We can show you how to turn your yard into a birdfeeding habitat that brings song, color and life to your home.
During the hot and often dry conditions that make up the “dog days of summer," you will be doing yourself and your birds a big favor by providing them with a reliable source of water.
Water is very important to birds. Whether they are feeder visitors or not, birds need water. Offering a dependable source of water is probably the simplest and most important step you can take to greatly increase the variety of birds in your yard.
It can also significantly increase your enjoyment of your birds by allowing you to watch their often comical antics as they drink, bathe and preen.
However, as entertaining as it is for us, water (or the lack thereof) can be deadly serious for birds. Birds must be ready to fly at all times, and bathing is a critical part of feather maintenance and staying in top-flight condition.
Water is also vitally important when it's extremely hot and a bird’s ability to regulate its body temperature can become stressed. Birds do not sweat and must remove excess body heat through their respiratory system. So when temperatures rise, a bird's respiration rate increases, sometimes to the point that it can be seen panting like a dog. This activity dehydrates birds and increases their need for a reliable source of water to replace lost fluids.
So, while the addition of a bird bath, fountain or mister to your yard can supply hours of enjoyable bird watching entertainment for you, it may also be providing a lifesaving necessity.
Fun Facts About Woodpeckers
Considering the pounding it takes, why doesn’t a woodpecker’s bill wear down to a ragged nub? Wear down it does, but special cells on the end of the bill are constantly replacing the lost material. This keeps the chisel-pointed bill strong and resilient, while actually allowing it to be sharpened with every blow.
Woodpeckers use their stiff tail feathers for extra support when digging for insects or hollowing out a nest in a tree.
A woodpecker’s pointed tail feathers are especially strong and rigid. The tail bone, lower vertebrae and the tail’s supporting muscles are also large in comparison to other birds. These modifications allow a woodpecker’s tail to serve as a prop that supports their weight as they climb and cling to trees.
Woodpeckers rarely climb down trees, their stiff tail feathers and relatively short legs are much better adapted for climbing upward instead of down.
The contrasting black and white pattern found on the backs of many woodpeckers helps to conceal them from predators. Known as disruptive coloration, this sharp contrast in colors helps to break-up and conceal the shape and outline of a woodpecker as it climbs the side of a tree.
The barbed tip of a woodpecker’s tongue is very sensitive to touch and can both detect and impale insect larvae. The tongue is coated with sticky mucus that is secreted by large salivary glands; this coating helps to ensure that its prey does not slip away.
Most woodpeckers’ tongues are two to three times longer than their bills.
The base of some woodpeckers’ long, retractable tongues reach entirely around the back and top of the skull and end behind the right eye socket.
To prevent small bits of debris from entering their nostrils while excavating trees, woodpeckers have tufts of stiff feathers growing over both nostrils.
Woodpeckers have a third eyelid to help protect their eyes from debris while drilling into trees.
Woodpeckers have a thicker skin than most other birds, an adaptation that has probably evolved from their constant contact with the rough bark of trees.
How Cool is That! - Woodpeckers
How Cool is That! - Hummingbirds
How Cool is That! - Hummingbirds
Fun Facts About Hummingbirds
There are 18 hummingbird species in North America. Hummingbirds are found no where else in the world except the New World (North, Central, and South America.)
There are over 325 species of hummingbirds, making them the second largest bird family in the world, second only to flycatchers.
Hummingbirds weigh 1/10th of an ounce; about the weight of a penny.
Hummingbirds’ brains are about the size of a BB.
Hummingbirds’ hearts are larger proportionally to their body than any other bird or mammal.
Hummingbirds have such underdeveloped legs that they are unable to walk well.
A mother hummingbird weighs only about eight times more than her egg.
Hummingbirds lay the world’s smallest bird egg.
Hummingbirds generally lay two eggs, each about the size of a blueberry.
Hummingbirds learn to associate flower colors, like red, with food. They do not have an innate preference for red.
They drink nectar from plants and sugar water from feeders.
Hummingbirds lap up nectar with their long tongues. There is a groove on either side of the tongue that creates a capillary action to help draw the nectar up the tongue and into the mouth during the lapping action.
While lapping up nectar, Hummingbirds can move their tongues in and out of their bill at a rate of up to 12 times a second.