September News From
The Wild Bird Habitat Stores
Connecting families with nature since 1993
in their backyards and beyond
Saline Wetland Special Edition
Don't miss the Saline Wetland OPEN HOUSE

Click MARSH WREN for flyer, map,  & directions
or get details below
Wild Bird Habitat Store's North Lincoln Store Has Migrated
 
Wild Bird Habitat's north Lincoln location is now at 4900 Dudley St. That's right! Wild Bird Habitat migrated north across the street from the little white house to 4900 Dudley. Our main entrance is on the west side of the building.
 
Lincoln's Wild Bird Habitat Stores. Serving Nebraska birders since 1993
 
Wild Bird Habitat Stores
South Lincoln / Alamo Plaza / 56th & HWY 2

and now in our new re-location at
North Lincoln / 4900 Dudley Street 
Just across the street from our former location at the little white house
Hummingbirds are flocking to the nectar feeders
Learn how to attract them below
The Saline Wetlands of Lancaster & Saunders County
Eastern Nebraska's Saline Wetlands is a diminishing ecological system and habitat for birds, mammals, insects, and plants, some of which are specialists to the salt marshes while others seasonally utilize this unique region. These same saline wetlands are the reason for the existence of Lincoln - the salt. This essential mineral was harvested by Native Americans, settlers, and profiteers until rail transportation could supply salt more economically. Since then growing human activity has reduced these precious and valuable landscapes from 20,000 acres to just over 4000 acres. Yet it remains a part of our heritage and a valuable natural resource today and for future generations.

Join the Lower Platte South NRD, City of Lincoln, and Michael Forsberg for an OPEN HOUSE at Marsh Wren in the Saline Wetlands on the northern edge of Lincoln and learn more about our saline wetlands. 

See what shorebirds may have arrived. View the Bald Eagle's nest from the newly installed viewing scope on the observation platform. 

Bring your binoculars. View the shorebirds, woodland birds, grassland birds and Lincoln's nesting Bald Eagles. Learn about this incredible ecological system unique to Lincoln right in our own backyard. 


September News Notes:
  • Watch for warblers passing through as songbird migration moves into full swing.
  • Goldfinch, Cedar Waxwings, and Mourning Doves finish nesting.
  • This is the month Hawks begin migrating.
  • The summer's fledglings will begin looking more like adult birds.
  • If you don't feed in the summer, you should get your winter feeding program set up now.
  • By months end we should start seeing our winter resident birds from the north.
  • The remainder of our summer birds will begin to leave.
  • Don't be to thorough in your fall clean up of the yard and you'll have more birds this winter.
  Read more about Wild Bird Habitat's September news in 

Dave's September Bird Chatter
below
 
TIPS ON ATTRACTING HUMMINGBIRDS BELOW
VORTEX BINOCULARS & SPOTTING SCOPES
Unlimited Lifetime Warranty
SEE THE DIFFERENCE
Now 10% OFF
Available at our south Lincoln location only
Dave's September Bird Chatter Below
What our birds are up to this month
Bird of the month

Wilson's Phalarope
An interesting shorebird migrant often seen passing through our area is the Wilson's phalarope. They are dainty shorebirds with lobed toes and a straight narrow black bill. Wilson's phalaropes are unusually halophilic which means they have adapted well to feeding in lakes and wetlands with a high salinity.
 
When feeding, a Wilson's phalarope, or a group of Phalaropes, will often swim in tight rapid circles creating a small whirlpool effect that stirs up small aquatic invertebrates such as midges and shrimp from the bottom. They will also pluck through mud flats for insects and crustaceans . The breeding female is an attractive bird, mostly gray and brown above, with white underparts, a reddish neck and reddish flank patches. The typical avian sex roles are reversed in the three phalarope species. Females are about 10% larger and more brightly colored than males. Male phalaropes are a duller version of the female, with a brown back, and the reddish patches are smaller or completely absent.
 
It is the female phalarope that pursues the males to select a mate, competes for nesting territory, and then will aggressively defend their nests and chosen mates. However once the females lay their clutch of eggs they begin their southward migration leaving the males to incubate the eggs. Three to four eggs are laid in a ground nest near water where incubation can take from 18 to 27 days. The young are precocial when they hatch meaning they are fully feathered, eyes open, and are able to feed on their own.
 
Wilson Phalaropes breed in the Northwest U.S into western Canada and in Minnesota east through upper Ohio. They winter in South America on lakes in the Andes south through Patagonia.

The Saline Wetlands
Wingtip:  Salt Creek Tiger Beetle - The Salt Creek tiger beetle is metallic brown to dark olive green above with a metallic dark green underside.  It's a relatively small beetle reaching about 10-13mm in total length.  Although similar to other tiger beetles, it's distinguished by its form and unique dorsal and ventral color patterns.  A predatory insect preying on other arthropods, the tiger beetle gets its name from the way it captures its prey, grasping other insects with its mandibles (mouthparts) in a "tiger-like" manner. The Salt Creek tiger beetle is endemic to the remnant saline wetlands of Lancaster County in eastern Nebraska, located along Salt Creek and its tributaries. Listed as a State and Federal endangered species.

Our Saline Wetlands
The abundant mud flats of the saline wetlands are rich in invertebrate life and frequented by a variety of migratory shore birds, other bird species, and wildlife.  During the last century, more than 230 species of birds have been reported from the salt basins of Lancaster and Saunders counties.  This includes a large number of water birds and migratory species including black and king rails, white-face ibis, herring gulls, western and eared grebes, the threatened least tern, two species of plovers, and most species of ducks and geese.  The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has held two annual district birding days within the Little Salk Creek Saline Wetlands. In May of 2008, over 60 species of birds were sited at Frank Shoemaker marsh and n May 2014 over 90 species of birds were sited in the upper Little Salt Creek Saline Wetlands (Little Salt Form marsh preserve, Little Salt Creek West WMA and Little Salt Springs). The Eastern saline wetlands are also home to many saline plants that are found nowhere else in Nebraska.  Three plant species found growing in the salt marshes are considered rare in Nebraska including the saltmarsh aster, Texas dropseed, and the state endangered saltwort.  In addition to the many unique invertebrate, bird, and plant species, the Eastern saline wetlands are also home to hundreds of more familiar mammal, fish, and reptile species.  Learn more about this biologically unique landscape with photos and story by Michael Forsberg at

Little Salt Fork Marsh
Lancaster County

Learn more about our Saline Wetlands. View maps of the wetlands and marshes, how to get to them and where to park. Access bird checklists and more. Just go to: 


The Saline Wetlands
Wingtip: The domestic wells drilled by our fore-fathers in the Salt Valley where Lincoln stands today was too saline to drink and would kill non-salt tolerant plants. So a water line was laid to wells drilled by the city on the eastern Platte River which supplies all of Lincoln with water to this day. Every drop of water flowing in the Platte River from the Rockies of Wyoming and Colorado is spoken for by various entities, and the river's conservation should be of concern for all Lincoln residents.

Lesser Yellowlegs
The Lesser Yellowlegs is a medium-sized shorebird roughly 10 inches long with long bright yellow legs, a long neck and long straight bill with a white rump and tail. The head and neck are pale with brown sparse streaking and a dark brown back with lighter speckling. There is a noticeable white eye-ring. They weigh about 3 ounces with nearly a 12 inch wing span. They are similar in appearance to the larger greater yellowlegs.
 
These birds forage for food in the shallow waters of ponds, wetlands, and lakeside edges sometimes using their bill to stir up the water. They mainly eat insects, small fish and crustaceans.
 
They breed during the summer nesting on the ground near ponds in the Boreal Forest region from Quebec Canada to Alaska, wintering along the Gulf Coast and into South America.
 
They are quite common throughout Nebraska during migration in wet meadows and wetlands, along the edges of ponds and lakes, and they take advantage of the salt marshes north of Lincoln in Lancaster and Saunders County.

The Saline Wetlands
Wingtip: The great salt basin on the west edge of Lincoln was drained and further dredged to create Capital Beach Lake. The final destruction was caused with the construction of interstate 80 further dividing the basin. In its undisturbed state more than 100 years ago, water would well up from the ground every 12 hours at 3 AM in the morning and 3 PM in the afternoon. The water would flood the area with over 3" of water before receding into the ground. The salt that was left was harvested by Native Americans and eventually by homesteaders and used to cure meats.

Bairds Sandpiper
The Baird's Sandpiper nests in the high Arctic and is seen by birders mostly during its migrations through the Great Plains. Whereas other shorebirds that migrate north through the prairies in spring, many go south off our Atlantic Coast in fall. But the Baird's Sandpiper follows the plains route during both migratory seasons. Baird's Sandpipers winter along the western edge of South America into the far southern reaches of Patagonia. For a bird weighing about an ounce it travels nearly 10,000 miles in a years time.
 
.Adults have black legs and a short, straight, thin black bill. They are dark brown on top and mainly white underneath with a black patch on the rump. The head and breast are light brown with dark streaks. This bird can be difficult to distinguish from other similar small shorebirds collectively as "peeps". One of the best identification features is the long wings, which extend beyond the tail when the bird is on the ground. They measure 7.5 inches weighing in at a little over 1 ounce with a 5 inch wingspan.

These birds forage by moving about mudflats, picking up food by sight mainly feeding on insects and some small crustaceans. They are easily observed in small groups in the mudflats and muddy edges of the salt marshes and ponds in the saline wetlands north of Lincoln during spring and fall migrations

The Saline Wetlands
Wingtip:  Saltwort is a plant of the goosefoot family, which typically grows in salt marshes. It is rich in alkali and its ashes were formerly used in soap-making.Saltwort plants have leafless, jointed stems and flowers in fleshy cylindrical spikes. Saltwort grows only in wet, saline or alkaline soils. It is an annual self seeding plant that flowers from July to November. Saltwort is listed as a Nebraska Endangered species.

White-faced Ibis
This species of Ibis breeds colonially in marshes, usually nesting in bushes or low trees. Its breeding range extends from far western Nebraska through areas to the Pacific Coast. They occur year round in Southern California and along the Gulf Coast, south through Mexico into South America
 
The White-faced Ibis is very similar to the Glossy Ibis but tends to be slightly smaller and the plumage color is somewhat warmer. Breeding adults have a pink bare face bordered with white feathers, a long down turned grey bill, andoverall is a brighter color with long dark red legs. Adults stand 22 inches tall weighing over 1 pound. White-faced Ibis have a red eyes year-round. Juveniles are nearly identical.
 
The White-faced Ibis eats a variety of organisms, including many invertebrates such as insects, leeches, snails, crayfish and earthworms. It may also eat vertebrates such as fish, newts, and frogs. Its feeding style is to use its bill to probe for prey.
 
In the wild, white-faced ibises usually live for nine years however, the oldest recorded wild White-faced Ibis lived for fourteen years and six months. They are common visitors to Nebraska's Saline Wetlands in Lancaster and Saunder's County.

The Saline Wetlands
Wingtip: Of the four wetland complexes found in Nebraska, the Eastern Saline Wetlands of Lancaster and Saunders counties are among the most unique and threatened wetland communities in the state.  Limited to the floodplain swales and depressions within the Salt Creek, Little Salt Creek, and Rock Creek drainages, it's estimated that the Eastern saline wetlands once covered an area in excess of 20, 000 acres.  Today, due to extensive degradation, draining and filling, through commercial, residential, and agricultural development, less than 4,000 acres remain and many of these remnants are highly degraded

September is Time For Hummingbirds On The Great Plains 
Dr JB Hummingbird Feeder
One of the most sought after birds in the backyard are hummingbirds. They are fairly easy to attract although they only occur in the  Central Great Plains and portions of the Midwest during the spring and fall migration. The balance of the summer is to o hot and dry on the Plains and the hummingbirds that pass through in spring continue their trip further north where it is heavily wooded and much cooler.
 
There is a variety of hummingbird feeder styles and most all prove to be functional. But a good quality hummingbird feeder will provide many years of service, will be easy to obtain replacement parts for, and some carry a lifetime guarantee. When purchasing a hummingbird feeder select one that either has bee guards or recessed ports that deter bees from feeding on the nectar. An ant guard is another feature that is built into some feeders, or an ant guard can be added to any of the feeders on the market. Although water is recommended to put in the ant guard to prevent ants from accessing the nectar, I prefer to use about 1" of vegetable oil. It works just as well and will not evaporate giving added protection.
 
Many people like to make homemade nectar for the hummingbird feeder. (one part sugar, no artificial sweeteners, to four parts boiling water. Dissolve well and refrigerate. Never add any coloration) Homemade nectar requires changing at least every other day to prevent harmful bacteria from forming which develops from the refined sugar. Commercial nectars are safer and only require changing once a week. Hang the hummingbird feeder in a shady spot if possible and have them ready by the second week of August. For more information on attracting hummingbirds stop by either Wild Bird Habitat Store.

CLICK to read more on attracting hummingbirds including tips and fun hummingbird facts
Hummingbird Tip: If you have an aggressive hummingbird chasing others off try putting a second nectar feeder on the opposite side of your house out of site of each other. That aggressive hummer cannot patrol both feeders at the same time allowing others hummingbirds to feed.
Dave
Dave's September Bird Chatter
As of beginning to write this newsletter Linda and I encountered our first hummingbird arrival. It has been at the feeder several times today, Sunday morning, August 30 th . But I have also noticed the black birds are beginning to flock together, typical for this time of year. I know we will hear a lot of complaints about these flocks at feeders in the coming weeks. This is just one of many signs of a coming change in the season. We have several weeks of summer left, but the birds are already sensing the change and preparations are slowly getting underway....CLICK to read more of Dave's Bird Chatter


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Our Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

Check them out below 

Wild Bird Habitat's Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Selection

When it comes to squirrels, Wild Bird Habitat doesn't only have you covered with our functional squirrel baffles, we offer a large variety of squirrel proof bird feeders, several with lifetime warranties, and all that can be repaired, not tossed because of any damage.


The Wild Bird Habitat Stores
are proud members of the

 Attractor Suet Plugs below - highly nutritious

#1 suet plugs on the market
Check them out below

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 
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2 YEAR TO LIFETIME WARRANTIES

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 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.

 Deter squirrels and blackbirds with Nutra Safflower & regular safflower
Everything you need to know - scroll down
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

 

 Where to go  Birding in Nebraska
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Alamo Plaza Store
South Lincoln Location.
Wild Bird Habitat Store

South Lincoln, NE location
5601 South 56th Street
In the Alamo Plaza
(402) 420-2553

North Lincoln, NE location
4900 Dudley Street
(402) 464-4055

Toll Free Phone: (800) 606-2553
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