Karen Perry from Wild Birds Unlimited

End of summer is the time you will see some of your backyard songbirds looking a bit scruffy. That's because they're molting. You will probably see more feathers in your yard than normal. So here's a little info on molting and how you can help your backyard friends out.
Most birds undergo a seasonal transformation in summer, losing and replacing their feathers in a process known as molting. Bird and nature enthusiasts can help birds with the molting process by providing foods rich in protein.
Molting describes when a bird replaces some (partial molt) or all (full molt) of its feathers. Birds will also molt if they have lost feathers that need to be replaced immediately.
Different species of birds molt at different times of the year and for different reasons. Some birds molt twice a year. During spring/summer, birds (especially males) molt to a much brighter, more colorful breeding plumage to be more attractive to potential mates. In the fall/winter, birds return to a less attention-grabbing, non-breeding plumage.
Molting is a critical part of birds’ lives. It’s a complicated process that takes time and energy, and it takes place as birds carry on with their other daily routines.
Feathers are more than 90% protein, primarily keratins. Because of the nutritional demands on their bodies to produce feathers and feather pigment, birds must increase the amount of protein and fats in their diets.
Molting can be so physically demanding that many species of birds cannot fly during this time. Some birds such as geese, ducks and swans will molt in seclusion to avoid predators.
Offering bird foods high in protein and fats in backyard bird feeders is helpful during molting seasons. Foods such as Nyjer (thistle), peanuts, mealworms and Wild Birds Unlimited Birdacious Bark Butter aid birds in replacing their feathers and help ensure that their pigmentation is bright.
Having the right food in your feeders isn’t just a wonderful way to see a variety of birds, but it’s also a way to provide birds with an easy-to-find food source during a very crucial time of their lives.
Stop in and see us to learn about our great bird food offerings.  
Happy birding!
Karen Perry
Wild Birds Unlimited, Onalaska, 608-781-5088