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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Did you see the results of our latest superflight?


A “superflight” occurs late in some winters. The most recent superflight just finished – the end of winter brought an unusual number of Red-breasted Nuthatches and Pine Siskins into this area. If memory serves me, the superflight prior to that (in north Texas) was 2007, when Red-
Red-breasted Nuthatch
breasted Nuthatches were all over the place.


 
In the short term, it has to do with the natural food (not from feeders).  If it’s particularly plentiful one year, a superflight could happen. Of course, it affects summer birds too, what with all the leftover natural seed and the resultant abundance of vegetation.

In the long term, this is one way birds expand their natural territory. That is, if birds see that the environment (weather, vegetation, natural food etc.) is good, they might stick around, or visit regularly.

 

Dining on eggshells       As nesting season kicks into gear, we save eggshells (from breakfast or whatever) for the birds. Birds know that creating an egg (or several) inside a 2-ounce bird-body really saps the calcium from the female bird. Somehow, birds know they need to replace this calcium. So they eat eggshells enthusiastically! We break the shells into pieces no bigger than a fingernail; then heat them to kill any bacteria – 10 minutes at 350 should do it. Then we just set them outside on an old plate.

 

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