Babies, babies, babies everywhere! It's that time of year when new life springs not just from the earth but in dens and nests all over Tennessee. We get lots of questions this time of the year on two subjects: First where have all my hummingbirds gone? And second, I found a baby bird what do I do?
Hummingbirds...well it's nesting time and females are busy building nests, incubating eggs and ultimately feeding young. In other words they're busy...they aren't going anywhere so they don't need to linger at our feeders to get fat and during this time of year they prefer natural food resources and they are plentiful. Patience will pay off for as the end of the month draws near you'll start to see more and more hummers at your feeders as migration begins, babies fledge and general feeder activity grows.
Please remember to keep hummingbird feeders clean and free of black mold. Especially NOW that the heat is on. Nectar should always be MADE and never bought. 4 parts water 1 part white cane sugar whether you're making a cup or a gallon. NO artificial sweetners, NO honey, NO raw sugar and NO RED DYE is necessary and if fact it has the potential to harm. NO nectar extender either. Just keep nectar fresh...change it about every 2-3 days but as temps rise and humidity builds it much be changed more often. Bottom line...if you won't drink it...don't feed it to your hummingbirds. Feeding hummingbirds should be a pleasure...if it becomes too much put less feeders out or just plant native flowers.
And speaking of...it's always best to plant native flowers...once established they're far less work because they below here. Check labels and don't buy chemically treated plants. Hummingbirds, amphibians and the like eat small insects. There presence makes a healthier environment for all creatures.
Baby birds...in most cases if you find a fully feathered baby bird DO NOTHING. It's parents know where it is and will feed it. If it's unfeathered first step would be to see if you can put it back in the nest. If not, then it's BEST cancel for survival is to get it to a licensed rehabber. DO NOT feed it or give it water. DO KEEP IT WARM in a covered box and make a call. Click HERE for link a list of rehabbers by county in TN.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Recently there has been much on the news and internet about Avian Bird Flu, specifically the new strain H5H1, which is more contagious. At this time in Tennessee there are no 'warnings' about removing feeders or bird baths. HOWEVER weekly maintenaince is a MUST and should be done regardless. When birds gather together to feed there is always the chance of transmission of disease so cleanliness is essential. If you encounter sick or dead birds you can report them to TWRA at: Sick Birds
That same site should also have the most up-to-date information on bird flu and help guide you to doing what's best for our feathered friends.
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Welcome The Newest Additions To The Eastern Golden Eagle Research Project
Two new Golden Eagles have been trapped in Tennessee. One on Bear Hollow WMA named Bear Hollow and another trapped on Prentice Cooper WMA.
We love seeing your photos of the wildlife in Tennessee and our honored to display them on our Gallery page. Pictures should be of birds found in Tennessee. Click here to submit yours .
CRITTER OF THE MONTH
The Dickcissel is a small seed-eating migratory bird of the grassland and prairie here in Tennessee. They forage on the ground or in fields looking for seeds and insects. They will depart Tennessee beginning in August.
Summer has arrived and babies are fledging and learning to sing!
When you come across an owlet on the ground please don't assume it's an orphan. Chances are Mom knows right where it is.
DOWNLOAD DISCOVER BIRDS
A wonderfully fun, informative and FREE educational booklet sponsored by the Tennessee Ornithological Society and TWRA. Get your hard copy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to download. Also available for download in Spanish.