September2011

How to Bring More Wild Birds to your Yard

Are you a bird lover who wants to see more feathered visitors in your yard? No worries, it’s relatively easy to get a variety of wild birds flocking to you. All you need is a bird feeder and some bird seed. Yes, it sounds like a no-brainer, but the kind of bird feeder you buy and the type of feed you put in it are crucial.

First, figure out what kind of birds you want to attract. It would be wise to research the different species of birds that are common in the region where you live. Once you find that out, focus on one or two species. Then get a bird feeder that is specially designed for that type of bird. It may sound silly to have a different feeder for different bird types, but it’s not. Many feeder shapes and designs are based on the sizes of birds, the amount of seed that can be held, etc. For example, some feeders are designed specifically for smaller species to keep out larger birds that could eat their food. So think carefully about the types of birds you want in your yard and get the appropriate feeder for them.

Then purchase some quality bird seed. You can find feed mixes that are made for specific bird species. Each one has a different blend of seeds and nuts that is best for whatever type of bird it is. Sure, you can throw in whatever generic seed you feel like and birds will probably eat them, but if you want a certain species regularly frequenting your backyard, opt for a special mix. This will help maximize the number of a certain bird species that visit you.

These are some pretty general guidelines, so if you’re in need of more specific information about birds, hop over to the For the Wild Birds blog. There you’ll find loads of helpful information about different bird species, feeding tips and other valuable tips.

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What to Feed those Backyard Birds? ‘For The Wild Birds’!

Are you a bird lover who wants to turn your backyard into a wild bird sanctuary? Then check out our selection of bird seed from For The Wild Birds!

This line features a variety of different bird seed to attract various species. All of the For The Wild Birds seed that we carry is packaged in bulk so you have more than enough to feed your feathered visitors. If you’re in search of a specific seed blend, we’ve got you covered. Blends feature cracked corn, sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, milo and millet. Plus, many of the blends are specially formulated to help attract specific bird species. So if you want  to see more finches, cardinals, blue jays or woodpeckers, we have feed that will keep them coming back for seconds. Or if you want to concoct your own special mix, we also have bulk packages of individual seed so you can make whatever you want. For The Wild Birds carries only the freshest, high quality bird seed, so you can rest assured knowing the birds that frequent your yard are consuming the choicest ingredients.

So for all you bird fanatics out there, get to shopping and find the seed wild birds will love.

In The News: Woman Punches Bear to Save Dog

Hats off to Brooke Collins, the Alaskan woman who rescued her dachshund, Fudge, from a bear recently. Apparently, a black bear had been hanging around Brooke’s neighborhood, looking for easy meals (I can certainly understand how a dachshund would look like an easy to meal to a bear). When Brooke looked out of her window and saw the bear crouching over Fudge, she ran out of her house, yelling and screaming.

Then she punched the bear on its nose.

It should go without saying that most wildlife experts do not recommend running up to strange bears. In fact, that’s the exact opposite of what they advise.* But for Brooke, it worked like a charm. The bear dropped Fudge, and her boyfriend was able to chase it away. Fudge escaped without serious injury.

As pet owners, most of us love our animals so much, we would do anything for them. It’s kind of inspiring to see that love in action. Three cheers for Brooke, and best wishes for a speedy recovery for Fudge.

*(Seriously, please don’t go looking for bears to wrestle. It’s a really, really bad idea.)

Chuckit! Blowout Sale

Don’t miss out on the ChuckIt! Blowout Sale going on right now. Head on over to save big on a variety of great toys including ball launchers, rope tugs and even flying squirrels. This is a great opportunity to buy your beloved pooch a new toy or replace an old raggedy one.

Featured Products:

Mega Tennis Ball Launcher for Larger Dog Breeds (Assorted Colors) : Avoid the hassle of dog drool with this ball launcher, which also allows you to throw twice the distance. It is great for you and great for your dog to have fun while exercising.

2-1/2” Tennis Balls (2-Pack): For a great game of fetch or to use with the Mega Tennis Ball Launcher (above), these tennis balls are of high quality and ultra visible.

Football Player Toss & Tug Rope Toy: This toy features cross-training toss, tug, rope and rubber, putting your dog ahead in the athletic competition. Just in time for football season.

Be sure to check out these great toys and more over at the sale!

3 Effective Dog Whisperer Techniques

As a pet lover who doesn’t actually own any pets, I often dog walk for friends and acquaintances. Doing this has taught me how to be somewhat of a dog whisperer. Now, just as a disclaimer, I’m no Cesar Millan—he employs some very serious training and techniques, while I simply implement small tips that work for me. I’m not a pet expert nor do I have any professional training. But from my years of dog walking, I have learned a few tricks to help dogs behave better.

1. Walk ahead of the dog. I’ve heard many dog owners and pet experts say you should always stay ahead of your dog while you walk him. I never really thought anything of it, but lots of people claim doing this helps establish your position as your dog’s owner and leader, which compels your pooch to obey you. Before hearing about this, I let dogs stay ahead of me on walks, so I figured I’d give it a try the next time I dog walked. Admittedly, it was difficult for me to implement this with all the dogs I walked. Some responded very well to it. I noticed that when I positioned myself ahead of some dogs (I do this by shortening the leash length), they were happy to follow me, and seemed more relaxed and obedient. But there was one dog, an overly enthusiastic beagle puppy, that always wanted to race ahead when I walked him. It was a bit more challenging to deal with, but I tried. I gave him enough leash to walk slightly behind me. I only walked him a couple of times so it wasn’t really long enough to see a significant change in behavior. He was still quite excited and wanted to walk ahead, but much of that was probably because was an excited puppy. But if you establish yourself as the leader every time you walk your dog, it works. I noticed it during just a few dog walks, so just imagine how effective it is when owners implement it consistently.

2. Tug the leash. One of the dogs I take care of gets pretty anxious when he walks near or next to other male dogs. He doesn’t get violent or try to attack them, but he’ll pull on his leash and bark at them. I’ve noticed that if I gently but firmly tug on his collar while making a loud “shh!” noise the moment he notices another dog, his agitation subsides. It helps him refocus, reminds him that I’m in charge and that he needs to follow me. Also, if you remain calm, your dog will too. I noticed that whenever I felt nervous at seeing another dog approach, he would also become nervous, which would set off his barking. But if I stayed calm and continued to walk confidently, he would follow me without hesitation. I practiced this several times and after awhile, I could tell the difference. Try it on your next walk if your dog is the easily agitated type. Remember to remain calm and assertive, and give him a gentle tug on his leash while making a clear definite sound when you first notice his anxiousness. Don’t tug too hard; just an assertive pull on his collar is sufficient. Repeat the tug as many times as you need to. You may have to do multiple pulls the first few times you practice this with your pooch, but the more you do it, the more he will get used to it, and the less trouble you will have.

3. Don’t get too excited. Have a dog that gets jumpy and enthusiastic the moment you walk through the door? I deal with this a lot as a dog walker, and admittedly it can be hard quell an overly excited pooch. But I noticed that if I stay calm and don’t respond to the dog’s jumping and excited behavior, he calms down. Usually I will gently but firmly push the dog off if he tries to jump on me when I enter the house, continue walking and let him follow me. It sounds a bit harsh to act so indifferent when you greet a dog, but it works. If I remained restrained, the dog realizes that there’s nothing to be excited about and he calms down relatively quickly. The moment he relaxes, I’ll pet him. This seems to reinforce this calmer behavior, and it has worked with several dogs that I’ve watched.

Whether you’re a dog owner, dog sitter or just spend a lot of time with dogs, try any or all of these tips. Again, I’m no expert; these are just techniques that have worked for me. It depends on the kind of dog you have and how often you employ them. But if they’ve worked for me, someone who is around dogs only occasionally, they could work very well for dog owners.

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Guest Post: “Get This In Your Yard: Woodpeckers”

A big hello and welcome to our friends at the Wild Bird Blog! The WBB is an absolute gold mine of information about backyard birding. This week we are bringing you a post about how to bring woodpeckers to your yard. All of you bird lovers and pet bird owners can expect to see posts periodically from WBB from now on. For this week’s post, blogger Crinda explains what you can do to attract woodpeckers:

“I am starting the Get This In Your Yard feature with my personal favorite: Woodpeckers. I feed mine all year long and proudly share my spruce tree with 2 pairs of Downy’s and a solitary male Red-Bellied.

As August flies by, summer’s natural abundance will drop off for all of our favorite birds and we prepare for autumn feeding. With their flashes of red, yellow and white, woodpeckers always make a great impression hanging at all angles from your feeders.

Woodpeckers are a wide ranging group that can be found just about all over the world (sorry Australia and Hawaii). Here in North America they can be found in forests, swamps, deserts, and best of all, in your yard.

You can attract these guys using seed feeders you already have. Woodpeckers are clinging birds and really like to perch on the sides of mesh and wooden feeders but they will also hang on regular perches if they see something that looks good. They love black oil , shelled sunflower, all varieties of nuts and even unshelled peanuts. Try putting out pumpkin seeds as well. Your woodpeckers will love you for it… [to read the remainder of this post, click here – content and photos courtesy of the Wild Bird Blog]