The Backyard Wildbird and Nature Store is an independant birdstore that has been in Nanaimo for 20 years.
Business Hours: Monday-Saturday 9:30-5:30 Sunday 12:00-4:30
Closed most Statutory Holidays
6314 Metral Drive,
Nanaimo, B.C. V9T 2L8
The sounds of spring resonate through the morning air earlier and earlier as the days get longer. The birds are taking full advantage of these beautiful spring days. For some species nesting started a little earlier and the sunny weather has the bugs hatching which helps to feed some bird species and also the new young in the nests. At home I have Bewick's Wren and a Chestnut-backed Chickadee family nesting and both are busy feeding young. I suspect the young will be flying soon. Anna's Hummingbirds got an early start on nesting this year as we saw juvenile birds visiting the store hummingbird feeder in early February. Then we watched as a female Anna's Hummingbird began taking nesting material again in March. Interestingly we have not seen any Rufous Hummingbirds at the store's hummingbird feeder this year just Anna's. Most of the summer species have migrated back and are keeping the backyard busy with activity. This time last year we were talking about no Pine Siskins at the feeders but this year is a different story with flocks of siskins all about on the island. Following the siskins are the American Goldfinch whose numbers seem to be growing each year. Black-headed Grosbeaks are just arriving in the last couple of weeks visiting the feeders. They like sunflower seeds and they add some extra colour to the backyard. Every year there seem to be more reports of Dark-eyed Juncos nesting than we use to hear about ten or so years ago. Juncos like to nest low to the ground and are made of dried grasses and lined with fine grass and hair. Planters have become a common place for the juncos to nest so even those with a small yard space or deck can see some bird activity. Today I saw a Chipping Sparrow for the first time this year feeding on the white millet and wrestling with a small insect. Three White-crowned Sparrows have been busy singing each morning but they are starting to slow a little now as they begin nesting. Again this year looks like we are going to have a hot dry summer so make sure that you have a clean water supply for the birds as it will be hard for them to find water if it has evaporated. A source of fresh water will attract a greater variety of birds to your backyard.Songbirds have great hearing so any sound of moving water will help to attract the birds to your backyard. Spring is a great time to sit out in the backyard and enjoy the entertainment provided by the many species birds visiting. While enjoying some quiet time in the backyard listen and learn some of the different songs of your backyard birds. Good birding Colin.
THE BACKYARD WILDBIRD & NATURE STORE in Nanaimo, British Columbia has experienced BIRDING GUIDES available to share their knowledge of our local area from Cedar to Deep Bay. Call the Backyard Wildbird & Nature Store @ 250-390-3669 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
JOIN US FOR BIRD WALKS
The Sunday Birdwalk leaves the Birdstore at 9 a.m. on Sunday Mornings. The Parksville/Qualicum Beach Tuesday Birdwalk leaves the Parksville Beach Community Park (at the end of Corfield) at 9 a.m. on Tuesday mornings. We meet near the parking area at the Lion's Playground. Want more information? Call the store at 250-390-3669.
Have you an aphid problem in your garden? Aphids can cause curled and distorted leaves or buds by sucking the plant sap. Honeydew, a substance secreted by the aphids can cause sooty mold, a fungus, to grow, turning the leaf black. Ladybugs are an effective natural method to control aphids. They come in a bag of 250--give or take one or two! In the cool of the early morning or evening spray your affected plant with water and then release the ladybugs onto the plant. The ladybugs are kept dormant in a cool environment before purchase and as they become active they will stop to drink the water on the plant and then discover the aphids. I
MASON BEES--a great way to pollinate your fruit trees..
Click on the image above to get online information on Mason Bees. The Mason Bee is a native bee that is a great pollinator for fruit trees in the early spring. When they are encouraged to nest in yards, fruit production is dramatically improved. The Mason Bee season is from March to late May. The book Pollination with Mason Bees is a great guide and we have lots of advice, too. We have nesting boxes made of plastic, ones made of wood or ones that have paper straws in them. All three designs work equally well.
THE RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS ARE BACK!
When the Rufous Hummingbirds arrive from Mexico about the middle of March, the Anna's Hummingbirds retreat to higher elevations and leave the backyard feeders to the fiesty Rufous Hummingbirds. Rufous Hummingbirds are in our area from March through July. Your feeders should be put up by the first of March to get the hummingbirds coming to your feeders regularly. The males arrive first and establish a feeding circuit and the females arrive about two weeks later and follow them on this circuit. If you put up a feeder later you will likely get hummingbirds, but maybe just sparadically. A feeder full of nectar is a welcoming sight for these tiny, living jewels. Nectar, whether from flowers or your hummingbird feeder provide the hummingbirds with instant energy. They get their necessary protein and other nutrients fro their diet from tree sap, soft bodies insects, larvae, spiders and small flying insects. Try placing some ripe fruit out to attract fruit flies and watch the hummingbirds feeding on them. SUGAR WATER RECIPE: 1 PART WHITE TABLE SUGAR to 3 or 4 PARTS WATER. When preparing the sugar water, bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat and add the sugar. Do not contiue to boil the water--just stir it and the sugar will dissolve. Let the nectar cool before filling the feeders. Just put out 4 ounces at a time until you see how much is consumed in a three day period. You can make up a larger quantitie and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. DO NOT USE RED FOOD COLORING, MOLASSES, HONEY OR BROWN SUGAR. They contain enzymes that can be harmful. It is necessary to clean the feeder and change the nectar every 3 days during the summer months. The sugar water solution will ferment if it is left in the feeder for a longer period of time.
WE HAVE A LARGE SELECTION OF HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS
Come in to see them.........
THE HUMMZINGER HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER
This well designed hummingbird feeder will not deteriorate with the sun's UV rays, is easy to clean and fill and best of all it will not drip!. It is definitely a favorite in hummingbird feeders. It is available in three sizes and in two different styles.
ONE OF THE ORIGINAL HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER DESIGNS
Elegant hardened glass bottle is pinched in the center for an elegant look. Four bright red flowers have added perches to entice hummingbirds to sit and feed from your nectar. Each flower feeding port comes equipped with a yellow bee guard in the center. Holds 8 oz of nectar.
THE BUG LADY
Click on the picture above to learn everything you ever wanted to know about bugs--good and bad.
FIELD GUIDES COVERING THE BIRDS OF VANCOUVER ISLAND
If you are new to our Island and you want to be able to indentify the birds that you see here try the following books. They are both great resources.
BIRDS OF BC FOLD-OUT
This new fold-out is a quick guide to our birds on Vancouver Island. Just $7.95!
BIRDS OF COASTAL BRITISH COLUMBIA
Are you looking for a book that covers the birds of Vancouver Island, rather than one that gives you all the birds of North America? A good starting guide is The Birds of Coastal British Columbia.
BIRDS OF SOUTHWESTERN BRITISH COLUMBIA
Another book that covers the birds of our area, rather than all the birds of Western Canada, North America or even the World (how confusing would that be?) is Birds of Southwestern British Columbia.
BACKYARD NEST BOXES
Spring will be here shortly and it will be nesting time for birds. Remove any old nesting material from your existing nesting boxes and spray them with a weak bleach solution to rid the boxes of any mites from last season. Rinse the boxes well with clean water before putting them back up.
We have a selection of locally designed nesting boxes to accommodate Chickadees, Wren, Nuthatch, Swallows and Northern Flickers built right here in the store. They have a large overhang to keep out the rain, lots of ventilation, easy access for cleaning, a predator guard and are made of cedar.
We also have funky looking nesting boxes made by Heritage Workshop on Salt Spring Island and ones made in Courtenay and Lantzville, that are also very functional with 1 1/8" openings and cleanout accesses in the back of the boxes.
CHICKADEE AND WRENS...
...will nest in this nestbox with a 1" entrance hole. A Red-breasted Nuthatch requires a 1 1/8" entrance hole and a House Sparrow will have no difficulty entering a 1 3/8" entrance hole. Note that the nestboxes that are built at The Backyard and Nature Store do not have perches on them (these make it easy for predators to get at the fledgings), have space above the front panel for air circulation and are deep enough to accommodate a nest without having the fledgings little heads near the entrance hole. All the boxes are easy to clean.
..are able to enter the nestbox pictured above. They are the only birds that can fold their wings to their sides and enter this oval hole. The oval hole prevents Starlings and House Sparrows from taking over the nestbox.
Funky nesting boxes made on Salt Spring Island. The 1 1/8" entrance holes on these nestboxes will accomodate a Chickadee, Wren or a Nuthatch.
OR HOW ABOUT A..
...Lady Bug Hut....Provide shelter for beneficial Ladybugs to winter in your yard!
ARE SQUIRRELS MONOPOLIZING YOUR BIRD FEEDERS?
If you have a squirrel problem at your bird feeding station, the Squirrel Buster PLUS™ is the answer. Many delighted customers (and well-fed birds) confirm that the patented Squirrel Buster PLUS™ bird feeder is truly Squirrel Proof! Openings in the bottom section of the feeder align with seed ports, providing birds access to the seed. When a squirrel climbs onto the feeder, its weight automatically forces the shroud down, closing the seed ports. Squirrels and large birds are foiled but not harmed in any way.
DETER THEM OR FEED THEM
It's your choice. We have The Backyard Cedar Squirrel Feeder that will give you hours of entertainment while you watch the little critters at their own feeder. It is designed so that the Stellar's Jays cannot raid the peanuts from it.
THE BACKYARD WILDBIRD & NATURE STORE HAS A WIDE VARIETY OF BIRD FEEDERS
There are many types of feeders available. Any one or a variety of feeders will attract birds to your yard. Deciding on a feeder should be based on functionality, appearance, maintenance required, and the birds you have seen or would like to attract to your backyard.
THE HOPPER FEEDER
This feeder has an enclosed area to store seed that is dispensed by gravity. A large variety of birds, including Sparrows, Finches, Chickadees, Jays, Flickers and Black-headed Grosbeaks will use this feeder. Our Hopper Feeder has a large roof overhang to keep the seed as dry as possible and the mesh tray drains off any water that may accumulate and allows for air circulation to dry any seed that may get wet. A Hopper Feeder can be filled with a fairly large quantity of a birdseed blend such as our Gourmet or Royal Blend. The feeder comes apart easily for cleaning.
THE TRAY FEEDER
This type of feeder has a flat open tray. All seed eating birds will use a tray feeder. Tray Feeders are great for viewing birds as you can see the whole tray without any obstuctions. A generous overhang of the roof will help to keep the seed dry and avoid waste. The feeders have a removable mesh tray for easy cleaning. The mesh tray, like the one in the hopper feeder, allows any water to drain off the water and allow the air to circulate through the seed. Our Gourmet or Royal Blend is an ideal seed to use in a Tray Feeder. This feeder does require more frequent filling than others as it has less seed capacity than a Hopper or a Silo. It comes in a free standing style as shown or a smaller version that can be hung from a hook or tree branch.
THE TUBE OR SILO FEEDER
This type of feeder is an upright tube with perches down the sides. They come in various styles. Silo Feeders will attract perching birds such as Finches, Chickadees and Nuthatches. Generally all these birds prefer Black Oil Sunflower seed rather that a mix and so we recommend using only the Black Oil Sunflower in these feeders to prevent waste and a mess under the feeder. To decrease the spill of the shells and unwanted seed on the ground beneath your feeder, Hulled Sunflower seed can be used if the feeder is sheltered from wetness. To prevent further mess under the Silo Feeders we carry trays that can be fitted under the silo feeders and will give the ground feeding birds an opportunity to use the feeders as well.
THE SUET FEEDER
This feeder is designed and built by the Backyard Wildbird and Nature Store to hold suet cakes. We have several varieties of Suet with the most popular being Peanut or Peanut Butter. Suet Cakes made with kidney suet that has a higher nutritional value and will last better in the heat of the summer because kidney suet has a higher melting point than suet from other areas. Flickers, Pileated Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers and Hairy Woodpeckers, as well as Chickadees, Nuthatches, Bushtits, Juncos and Warblers are all attracted to suet. A Suet Feeder is a great addition to your backyard feeding station.
THE GROUND FEEDER
Choose a Ground Feeder for seed for ground feeding birds such as the Juncos and most Sparrows. California Quail will hop into the tray and scratch around in it. It can be placed under hanging feeders to catch discarded seed and prevent a buildup of seed under feeders. The mesh on the tray allows for the water to drain off and the air to circulate around the seed to keep it from getting mouldy and sprouting. We carry both an open ground tray, as shown and a coverered model. Superior Ground Blend and Cracked Corn are the seed we recommend to use in a Ground Feeder.
UNIQUE ONE OF A KIND
Bird feeders designed by artisans on Vancouver Island
..also makes unique birdfeeders!
POLES AND HARDWARE
We have several suggestions to assist you in coming up with the best set-up for your birdfeeder hanging needs.
ELEGANT WINDCHIMES BY HERITAGE WORKSHOPS
on Salt Spring Islands. Perfectly tuned and in a number of sizes.
Corinthian Bells® wind chimes are the first in a new generation of wind chimes to combine excellence in design with incredible tones and resonance. These are visually and acoustically exceptional chimes; we believe that they are the best chimes on the market today. The centrally suspended heavy-walled aluminum tubes along with the high density striker give these chimes their outstanding tones and resonance. The tubes are powder coated to match the dome and wind sail, giving a complete finished look to the chime. Corinthian windchimes are available in ten sizes, and six designer colors.
BRIGHTEN UP YOUR YARD WITH A BreezeArt FLAG
FALL AND WINTER FLAGS ARE ARRIVING SOON. BreezeArt™ DECORATIVE FLAGS, are a great way for homeowners to add a creative touch to their home’s exterior. The flags are available in standard sizes, to display on a flag pole, and garden sizes, for hanging on a flag stand. To ensure long-lasting beauty, the decorative flags are crafted of polyester for greater outdoor durability. They also feature a softer, silkier feel for better drape and movement in the breeze. Designer artwork is permanently dyed to achieve more vivid, fade-resistant color and better luster. In addition, our flags are mildew resistant and machine washable. We also have high-quality hardware especially designed for the BreezeArt™ collection. Choose from a line of spinner poles, wood poles, adjustable brackets and garden flag stands, all featuring durable construction and great looks, too!
SILVERFOREST EARRINGS New to the Backyard
The earwires of these earrings are surgical steel or surgical steel with a 14K gold overlay. They are nickel free. Stones, as a rule are genuine semi-precious. Glass beads, natural materials, and genuine Austrian Crystal are used as accents. Metals in the earrings consist of raw brass or copper elements. WEARABLE ART AS UNIQUE AS YOU ARE!
JEWELLERY BY JULIAN JAY
Handcrafted jewellery made right here in Duncan on Vancouver Island. The earwires are made of surgical steel. We have a large selection of the most common birds on Vancouver Island.
GIFTWARE GALORE--SOME GREAT FOR INDOORS AND SOME GREAT FOR OUTDOORS!
Spruce up your backyard with decor from The Backyard Wildbird & Nature Store.
PUMPERNICKEL PRESS GREETING CARDS
From innovative designs, superior fine art, and sculpted embossing produced from hand-tooled brass dies to the unique color printing on premium grade, uncoated recycled paper, each card is treated as a piece of art.
TREE FREE CARDS
We have a great selection of this unique card line. Tree-Free is better than recycled. The production of Tree-Free paper uses less water, no chlorine or harmful chemicals & requires less energy. Tree-Free uses paper from sustainably harvested sources like kenaf, sugar cane, and bamboo, as well as from post-consumer recycled paper. They are gorgeously designed cards with beautifully designed envelopes.