Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Indiana Dunes Birding Festival

The Indiana Dunes Birding Festival is an annual event hosted by the Indiana Audubon Society that showcases the abundance of migratory birds in the Indiana Dunes. May 17-20
Birding in the Indiana Dunes is the best the state has to offer. With its rich biodiversity, varying habitats and miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, the Indiana Dunes is a hotspot for migrant  birds. The annual Indiana Dunes Birding Festival is held to celebrate the dunes area’s various birding habitats and bird watching opportunities to create a positive impact on the economic, conservation, and environmental education for visitors and residents to the Indiana Dunes region.
See our Current News for the latest updates on the upcoming year's festival!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Eat Up Wine Down 1st Thursday  March 1, 2018 Times: 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Organization: Valparaiso Events  Location: Central Park Plaza, Valparaiso, IN 46383
Description: Don't miss a great opportunity to visit one or several of Downtown Valparaiso's favorite restaurants. The Valpo Downtown Dining Group tempts your palate with $6 specials.
Then come back to Songbird Prairie Inn and Spa BOOK NOW
Saw a robin in a tree this morning eating some berries but may not necessarily be a sign of spring.
 Much like Punxsutawney Phil and his fellow groundhogs, sightings of the American robin are considered by many to be a sign that spring either is here or soon will be.

Or is it?

Recently, a couple friends and I heard and spotted several of the orange-and-black feathered friends - the state bird of Wisconsin, Michigan and Connecticut - on the west side of Ashland. During a newsroom discussion of the sighting, fellow Daily Press reporter Rick Olivo said he, too, saw several robins during a trip to Madison last month. The environmental reporter in me immediately wondered whether evidence of global climate change could now be seen outside my window: "I shouldn't be seeing these birds for at least two or three more weeks," I thought.

As it turns out, some of the birds choose not to live up to the second half of their species name, Turdus migratorius. Instead, they opted to stick around northern Wisconsin and tough out the winter like the rest of us - with the exception of the so-called human "snow birds," of course. read full article on By CHAD DALLY, The Daily Press, Ashland

Monday, February 26, 2018

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Killdeer have returned to Songbird Prairie!

It’s a sure sign of spring now that the killdeer have returned. They are a large, double-banded plover that screams its name across farm fields and other grass and dirt covered habitats. If you see an orange-tailed, stripe-winged bird calling kill-deee, kill-deee, you can be assured that it’s this plover. Many killdeer were shot during the late 1800’s, along with a wide range of other shorebirds. These species are now protected from harm by federal and state laws. On its white breast, two black bands stand out. Killdeer are wet-sand brown above and clear white below, with white around the front of the face and eye. A farmer’s friend, the killdeer spends its foraging time searching for beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars and other insects. Crayfish centipedes, spiders and other invertebrates are also eaten as well as some seeds. There will be more on the killdeer, since they are so interesting Efrain and Barbara Rivera, your hosts at Songbird Prairie, want to keep you informed of the beauty of nature here at the Prairie in Valparaiso, Indiana. We have blogged this near the Dunes National Lakeshore. Come and leave your footprints in the sand.

Unlike most other plovers, killdeer often forage or nest far from water. You may find them at ball fields, airport runways, pastures, farm fields as well as on mudflats. They are found through North America, but northern birds head south for the winter. During the summer, you will find them at the Dunes National Lakeshore and Songbird Prairie, our Valparaiso Inn and Spa near Valparaiso University. A simple scrape in the dirt or gravel will do for a killdeer pair, although they sometimes add embellishments, such as a lining of pebbles, grass or other small materials. Females lay three to five blotched eggs, which both parents incubate for just less than a month. Nesting in exposed habitats, killdeer rely on camouflage and deception to keep their eggs and chicks safe. If an intruder approaches the nest, an adult killdeer may feign injury, dragging a wing as if it is broken and exposing it’s bright tail; then lure the person or predator away from the nest. Adults watch over their hatchlings, little puffballs that can run and find food by themselves shortly after hatching. They fly before they reach 1 month. Come to Songbird Prairie B&B for a Chicago romantic getaway, just 45 minutes away. Hear the cry of the Killdeer, come away for that Romantic Getaway.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Visit Songbird Prairie to see Bluebirds Book now
The Bluebirds have arrived at Songbird Prairie. The Eastern Bluebirds' diet changes in the winter from mostly worms and insects to fruit, nuts and berries. They can eat the fruit from crab apple trees, Mountain Ash, dogwood, holly, eastern red cedar, and American elderberry. And as you found out they appreciate open water in the winter. A pond or heated birdbath can draw them in large numbers for afternoon drinks and preening.

At the feeders bluebirds love to eat mealworms, fruits, nuts, and suet. They consume about four grams of food per day, about 12% of their body weight. A seed cylinder feeder with a Bug, Nuts, and Fruit cylinder along with suet nuggets in the tray may entice them to stick around a littler longer to dine after their baths.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

   Red-winged blackbirds at the feeder yesterday at Songbird Prairie Inn and Spa
Bird Watchers digest says:It's a sure sign of spring here in Northwest Indiana when you hear the conk-a-ree of the male red-winged blackbird. As he gives his call, announcing himself loudly to rivals and potential  mates alike, he spreads his shoulders just so, showing bright red and yellow epaulets against his black wings. Redwings are medium-sized (8 3/4 inches long) blackbirds with an all-black body, and orange-red and yellow patch on the shoulder and nearly conical black bill. Females are streaky brown overall, but their longer bill helps separate them from the sparrows. Wet meadows, cattail marshes, upland grasslands and pastures are all breeding habitat for the redwings and we have all of those habitat terrains here at Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast here in Northwest Indiana. Songbird Prairie is a certified wildlife Habitat. The redwing's diet is mostly plant matter-weed seeds, grain, sunflower seeds, and tree seeds-along with some insects, all of which are gleaned from the ground. They will also visit a feeding station, and they do just that here at Songbird Prairie. The nesting habits start early for the red-winged blackbird, with males singing from an exposed perch on their territories as early as April in Northwest Indiana. Females choose a nest site on a male's territory and build a cup-shaped grass nest that is suspended from vertical supporting vegetation. Mud forms the foundation of the nest and soft grasses are the inner lining. Clutch size is three to four eggs, and the female alone incubates them for 10-13 days. Both parents care for the nestlings for about two weeks, until they are ready to leave the nest.
Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast located in Northwest Indiana near the Dunes National Lakeshore.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

Have a Gaggle of Fun at the Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count starts this Friday February 16, and runs to Monday February 19th. That's four days to count birds anytime, anywhere, from your backyard feeder to the back of beyond. If you're new to the GBBC, we've put together this roundup of tips, apps, ID help, and ways to max out on fun with this 21-year-old tradition! 

Songbird Prairie will have a dozen roses awaiting in your suite for Valentines Day call to order today for your Sweetie!❤️219.759.4274

Monday, February 5, 2018

Songbird Prairie will have flowers awaiting in your suite for Valentine's Day for your sweetheart reserve your fireplace whirlpool suite today

Tag a fireplace lover about Songbird Prairie Inn and Spa suites with fireplaces, whirlpools and a spa for couples massage 219-759-4274 #midwestlivingbestbnbs #indianadunes #breakfastwiththebirds 

Snuggle up in front of a warming fireplace after your couples massage at Songbird Prairie Inn and Spa #midwestliving30bestbnbs #indianadunes#breakfastwiththebirds 

Breakfast with the Birds this weekend at Songbird Prairie Inn and Spa. Make your reservation 219-759-4274 RESERVETODAY