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.
Aaahhhhhh. It is the best season of the year. The birds are singing. The bees are humming. The flowers are blooming. Couples are snuggling. The candy shaped hearts are filling…
Oh Wait! Wrong Season.
This is the best time of the year. The birds are flocking. The flowers are going to harvest and seed. Candy looks more like bats and monsters. But, hey couples are still snuggling in the brutally fierce cold north winds blowing down from the Canadian Provinces. It is the perfect time to “fall for fall!”
With trees putting on a rainbow show of colors, the bright blue skies, the crimson sunsets and glorious brilliant golden sunrises, how can you not embrace this fantastic season?
In addition to natures colorful show, your birds are ever more active in your yards. They are in tune to the changes and are adapting their schedules to ensure they will survive.
We have it easy. The temperatures drop and we put on another coat or sweater or both. When it gets dark we go inside and snuggle up to the fireplace and a good book. The wild birds in your yards are not so lucky. Well, depending on what is on TV, they may be luckier than us. But their nights are longer and colder and they must eat a lot to survive.
To do so, they will find the good places to forage for food. This could be a large field with wild flowers and shrubs going to seed and fruit. Truth is, you do not see those fields very much around here anymore. So, the birds have to find other reliable places to go to get the food they need to survive.
This is where your restaurants come in. When you set up your feeding stations and keep them filled with “fresh, high fat foods”, the birds will set those up as their winter-feeding stations. The birds will know that those feeders will give them a source for high energy foods they need.
Does this mean you can’t take a week off and go to Miami to play in the surf? No, you can. The birds will not become dependent on only one source of food to sustain themselves. Birds will have multiple feeding stations around your neighborhood, as long as they exist, and forage at all of them. Yet you will insure that you get many visitors of different species by keeping your feeding stations full.
Remember, very soon, your backyard birds will be out in the cold nights for 12 hours. That is a long time to burn of their food that they were able to find during the shorter hours of the day. Less flying around to find food and more readily accessible high-quality food close by gives the birds a much better chance to survive the winter.
Many of our customers say that all is their favorite season. If you are one of them, then we say “fall for fall!” Get out and play — maybe not this weekend with the impending Nor’ Easter! Instead, fill up your feeders and help your wild birds get the food they need to weather this storm.
Until October 31, Wild Birds Unlimited is having our Fall Bird Food Sale! All of our 20 lb. bags of premium blends and seeds are 15% off. Daily Savings Club members will receive an additional 5% off.
If you want to learn more about becoming a DSC member, ask an associate for details. Stock up before the nasty weather and get those feeders filled. The entertainment of watching your birds will have your “fallin for fall!”