Welcome Winter Birds!
In This Issue
Wildtones Has a New Website!
Birding Resolutions for 2018
Extraordinary Red Knots Video
Vegetarian Suet Recipe
Birdlife International
Bird of the Month
Give Generously
Quick Links
Join Our List
NEW!!! BIrd Call  
  iPhone Ringtones
More Popular iPhone Nature Ringtones 
Issue: #100
January 2018

Our first newsletter of 2018 is our 100th issue!  Our thanks
to all our loyal subscribers for your interest and suggestions over the years - keep the suggestions coming! We also wanted to introduce our beautiful new updated and mobile-friendly website -- please check it out!

A new year holds great promise for expanding our knowledge about birds, finding new birds as we visit new wild places and sharing information with others about how important birds are.  Wild birds need our attention and our help, and we hope you continue to be part of the conservation effort on behalf of birds everywhere. Many of the birds we host in our backyards for a few months rely on backyards and wild places in other countries the rest of the year.  Wouldn't it be great if every birdwatcher introduced someone new to birds this year? 

In this month's newsletter:
  • Checkout our new Website!
  • Project Snowstorm - Snowy Owls in Motion
  • Birding Resolutions for 2018
  • Extraordinary Red Knots video
  • Vegetarian Suet Recipe
  • Introducing Birdlife International
  • Our Bird of the Month is a small, plain diving bird in a pond near you

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


Snowy Owl, Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila

Check Us Out -- Wildtones Has a New Website!

We are excited to start 2018 with a new Wildtones.com website
! great_horned_owl_chicks 
Easily searched and viewed from either a mobile device or computer, if you visit our site from your iPhone, you can now purchase iPhone ringtones, alarms and alerts directly from our site and have them automatically show up in the sounds folder on your iPhone.  We also have a large catalogue of sound tracks which can be made into ringtones for your Android.  Our Blog, Backyard Birding articles and Birdwatching Tips are readily available and topics can be searched from the search bar.  So, go ahead and give our new site a spin!  And make a New Years resolution to have more bird and nature sounds on your phone - we can help! 
Project Snowstorm - Snowy Owls in Motion

Snowy Owl Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila
Snowy Owls are true denizens
of the far north, and are only occasionally found south of the Canadian border -- even in winter. These beautiful pure white owls are widely admired for their beauty, but not well understood. Project Snowstorm is changing all that by tracking "snowies" using GPS units to find out more about where they go, how and what they hunt, and more about their lifestyle. When  there is a scarcity of the voles and rodents they typically eat ,  this triggers an "irruption" of these birds which means they fly far south out of their normal winter habitats north of the US border to find food .  Every few years, or sometimes more often, they are forced make their way down to the lower 48 states to places which are atypical for them in winter - sometimes as far south as Texas or Florida.  

Scientists working on Project Snowstorm are learning a lot from the owls they are tracking. ...Read more...
Birding Resolutions for 2018
It's a new year and a great time for some birding resolutions.
Cuban Tody Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel
Need some help? We asked some friends to share their birding resolutions for 2018. They run from the simple to the challenging, so take a look and get your own inspiration!
Here are the top 10:
  1. Go birding more often!
  2. Take a friend who is new to birding with me
  3. Learn how to identify birds by their calls
  4. Take a birding trip beyond my backyard and local patch
  5. Learn the birds at the place I am about to visit BEFORE I go!
  6. Learn how to identify shorebirds
  7. Learn how to identify birds in flight
  8. Plant more native plants for birds
  9. Volunteer for a habitat restoration project
  10. Be more active on behalf of birds
Did we miss one of yours? Let us know what birding resolutions you are making this year!
Start the Year With an Extraordinary Video

For a spectacular welcome to the new year, be sure to watch   this video of a huge gathering in the UK of Red Knots  s hot by Gerrit Vyn. These courageous long-distance migrating shorebirds nest above the Arctic Circle in the fragile and threatened tundra of North America and Russia, and make one of the longest and precarious migrations to the  
Screenshot of Red Knots video by Gerrit Vyn for Cornell Lab of Ornithology
far ends of landfall in the southern hemisphere around the globe. With a
round trip migration of just under 20,000 miles, these birds depend upon the availability of critical stopover sites for rest and food to bulk up for the remaining journey. This extraordinary video shows about 60,000 Red Knots refuelling on a stopover in the UK. And while the sheer numbers of birds may seem overwhelming, this is but half of the number of Red Knots this same stopover has hosted in recent memory. Please enjoy watching this amazing video. It's thrilling to see this many birds in one place. But it's also a reminder of the importance of conserving natural spaces and habitat for all species  

Wild birds need your help. Make a resolution this year to find out more about the birds in your area, volunteer to help local conservation organizations, donate generously, get outside and take someone new to birding with you!

Vegetarian Suet Recipe

Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila
Everybody likes a little variety!
Whether or not you are a vegetarian yourself, you may want to try this recipe for suet which doesn't use animal fat.  It has the nutrition birds need and birds seems to prefer this one to regular suet.  And it lends itself to creating both suet cakes for your suet feeder, or pretty suet ornaments which can decorate your yard while offering a cold-weather buffet for birds. This kind of treat is great for attracting nuthatches, woodpeckers, titmice, chickadees and other insectivores.  Here's an eco-friendly version of the original recipe from Audubon:

Birds know no borders. Migrating birds may pass through a number of countries during the year. And to be effective in conservation along these routes, its essential that countries co-operate and share local research, information and data on the birds that pass through. Birdlife International has 121 conservation partner organizations who work locally and co-operate internationally to provide sustainable solutions for people and birds worldwide.  We welcome Birdlife International as one of the organizations we support with donations from the proceeds of the sales from our website.  Explore their conservation programs and consider being a part of the global bird conservation network yourself.  The birds that visit us during a few months rely on the conservation efforts made in other countries the rest of the year.  Here's a great way to support your favorite birds as they make their journeys.
Our Favorite Bird This Month: PIED-BILLED GREBE
Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila
These small, brown members of the Grebe family spend a lot of time underwater.  Somewhat nondescript, they are easily identified among other waterfowl by their small and chunky size, lack of tail, brown feathers and small bill which during breeding season is pale with a ring around it.  True to their Latin name "grebe" meaning "feet at the rear", they are really made to swim and dive and don't do terribly well on land.  Pied-billed Grebes eat crustaceans and fish, but are open to whatever they find on their lengthy dives. They are fairly shy birds and while they are expert divers, they are also able to avoid detection by quietly sinking below the surface - sometimes leaving their eyes and beak out of the water.  They build floating nests in grasses in the water and typically choose an area where there is water deep enough for an escape route under the nest.  Chicks enter the water their first day of life, and often are found on their parents' backs when they are young.  Look for these birds in quiet fresh water ponds and reservoirs.
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)
The International Crane Foundation - Keeping Whooping Cranes Safe (Whooping Cranes) 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 ringtone,  Snow Owl, Great Horned Owlets, Pied-billed Grebe, and Red-bellied Woodpecker images!
Deborah Rivel for our Cuban Tody image
(c) Wildsight Productions, Inc., 2018