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Red-bellied Woodpecker

Five Common MN Woodpeckers

The Downy Woodpecker, at about 7”, is the smaller version of the Hairy Woodpecker (I always remember that it’s “downsized”). The males have a small red patch on their back of their heads, females do not. These woodpeckers remain with us all winter and are frequent visitors to our suet and sunflower feeders. Their main diet, however, is insects. Downies…

Migration Myths

Have you heard any of these common myths about migration? Our newest video separates myth from fact! Based on an article by Minnetonka Manager CAROL CHENAULT in the Sept/Oct 2017 edition of our Bird’s-Eye View Newsletter.

COVID-19 Update: October 5, 2020

We’ve added more store open hours See below for individual store hours Let’s keep one another safe! Bloomington > In-store shopping and curbside pickup: Mon–Sat 9am to 5pm White Bear Lake > In-store shopping and curbside pickup: Tues–Sat 9am to 5pm; curbside pickup only: Mon 9am to 5pm Eagan > In-store shopping and curbside pickup: Mon–Fri: 10am to 6pm, Sat:…

Now’s a Good Time to Clean Bird Feeders

Are you prepared for influx of feathered guests to your backyard in the coming months? Now is the perfect time to clean your birdhouses and feeders in anticipation of the great Minnesota birding get-together known as Fall Migration. A clean feeder not only looks good, it prevents the spread of disease among backyard visitors—and entire bird populations, for that matter.…

Migration Preparations

When we get ready for a trip, we pack a suitcase. When birds prepare for their migration trip, they pack on the fat! Birds migrate to find the most abundant food sources. As the length of daylight changes, the birds prepare with a few physical adaptations. Their hormone levels change now that their breeding season is over, and their sexual…

The Mystery of Molting: Video

Birds spend a great deal of time caring for their feathers because their lives really do depend on them. A bird’s feathers keep them warm and dry, camouflage them from predators, attract mates during breeding  season and, most importantly, give them flight. Here’s a video based on guest contributor Melissa Block’s article in the September/October 2013 edition of our Bird’s-Eye View newsletter. Here, she explains…

Collage of goldfinches using Best Nest Builder

Family Fun Activities to Attract Colorful Birds

Feeding birds is a great way to introduce kids and teens to nature, right in the backyard. It teaches compassion and patience, and helps them understand how birds with different beak shapes and habits correspond with the different types of foods they consume. Below are some suggestions for attracting showy, colorful summer birds. Attract Bright, Orange-and-Black Baltimore Orioles Baltimore Orioles…

Bird Parenting Roles

May and June are months when we celebrate our own Mothers and Fathers, so it got us thinking about the bird “moms” and “dads” of the backyard, and how they allocate their parenting roles. We discovered some interesting facts . . . take a look!

Hidden Homes

Some birds, like House Wrens, Black-capped Chickadees, Bluebirds and House Finches, readily take residence in the nest boxes that we place in our yards. But some species seem to mysteriously appear at feeders one day with full-grown young. Here’s an inside peek at what you may be missing. Northern Cardinals Cardinal nests are usually very well hidden within dense shrubs…

Thrush or Thrasher?

Thrush or Thrasher?

Similar names, different families With their beautiful songs, alliterate names and often remarkable resemblances, it’s easy to confuse thrushes and thrashers. Both are Passerine—perching—songbirds, but their family tree splits into unique branches. Thrushes are part of the Turdidae Family Turdids found in Minnesota include: American Robins, Eastern Bluebirds, Veerys, and Swainson’s, Hermit and Wood Thrushes. All are known for their…

What makes a good birdhouse?

Nesting season is almost here! This year, consider providing a place for your backyard birds to raise their young. It’s a great way to get an up-close look at the different life stages of your favorite birds! The best bird houses are made with quality materials like untreated wood (order of preference: cedar, pine or cypress or non- pressure treated…

Winter goldfinches at heated birdbath

Attract More Birds with a Heated Birdbath

Birds will flock to open water! When temperatures drop, birds are in a constant struggle to maintain their body temperatures. A steady source of fats and proteins will help to nourish and fuel birds’ metabolic needs and keep them warm. But also important—a source of water that isn’t frozen and doesn’t require using body heat to melt it. The solution: install…