Now is the time of year when male wild birds begin to draw the attention of females, and these courtship practices can be as entertaining as they are complex.Moana also sent me a news release about their free April gardening seminars. Rather than adding the list here, I'll just provide a link to it on This Is Reno.
Bird courtship displays are integral to mating and raising young. Female birds often choose suitors based on appearance, the ability to provide food, evidence that the male can build the strongest and safest nest and other characteristics.
“This is a fun time to watch the behavior of backyard birds,” said Jacque Lowery, manager of Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shops at Moana Nursery. “In some species, birds engage in behaviors that seem to parallel human romance.”
With some species, the male simply flies in front of the female to show off his luminous colors or unique markings. In others, songs are more important to impress the female with his musical repertoire. Some birds touch bills or groom each other during courtship. Mourning doves and mockingbirds fluff up their feathers and “dance.”
Originally scientists thought that many birds, such as geese, swans and eagles, mated for life, only seeking a new mate when the original partner died. Recent research shows that some species are faithful to their pair-bonding only for a season, while others actually have multiple mates simultaneously. For example, after hummingbirds mate, the male will court another female.
Male house wrens build multiple nests and let the female choose the one she prefers. Then, the male may try to attract another female to occupy one of his other nests.
Wild Birds Unlimited, located inside all three Moana Nursery locations in Reno and Sparks (1100 W. Moana Lane, 11301 S. Virginia St. and 7655 Pyramid Hwy.), is part of the original and largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores with more than 275 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Wild Birds Unlimited specializes in bringing people and nature together with bird feeding and nature products, expert advice and educational events. Visit www.reno.wbu.com for more information.
It was fun to find these photos in my in box. In honor of the Great Backyard Bird Count, Moana Nursery held a photo contest for bird watchers throughout the month of February, and these are the winners.
Glen Petersen—“Cedar Waxwings Meet at Top of Fountain”
Pat Harmsworth—“Camouflaged Owl”
What? No mourning doves?
Each of the winners received an EcoClean feeder and black oil sunflower seed.
I'm impressed by the seminars lined up for Saturdays in March at Moana Nursery. I like the variety and the fact that several of the classes are intended to get kids involved in gardening and the natural world.
From the news release:
March 2: Waterfowl . . . Ducks for the Whole Family, 10 a.m. – noon
Who knew there were so many different varieties of ducks in Reno? Bring your kids and join local birding guru and longtime Audubon Society member Alan Gubanich for a slide show and pointers for identifying various duck species, followed by a field trip to Virginia Lake to practice what you’ve learned! For children ages 8 and up with a parent or grandparent. Meet in the Landscape and Design Center. Bring your binoculars and bird guides if you have them. If not, binoculars will be loaned. Free cracked corn will be supplied. Birdwatching is a great educational family activity that costs virtually nothing, and this is a great way to get started.
March 9: It’s All About the Soil
Dr. Earth’s Thomas Chaplin will show you why the key to gardening success begins with the soil and why the soil in northern Nevada needs to be amended and fed.
March 16: Irrigation Primer for Home Owners and Renters
If you live in a home with an irrigation system and haven’t a clue as to how to turn it on, much less what comprises the system or how it works, this seminar is for you! Western Nevada Supply irrigation expert Joe Gilbert and Moana Nursery irrigation specialist Ryan Morgan will walk you through the basics: how to operate your system, the differences between drip and lawn irrigation, how to determine if your system is cost-effective and giving adequate coverage without wasting water and trouble shooting. They will also suggest who to call if you need help or would rather have someone do it for you.
March 23: Rose Care 101
Join Diane Stortz-Lintz, horticulturist and rose specialist for the city of Reno, and Thomas Chaplin of Dr. Earth to learn when (April) and how to prune your roses; proper techniques will be demonstrated. They will share tips for having spectacular roses even if you’ve never grown any before. You’ll learn about the different varieties of roses and how easy they can be when the right varieties and locations are selected as well as what planting techniques will ensure your success.
March 23: Miniature Gardening Workshop for Children, 10 a.m.
at the Moana Lane Garden Center, $40
Join us in creating tiny, enchanted gardens in this fun, hands-on workshop. Children ages 6 and up will delight in building pint-sized environments that will attract gnomes, fairies and other magical creatures! The fee for this 60-minute class includes all materials needed to make, bring home and care for your own wonderful, miniature garden. Class is limited to 20 children; parent or grandparent must accompany children. Cost is $40 per child. Payment is due at the time of registration and is non-refundable for no-shows. Call 825-0600 or visit Moana Lane nursery to register.Unless otherwise stated, seminars are free and held at Moana Nursery, 1190 W. Moana Lane, in our Landscape and Design Center across the nursery parking lot. Seminars begin promptly at 10 a.m. and last one hour. Please arrive 15 minutes early, as seating is limited to 60 and is first come, first served. Visit www.moananursery.com or call (775) 825-0600 for more information.
The seminar will be held at Moana Nursery, 1190 W. Moana Lane, in the Landscape and Design Center. It will begin promptly at 10 a.m. and last one hour. Doors open at 9:45 a.m.; seating is limited to 60 and is first come, first served. Visit www.moananursery.com or call (775) 825-0600 for more information.