sparrows feed much like a chicken, scratching the ground with their feet to turn up seeds and other foods. So if you see a small brown bird scratching the ground with their feet take a closer look as they are our native sparrows of North America

Get out in nature this winter with the help of
THE PIONEERS PARK NATURE CENTER
check out
Healthy kids and adults play outdoors
How Important Is Water In Winter For Birds
Temperatures have definitely been falling in the northern states and
Central Great Plains as winter approaches. Even many southern states have experienced some cooler weather than normal. As the mercury drops it becomes increasingly more difficult for birds to find open water. In some areas a mid-day sun may melt enough snow to fulfill a birds requirement for water, but there is no guarantee of this as the icy grip of winter slowly sets in on the Plains and elsewhere.

CLICK to read full article
 Check out Wild Bird Habitat's by clicking on
Is your bird bath heater ready to go?
It won't be long before we get our first taste of temperatures below freezing on the Great Plains. Many folks may be left with a thin layer of ice on their bird baths. The weather is going to warm, but this is just a reminder of what is to come. Now is a great time to test your bird bath heater and make sure you're ready for cold weather.
PEANUT BIRD FEEDERS
One of Dave's favorite and  bird feeders
Check out Dave's photos below
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

 

 Brome Bird Care
Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders
Check out these amazing feeders 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



 Environmentally friendly feeders!
Check out Birds Choice professional feeders below
Made in the USA / Lifetime warranty
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

Best affordable 
SQUIRREL PROOF 
BIRD FEEDERS

2 YEAR TO LIFETIME WARRANTIES

BROME 
BIRD CARE

Did you know Wild Bird Habitat Store's wild bird feeds, poultry feeds, and pigeon feeds are NON-GMO, pesticide free, and premium grade
 Nebraska - A top birding region in North America
Learn below where to go birding in Nebraska
 Nebraska - A top birding region in North America
Learn below where to go birding in Nebraska
 Hard copy field guide or APP?
Get free bird ID APPS below from Cornell Bird Lab
 WHERE TO GO BIRDING IN NEBRASKA
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.  nebraskabirdingtrails.com
 
 
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. nebraskametrobirding.com
 
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. nebraskaflyway.com 
Chicken Dance Trail

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

Identify Birds with your Android or IPhone
Wildlife Rescue needs your help
Lear below how you can help 
 Deter squirrels and blackbirds with Nutra Safflower & regular safflower
Everything you need to know - scroll down
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
MERLIN BIRD PHOTO ID

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
from
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: 

NEBRASKA BIRDING TRAILS 

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

PROJECT BEAK
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.

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.  

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
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. 

YOU CAN HELP
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 wildliferescueteamincne.org. You may contact a team member at info@wildliferescueteamincne.org
 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
                                      E-Mail:info@wildbirdhabitatstore.com

Toll Free Phone: (800) 606-2553

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