(OnFocus) Spring is underway, and that means feathered friends are making their way back to Central Wisconsin.
Birdwatchers will have already spotted Wisconsin’s state bird, the robin, hanging around the feeders. In another sign of spring, finches, which turn an olive brown in winter and look similar to sparrows, are turning back to yellow.
“Underneath the feeders, you will start to notice that the native sparrows are returning,” said Jim Bauer, location manager at Central Wisconsin County Store. “Native sparrows will have more white on the wing bar and also around the eyes and on the throat. One of their habits is to jump forward — what they’re doing is uncovering seed and moving the litter underneath their feet to open up and see the litter and bugs that might be underneath there.”
Locals may also see the returning Eastern Bluebird and the vibrant Indigo Bunting which eats alongside the finches and are seed eaters. Slate-colored juncos will also be coming through in small clusters.
“The cardinals will be separating out and will become more territorial and you should be able to hear the males singing in the trees in the morning and evening,” said Bauer. The male cardinals feed the females early in the breeding season.
The Central Wisconsin Country Store carries its own bird seed blends of sunflower seeds sunflower hearts, and nut meats. Sunflower seeds are a high commodity among birds who aim for higher nutritional value. Cardinals are drawn to safflower, while robins like mealworms and fruit.
“Just about all species does eat some amount of bugs as a high protein source when they have their young,” said Bauer.
If there is a large pile of seed underneath the feeder, increase the amount of sunflower in the feed and the pile will go away, he suggested.
As an “essential” business during the Safer at Home order, the Central Wisconsin Country Store is still open and available to answer questions and provide for everyone’s bird and garden needs. While complying with social distancing requirements, the store is open for shoppers to stop inside on Tuesday and Thursday from 8-6 p.m., plus Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons, and Saturday 8-1:30 p.m.
The store is available for pickup orders on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings – simply call 715-387-1045 for assistance, or to make arrangements to stop inside the store.
During this period the business has maintained its usual flow of customers and has had little difficulty with shortages, Bauer said.