November 2023

THE FLOCK NEWSLETTER

 

Seasonal Product Alert:

Winter SuperblendĀ®

It is starting to get into freezing temperatures at night, so your backyard birds need a reliable source of fat and protein to keep themselves heated throughout the night. Our Winter Superblend® is a great treat to add to your feeding station or mix in with your regular seed blend. Your feathered friends will be at your feeders at daybreak, since they can lose up to 10% of their body weight at night to keep their bodies warm - they need to replenish it quickly! You can shop online for your Winter SuperBlend® See Cylinders and Winter SuperBlend® Loose Seed

 

What's been happening in our yards:

Winter Migrants!

If you didn’t know Michigan also has winter migrants, not just summer ones! Staff member Megan has been seeing an increase in White-throated sparrows, Dark-eyed juncos, and Golden-crowned kinglets flitting around her yard. In the warmer months they live in the boreal forests of Canada and northern Michigan feasting on pine seeds of conifer trees. Expect to see more Pine siskins and Purple finches too, as they migrate to southern Michigan throughout the season.

 

Upcoming In-Store Classes

We will be closed Thursday, November 23rd for Thanksgiving - enjoy your birds! 

Friday, November 24th - Fill-A-Bag sale. Get ready for the holiday season and start shopping for friends, family, and your backyard birds! This sale is store wide, but everything must fit in the shopping bag provided, so come check us out!


*Check your email for other sales, promotions, or nature happenings in our area.

Where is Laurel?

Laurel will be out in the community the first of the month taking her “Ornitherapy” program out on the road. Do you belong to a group who is looking for a guest speaker to present an educational program to your organization? Laurel is already booking community outreach programs for January through March in 2024 and she would love to come teach for your group! You can request a full list of topics and program descriptions by emailing [email protected]. Laurel will personally work with you to schedule an event, date, and time that meets your needs.

 

Bird Nerd Corner:

Identifying Birds

Our customer Sara K. sent us an amazing picture from her feeder from last year. You can clearly see the difference between the American Goldfinch and Pine Siskin in this image. The goldfinch is still a tad yellow, with bold black wings, while the siskin is a mottled brown with clear streaking on its chest. Be prepared to see an increase of Pine Siskins at your feeders as the weather gets colder. If you have any fun bird experiences or pictures you want to share with us, please send them to our email at [email protected].

 

Save the Songbirds:

Bird-friendly Coffee

     Many of our lovable summer visitors migrate to Central and South America to enjoy warmer weather and reliable food sources of fruits and insects that Michigan cannot provide in cold temperatures. These birds are out of sight until May, but that does not mean they should be out of mind.

     Coffee farms are concentrated in a lot of these areas that orioles, warblers, and thrushes depend on. About 75% of these companies plant their plants in the sun, effectively eliminating the native habitat that these birds, and native species rely on for surviving. Without natural habitat there is a lack of food, shelter, and water for them as more of the landscape is used up for these large-scale farming endeavors. Pesticides and fertilizers are heavily used as well, and that directly impacts birds as they feast on insects.

     Shade-grown coffee is a way that we can help our songbirds, because coffee that is grown in the understory of tropical rainforests benefits the economy and is more environmentally sustainable. More than 42 species of North American migratory songbirds can be impacted if we take a closer look at our cup of coffee in the morning. Look for a symbol on your coffee’s packaging that verifies it has been certified as bird friendly from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. In addition, these coffees are certified as organic and meets fair trade standards! Make an impact on your birds and try bird-friendly coffee, our feathered friends will appreciate it and so will your taste buds!


Source: Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute