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COVID-19 Update

NOVEMBER 24, 2020 Wayzata Store Temporary Closure Our COVID protocols in place have led us to temporarily close our Wayzata location out of an abundance of precaution to protect the health and safety for our customers and staff. You’ll know that we have been transparent about our efforts to keep you and our staff safe throughout this unprecedented crisis, while…

Blue Jay spreading its wings

Rhapsodies in Blue: Blue Jays

The Blue Jay is one of our loudest and most colorful backyard songbirds. The mighty jay is fearless, great at mimicking and an outstanding survivalist known for intelligence, complex social systems and tight family bonds. Here are some insights into the life and habits of this gregarious species. That Amazing Color and a Fantastic “Mohawk” This large-crested bird has various…

Identifying: Red-Bellied, Red-Headed Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers

The Red-bellied Woodpecker is often confused with the Red-headed Woodpecker because, despite its name, it has a rather prominent red cap. The Red-bellied Woodpecker is also often confused with the Northern Flicker because it has a similar size and markings. In this video, we point out the distinguishing characteristics of all three species to help you become a master in…

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.

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…