Creature Feature

Creature Feature – The Floodgates Are Open!

Posted by  //  April 28, 2024  //  Articles, Creature Feature

Over the last few weeks, the first trickle of returning birds has been steadily increasing, and now the floodgates are open!

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have arrived, so it’s time to hang your nectar feeders.  Note that red food coloring is neither necessary nor recommended when preparing hummingbird nectar.  Simply mix well 1 part sugar to 4 parts water.  (Boiling isn’t necessary but gives the nectar a longer shelf life.)  Unused nectar can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.  Clean and refill your feeder often to prevent the growth of harmful mold and bacteria.

Keep a look out for Wood Ducks, Buffleheads, Common Goldeneyes, Hooded Mergansers, and Common Mergansers — all cavity nesting ducks.  They nest in abandoned woodpecker holes or other tree cavities caused by disease, fires, or weather events.  It seems strange to spot a duck perched in a tree, but springtime offers opportunities to observe them perched on limbs or careening through the trees near lakes and ponds.

These ducks will use an appropriately constructed nest box, especially where natural sites are limited; so if you have suitable lakefront or wetland habitat for cavity nesting ducks on your property, consider mounting a nesting box near the water.  Step-by-step, DIY guidelines for building and maintaining a duck nesting box can be found online at

Look and listen for other new arrivals as the flood gates open, including Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, White-throated Sparrows, Baltimore Orioles, Yellow Warblers, Brown Thrashers, Common Yellowthroats, and House Wrens, among many other beautiful birds!

Article & photo by Margie Manthey

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