1993 - 2018

February News From
The Wild Bird 
Habitat Stores


Connecting people with nature since 1993
right in their own backyards
Nebraska Sandhill Crane Festival
The longest running birding festival in North America
Details below
22nd GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT
February 15 - 18, 2019

The Wild Bird Habitat Stores, Nebraska's Ambassador for the Great Backyard Bird Count, is calling on all backyard birders, bird enthusiasts, expert, novice, and beginning birders, to count the birds during the  22nd Annual Great Backyard Bird Count, February 15th - 18th, 2019

  • FOR ALL AGES - YOUTH THROUGH ADULT
  • FOR ALL LEVELS OF BIRDING EXPERIENCE
 
Tell your friends, neighbors, and associates to count the birds during this free, 4 day bird count. The Cornell Bird Lab, Audubon, and Bird Studies Canada are asking everyone to become a citizen scientist and help provide valuable data to biologists about the birds across the entire North American Continent. You can count the birds visiting your bird feeders. Take a walk through your neighborhood or city park and count the birds you see. Drive to a state lake, park, or nature center. Down a winding country road. Count the birds around your schoolyard or have your class take a short walk. It doesn't matter whether you count the five birds you recognize, or every bird you see. It doesn't matter if you feed birds or not. Just count the birds! Then  submit your information to the Cornell Bird Lab. 

Your data is important!
Your data is valuable!
 
No matter what state you are in, what province you are in, anywhere in the world, join in the Great Backyard Bird Count by going to 


AND JOIN IN THIS 4 DAY FREE BIRD COUNT FEBRUARY 15 TO 18
 

Wild Bird Habitat's February Newsletter
Scroll down to read
Need some help identifying birds? 

Answer five simple questions about a bird you are trying to identify and Merlin will come up with a list of possible matches. Merlin offers quick identification help for all levels of bird watchers to learn about North America and Europe's common and rare birds!

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.

The Audubon Bird Guide is a free and complete field guide to over 800 species of North American birds, right in your pocket. Built for all experience levels, it will help you identify the birds around you, keep track of the birds you've seen, and get outside to find new birds near you. Now with Bird ID Wizard

HARD COPY FIELD GUIDES form Wild Bird Habitat
We hope you enjoy Wild Bird Habitat's monthly birding news
More birding info than you can shake a tail feather at!
February Birding Notes:
  • Up to now this has been a sparse winter for northern finches with the exception of Northern Goldfinch populations. There have been numerous reports of Pine Siskin visiting feeders
  • 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.
  • Try adding a shelled peanut feeder for nuthatches, woodpeckers, Chickadees, and Carolina Wrens
  • 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
Read more in Dave's February Bird Chatter in 
Wild Bird Habitat's February Newsletter below 
Don't miss   "THE SEED - 2018"
A publication from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum
Enjoyable & informative -  below

Why Do We Feed Birds-and Should We? 
A Q&A With the Experts

In his book The Birds at My Table: Why We Feed Wild Birds and Why It Matters , Australian scientist Darryl Jones takes a deep dive into the history of the practice, its phenomenal growth, and some of the reasons we do it. We talked with Jones about some of the most basic questions about feeding birds: Is it good for birds? What are the risks? And what do people get out of it? To round out the conversation, we also asked Emma Greig, who leads the Lab's own Project Feeder Watch , and consulted the 2015 book Feeding Wild Birds in America , by Paul Baicich, Margaret Barker, and Carrol Henderson, as a reference.

CLICK to read the entire article
bald eagle
Bald Eagles are congregating at Branch Oak Lake State Recreation Area.  As many as 25 Bald Eagles and 3 Trumpeter Swans have been observed at Branched Oak Lake on a regular basis. By mid February Bald Eagles could number over 100. During migration the Missouri River hosts the second largest population of Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states. Watch Wild Bird Habitat for more on  bird migrations as we move through late winter into spring. 
GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT EVENT
Pioneers Park Nature - Center Chet Ager Bldg
Saturday, February 16, 2019 / 9 AM to 11 AM
 
New WBH Logo
Join the Wild Bird Habitat Store for a bird walk and count event. This is a national program, started by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, and is great for birders of all levels. We'll meet at the Chet Ager Building, 
watch the feeders,
PPNC Logo
and then head out for a hike, weather permitting. Then warm up with cookies, hot tea and cocoa. Register by February 13, if you plan to attend. Walk-ins welcomed
 

SUGGESTED $5 DONATION TO THE NATURE CENTER

Pioneers Park Nature Center's Newsletter
GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT EVENT
KID'S BIRD enCOUNTER
  Saturday, February 16 - 10:30 AM to Noon
Eiseley Library - 1530 Superior Street
Wachiska Logo

FREE FAMILY BIRD EVENT - We will introduce kids and their families to live owls, hawks, and more presented by Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery. Hands-on
New WBH Logo
demonstrations on using kids' binoculars. Tips on attracting and feeding birds. Bird ID games using flashcards, plus more birding activities.  Music, hand-picked bird books for library checkout. And kids can Build-a-Bird with Wild Bird Habitat Staff and Project Beak. Hand-outs on how to count birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count available.



The Seed - 2018 
Nebraska Statewide Arboretum - Planting Nebraska for healthy people, vibrant communities and a resilient environment 

Late last summer I was contacted by Karma Larson of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum to submit an article about my favorite bird to be published in "THE SEED - 2018". That became quite a challenge. I often kid with folks that my favorite bird is the one I'm looking at, at that time. A number of other birders were asked the same question as well. The results are most interesting. But apart from birders proclaiming their favorite bird, the article produced a vast assortment of information about birds. For example:
Crane Dance
  • "Every year 400,000 to 600,000 sandhill cranes-80 percent of all the cranes on the planet-congregate along an 80-mile stretch of the central Platte River in Nebraska, to fatten up on waste grain in the empty cornfields in preparation for the journey to their Arctic and subarctic nesting grounds." Smithsonian 
  • "How many caterpillars does it take to raise a nest of chickadee chicks? Native oak trees are host to more than 550 species of moth and butterfly caterpillars. The ginkgo, a common ornamental landscaping tree from Asia, supports only five species." Audubon
  • "A cedar waxwing eating dogwood fruits needs 230 berries a day. While we humans can't eat dogwood berries, we do love blueberries. So by comparison, if we ate the same amount of blueberries relative to our weight of, say, 140 pounds, we would have to eat 46,577 berries-a whopping 215 pints-per day!" Evansville Courier & Press
  • "Scientists have determined that the world's birds eat 450 to 550 million tons of insects each year. That's as many as 20 quadrillion individual bugs." USA Today
Read the full article about

It's entertaining, thought provoking, and informative with a terrific list of birding resources for every bird enthusiast

Learn more about the
And now for Wild Bird Habitat's February Newsletter

Wild Bird Habitat Store's
Newsletter
Click to find out
  • What is the "bird of the month?
  • Read "Dave's Bird Chatter" for February
  • It's National Bird Feeding Month
  • See our mid-winter sales
  • Make plans for the Great Backyard Bird Count
  • and more birding news

47th Annual
Nebraska Crane Festival
March 21-24, 2019 
Holiday Inn and Convention Center
Kearney, Nebraska
In its 47th year, Audubon's Nebraska Crane Festival brings together hundreds of crane lovers from around the country to Kearney, Nebraska, to interact with a wide range of environmental speakers, take part in incredible birding trips.Best of all you'll experience the world's largest gathering of 500,000 to 600,000 Sandhill Cranes, 80% of the planet's crane population, along a 60 mile stretch of the Platte River in Nebraska.

The keynote speaker will be actress and author Jane Alexander. In addition, the festival will also feature Iliana Pena, Director of Conservation from Audubon Texas; and Matt Anderson, Audubon's Vice President of Climate Change. To view the festival program, learn more about the speakers, and register for the festival, visit 

Also check out all the other bird related activities, events, and birding resources. Get a Sandhill Crane Watch Brochure and Sandhill Crane Viewing Map  from the Kearney Visitors Bureau at 
Repeated articles from Wild Bird Habitat's
January Newsletter
How To Attract A Larger Variety Of Birds To Your Backyard

Want to attract more birds to your backyard? Want to attract a larger variety of bird species to your feeders? Birds have certain feeding characteristics. For instance certain birds will only feed at elevated feeders such as Chickadees and nuthatches. Others prefer larger perching areas. This includes Northern Cardinals and Blue Jays. Then there are those birds that like to cling; Downy Woodpeckers as well as Red-bellied and Hairy Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers. Some birds prefer to feed on the ground That would include Mourning Doves and our native sparrows.

The fact is that to attract a larger variety of birds to your backyard it helps to provide a variety of bird feeders that will accommodate the needs of the birds you want to attract. And of course what you fill those bird feeders with makes a difference also. For example birds that come to elevated bird feeders are primarily after the the nut meats such as black oil sunflower, hulled sunflower, safflower, and peanuts. 

Check out Wild Bird Habitat's article on the SEVEN BASIC BIRD FEEDERS that will guarantee bringing a larger variety of birds into your backyard. Also helpful is Wild Bird Habitat's BIRD FEED & BIRD FEEDER GUIDE where you can find out what bird feeders and wild bird feeds are suited for your favorite backyard birds.  

WINGTIP:
Nutra Saff w Chickadee
If you are currently filling your seed tube bird feeder with a white Proso millet based general wild bird mix, try filling it with black oil sunflower seed, hulled sunflower seed, or Nutra Safflower seed. You'll be surprised at the difference in activity and the birds you attract to that seed tube bird feeder.

Maintaining a Bird Bath During Winter
You may think birds can locate water during the winter - some where. But that isn't the case when the thermometer plummets below freezing. Water is essential for all living things. For birds eating snow may be an option, but it lowers their body temperature robbing them of the essential energy they need to remain warm. L earn more in this months newsletter below and in the article


WINGTIP:
Nyjer thistle seed has always been the go to wild bird feed for Goldfinches. They will also feast on hulled sunflower seed. But Nutra Safflower seed has become a very popular feed for Goldfinch when placed in a seed tube bird feeder.

Nyjer thistle seed is imported from places like India, Burma, and Ethiopia. It is sterilized when brought into North America to avoid noxious weed seeds from germinating creating a relatively short shelf life which Goldfinch will reject if the Nyjer is old.

Nutra safflower on the other hand is grown by American farmers, is less expensive, attracts not just Goldfinch but a large variety of birds, and best of all squirrels ignore it.

NOTE: I have never observed Goldfinch feeding on traditional WHITE SAFFLOWER. However   NUTRA SAFFLOWER was hybridized from white safflower removing the hard white outer shell, raising the over-all fat content by 30% leaving a thin brown hull often referred to as safflower gold.

Wild Bird Habitat Store's North Lincoln Store Has Migrated
 
Lincoln's Wild Bird Habitat Stores. Serving Nebraska birders since 1993
 
Wild Bird Habitat Store's North Lincoln
(New Location)
                           4900 Dudley Street 
                              
Alamo Plaza Store




Wild Bird Habitat Store's South Lincoln
South Lincoln / Alamo Plaza / 56th & HWY 2


Wild Bird Habitat Stores
recipients of the 2015
from
Gold Crest Distribution, Birding Business Magazine
& leaders in the Bird Feeding Industry

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 
BIRD FEEDERS

2 YEAR TO LIFETIME WARRANTIES

BROME 
BIRD CARE

 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
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. NE
Wild Bird Habitat Store

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

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Intergity Award


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

Toll Free Phone: (800) 606-2553



In Omaha visit
Omaha, NE
Bing & Luann Behrens at
Wild Bird Habitat
Harrison Village Mall
168th & Harrison
(402) 504-4450
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