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Minnesota's Swallows

Minnesota’s Swallows

Swallows are found around the world, on all continents, including Antarctica. Here in Minnesota, you commonly find three species of swallows: Barn Swallow, Tree Swallow, and Cliff Swallow. Barn Swallows are sparrow-sized, with a steely blue back, wings and tail, and tan-to-white underparts. Their throat and forehead feature rusty spots. Their tail extends beyond the wingtips and the long outer…

Discovering Birds at Age 11

Discovering Birds at Age 11

A Trip to Madera Canyon Ignites Interest Forced into distance learning due to COVID-19, Athina Toeniskoetter’s family chose to spend the winter in Arizona near her grandparents. When a bird enthusiast and family friend came to visit, Athina reluctantly agreed to tag along on a day trip to Madera Canyon. The canyon’s visitor center had dozens of bird feeders that…

Bald Eagle or Golden Eagle? A guide to telling them apart.

Video: Bald Eagle or Golden Eagle?

Young Bald Eagles are a similar size and coloring to Golden Eagles. A close look at where their mottling patterns occur, whether their legs are feathered or unfeathered, bill size, seasonality and location can help narrow down the identification. Range maps from Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Bald_Eagle/maps-range https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Golden_Eagle/maps-range National Eagle Center’s Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle field…

Easy Bird Identification using the GISS method by Bob Janssen

Easy Bird Identification

Did you ever think about the fact that more birds are heard than seen? This article, then, should be about the identification of bird song, right? But the art of learning bird song is one of the most challenging for birders of all skill and experience levels, so we’ll keep that for another article. In this discussion we’ll focus on…

Checking on a Bluebird Trail

This morning I had the opportunity to tag along with George Brown as he checked nest boxes along the bluebird trail he maintains. You may recall from a previous blog post that George is the Ramsey and Washington counties coordinator for the Bluebird Recovery Project (BBRC). Checking on the nest boxes weekly is a critical function of maintaining a bluebird…

Precocial or altricial? Describing hatchlings' degree of development

Altricial vs. Precocial Bird Young

By Guest Contributor MELISSA BLOCK Have you ever noticed that newly hatched birds all look different? For example, baby cardinals are born helpless, bald, eyes closed and heads bobbing. In contrast, Wood Duck babies—which look like miniature versions of their parents— jump from their nest box after just 24 hours. Ornithologists classify birds as either altricial or precocial  to describe…

Joe's Mix

The Joe’s Mix Story

In a small garden center south of Saint Paul, Minnesota, an enterprising Irishman named Joe Murphy began experimenting with seeds. His passion for birds compelled him to attract them to his feeders. Mixing seed by hand in a 55-gallon drum eventually led him to a recipe that birds couldn’t resist. It wasn’t long before customers at the garden center discovered…

Hummingbird sipping nectar from a feeder

VIDEO: Tips for Attracting and Feeding Hummingbirds

Watch the short video below for tips for attracting and feeding hummingbirds.  • When to put hummingbird feeders out in the Twin Cities of Minnesota • Don’t use pesticides because hummingbirds eat insects • Select feeders that are easy to fill and clean • Make nectar from concentrate or mix your own nectar • Apply mint to ports to keep bees and wasps away • Prevent…

COVID-19 Update

April 3, 2021 White Bear Lake store open until 6pm weekdays! We’re delighted to report that we’re able to extend our Monday–Friday hours at our White Bear Lake store! The new hours for White Bear Lake are identical now to all of our other locations. Mon–Fri: 9am to 6pm Sat: 9am to 5pm Closed Sundays Same-day curbside delivery for orders…

Video: Bluebird Nestbox Recommendations

All Seasons Wild Bird Store (wildbirdstore.com) put together recommendations for nest boxes based on information from the following sources: http://www.nabluebirdsociety.org/fact…​ https://bbrp.org/wp-content/uploads/2…​ https://bbrp.org/​ See also: https://wildbirdstore.com/resources/a…​ https://wildbirdstore.com/2021/03/08/…​ This video discusses placement for bluebird nestboxes, selection of bluebird houses, monitoring bluebird nests, and resources for learning more about hosting bluebirds. Special thanks to George Brown, the BBRP and Ray Marshall for photographs…

Eastern Bluebird young and adult at feeder

Interview with Bluebird Recovery Project County Coordinator George Brown

Last month, I had an opportunity to interview George Brown, the Ramsey and Washington counties coordinator for the Bluebird Recovery Project. I’ve been aware of the work that Brown has down in coordination with the White Bear Lake All Seasons Wild Bird Store location—setting up their successful bluebird nest boxes and hosting in-store bluebird seminars. I’ve also seen the incredible…

Great horned owl

Where to find Minnesota’s Owls

In this quick video, you’ll discover where and when you can find Minnesota’s 12 owl species. Some, like the Barred Owl or Great Horned Owl, are permanent residents and can be found throughout the state. Others, like the Burrowing Owl or Snowy Owl, are only found in isolated locations at certain times of the year. For more information about where…

Great Horned Owl looking right

Minnesota’s Owls

Minnesota Hosts 12 Species of Owls By Minnetonka Manager CAROL CHENAULT Twelve species of owls can be found somewhere in Minnesota but not throughout the whole state. These are the Barn, Barred, Boreal, Burrowing, Eastern Screech, Great Gray, Great Horned, Long-eared, Northern Hawk, Northern Saw-whet, Short-eared and Snowy Owl.   Not all owls are strictly nocturnal. Owls can see perfectly…