We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.
720 N. State ST.,
In NorthRidge Crossing with Giant Eagle
Westerville, OH 43082
Phone: (614) 899-9453
Fax: (614) 823-7005
Email: Send Message
Mon - Fri: 9:30 am - 7:00 pm
Sat - Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sun - Sun: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
As the trees begin to bud and the first flowers nose their way out of the ground, the internal clocks of many North American songbirds send a message that it’s time to head north.
More than 300 bird species found in the United States and Canada spend the winter in the lush forests of Mexico and South and Central America. As the seasons change, they know it’s time to travel to their summer breeding grounds, where they’ll find the right food and nesting materials to bring a new brood into the world.
Many of these trips span more than 7,000 miles and some involve flying nonstop over the Gulf of Mexico. And without a compass or other navigational tools, it’s believed that many birds find the right course by orienting their route to the positions of the stars. Others seem to be sensitive to the earth’s magnetic field.
Backyard bird feeders enjoy each spring’s migration, because it brings a wide variety of species to their feeders. Throughout their journey, migrating birds are on the lookout for places to rest and refuel. Some may stay in an area for a few days while they prepare to travel farther north. Others might drop in for a quick nibble and drink before taking flight again.
By providing a source of fresh water and food and having a backyard habitat that gives birds plenty of places where they can rest out of the reach of predators, birds will be able to build up the energy they need for successful migration.
Many backyard bird feeders keep a list of all the species that have visited their yards. By varying the food that’s available in your yard, you can attract different species.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird Migration Map as of 4/4/15
As you read this, millions of birds are on the most hazardous journey of their lives as they migrate north to nest.
Long migrations are deadly for birds. It is estimated that about half of all migrating birds do not survive the annual round trip.
The hazards they face include bad weather, predators, exhaustion over water, collisions with towers and buildings, and starvation due to the lack of suitable stopover habitat along the way.
So why take the chance? Why would a bird that has all the necessities of life in the tropics subject itself to all of the dangers of flying north in the first place?
It all has to do with giving their nestlings the best odds for starting their lives.
It’s worth the journey to the northern hemisphere as it has much more land mass than the wintering grounds in the southern hemisphere. Millions of birds have more space in which to spread out and establish larger nesting territories that offer less competition for food and a better chance of avoiding detection by predators.
In addition, as the birds migrate north, the hours of sunlight per day grow longer. This advantage allows birds to make many more feeding trips to their young every day. The young grow faster, leave the nest earlier, thus shortening the dangerous nesting period.
So for mother birds, this dangerous migration has evolved into a risk worth repeating for the good of their young and their species as a whole.
Visit us soon. We have all of the expert advice and quality products that will give the nesting moms in your yard a helping hand that will make the risks of migration even more worthwhile.
A new generation of birds will soon be entering the world and the food and housing we provide can make a significant difference on how well they will thrive and survive in our own backyards.
Recent research studies have shown that bird moms with access to bird feeders will often lay their eggs earlier than those without feeders. This is significant because earlier broods typically have better rates of survival and fledging success than later ones.
Feeders also allow breeding birds to spend less time searching for food and more time selecting better nesting sites and constructing higher quality nests. The adults will also have more time available for protecting their nest, eggs and young from predators.
When abundant, quality food is accessible to parent birds it means that more food is provided to their chicks. Studies have shown that this extra nutrition reduces aggression among nest siblings and increases their rate of growth.
But food is not the only key in helping birds to nest successfully in your yard. A properly designed and installed nesting box can make a significant improvement in nesting success, especially during extreme periods of cold and damp weather.
Now is the time to take action for the next generation of birds in your yard. Drop by the store for all the products and expert advice you need to get started or update your offering.