Lowe’s Companies, Inc., well-known for their home improvement retail stores, issued a press release today to drum up business from birders. They now carry National Geographic birding products.Â Since the release is somewhat informative, we’re going to share a chunk of it, but if you disagree with any of it, take it up with Lowe’s.
During fall, millions of migratory birds take to the country’s four major regional flyways — the Atlantic, the Mississippi, the Central and the Pacific — in search of warm heavenly retreats. With the majority of birds flying south September through November, now is the prime time to observe this yearly phenomenon — often in your own backyard.
While millions of birdwatchers reside within the major flight paths, some will have a better view than others. The best birdwatching locations are Southeast Arizona; Rio Grande Valley, Texas; Everglades, Fla.; the Texas coast; Cape May, N.J.; Point Pelee, Ontario; Big Bend National Park, Texas; Point Reyes, Calif.; Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge, N.J.; High Island, Texas; Hawk Mountain, Pa. and Cheyenne Bottoms or Quivera National Wildlife Refuge, Kan.
“Birdwatchers can get their yards ready for migratory birds by creating a habitat filled with water and a variety of native trees and shrubs which protect birds from predators and provide a place to rest,” said Marybeth Cornwell, vice president of seasonal living for Lowe’s. “In addition, keeping cats indoors and providing birdseed creates an ideal retreat as birds make their way south.”
Tempting as it is to toss birdseed onto a sidewalk, driveway or on top of ice and snow, it’s healthier for the birds and less wasteful to serve food from a feeder or feeding station. Water, mold, fertilizer, pesticides or other hazards on the ground can contaminate seeds.
After natural foods like berries and seeds have run out, birds rely on birdseed and feeders. Be sure to replenish food often in the winter — birds have higher caloric needs in the colder weather. Use a feeder that holds sunflower seeds to draw cardinals, towhees and blue jays. For frequent visits from woodpeckers, magpies and wrens, hang suet feeders (any type of suet will work year-round), and to ward off non-winged guests, opt for a feeder that’s squirrel-resistant. Keep water flowing in colder climates by adding an immersion heater (about $20) to an existing birdbath.