Torrance, California

Bob Shanman

We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.

Torrance, California

25416 Crenshaw Blvd.,
Located in Rolling Hills Plaza
Torrance, CA 90505

Phone: (310) 326-2473
Email: Send Message

Store Hours:
Mon: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tues: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Wed: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thurs: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

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SOMETIMES IT'S ALL ABOUT THE NUMBERS

When my wife and I started birding in the late 1970's, all our birding friends were focused on building a "life list," which is a list of all the bird species seen. We did not have PCs back then, so all the lists were kept by hand, a tedious job because life lists turned into North American lists, state lists, county, city and yard lists, etc. You get the idea. Today, we do much of this on PCs with specialized programs.

The charge to count birds continues on. There are Big Day challenges all across the country-how many birds can a team see in a 24-hour period? There are bird-a-thons to raise money for local Audubon chapters. There's the Audubon Christmas Bird Counts, Project Feeder Watch, the Great Backyard Bird Count and more. And it's all about reporting numbers of species and numbers of individuals.

Where am I going with this? Two places, actually. First is California, and specifically, Los Angeles County. Did you know that we are the "birdiest" county in the nation? That's right. Of the over 950 species seen in North America, over 650 have been seen in California, and just over 500 of those birds have been recorded at least once in Los Angeles County (502 at last count). During spring migration, counties all over the U.S. do a 3-day count to see who has the most birds. Yep, it's us again. This year, 177 species were found in L.A. during the count.

The second place I'm going is to encourage everyone to visit www.eBird.org on the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology's website. Here you can report sightings from your yard, beach, park...anywhere. Scientists are using eBird data to better track and understand bird movements and behavior, impacts of weather and more. During our WBU Annual Meeting, we were shown some exciting things that Cornell is doing with eBird on tracking birds, learning about behavior, and more. As we these features become public, we will keep you informed both in this newsletter and on the website. Visit eBird often, and let them know that you learned about it from Wild Birds Unlimited.

Good Birding - Bob

 

IT'S FALL MIGRATION TIME

As we enter the dog days of summer, it's time for our summer visitors to migrate south. Hard to believe that it's time, but considering that many birds are moving from the high arctic to locations far south of us puts it into a different perspective. Imagine having to flap your wings for a 5000 mile journey!

Fall is an exciting, and challenging time in the bird world. Shorebirds are coming through in a wide array of plumages, from their beautiful breeding plumes to full winter feathering. Everyone is molting, so it can be hard to tell adults from young. Pay attention as you walk along the coast. Warblers will start arriving soon; males in worn breeding plumage can look like females and young. They are a challenge to sort out.

Orioles are moving south for another month or so, often as family groups. Keep your oriole feeders going through the end of August, then bid these beautiful birds goodbye until spring. Black-headed Grosbeak families are on the move too, also not to return until spring. Put out striped sunflowers to attract them for a day or two as they pass through the area.

We'll know when fall has arrived. Who will have the earliest White-crowned Sparrows. See you in the field!

 

GOLDFINCHES ARE HERE!

To the delight of many, both Lesser and American Goldfinches are showing up now at feeders in yards of many customers. Normally American Goldfinch migrate out by mid-May, and begin to return after the first big winter storms in the mountains. Lesser Goldfinch, which breed in larger numbers locally in a wide range of habitats, usually begin showing up in late fall at backyard feeders. Not so this year. Lessers are back in large numbers now (reports of as many as 20-30 in some yards), with smaller numbers of Americans being reported.

This is the type of information that can easily be reported on www.eBird.org. Over time, patterns of changing behavior can be detected from such reports. Movement maps can be developed, and scientists learn more about the environment and its effect on wildlife, especially birds, from folks like you who report this data.

Goldfinch love Nyjer® and sunflower chips. They prefer mesh feeders (they like to hang upside-down). We always have mesh and finch tube feeders in stock. Hang finch feeders clearly in the open where goldfinch can see them as they fly through or over your yard.

For more information about goldfinch, go to All About Birds on the Cornell web site. Look up all three species of goldfinch-American, Lesser and Lawrence's.