Flying Colors is a sponsored column on the hobby of backyard bird feeding written by Michael Zuiker, owner of the Wild Birds Unlimited store at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center. Visit the store at 2437 N. Harrison Street or call 703-241-3988.
Bags packed. Tickets in hand. Cooler filled. Kids buckled in. It is a fun time in the summer.
As we plan for those exotic vacations around the country and even overseas, we may forget that the wild birds in our backyards do not take the “Summer Off!” They are actually incredibly active. From dusk to dawn, they are still:
Breeding — the goldfinches are just starting.
Feeding their young — some birds such as hummingbirds and house wrens are having second broods.
Teaching the fledglings how to go it alone. Remember the first-time baby ate spaghetti on their own? Yeah it is like that with the baby birds on suet!
All of this activity takes a lot of energy. That energy burns up food. They need to replenish that food.
You see, bird feeding isn’t just a winter hobby. By continuing to feed your birds in spring and summer, you have the greatest opportunity to attract the widest variety of birds to your yard and feeders.
Access to abundant and healthy food supplies is important to birds… regardless of the season. Bird feeders provide a portion of these important nutritional needs for your backyard birds throughout the year. Birds with access to backyard feeder benefit greatly from their ability to spend less time foraging for food and more time engaging in activities that enhance their health and safety.
Bird feeding isn’t just a winter hobby. Many people stop feeding in late spring and early summer, thinking the birds have plenty of food. That is not true. Your yard, if somewhat untamed, will explode with food in the late summer and early fall. Right now, most gardens are still growing.
So, before you hit the pedal to the metal and crank up those tunes, load up your feeders. If only for a few days your birds have their restaurants open, you will be helping them. There is no need to worry that your birds will go away if there is not food. They will try out different sources of food. But I guarantee you that when you turn on the light of your feeder restaurants that you are open for business again, they will be calling to you for reservations.
Each month, we will be providing “Nature Notes” to you. These notes will give to you some of the highlights of the month as to what nature is doing. From migration to breeding to singing to shooting stars — we will provide for you a checklist that you can use to explore some of the exciting events that will be occurring. One of my favorite moments of summer is when the fireflies come out. My yard, for the past three weeks, has been exploding with their light show. Now I know summer is on!
I did not really need the asphalt scorching heat, oxygen sucking humidity and flaming hot ball of fire in a cloudless sky to tell me summer was on!
Here are some highlights for you to start watching for in July:
- NABA national butterfly count.
- Cicadas start calling.
- Watch local ponds for immature herons and bitterns.
- First brood of immature hummingbirds begin to show up at nectar feeders early in the month.
- Thistle plants begin to seed; goldfinches gather thistledown for nesting material.
- Blackbirds begin to flock and appear at feeders.
- Listen for the feeding screeches of young barred and great horned owls.
- Shorebird migration starts.
- Butterfly milkweed in bloom. Look for monarch butterfly adults, eggs and larva.
- Look for hummingbirds feeding on trumpet creeper, jewelweed and cardinal flowers.
- Delta aquarids meteor shower peaks in late-July.
Good Monday evening, Arlington. Today we published 5 articles that were read a total of 8250 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today…
A number of options have emerged for upgrading an iffy portion of the Arlington Blvd Trail. Engineers found it would be possible to accommodate a trail up to 11 feet…
Searching for a gift for the car enthusiast in your life? CarCare To Go has the 4 best gifts to give this season.
A Rosslyn-based cybersecurity company is providing free cybersecurity training to Black girls and women via a partnership with a local nonprofit, Black Girls Hack.
Join us at Art House 7 this Saturday 4-7pm for our Annual Open House – Teacher and Student art show!
Meet our teachers
See student and teacher artwork
Teacher’s paintings, ceramics, notecards will be for sale
Enjoy beverages and light refreshments
All attendees get a $20 gift certificate off a class
30% off everything in our Supply Store for holiday gifts
Sat. Dec. 3, 4-7pm
Art House 7
The Alternative Christmas Market is back! At First Presbyterian Church Arlington in Ballston, located at 601 N. Vermont Street, Arlington VA 22203, on Sunday, December 4th from 9:30am to 1:00pm. Parking available.
Vendors and products this year include: 10,000 Villages, Olive Oil Ministry, African Team Ministries, Community Coalition for Haiti, Heifer, African Market Baskets, Café Justo, Thistle Farms, Southwest Indian Foundation, and Together We Bake.
Buy gifts for everyone on your list, and support these great organizations, artisans, and global neighbors. See you there!
NCE’s Holiday Concert will bring the finest classical masterpieces and holiday favorites together for the whole family. The festivities begin with Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” and “Chanukkah Festival”, music from the Nutcracker and by J.S. Bach.
Outstanding Young Artist