Get Outside and See Birds! 
In This Issue
The Year of the Bird in July - Take a Kid Into Nature
Family Fun: Birdcrafts
What Are Birds Beaks Made From?
Bird of the Month
Give Generously
Quick Links
Join Our List
NEW!!! BIrd Call  
  iPhone Ringtones
More Popular iPhone Nature Ringtones 
Issue: #105
July/August 2018

This month we are dedicating our newsletter to getting kids and friends outside to watch birds.  This is July's the Year of the Bird project, and we think this is a wonderful way to spend the rest of the summer!  What is better to do than give the gift of birdwatching to someone young?  Birdwatching is discovery and exploration, and who doesn't love that no matter what age we are? And its something that can become a passion throughout our entire lives and relevant no matter where we are - birds are everywhere!  So, while there is still summer vacation, take your kids or friends out to wherever birds are found and have that treasure hunt together.  Our newsletter has some ideas to make that happen and have a great and productive end of summer! 

In this month's newsletter:
  • Year of the Bird - Take a Kid Into Nature
  • In the News: Pesticide that Makes Birds Lose Their Way
  • Family Fun: Birdcrafts 
  • What are Bird's Beaks Made From?
  • Our Bird of the Month is a popular resident across the US

Visit us at WildTones for bird and wildlife ringtones, alerts and alarms for iPhones and Android


Tree Swallow Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel

The Year of the Bird in July - Take A Kid Into Nature
young_birder_Meghan Kearney_USFWS.jpg
Photo Credit:Meghan Kearney, USFWS
This month in the Year of the Bird, we encourage you to get your kids or kids you know out into nature.  If you love birds, teaching a child how to bird can create both an understanding of and interest in nature which can translate into a lifelong passion for him or her. We all know how hard it is to pry kids away from their mobile devices. But, a trek into nature can open a real world of wonder and exploration. Don't know exactly how to do this? We've got you covered! Check out some ideas to get you started!
In the News: Pesticide That Makes Birds Lose Their Way on Migration

Its important to be gardening with organic 
Indigo Bunting
Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel
fertilizers and pesticides, and to keep chemicals out of your bird-friendly backyard. If you find this difficult to do, be aware that some pesticides contain neonicotinoids - a type of neuro active synthetic insecticide chemically similar to nicotine - which affects much more than insects. These first came into public view when there was a die off of 50,000 bees which had been sprayed with a pesticide containing this chemical. Research with birds shows that pesticides containing neonicotinoids can also affect birds in a number of ways. In laboratory tests, birds which have eaten seeds from plants treated with this chemical, quickly became disoriented, weak and ill. But in smaller doses, birds on migration can become disoriented and even lose their way
...Read on for more info and a list of pesticides.
Family Fun: Birdcrafts

One of the best ways to get kids interested in birds is
Photo Credit: Melpo Apostolidou, BirdLife Cyprus
to get them working on a fun bird project. Our friends at BirdLife International have some great ideas that kids can do themselves.  And they can reap the reward of learning about and doing something to help birds. From making your own bird feeder, swallow house, treat feeder, or even bird bath to playing a really fun game - there are interesting and productive things to do for kids of all ages. The days of summer are nearly over, so before kids go back to school is the perfect time to do a little birdcrafting.
What Are Bird's Beaks Made From?

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan
Photo Credit:  Deborah Rivel

Birds beaks have to be tough, durable, super lightweight and made to ex actly fit the job they are designed to do.  So, what are they made from anyway? Listen to  Birdnote to find out. 

Songbirds are mostly finished nesting
Guillemot Chick
Screenshot: explore.org
and their chicks are gaining strength to make their first migration south.  But there are still some  adorable nestlings
and juvenile birds waiting to make their first flight. Don't miss these seabirds and Osprey before they leave the nest!

  • This nest in Montana has some young Osprey ready to fledge!
Our Favorite Bird This Month: Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird
 Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel
That glossy black bird with bright red shoulders calling like crazy from atop cattails or tall shrubs is unmistakably a male Red-winged Blackbird.  Found in wetter areas, these birds will nest in cattails or reeds low to the water in wetlands, low to the ground in goldenrod or small trees on land, or in crops like rice or alfalfa on farmland. Females choose the nesting site, but the male is consulted.  After all, since Red-winged Blackbirds are polygamous she will probably not be his only mate and he needs to keep his nests in a conveniently sized area. Both parents will defend the nest from intruders, and Red-winged Blackbirds can be seen chasing and attacking crows and other birds much larger than themselves.  

These beautiful birds are common and still fairly abundant, and their unusual call can be heard throughout the summer across the US and most of Canada.  But their populations are declining -  down 30% since 1966 due to a number of factors, including food availability and nesting site pressures from climate change and agricultural practices.    
Help Support Wildlife and Animal Charities
WildTones supports a variety of wildlife and animal related charities. We recommend the following organizations and know them all personally.  We encourage you to consider giving a donation of any size and join us in helping the work they do.

The Alex Foundation
(Avian Cognition & Intelligence Research)
alex foundation
Audubon New York
(Bird Conservation in NY State)
(Global Bird Conservation)
International Crane Foundation
International Primate Protection League
(Gibbon and Primate Protection Worldwide)
Bill Jordan Wildlife Defense Fund (Protection of Wildlife Worldwide)
Oceanites (Antarctic Penguin Research)   Oceanites
The Roar Foundation
(Big Cats Rescue)

We thank
Stan Tekiela for his terrific bird and animal calls and our ringtones!
Deborah Rivel for the Tree Swallow, Indigo Bunting, Chestnut-manidbled Toucan and Red-winged Blackbird images
(c)  Wildsight Productions, Inc., 2018