White Breasted Nuthatch Cardinal

Keeping Them Clean

None of us like to eat off dirty dishes, but when it comes to our bird feeders we seldom think about the accumulation of gunk that can build up, after weeks or months of putting bird seeds out and having countless birds eating from them.  While it would be nice to think that birds are
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Brown-headed Cowbird

Cowbird. What a crazy name for a creature with feathers and wings.  Their scientific name is Molothrus ater.  The first is a Greek word that means vagabond, tramp, or parasite and very well describes the bird’s lifestyle. These birds found a way to make a living by following the great hoofed herds of the western
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Common Loons

A week ago I stepped out on our deck on a perfect summer morning and heard the sound that sets a Minnesotan’s heart aflutter – the sound of a loon’s laughter, officially known as the tremolo call.  This call is made both on the water and in the air as the bird flies.  I stood
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Oil and Wildlife Don’t Mix

Even though I don’t live near any ocean I am distraught every time I hear about another oil spill into one.  The most recent occurred on May 20th on the California coast near Santa Barbara, the same area where in 1969 one of the worst oil spills ever occurred, when an offshore well blew and
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Avian Flu

Having just made it through winter and the usual flu season, it is disturbing for most of us to learn that another form of flu has reared its ugly head and has been spreading like wildfire.  This one though is targeting birds – domestic turkeys and chickens mainly.  At the moment this is an economic
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Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird In the winter months our feeder was Grand Central for the blue jays.  Now they’ve become scarce and have been replaced by the red-winged blackbirds, believed by some ornithologists to be the most abundant land bird in North America.  They are found from the Pacific to the Atlantic and prefer wetland habitat for
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American Robin

The robins sounded as happy as we felt on this rainy morning.  The soft, steady precipitation softened the parched ground and soon they would be able to easily grab their favorite food.  Robin’s vary their songs depending on the time of day and weather conditions.  The most distinctive and common call is described as, “cheerily,
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