Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education

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Showing posts by Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education

Mountain Chickadee
September 21, 2016
Cashing in on Caching
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Hobby
It’s caching season and many birds are cashing in on the abundance of natural foods for a better chance at surviving the coming harsh weather. And they remember, very accurately, where they stash each morsel.           Chickadees Chickadees prefer to cache black oil sunflower seeds; often eating a small portion before
Townsend's Warbler
September 14, 2016
Birds Fly Out as Fall Rolls In
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Hobby
          Migration is a fascinating part of bird behavior. More than 300 bird species found in North America during the summer are making their way to Latin America and the Caribbean, some covering distances of nearly 7,000 miles. Besides the amount of daylight, it appears that age, sex, weather and the
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February 27, 2014
Crazy Weather, Crazy Bird Activity
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Birds
“Last week was bitter cold and the birds were crazy at the feeders. This week is warm and sunny and there are no birds in sight. What’s going on?” Birds need calories to stay warm. They get their calories from food for which they are constantly foraging. The feeders in our yards are a supplement
Bird watching, Wild Birds Unlimited, WBU
December 20, 2013
Inspiring Bird Brains
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Partnerships
It always amazes me that so many kids want to learn about birds. We can only take so many for our class and there is always a waiting list. What class is that? We just completed our fourth annual Bird Study merit badge class in conjunction with the local Christmas Bird Count. This has been
Dark eyed Junco, Bird Photo, Wild Birds Unlimited, WBU
December 5, 2013
The Morse Code Bird
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Birds
Every winter the Dark-eyed Junco departs from its northerly breeding grounds of summer and descends upon the lower 48 states. Some western and northeastern states have them year-round where they can be heard singing their pretty trilling song. For those who only have juncos in winter, we only get to listen to their call and
Wild Turkey, Bird Photo, Wild Birds Unlimited, WBU
November 26, 2013
Wild Turkey: A North American Icon
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Birds
I am fascinated by Wild Turkeys. Aren’t we all when it’s Thanksgiving? They are large, beautiful birds. Early historical reports show amazing numbers of turkey populations. In 1540 Hernando de Soto’s soldiers were given large numbers of turkeys; 700 in one account. In 1612 an author wrote that Wild Turkeys were like pheasants in England;
APS, Wild Birds Unlimited, WBU
September 27, 2013
What’s Wrong with My Bird Food?
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Birds
Don’t have birds coming to your feeders? Take heart! They are eating from the abundance of natural foods right now; but, they are still watching your feeders and occasionally coming in to grab a snack. Additionally, birds are currently choosing their winter territories. Access to feeders with quality foods not only provide a great snack
Cumminghams
September 20, 2013
Night Cruise
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Hobby
I recently returned from a cruise sailing seven nights up the coast of British Columbia and Alaska. What an amazing, breath-taking journey of scenery, wildlife and, of course, birds. There were plenty of creatures to spy from the ship and shore. However, one of the coolest things I experienced was during the overnight hours. I
Molting Nuthatch, Bird Photo, Wild Birds Unlimited, WBU
September 6, 2013
Missing Feathers
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Birds
Have you seen any feathers on the ground lately? Its molting season for many of the birds that visit our yards. Molting is the process of losing old feathers and growing fresh replacements. It’s not unusual to find a feather or two this time of year. Wing and tail feathers are often the easiest to
Banded-Chickadee-in-the-Hand, Bird Photo, Wild Birds Unlimited, WBU
August 28, 2013
Bird Banding Fascination
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Birds
“Daddy, you should become a bird bander so I can help.” Last weekend we attended the inaugural Young Birders Conference hosted by the Indiana Young Birder’s Club. My teenage daughter was interested in going and insisted on bringing me along. Of course, I was delighted to join her. The real highlight for both of us
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July 26, 2013
No-Mess Summer Feeding
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | WBU Products
This time of year, it is obvious when the birds are eating. My feeders are crazy with activity from all the young birds with their parents. They can leave quite a mess of bird food and shells. That is why I prefer tidy feeding options in my yard and at the office. I really like
Bird Watching ELC 2013
July 12, 2013
Refreshed by Connecting with Nature
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | WBU Products
Wild Birds Unlimited storeowners gathered in Indianapolis this year at the end of June for the annual Enterprise Leadership Conference. They came to refresh and reenergize themselves and learn about new innovations for their staff and stores. But before they got down to some serious work, some of them arrived a day early to play.
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June 14, 2013
Dad, The Great Provider
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Birds
Dads provide for us, care for us, teach us and guide us. In honor of Father’s Day and dads everywhere, including the bird world, here is some fun bird-Dad information. Have you ever seen birds kissing? Northern Cardinals and Western Scrub-Jays do this. The male feeds his mate seeds during courtship and it appears they
blog-John-Schaust-100213
May 3, 2013
Competitive Birding for Conservation
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Birds
119 species in 2011 143 species in 2012 300 species in 2013? Team Wild Birds Unlimited is participating again in our local Audubon’s Birdathon. We found 119 species in a single day two years ago, 143 last year and hope to find close to 175 this year. Recently, a Birdathon team from the Cornell Lab
hummingbird
April 16, 2013
Amazing Memory
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Birds
Did you ever wonder how a hummingbird will show up in your yard and check out the hummingbird feeder or hanging nectar plant that was there last year but hasn’t been put out yet this year? How do the birds know? It’s almost like they remember the nectar-rich food source. It is amazing that a
Carolina Wren, Bird Photo, Wild Birds Unlimited, WBU
March 29, 2013
Nesting Foods
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | WBU Products
Though the recent snow storm in the Midwest doesn’t reflect it, spring officially sprang last week. Have you been listening to the ever increasing dawn chorus? It’s a sign that birds will soon be nesting. Your chickadees and bluebirds may have already started new home selections which means precious, little eggs aren’t far behind. Do
American Robin, , Bird Photo, Wild Birds Unlimited, WBU
February 8, 2013
Harbinger of Spring?
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Birds
It has often been said that the first sign of an American Robin foraging on the lawn means spring is on the way. But is the robin still a harbinger of spring? Robins typically gather in flocks in autumn to migrate south to escape harsh winter weather. However, times seem to be changing. More and
Cassin's finch female, Wild Birds Unlimited, WBU
January 10, 2013
Finch ID – Take a Closer Look
By Brian Cunningham, Manager of Nature & Hobby Education | Birds
Take a closer look at that finch on your feeder. Are you sure it’s what you thought? Distinguishing between House, Purple and Cassin’s Finches can be a bit tricky. But, there are clues to help make positive identifications much simpler. First of all, determine which finches are in your area. Click the bird names below