Informative  |  October 18, 2019

Wingman’s Fun Feather Facts

By: Grant Toellner

OBC Bat House Single Chamber

5,000
Sunflower seeds originated in South America and were used by Native Americans more than 5000 years ago. Today, the leading producers of this popular seed are Russia, Ukraine, Argentina, and China. Make sure you don’t miss out on the booking special currently going on at Songbird Station on the US produced black-oil sunflower seed.

Sea-Bird Pooh
When most people hear the word guano, they think of just bat poop, but in fact, the word “guano” has its roots in the Quechuan language and basically means “sea bird pooh”. For the Incans, it was so highly prized, that anyone that endangered the source of the stuff could be sentenced to death! Autumn is a great time to put up a bat house and Songbird Station has the best selection in town with most houses being made and produced right here in Central Missouri.

Bird Migration By: Stan Tekiela

37,000 feet
Bar-headed geese are the highest-flying migratory birds, regularly reaching altitudes of up to five and a half miles above sea level while flying over the Himalayas in India. The bird with the record for the highest altitude, however, is the Ruppel’s griffon vulture, which collided with a plane at 37,000 feet (seven miles) in 1975 and was unfortunately sucked into its jet engine. A new book from Adventure Publications called Bird Migration has some great facts on migration patterns of North American birds.

Nutsie Seed Log 80 oz.

24 inches
The Tufted Titmouse only live in areas where rainfall is greater than 24 inches per year and are more common where rainfall exceeds 32 inches per year. I have great luck attracted titmice to my yard by offering seed logs from Pine Tree Farms. They really seem to enjoy the Nutsie log the best, and there is a seed log variety of feeders available at Songbird Station.

 

 

Attracting Birds, Bird Baths, Bird Food and Feeders, Bird Species, Informative  |  October 15, 2019

Family Time

By: Kevin Alferman

Warblers

The Warbler Guide By: Tom Stephenson & Scott Whittle

Welcome to the wonderful world of Warblers. Did you know that 37 species of warblers migrate through Missouri in the Spring and Fall? Fall viewing can produce some rewarding looks at the colorful and artistic patterns of warblers, however, they don’t come easy. Most warblers are secretive, hiding among the foliage. They feed actively, primarily on insects, so it seems like right when you’re ready to get a good look, it moves. But keep trying, because when you do get a good look it’s really worth it. In general, warblers are tiny (smaller than sparrows, slightly larger than a goldfinch) and their beaks are short and pointed. Common species that breed in Missouri include Northern Parula, American Redstart, Prothonotary Warbler, Ovenbird, Louisiana Waterthrush, Kentucky Warbler, Common Yellow Throat, and Yellow-Breasted Chat. Uncommon breeding warblers include Blue-Winged, Yellow-Throated, Yellow, Pine, Black and White, Prairie, Cerulean and Worm-eating. Common migrating warblers include Tennessee, Yellow-Rumped, Black-Throated Green, Blackpoll, Palm and Wilson’s. Uncommon migrating warblers include Orange-Crowned, Nashville, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Bay-Breasted, Mourning, and Canada. WHEW! As if that’s not enough, an additional 6 species wing through as rarities. Want to learn more – Check out “The Warbler Guide”.

Pine Tree Farms Insect Suet Cake

Species Spotlight – Yellow-Rumped Warbler

The Yellow-Rumped Warbler is one of the most abundant warbler species throughout the country. In Missouri, they are abundant migrants from Early October through November, with their numbers reducing through December. A few even stick around through the winter! They spend the summer breeding in Canada and high mountains. Look for them in the higher portions of trees in your yard. Locate them by listening for their often repeated short call (sounds like “check”). It is a well-named species because the yellow rump is a good field mark. It looks like a pat of butter was placed above the base of the tail, giving them the illustrious nickname “butterbutts”. Also, look for the white spots on the black tail (especially visible in flight) and the yellow patches on the flanks. Color patterns and markings are bolder on the male. The male’s body has an overall bluish-gray look, while the female appears more brownish. This species is separated into two subspecies and both migrate through Missouri. The Audubon race is the western variety and has a yellow throat. The white-throated Myrtle race breeds mostly in the eastern U.S. and Canada.

Backyard Essentials Floating Solar Birdbath Bubbler

Attracting and Viewing Warblers

Warbler migration peaks in mid-September so now is the time to get ready for them. Birdbaths, especially with moving and noisy water, are a great way to get warblers in the open for a nice look. Ground and elevated birdbaths also work well. The simplest way to things moving is the Solar Powered Birdbath Bubbler (pictured) that can be easily inserted in any type of birdbath. Despite being insect eaters, there are some good food options for attracting Warblers. Many species make occasional visits to suet for the high energy beef fat, especially varieties that include insects, and fruit. HAPPY HUNTING!

Q & A  |  October 14, 2019

Q & A With Kevin

Kevin Alferman – General Store Manager
Hanging Platform Feeder

Q. Should I feed the Wild Birds in the fall?
A. After feeding the birds throughout the winter, many people take down their feeders in the spring. Some people take them down in the early summer. Others don’t take them down at all and continue to feed year-round. I am one of those who choose to feed year-round, especially as we start moving in to fall. By feeding in fall we are helping resident birds build fat reserves for energy once they begin their migration. Did you know that by feeding a reliable food source that birds are likely to return to the same place in the spring? Another reason why I enjoy feeding this time of year is that I have the chance to attract the first winter bird species to my yard and encourage them to remain nearly all season.

Hearty Hearts Premium Bird Seed

Q. I enjoy watching the bird’s close-up out my window in the morning, but the mess that’s left behind from the seed is so unsightly. What can I do?
A. The answer to this is found in the type of seed you feed. Our #1 selling seed at Songbird Station is Hearty Hearts, which is basically just the nut meat of the Black Oil Sunflower without the shell. We like to refer to this as a “NO WASTE” formula. We also offer a Shell-Free Deluxe mix which consists of Hulled Sunflower Meats and Chopped Nuts. Both of these will draw many birds to your feeder and provide hours of enjoyment.

Songbird Essentials 17” Yellow Spiral Finch Tube Feeder

Q. Are the Goldfinches still here? I don’t see their bright yellow flashes at my feeders any longer?
A. The goldfinches are still here – the American Goldfinch follows this pattern. Beginning in September, and continuing for six to eight weeks, they molt all of their feathers, ending up with a completely new and pristine set of feathers (and drab colors) as they head into winter. While on the subject of goldfinches…… Have you tried the Yellow Spiral Finch Feeder from Songbird Essentials? This feeder is by far my favorite as it has 18 feeding ports to attract many more birds than the traditional tube feeder, birds love to run the spiral! This feeder is also very easy to clean and can be filled from either end. Pick one up today from Songbird Station and let me know what you think.

Cole’s 8 oz. Flaming Squirrel

Q. I enjoy watching the antics of the squirrels in my yard, but they sure know how to empty a feeder! What can I do to keep them away from my bird feeders?
A. There are several things that you can do to help curb this problem. The first thing you can do is add Flaming Squirrel Seed Sauce to your seed mix. This product is intended to make the seed not so tasty to the squirrels due to the hot and spicy flavor, but don’t worry ….. Birds do not have saliva glands and therefore can’t taste the heat. You can also set them up their own feeding area away from your bird feeders and treat them to Squirrel’s Referral which consists of Corn, Black Oil Sunflower, Peanut Pieces, Whole Peanuts, Grey Striped Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds. One more suggestion is purchasing a squirrel resistant feeder such as Squirrel Buster by Brome Bird Care, they guarantee it to be squirrel resistant!

Migration  |  October 11, 2019

Flight of the Hummingbirds

By: Tristan Palmgren

Though it seems to us like the weather has only gotten a little cooler, our hummingbirds sense a big change coming. They know that migration season is on us, and they’ve started to prepare. Some of them are already on the move. You may have already noticed changes in your yards as some of the hummers you’ve been feeding all summer have left, and that you have some new arrivals that have migrated from farther north.

Hummingbird migration is one of nature’s most fascinating phenomena. When hummingbirds realize they’ll need to migrate soon, they start bulking up for the trip. They know instinctively that they’ll be expending a large number of calories soon, and they increase their energy consumption to compensate. Hummingbird nectar is typically made at a concentration of four parts water to one part sugar (and this is as true for Songbird Essentials nectar mixes as homemade nectar). During the migration season, we recommend increasing that concentration to three parts water to one part sugar.

Songbird Essentials Super Shaker Nectar Maker

They need all that energy for a reason. Though some ruby-throated hummingbirds spend their winters in the very southern tip of Florida, the majority of those we see here in Missouri will cross the Gulf of Mexico to winter in Central and Southern America. Their journey will take them hundreds and hundreds of miles over the ocean in just twenty hours. And they’ll do it all in one trip, as there are few to no islands for them to stop on. They’ll traverse all this distance on wings that are just about an inch and half long, and that they need to beat forty to eighty times per second to stay aloft. It’s no wonder they eat more before they go.

Songbird Essentials Faceted Ruby Hummingbird Feeder

Hummingbirds increase their body weight enormously before migrating, nearly doubling their pre-migration weight. They then expend nearly all of that crossing the ocean. It’s one of the most arduous journeys any migratory species undertakes, let alone a species as small and vulnerable as the hummingbird. Imagine the toll on your body if, every year, you were to drastically increase your body weight and then expended of it in one concentrated burst of exercise. Hummingbirds are more adapted to these sudden gains and losses than our bodies would be, but it is still quite taxing on them.

Songbird Essentials 8 oz Clear Hummingbird Nectar 

Hummingbirds have been migrating in this style for millions of years. Their lifestyle well predates human civilization. If only for our mental well-being, it’s important to remember that hummingbirds are not dependent on humans to survive. Our goal in feeding these birds is not to replace or micromanage an ecosystem, but to supplement it, and to encourage desirable and colorful visitors to come to our backyards. However, their migration does mean that the hummingbird’s dietary needs change, and those of us who provide food for them need to be aware of that fact. The same hummingbirds that frequented your feeders in spring will be looking for something different, and stronger, at the end of the season.

Dr. JB’s Complete Switchables Available in 16 oz., 32 oz., 48 oz., & 80 oz. capacities

The fact that hummingbirds not only survive this trip but have thrived as a species is one of the many traits that make them wonders of nature. Another trait is their fantastic memory and sense of geolocation. Not only do they migrate incredible distances, they can pinpoint specific locations, and return to the same backyards that they left months and months—and thousands of miles—ago. If you’ve been feeding hummingbirds regularly throughout this season, you can place a good bet that you’ll see those same birds next spring.

Events  |  

Songbird Station Open House

We invite YOU to our Fall Open House for a day filled with fun, educational opportunities and
discounts! Refreshments available while you shop plus door prizes every hour.

When: Saturday, October 26th
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Songbird Station, 2010 Chapel Plaza Court, Suite C Columbia, MO 65203

Local photographers have been working hard all year to capture the perfect shot of their backyard birds. Please view their wonderful photos and cast your votes in-store the week of October 21st – 25th during regular business hours.

 

Sales & Promotions  |  October 01, 2019

Super Fall Seed Sale

The annual Super Fall Seed Sale is happening NOW at Songbird Station!

Book now through November 1st to take advantage of these deeply discounted seed, suet, and squirrel corn deals.

What do you mean by “book now”? Pre-Order! Give us a call or come in and pre-order your backyard birding supplies to lock in these discounted prices.

The birds will be around but these prices won’t last long and winter is right around the corner.

Receive 25% off any Songbird Essentials Feeder when you place your Pre-Order.

Super Fall Seed Sale:

“Super Clean” Black Oil Sunflower Seed, 40 lb.s……..$14.95

Nyjer/Thistle Seed, 20 lbs…………………………………… $24.95

C&S Nutty Treat Suet, Case of 12…………………………. $9.95

Ear Corn for Squirrels, Bag of 12 Large Ears…………. $2.95

Songbird Essentials Mixes, Over 15 Varieties to Choose From. Take $1.00 off 20 lb. or 40 lb. bags.

 

Give us a call today at 573-446-5941 or visit us in-store at 2010 Chapel Plaza Court, Suite C  Columbia, MO 65265

Attracting Birds  |  August 13, 2019

Its Hummingbird Season All Summer Long

01162-12820 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) at Dr. JB’s Hummingbird Feeder, Marion County, IL
Songbird Essentials SE6002

Hummingbirds had a slow start making their grand appearance to central Missouri this year due to the late winter but they have been frequent visitors to our feeders since early May.

Although the summer heat is still lingering we will soon begin to see hummingbirds begin to make their great southern migration.

Now is prime time to put out new feeders, or refresh existing, to ensure our migrating friends have a constant nectar source.

Tips for Attracting Migrating Hummingbirds:

  • Have your feeders out by early August.
  • Hang your feeder in a partially shaded area to ensure nectar stays fresh and lasts longer.
  • Monitor your feeders. Hummers, especially males, can be very territorial and take claim to their favorite feeder. If you notice this happening be sure to hang more feeders for the less dominant.
  • Clean feeders weekly. Be sure to use a port-brush to clean the small, hard to reach, places.
  • Nectar gives Hummingbirds a source of energy but they also need protein. Try hanging a banana peel, this will attract tasty, protein-rich fruit flies that hummers love. Avoid pesticides in your flowerbeds as hummers get their protein from small insects.

Hummingbirds will begin their southern migration in early August and should move out of central Missouri by late October. Send us your photos of Hummingbirds migrating, we may feature it on Facebook!