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Wild Birds Unlimited

First of all, I have to admit that I was wrong about the house wrens being gone last week. I actually saw one after I reported that. I think I probably thought that as they are not so vocal after they are through nesting for the season. Otherwise, I hear them out my bedroom window every morning very early!
We have a very informative book in that store that was written by Jim Carpenter, CEO and founder of Wild Birds Unlimited. It's called The Joy of Bird Feeding; The essential guide to attracting and feeding our backyard birds. I found the "Old school" versus "new school" bird food choices interesting.
Thirty years ago when Jim started his business there were not many choices available for backyard bird feeding.In a "nutshell" one type of seed would be offered in feeders, such as black oil or striped sunflower in a hopper feeder (leaving hulls underneath or on patios), thistle (nyger) in a finch feeder, white millet and cracked corn on the ground and suet in a suet feeder. This was done pretty consistently all year long with nectar feeders being brought out late spring for summer feeding.
Today there are so many different choices:* Seed blends for different times of the year to go in either seed tubes, hoppers and fly-thru feeders.
* We have a wonderful finch blend made up of 1/2 thistle (nyger) and 1/2 fine sunflower ships for the finch feeders.
* No Mess blends so there is no cleanup of hulls necessary.
* Cylinder feeders - large and small to make feeding even easier especially during the winter and for the elderly. These cylinders last much longer as the birds have to work a little hard to get the seeds.  These come in a variety of blends as well.
* Insect feeding is available with both live and dried meal worms - great for attracting bluebirds and non-seed eating birds to your yard.
* Suet blends come in many more forms now, cylinders, bite-size bits, which can be put in feeders as well as dishes to attract those birds that enjoy suet but can't manage a typical suet feeder, and even spreadable varieties of suet to put on tree trunks, dishes or feeders made especially for spreadable suets.
* Peanuts are a great way to attract birds as well, either hulled or in the shell. Wild Birds Unlimited has feeders that can accommodate this type of food as well.
* Fruit has also become a popular bird attractor. Oranges for the orioles and fruit eating migrators in the spring, including robins.  
* Apples are enjoyed by a number of birds as well, either on a feeder with woodpeckers pecking into them or on a stand as berries, raisins and craisins are enjoyed by many.
This being said with these modern versions of feeding you are able to attract a larger number of different species to your yard throughout the year. Every bird in your yard except the sugar-water fans can visit a single feeder that can hold every food that attracts the many varieties of local birds in this area.
One more reason to stop by Wild Birds Unlimited, located across from Valley View Mall in Crosseroads Center, 9348 State Hwy 16, Suite 214, Onalaska, WI  54650. Phone us at 608-781-5088.
Enjoy your birds - tell us your stories - we LOVE to talk birds!
Hey and don't forget the fresh water!
Happy Birding,
Karen Perry