BACKYARD HAPPENINGS It is another mild winter out on the west coast but I always say we are not out of the woods till after February, as the 3 week of February always seems to be one of the worse weeks for weather. Hopefully I am wrong.
We have received a few calls about fewer hummingbirds visiting backyard feeders all of a sudden and I would suspect the males are a little fiercer about defending their territories and that the females may be working on building nests or possibly already nesting. Last year there were reports of nesting Anna’s Hummingbirds in late January around Nanaimo and reports of young in Victoria. There have also been three reports of Rufous Hummingbirds that have stayed for the winter. One report is in on the south end of Haliburton Street, another in the area behind the Brickyard Medical clinic on Hammond Bay road and one in lower Lantzville. There is also a white hummingbird being seen up in Qualicum Beach in the area of f First and Hemlock and also in the area of Crescent Road West on January 16 2015.
A few birds that are not about as readily as other winters are the House Finch and Pine Siskins. There are a few flocks of Pine Siskins in Nanaimo and they seem to be in the Hammond Bay area, Westwood Lake and the Hospital area. I guess we will wait and see if the masses decide to show up or not this winter. The number of House Finches seems low, like last winter, but that may be they have found a better supply of natural seed somewhere else. I have started to notice a pair or two of the House Finches visiting the stores bird feeder once and a while, so hopefully they will stay around the store and we can hear them when they start singing.
In the next couple of months you will want to check your nest boxes and clean out any old nesting material and debris and get things ready for the nesting season.Also it is time to think about those mason bees and make sure the condos are cleaned and ready for this year.
February is National Bird Feeding Month and the Great Backyard Bird Count happens on February 13-16 this year and is an easy and fun way to enjoy and learn about the birds in your backyard.
The Backyard Wildbird and Nature Store is an independant birdstore that has been in Nanaimo for 19 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 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.
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 season is about to start on Vancouver Island. We have Mason Bee Nesting Boxes and cocoons in stock to attract Mason Bees to your yard, as well as the informative Pollination with MASON BEES book. Get your supplies now so that you are ready with these great pollinators when fruit trees are ready for pollination in the next few weeks. 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.
ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS ARE AT FEEDERS AGAIN!
Anna's Hummingbirds are year round residents of the Island. When the Rufous Hummingbirds arrive from Mexico in March, the Anna's retreat to higher elevations and leave the fiesty Rufous to feed at feeders. When the Rufous leave near the end of July, the Anna's begin to appear at feeders. If you have feeders out for them they will continue to entertain you for the dreary winter months. Continue to change you feeders regularly (every three days when it is warm and every five days when the days are cooler). We recommend the same sugar/water mixture of 1 part sugar to 3 parts water for them, as we do with the Rufous Hummingbirds during the summer. Bring the water to a boil and remove from heat and add the white table sugar. Stir the mixture well until the sugar is dissolved. (Research has recently shown that it is not advisable to boil the sugar in the water, but boiling water helps the sugar dissolve properly.) Do not add any coloring to the sugar/water mixture. Put only a couple of ounces out at a time and change it regularly. When it gets icy cold outside we do suggest that you take your feeders in at night and just keep them on the kitchen counter for the night and put them out in the morning so that the nectar isn't icy cold in the mornings when the hummingbirds come to feed. The Anna's begin to nest in early February and you can provide nesting material for them at that time. Bull rushes, dog or cat hair work well, or we do carry nesting material in the store. ENJOY these marvelous little guys during the dreary days of winter!
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
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.