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Springtime a challenge for wild birds



wildbirds-4143826-2323032March is one of the most difficult and stressful times of the year for wild birds. After surviving the long, barren winter, birds still face the challenge of finding food.

Birds’ natural food supply is at its lowest point of the year. Insect populations are low, and the few remaining wild fruits, berries, seeds and nuts are either hidden or undesirable. Spring’s unpredictable weather doesn’t make life any easier. Sunny, warm, spring-like days can rapidly give way to cold, damp and even snowy conditions that can push birds to the brink.

“Providing food throughout the spring is as important as winter feeding,” explained Jacque Lowery, manager of the Wild Birds Unlimited Nature stores at Moana Nursery. “The birds are expending a great deal of energy migrating, courting and building nests at this time of the year when their natural food supplies are close to being exhausted.”

Food loaded with fat and calories helps birds struggling to survive the gap between winter and spring. The best seeds for providing energy are black oil sunflower and safflower. Suet, bark butter and bark butter bits are also high-energy foods which are invaluable when birds need many more calories to keep their bodies warm. These and mealworms are a beneficial substitute for the scarce insects many birds would eat if they could find them.

Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shops, located in Reno and Sparks, are part of the original and largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores with more than 275 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Wild Birds Unlimited specializes in bringing people and nature together with bird feeding and nature products, expert advice and educational events.

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