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Wild Bird Crossingof Sturbridge
4 Cedar Street
(Rte 20 & Cedar St Intersection)
Sturbridge, Massachusetts


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ask minnies & marley

minnies, bill & marley

Minnies and Marley have 8 years of birding experience between the two of them. In addition to that, they are both birds, so they should be able to answer any and all questions that you have about our feathered friends. If you are in the area, make sure you stop by Wild Bird Crossing and say hello to Minnies and Marley. These two even have their own line of candy bars, available exclusively at Wild Bird Crossing.


questions, comments & directions

Have a birding question? Ask Minnies and Marley.
Check back to see the answers posted.


(Minnies): Hey Marley did you see all of the questions people put in our question and answer box?

(Marley): Yea, if we answered them all we would have to write the entire newsletter ourselves!

(Minnies): Here's one for you Marley, it sure sounds like something you would do. Why do birds throw dirt on themselves?

(Marley): Little does Minnies know that I happen to be a very clean bird, and I would not throw dirt on my beautiful feathers, but I might kick dirt at her the next time I get a chance! Anyway, believe it or not, this is how some birds take a bath. Dust bathing is not as wide spread as water bathing. It is most characteristic of birds living in open, often bare, country, for example: Larks, Quail, and Ring-necked Pheasants dust bathe; and it is frequent in Ruffed Grouse and Wild Turkey. Some North American songbirds such as Wrens and House Sparrows, and certain hawks and owls also dust bathe. (Most birds that dust bathe do not water bathe, however House Sparrows are at least one exception to this rule). Most birds form a body-size hollow or depression in the dust and while laying in them peck the soft earth and scrape with their feet. While doing so, to sift dust through the feathers, they roll their body with the body and rump feathers fluffed out and shuffle their wings, flicking dust onto their backs, some larger birds even throw dirt over their backs with the bill. Dust absorbs excess oil in the feathers and may possibly discourage ectoparasites.

(Minnies): Marley it sounds to me that you should take a dirt bath to absorb all that excess salad dressing you get all over your face, then maybe you won't get an oil slick on my bath water every time I share it with you.

(Marley): It's a "dust bath" Minnies, and next time I'll request my own tub from Bill!


Check out the Massachusetts Audubon Society on the web!

Visit the North American Bluebird Society

Dick E. Bird News - Good news for birders

The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology has a plethora of information about birds.

Have you seen a rare bird? Want to know what other birders have found? Rare Bird Alert

National Audubon Society is on the Web

American Birding Association online!

Update your National Geographic Field Guide online!

Birdlinks - This site will link you to bird info worldwide.

Hummingbirds - Find out more about Hummingbirds

Interesting Local Birding Website - find out what's new in the area

More bird links - USA, Q&A, you name it, it's here.


Check out where Jennifer works! Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary

Dragonflys and Damselflys of Massachusetts - Ode News. Fantastic Photos!

The Interactive Guide to Massachusetts Snakes will help you identify
the 14 species of snakes in Mass.

Mass. Natural Heritage and Endangered Species site

Wildlife Photography? Click here!


Everything you need to know about binoculars - Swarovski Optiks