by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer UNITED NATIONS – The political optics could not have been more contrasting as China selected its leader and Japan elected its Prime Minister. In a grandiose and stunning setting, draped in the trappings of crimson and gold, 2,300 Chinese Communist Party (CCP) grandees predictably anointed Xi Jinping
Early America Indians learned the value of having purple martins in their village as a natural bug eliminator. Hollow gourds were hung near teepees in multiple locations to ward off the pesky insects. European settlers copied these methods by constructing wooden houses with multiple holes for maximum mosquito protection during the summer months.
The cardinal is relatively new to this area of New England. Prior to the popularity of backyard bird feeding, the northern most boundary of this brilliant red bird was the Connecticut and Rhode Island regions. As more homeowners enjoyed this hobby of feeding wild birds in the last two decades, attracting the cardinal has almost
Even though they tend to sing before dawn, mourning doves are so named for their sorrowful song. The melody is a low-pitched, sort of hollow series of whistles. The first two phrases have a high pitch with the last three generating a single, low pitch.
Winter is a good time to start thinking about nest boxes. Many species of wild birds begin looking for nesting sites in late winter or early spring, including bluebirds, chickadees, titmice and nuthatches.
Have you ever wondered where birds sleep, especially on those cold winter nights? The generic answer is that birds sleep anywhere they safely can stay warm. Some ducks sleep in icy water. Bobwhites prefer to sleep on the ground. Crows and turkeys, however, like to sleep in trees. Cavity nesters, such as screech owls, are
Have you ever looked at a bird’s foot? Better still, have you ever really looked at your own foot? It is a marvel of human development. Humans, usually, have five toes on each foot. This number is important for maintaining balance, but not critical enough to carry out daily survival activities. Birds, for the most
If you remember July and August, everything was coming up roses. Except maybe those large purple flowering weeds along the highways and byways of North America. This is the native purple thistle. It bears absolutely no kinship to a tiny black seed called “guizotia abyssinica” or nyjer seed. However, it still is packaged in many
In our last article, we described how an extensive 4 year wild bird feeding study by Professor Margaret Brittingham from the University of Wisconsin was conducted from 1984-1988. This study was set up to track the survival rate of two distinct, controlled groups of chickadees during two straight winters. One banded group had sunflower seed
Feeding wild birds, especially during the winter months, generally is assumed to be beneficial. But could there be a downside to this enjoyable hobby that over 63 million people participate in? If birds become overly dependent on humans and their feeders, would they fail to develop, or lose, the ability to forage efficiently on naturally
As one of the most recognized songbirds in North America, the cardinals are also known for many virtues. They are one of the few wild birds that are monogamous throughout the year. They assist in pest control by feeding on destructive insects such as potato beetles, cotton boil weevils and cucumber beetles. Their natural diet
This familiar visitor to our backyard feeders brings joy and entertainment to millions of birders throughout the country. Their merriment and abundant numbers have a propensity for sunflower-filled feeding stations everywhere. Chickadees thrive on insects, with a dependency on seeds and berries during the coldest months. At feeders, their favorite food sources include sunflower seeds,
Every now and then, we receive reports from our customers that tend to boggle the mind. In these instances, we rely on established authorities of the wild bird world to assist us in aiding our clients with their predicaments. We believe the Cornell Lab of Ornithology of New York to be the foremost experts on
During the cold winter months, wild birds expend scarce energy searching for unstable open sources of water. Water is an important element that all birds must use daily. Birds lack the saliva a human mouth contains to ease the act of swallowing food. This explains the constant behavior path wild birds employ as they continually
There…I said it. Veteran backyard birders do not need a calendar to know the time of year. We do not need to watch the media outlets to understand that a season of change is rapidly approaching. Back to school ads have been around for weeks, much to the chagrin of children everywhere. If you are