We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.
4212 NW 16th Boulevard
Gainesville, FL 32605
Phone: (352) 381-1997
Fax: (352) 381-1995
Email: Send Message
Mon - Sat: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
join Lubee batkeeper Anthony Mason at Wild Birds Unlimited for an educational presentation featuring live fruit bats (flying foxes) from Lubee’s research, conservation, and education facility near Gainesville.
Don’t miss this opportunity to see these remarkable creatures up close and enjoy Anthony’s discussion of their natural history and what Lubee Bat Conservancy does to promote bat conservation around the world.
This event is also a special preview of Lubee’s annual bat festival. Lubee is closed to the public 364 days a year but they open their doors once each year in late October for the annual Bat Festival. This year’s festival is on Saturday, October 25 from 10am-4pm. Admission to this family friendly event is free. For details, visit http://www.lubee.org
There are many species of migratory birds that pass through your yard each fall without ever visiting your feeders. Those of you with water features, especially if you have a drip or flow, stand a much better chance at pulling a warbler or vireo down out of the canopy than those of you who just offer food but I learned years ago that learning bird calls and songs is the best way to knowing if you have something new in the yard.
It’s a difficult skill to master but even a little practice can have great rewards. Few expert birders are experts at bird sounds but almost all avid birders, no matter their level of expertise, have learned to use songs, calls, and other sounds as shortcuts to identifying some birds.
Here’s a challenge for those of you who’d like a relatively easy way to identify a common migrant that would probably go undetected otherwise. Let’s learn the scolding note of the Red-eyed Vireo. Click here to go to All About Birds, scroll down the page to click on the sound tab, and play the call note.
The Red-eyed Vireo is a breeding resident and birds from its extensive northerly habitats pass through in great numbers throughout migration. Its numbers will only increase for the next few weeks and, as they do, they’ll be vocalizing more and more. The call note you’re going to learn is the one they’ll be using in that time. They won’t be singing.
Now, do the same thing for American Redstart. The redstart’s call note is not nearly as distinguishable but you might soon be able to recognize it as being different from the other birds in your yard. When that begins to happen, you’re on your way to knowing when you have a migrant overhead even if you can’t identify it by sound.
I also like the redstart for this exercise because it’s one of the most abundant migratory warblers and it is one of the easier warblers to identify by sight. They’re already being observed throughout the area including one in my own yard each day this week. Likely, you’ll have at least one passing through before this migration is over.
Swarovski Optics are commonly regarded as the best sport optics in the world and now you can get them at Wild Birds Unlimited. We now have the following models in stock: SLC 8x42, EL 8.5x42, and the CL Companion 8x30. Special orders are available.
It’s always a good idea to get binoculars in hand before you purchase. There are many factors to consider in order to know that you’re making the right choice. Stop by to have a look at our new Swarovski binoculars. Even if you have absolutely no intent to purchase, we’d still love for you to have the experience of looking through them.
In the 12 years we’ve been open, there has almost always been a cat in the bird store. We know that
there’s a great deal of irony in that, especially in light of how our cats behave when a sparrow can be seen through the window on the sidewalk. Cats are adorable little murder machines. It’s just too darned cute when their eyes fill with bloodlust and their whiskers bristle with the energy of a tiny volcano.
We have a new cat now. Her name is Gylfie. Gylfie was abandoned in our SE Gainesville neighborhood along with her former housemate who disappeared immediately and never returned. Our neighbors found Gylfie crouched in the woods beside the two open pet carriers that had been placed there facing the woods, doors open.
Fortunately for Gylfie, she was not bold enough to run deeper into the woods and she was social enough to walk up to a perfect stranger. She probably saved her own life by doing that. Her former housemate was not so lucky. Although we don’t know what happened to the second cat, it seems unlikely that she was as fortunate as Gylfie.
Key and Astrid named Gylfie for a character in the animal adventure book series The Guardians of Ga’Hoole. In the series, Gylfie is an elf owl. My other favorite Gylfie plays for Swansea City. Extra points of some sort if you know who that is.
WBU has a Facebook page for birding and feeder news. Check it out!