Archive for the ‘Jay’s Bird Barn’s Bird of the Month’ Category

  • Bath time

    By Eric Moore Cold conditions can be very stressful on wild birds. But you can help your feathered friends brave winter weather. Surprisingly, one of the most important things you can do for wild birds in winter is to provide an open source of water. Even in the dead of winter, wild birds have to drink and bathe. Birds bathe frequently to clean their feathers in part because clean feather are more effective at insulating against cold conditions. Providing open sources of water attracts birds to your yard that are dependent on water in winter. Species such as American Robins, Western Bluebirds, and Cedar Waxwings frequent bird baths in flocks. Having a bird bath is the best way to attract these varieties of birds to your yard. Consider using either a heated bird bath or a bird bath heater this winter to keep your bird bath open and accessible to birds when they depend on water for survival. ***** Eric Moore is owner of Jay’s Bird Barn, 1046 Willow Creek Road in Prescott. Contact him at Eric@JaysBirdBarn.Com

  • October diet changes

    By Eric Moore Many changes take place in the natural world during October. Most notable is the onset of freezing temperatures. As morning temperatures drop, there’s a ripple effect throughout nature. Insect populations began to die off and birds begin shifting their diet to seeds, nuts and berries. This change occurs so gradually and naturally that it’s almost imperceptible. Birdseed consumption and activity at suet feeders increases as insect populations diminish and the days grow shorter. In October, fall migrants such as Dark-eyed Juncos, White-crowned Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets begin showing up at backyard bird feeding stations in large numbers. Having traveled hundreds of miles, these migratory birds need to refuel to survive. Make sure your feeders are stocked with fresh seed and suet to greet the arriving songbirds who’ll winter here. ***** Eric Moore is owner of Jay’s Bird Barn, 1046 Willow Creek Road in Prescott. Contact him at Eric@JaysBirdBarn.Com

  • September’s migrators

    By Eric Moore Shorter days and cooler temperatures help usher in fall migration. September is a great time to get outdoors and go bird-watching. One of the best places to witness the daily ebb and flow of bird migration is Willow Lake and the surrounding grassy habitat. Migrating shorebirds, ducks, gulls, terns, and pelicans use Willow Lake as a refueling point. Many of these water-dependent species are traveling thousands of miles from their breeding grounds in North America to destinations in Mexico, Central America, and even South America. Frequent visits to the lake reveal the changing dynamics of bird migration, with a variety of species arriving and departing each day. Changes in backyard birds will occur too with the departure of hummingbirds and the arrival of wintering species such as White-crowned Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. ***** Eric Moore is owner of Jay’s Bird Barn, 1046 Willow Creek Road in Prescott. Contact him at Eric@JaysBirdBarn.Com

  • Bird of the Month: Hummingbirds

    By Eric Moore August is a magical time for those who enjoy watching hummingbirds. The migration route for many species goes right through Arizona’s Central Highlands. In addition to our summer residents — Anna’s, Black-chinned and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds — Rufous and Calliope Hummingbirds are also passing through. Where are they headed? Most hummingbirds that summer in North America winter in Mexico or Central America — no small feat for birds weighing only 3-4 grams. Migrating hummingbirds need increased body fat stores. You can help by putting out nectar feeders. The key to attracting a lot of hummingbirds is using feeders with six to eight feeding ports. Hang multiple feeders in close proximity to each other, and avoid feeders that leak and attract ants, bees, and wasps. ***** Eric Moore is owner of Jay’s Bird Barn, 1046 Willow Creek Road in Prescott. Contact him at Eric@JaysBirdBarn.Com

  • Bird of the Month: Ravens

    Jun 27, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Jay's Bird Barn's Bird of the Month14 CommentsRead More »

      By Eric Moore “The big black birds that I’m seeing, are they crows or are they ravens?” I get that question a lot. Prescott is home to Common Ravens (Corvus corax), an abundant, year-round Central Highlands resident. They’re intelligent, adaptable, playful, and resourceful. Ravens are omnivorous and opportunistic; they aren’t picky about food. You can often spot them patrolling roadways for fresh road kill. During breeding season, they even raid bird nests and steal eggs and baby birds. Ravens live in every habitat and frequent high-traffic urban areas like Granite Creek Park and shopping centers, where they’re known to Dumpster dive. Perhaps their most endearing feature is their unique vocalizations. They’ve got a range and repertoire of sounds that’s both surprising and impressive. ***** Eric Moore is owner of Jay’s Bird Barn, 1046 Willow Creek Road in Prescott. Contact him at Eric@JaysBirdBarn.Com

  • Jay’s Bird Barn’s Bird of the Month: Quails

    By Eric Moore As spring gives way to summer, it’s time to look out for baby Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii). Few sights in nature are as endearing as walnut-sized quail babies scurrying to keep up with mom and dad. Quail hatch after a 21-day incubation period, emerging from their eggs in an advanced stage of development called “precocial.”  Their eyes are open and they’re fully covered with downy feathers. Unlike most songbirds, they’re mobile and capable of feeding themselves within a few short hours. Baby quail face many threats and are highly susceptible to predation — house cats, ravens, jays, roadrunners, and snakes are just some of their many threats. Their best defense is camouflage. When danger is present, they freeze and they virtually disappear by blending in with their habitat. ***** Eric Moore is the owner of Jay’s Bird Barn located at 1046 Willow Creek Road in Prescott, Eric@JaysBirdBarn.Com

  • Jay’s Bird Barn’s Bird of the Month: May’s buntings

    By Eric Moore Spring is a great time to witness the wonder of bird migration in the Prescott area. Longer days act as a signal to wild birds, compelling them to begin their seasonal journey northward. One of the most beautiful migratory bird species that passes through in April and May is the Lazuli Bunting. Males have stunning blue on their heads, backs, and wings, and have rust-colored chests and white bellies. Females are drab and difficult to identify because of their plain plumage. Lazuli Buntings usually fly in small flocks during migration and frequently visit backyards where people feed birds. The best way to attract them is with white-proso millet. Simply broadcast the seed directly on the ground. May you be so fortunate to enjoy Lazuli Buntings in your yard this spring. ***** Eric Moore is the owner of Jay’s Bird Barn located at 1046 Willow Creek Road in Prescott, Eric@JaysBirdBarn.Com

  • Jay’s Bird Barn: April’s orioles

    Mar 28, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Jay's Bird Barn's Bird of the Month13 CommentsRead More »

    By Eric Moore Prescott is home to three species of orioles: Bullock’s, Scott’s, and Hooded. Bullock’s are the most common. Males are brightly colored with striking orange, yellow, black, and white plumage. Many homeowners make a special effort to attract orioles by putting out a variety of food sources for them during spring and summer. One of the simplest ways to attract orioles is to put out an oriole feeder with sugar water. Nectar is a big part of an oriole’s diet, just like a hummingbird’s. Another way to attract orioles is to put out orange halves and live meal worms. Orioles begin showing up in the Central Highlands in April, and leave for the tropics in August, so their time here is very brief. May you be so fortunate to enjoy orioles in your yard this year. ***** Eric Moore is the owner of Jay’s Bird Barn located at 1046 Willow Creek Road in Prescott, Eric@JaysBirdBarn.Com

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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