1993 - 2018

March 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
20th GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT


RESULTS

 * Worldwide - 191658 Checklists Submitted / 6519 Bird Species / 
                         Individual birds counted 30,359,200

 * Nebraska  -  744 Checklists Submitted / 90 Bird Species 

View more results in you're state or county
  • Just click on  BIRD COUNT 2019 
  • Open the  Explore Data tab.
  • Enter your state or province

March Birding Notes:
  • March, we are at the beginning stages of spring migration.
  • Over 500,000 Sandhill Cranes will spend six weeks on the Platte River.
  • March snowstorms can cause problems for our birds.
  • Suet will be in big demand for the remainder of winter, and even more so from March to August during the nesting season.
  • Goldfinches will be flocking to thistle feeders & males will show their breeding plumage.
  • 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.
  • We've seen a lot of snow. Birds are visiting feeders on a regular basis with natural foods covered.
  • Time to clean out nest boxes, make repairs to them, or add a new bird house.
  • After a snowy cold winter it's time for the singing to begin.
Read more in Dave's Bird Chatter for March 
in  Wild Bird Habitat's March Newsletter below 
Wild Bird Habitat's March, 2019 Newsletter
Scroll down to read
It's Been A Long Cold Winter On The Plains

Yes it has been a long cold winter in on the Great Plains, and at the time of publishing Wild Bird Habitat's online newsletter it appears to not be over yet. More snow is in the forecast and temperatures will remain below normal.

It seems we have had continual snow pack on the ground since the end of October and as of late, temperatures have been single digit above and below zero with windchill pushing -25 degrees several weeks. 

This time of year we generally see large flocks of Snow Geese overhead, setting down in fields and area lakes to feed and rest before moving on north. I'm not sure where they are currently staging to our south as snow and freezing temperature extends all the way to southern Kansas and northern Missouri. But as southerly winds pick up in the weeks ahead I predict we'll see huge flocks numbering in the tens of thousands on the move.

The early arrival of Sandhill Cranes came to an abrupt stop as well. Last count I heard was about 50,000 had arrived. But there again as the weather improves by mid-March I think we may see record numbers of 600,000 plus on the Platte River in Central Nebraska and they may remain a week or so longer with their late start moving north. For many its going to be a long trip to reach Siberia as they need to feed and put on about a quarter more of their overall weight to make the trip. I think we're heading for a remarkable crane viewing season and it could include over a million Snow Geese from the Central Platte River south across the Rainwater Basin. Its happened before.

Many of our other birds are most likely experiencing a difficult time. Nebraska is the 16th largest state in the Union and its covered in snow from border to border. The Lincoln, Nebraska area has received more than 50 inches of snow, fifth snowiest on record, with more predicted. If we break 60" it will set a new record.


One bird that concerns me is the increased number of Carolina Wrens that remain in northern reaches during winter. They are not a very winter hardy bird generally moving to southeastern states during winter. One harsh winter such as we are experiencing now may take a toll on there numbers locally. Many may perish.Winter on the Great Plains shows no mercy. 



So how do our birds survive during a hard winter. Its not easy. Backyard bird feeders can prove to be a critical source of supplemental food for those that have feeders available. And Wild Bird Habitat wants to thank all those folks that have kept their feeders well stocked. At times it has been a challenge. But what about birds that have no access to backyard bird feeders. Read about some basic survival techniques that have helped our birds survive winters.

How Do Birds Survive The Winter? - Courtesy of the Cornell Bird Lab


And now for Wild Bird Habitat's March Newsletter

Wild Bird Habitat Store's
Newsletter
Published by the Wild Bird Habitat Stores
Click to find out
  • What is the "bird of the month?
  • Read "Dave's Bird Chatter" for March
  • Sandhill Cranes arriving at the Platte River
  • Check out Nebraska Birding Festivals
  • Take a "Road Trip" birding
  • and more birding news
Shop Wild Bird Habitat's Online Store
For the best seed tube bird feeders and Nyjer thistle feeders on the market its Aspects and Droll Yankees - hands down

Why? These are high end, quality wild bird feeders at an affordable price. Made in the U.S.A., and come with a lifetime warranty. 

DY Twist Off CC Fdr


These seed tube and Nyjer thistle seed feeders are easy to fill and even easier to clean with Quick Clean removable bases.




Unlike acrylic seed and thistle bird feeders you find at many big box outlets that can crack in cold temperatures or they become brittle from the hot summer sun, Aspects and Droll Yankees tubes are made from polypropylene - durable, UV stabilized, won't yellow or crack. (covered by lifetime warranty)

If you want a quality seed tube bird feeder or Nyjer thistle seed bird feeder, then you want  Aspects or Droll Yankees feeders - guaranteed for life..






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
Don't miss   "THE SEED - 2018"
A publication from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum
Enjoyable & informative -  below
We hope you enjoy Wild Bird Habitat's monthly birding news
More birding info than you can shake a tail feather at!
49th 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 
Pioneers Park Nature Center's Newsletter
BLUEBIRD NEST BOXES
If you are a bluebird landlord, or plan to become one, get the information you need to be a successful "bluebirder".
PVC Bluebird Box

Visit the North American Bluebird Society at  NABS

Get bluebird nest boxes at WBH

Coming in 2020
North American Bluebird Conference
Hosted by Bluebirds Across Nebraska
March 12-15, 2020

The North American Bluebird Society 20th National Convention combined with 
Bluebirds Across Nebraska's State Conference and it all coincides with
Sandhill Crane Migration on the Central Platte River in  Kearney, Nebraska

Watch For Details

PEANUT BIRD FEEDERS
One of Dave's favorite bird feeders types
Check out Dave's photos below
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
 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
Repeated articles from Wild Bird Habitat's
February 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.  

Our Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

Check them out below 

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.

 Attractor Suet Plugs below - highly nutritious

#1 suet plugs on the market
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.
 Brome Bird Care
Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders
Check out these amazing feeders below
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
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

 

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

 


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




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.

 
 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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