Tag Archives: feeding birds

What Makes Cole’s Different From Other Brands?

If you have had the pleasure of using Cole’s, you already know the difference. Cole’s simply attracts the most birds because it’s the highest quality birdseed on the market. The reason Cole’s is so different is because of how the company started. It didn’t begin as a company focused on making big profits. Cole’s started out of a genuine love for birds and a desire to attract more of them.

Richard and Nancy Cole started the company after Richard created his own birdseed. He researched what birds like to eat the most. He combined the best seeds and nuts in order to bring lots of birds to his feeders. His family, friends and neighbors started requesting his blends of birdseed. That passion continues today. Cole’s is not focused on becoming the largest birdseed company with the most profits. Click on the video and hear more from Richard.

Scarlet Tanager: Cole’s Bird of the Month for December

Male Scarlet Tanager singing

It’s the perfect Bird of the Month for December. The male Scarlet Tanager’s bright, beautiful red coat trimmed in black makes him look ready for any holiday party. While cheerfully dressed in crimson for the spring and summer, he tones it down a bit throughout the fall and winter trading his festive outfit for a more subdued olive and black. This allows him to blend in like a true master of disguise, and consequently he looks more like the female and immature males who are olive and gray year round.

You’ll find Scarlet Tanagers all over the eastern United States during the summer. If you want to spot the beautiful Scarlet Tanager in your area, head for the forests and look for the males in the tops of trees. You’ll want to listen for the distinctive chick-burr call note. You can hear it by clicking on the video below.

Scarlet Tanagers feast mostly on insects and spiders during mating season adding fruit once migration begins in the spring and fall.  If you want to attract Scarlet Tanagers to your backyard, your best lure might be a nice birdbath. Keep in mind they generally like to stay high in the trees, but they do need to drink and bathe. In early spring, try Cole’s Dried Mealworms, suet cakes, orange halves, and ripe bananas for getting them to your feeders.  Cole’s Natural Peanut Suet ™ is chocked full of peanut butter, giving tanagers a boost of energy similar to what they get in a protein filled snack of grasshoppers and bees.

Known for their striking fiery red against black coloring and their distinctive call, Scarlet Tanagers are one of the most alluring songbirds and a source of inspiration for centuries. Henry David Thoreau once said the Scarlet Tanager “… flies through the green foliage as if it would ignite the leaves” – a more definitive description there never was!

Cole’s Wild Bird Products is a family-run business that packages its own top quality line of wild bird feed, feeders, and suet products. Cole’s specializes in chile infused seed products designed to make your feeder a birds only “hot” spot. Cole’s was born in the garage of “mom and pop” entrepreneurs, Richard and Nancy Cole, back in the early 1980’s and today it distributes to retailers nationwide. Cole’s is located in the metro Atlanta area.

Birdfeeder Basics

Bring on backyard birds with the right feeders.

When you dine, do you prefer clean and attractive tableware? Does ambiance enhance your enjoyment of your food? Birds feel the same way about their dining habits – the type and cleanliness of your bird feeders directly affects the number and species of birds that will visit your backyard this season.

To attract birds, you need to understand not only what they prefer to eat, but how they like to eat it. For example, while many species prefer seed, some birds like to eat their seed from elevated platforms, others prefer hanging feeders and still others are content to forage on the ground. All birds appreciate a clean feeder to prevent the spread of disease, and none of them like those pesky, seed-stealing squirrels any more than you do.

The bird experts at Cole’s Wild Bird Products offer some guidance for choosing the right feeder styles to attract the maximum number of feathered friends to your yard:

* Keep it clean – Everyone knows you should clean your feeders regularly to prevent disease, but many feeders are a pain to disassemble, clean and reassemble. Many people keep feeders less than pristine because of the hassle of cleaning. Look for feeders that make the process easy. All Cole’s tube feeders have a Quick Clean feature that allows you to remove the bottom of the feeder with the push of a button for easy cleaning access– no need to completely disassemble the feeders to clean them.

* Tube feeders are terrific – For versatility and wide appeal, it’s hard to beat a tube style feeder. These workhorses of the feeder world can handle seeds both large and small – from sunflowers to petite mixes. Tube feeders make great all-purpose feeders or excellent starter feeders for people just beginning backyard birding. Most songbirds will happily dine at a tube feeder.

* Some seeds are special – Niger is a favorite seed type for finches, siskins and several other appealing species, but not all tube feeders can handle this oily seed. If you’ll be serving niger, consider a specialty feeder like the Nifty Niger Feeder. The feeder dispenses the seed through special, tiny holes to limit the amount of waste.

*Cater to the clingy – Some birds, such as chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers and bluebirds, like to cling to the feeder. For these birds, a mesh feeder can be just what the diner ordered. Mesh feeders satisfy a bird’s desire to cling while also keeping larger birds from hogging the feeder. The Mighty Mesh Feeder is great for serving Nutberry Suet, Suet Kibbles, Suet Pearls, raw peanuts and any sunflower-based seed blend.

* The beauty of bowl feeders – Bowl feeders are another versatile style, and are great for serving not only seeds and seed blends, but also dried mealworms, fruit and suet in either kibble or pearl forms. The Bountiful Bowl Feeder comes with an adjustable dome cover that you can raise or lower to prevent larger birds and squirrels from getting to the food – and it also helps protect feed from rain.

* Hummingbird feeders are something to sing about – Hummingbirds are endlessly fascinating to watch, but you have to be quick to catch a look at them. Your best opportunity is when they’re eating, and a hummingbird feeder can help extend your viewing time. The Hummer High Rise feeder gives hummers a penthouse-view with elevated perches and keeps ants out of the nectar with a special built-in ant moat.

* Those darn squirrels – As much as you enjoy watching their antics, you probably don’t want squirrels on your bird feeder. These persistent bandits can wipe out a seed supply in minutes and damage even the best-made birdfeeders. One way to keep squirrels away from all your feeders is to install a Tough Bird Feeder Guard from Cole’s on your existing feeder poles. The simple device uses static pulse to train squirrels not to climb on feeder poles. Use your favorite feeders on your own shepherd staff or pipe-style poles and add the Tough Bird Feeder Guard to keep squirrels away. Only the tube portion of the guard is charged, so the pole and birdfeeder are safe to touch for humans and birds alike.

For more info on birdfeed blends and where to buy visit www.coleswildbird.com

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird: Cole’s Bird of the Month for August

It’s greenish, shiny, quick, and always hungry – our Cole’s Bird of the Month is the Broad-tailed Hummingbird. This appropriately named medium-sized hummer has a relatively long and wide tail. It’s kind of the cowboy of hummingbirds, living in the meadows and mountains of the western United States and in the high elevations of Mexico.

The Broad-tailed hummingbird is an independent breed. The males and females will mate and then select their nest site together. But, they don’t like to be pinned down to one relationship. Once the female is ready to make her nest and raise her young, she’s pretty much on her own. The males don’t stick around to help out. In fact, during the nesting season, the males often spend the evenings in higher elevations where they can stay warmer.

One of the most interesting attributes of Broad-tailed hummers is their ability to withstand very cold climates. To stay warm when the temperatures drop, all hummingbirds enter what’s known as hypothermic torpor, a slowed metabolic state that can keep their body temperature about ten degrees warmer than the outside air. Unfortunately, this ability comes with a price – It takes more energy. So, the males often head for the hills at night where the warm air rises as the cold air descends into the valleys. This thermal inversion means the female must use extra energy to keep warm, while the male conserves his.

As it turns out, the promiscuous males need the extra energy to perform their impressive acrobatic courtship dances for the ladies. They fly high in the air, trill their wings, and then dive down to the females hoping the display catches her eye.

To keep up their energy, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds prefer flower nectar from Red Columbine, Indian paintbrush, sage, and Scarlet Coyote Mint; however they’ll also feed from flowers other hummers ignore such as pussywillows and Glacier Lilies. Like most hummers, they always enjoy a protein filled snack of insects when they can catch them.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing a Broad-tailed Hummingbird, we recommend this video so that you can get a close up view.

This is another great video, showing a typical mountainous habitat for Broad-tailed Hummingbirds. This one is in Colorado. You don’t see the hummer until 2:50 into the video.

Used alone or combined with a pretty red flower bed, Cole’s High Rise Hummer is the perfect feeder to attract hummingbirds to your backyard. Hummingbird nectar should be made with a four to one ratio of water to sugar. No red dye is needed.


For advice on how often to change the nectar from company founder Richard Cole, click on the link below.

If you have photos or stories to share about hummingbirds, we’d love for you to share them with the Cole’s community on our Facebook page. Cole’s Wild Bird Products is a family-owned company that distributes wild bird feed and suet products. The company is known for offering the highest quality products on the market. Cole’s also specializes in chile infused seed products designed to make your feeder a bird’s only “hot” spot. Cole’s started in the garage of mom and pop entrepreneurs Richard and Nancy Cole back in the early 1980’s. Today it distributes to retailers nationwide. Cole’s is located in the metro Atlanta area. For more information, visit www.ColesWildBird.com.


If you have any questions for the experts here at Cole’s, please contact us directly. Your quickest response will be from our Contact Us form. We are happy to help.

Pine Warbler: Cole’s Bird of the Month for June

Pine Warbler

Nature packs quite a punch in the Pine Warbler. This feisty little bird has no problem standing up for itself. Whether it’s a bright yellow male staking out his claim to territory or a more subdued yellowish female calling out sharp short calls to declare this is her “stomping grounds”, this warbler will not be deterred. In fact, Pine Warblers are daring enough to get up close and personal with people. Just watch this video showing a couple of them willing to venture onto a human hand in order to snatch up a few live mealworms.

As the name suggests, the Pine Warbler generally hangs out in pine trees. They fly high in the tops of deciduous forests of the eastern United States, where they usually find everything they need. They enjoy snacking on pine more than any other seed, and they are the only warbler that will eat large quantities of seeds. For that reason, it is possible for you to see them at your feeders. In the winter, you can lure them with sunflower seeds, suet, mealworms, and yes, even peanut butter. Elaine Cole has the most success attracting these cute little birds with a home-made blend of Cole’s Suet Kibbles and Dried mealworms offered in a Mighty Mesh feeder. She finds their number two choice for a meal is Cole’s Hot Meats suet cakes.

When trying to identify the Pine Warbler, it is very easy to confuse with the more brightly colored Yellow Warbler. To tell the difference and spot the Pine Warbler, the distinguishing characteristics for both males and females are the white bars on the wings, thicker bill, and a stockier appearance. In color, the Pine Warbler has what looks like a coating of olive on the top of its head muting his otherwise striking yellow feathers.


Pine Warblers live year round in the southeastern United States. During the summers, Pine Warblers will nest atop or near the tops of pine trees and feast on all types of bugs in addition to pine seeds. In the fall when they migrate, Pine Warblers will form large flocks of 50 – 100 birds mingling with their friends who live year round in the southeast. Imagine seeing all those beautiful birds in one place!

Pine Warblers have an interesting song and learning their distinguishing call is one of your best tools to locating these elusive birds that can hide so well in the trees. Click on the video link below to hear the song. Be patient. It sings at about 16 seconds into the video.

These high flying daring little birds are making a comeback in the United States. Back in the 1950’s the herbicide DDT used to control Dutch Elm disease, killed many Pine Warblers. In addition, much of their native forests were changed or destroyed because of development and logging. Fortunately, in recent years extensive reforestation projects have led to an increase in the Pine Warbler population.

The Pine Warbler is a brave, colorful, and elusive little bird that can feel right at home flying in the tops of trees or grabbing seeds from your feeder or even worms from your hand. If you have photos of Pine Warblers, please share them with the Cole’s online community on Facebook. We’d love to see them.

Cole’s Wild Bird Products is a family-owned company that distributes wild bird feed and suet products. The company is known for offering the highest quality products on the market. Cole’s also specializes in chile infused seed products designed to make your feeder a bird’s only “hot” spot. Cole’s started in the garage of mom and pop entrepreneurs Richard and Nancy Cole back in the early 1980’s. Today it distributes to retailers nationwide. Cole’s is located in the metro Atlanta area. For more information, visit www.ColesWildBird.com.

Baltimore Orioles: Cole’s Bird of the Month for November

When it comes to color and contrast, the Baltimore Oriole can’t be beat. With bright orange against jet black, accented with white, this little bird makes quite the style statement. Such striking beauty doesn’t come quickly. The males are born dull in color similar to the females with grayish heads and a yellowish-orange breast. It takes two full years to earn that fiery orange color. The older male has a jet black head set against his bright orange breast. White bars on his black and orange wings add to the striking contrast.

The Baltimore Oriole has quite the distinction. It’s the namesake for Maryland’s professional baseball team and the official state bird of Maryland. The Baltimore Oriole was an obvious choice for state pride as the colony of Maryland was being settled. The First Lord of Baltimore, George Calvert, whose family initially governed the state, has a coat of arms with a remarkable  resemblance to the bird’s striking colors.

The Baltimore Oriole is a little smaller and more slender than the American Robin. It has a cheerful, distinctive song. In fact, you’re more likely to hear these beautiful birds than to get the chance to see one. They tend to feed in the highest branches of trees.

Baltimore Orioles seek deciduous trees. They prefer open woodlands, river banks, and small groves of trees. They’ll make a home at the forest edge but not deep in the forest. In addition to tall trees, they’ll also forage for insects and fruits in brush and shrubbery.

If you want to attract Baltimore Orioles, you might want to try growing fruit trees or nectar-bearing flowers. Orioles love very ripe fruits that are dark in color. They go for the darkest mulberries, the reddest cherries, and the deepest-purple grapes. They may also visit your hummingbird feeders. Another way to attract them is to place cut oranges or even a bit of jelly near your feeders or hanging from trees in your backyard.

If you are interested in making your own oriole feeder, here’s some great information for you.


If you’d like to see some different types of oriole feeders, this link shows you a few ideas.


During the summer, Baltimore Orioles can be found throughout much of the central and eastern United States, as well as in parts of southern Canada. When the weather starts to get cold, they migrate as far south as South America for the winter.

Many people look forward to seeing Baltimore Orioles during the breeding season. Their courtship is a display of song, color, and dance. When trying to impress a mate, the male hops around the female bowing forward and spreading his wings to show her his orange back. If she’s receptive, she’ll respond by fanning her tail, lowering and fluttering her wings and making a chattering call.

Once the two pair up, the female chooses a nest site within her mate’s territory. She’ll build an amazing sock-like nest. The nest is constructed in three stages. First, the females weaves an outer layer of flexible fibers for support. Next, she’ll bring in springy fibers which provides the bag like shape. Then, she’ll weave in a soft lining of downy fibers and feathers to cushion the young. The male sometimes helps by gathering materials. But, he doesn’t do any of the weaving. Baltimore Orioles usually have just one brood during the mating season. Their favorite trees for nesting are elms, maples, and cottonwoods.

Here’s a link to a video of a Baltimore Oriole singing.

This video shows you how to use fruit to attract these beautiful birds.

Baltimore Orioles have an upbeat, distinctive song, striking beauty, and an entertaining courtship. If you get the chance to snap a photo or video of one, please share it with the Cole’s community. Just click below to join the conversation on Facebook. Special thanks to our loyal Facebook fan Linda Leary for nominating the Baltimore Oriole.

Cole’s Facebook Page

Cole’s Wild Bird Products is a family-owned company that distributes wild bird feed and suet products. The company is known for offering the highest quality products on the market. Cole’s also specializes in chile infused seed products designed to make your feeder a bird’s only “hot” spot. Cole’s started in the garage of mom and pop entrepreneurs Richard and Nancy Cole back in the early 1980’s. Today it distributes to retailers nationwide. Cole’s is located in the metro Atlanta area. For more information, visit www.ColesWildBird.com

Downy Woodpecker: Cole’s Bird of the Month for September

In Above video, hear the drumming of a female Downy Woodpecker.

If you have backyard feeders, chances are you get the pleasure of watching Downy Woodpeckers on a consistent basis. These relatively small woodpeckers love to frequent backyard feeders, and they are amazingly friendly with people. Several youtube.com videos show Downys feeding from people’s hands.

The Downy Woodpecker dons what looks like a black and white checked coat. They’ve enjoyed this classic black and white look long before humans caught on. The wings are black with white spots, and the belly is mostly white. Downys have black and white tail feathers, and watch for a white bar above the eye. The males are also easily distinguished with a spot of red on the back of the head.

These striking birds also have a short bill which helps to set them apart from other woodpeckers. While it’s hard to tell a Hairy Woodpecker from a Downy Woodpecker, you can usually differentiate by the smaller size of the Downy and the smaller bill. In fact, the Downy is the smallest woodpecker in North America. Downy Woodpeckers mix well with others. They can often be seen mixed into a flock of  chickadees, nuthatches, creepers, and kinglets.

You can find Downy Woodpeckers in just about every habitat. They love forests as well as residential areas and city parks. Listen for their drumming and for the characteristic high-pitched pik note and the descending whinny call.

The best part about the Downy Woodpecker is that Americans can enjoy them year round. Downys can be found from Alaska to Florida and almost everywhere in between. The desert southwest is the only part of the United States where Downys are not present. They can also be found in most of Canada. Only the far northern regions of Canada are excluded.

The males and females work well as a team, with the male chiseling deep into wood with his longer and stronger bill. The female is smaller than the male, and her beak is as well. The female pries under the bark with her shorter bill. The pair is able to share the food resources without competing with one another.

If you want to attract the Downy to your feeders, be sure to use suet. They love suet, but they will also eat peanut butter, peanuts, millet, and Black Oil Sunflower Seeds.

See just how friendly Downys are in this video by Kelly Dodge. She’s an artist who paints birds. The video shows her hand feeding one.

Cole’s Wild Bird Products is a family-owned company that distributes wild bird feed and suet products. The company is known for offering the highest quality products on the market. Cole’s also specializes in chile infused seed products designed to make your feeder a bird’s only “hot” spot. Cole’s started in the garage of mom and pop entrepreneurs Richard and Nancy Cole back in the early 1980’s. Today it distributes to retailers nationwide. Cole’s is located in the metro Atlanta area. For more information, visit www.coleswildbird.com

Cole’s Bird of the Month for June: The Pileated Woodpecker

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to see a Pileated Woodpecker in the wild, chances are you remember it as an amazing sight. It’s considered one of the most beautiful of all wild birds with an almost prehistoric look.

The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in North America. They are about 16 inches long and roughly the size of a duck. With a bright red-capped crest and bold white stripes down its neck, the Pileated Woodpecker is truly one of the most striking creatures in the forest.

Although very noticeable when out in the open, Pileated Woodpeckers aren’t always easy to spot. They can be reclusive and do not regularly visit backyard feeders. They live in forests and love to make their homes around lots of dead trees and fallen logs. You’ll find them searching for carpenter bees and ants while drumming on trees in woodlands where they make impressive rectangular excavations that can be a foot or more long and go deep inside the wood. These birds also use their long tongues to extract wood boring beetle larvae or termites lying deep in the wood. In the video below, above you’ll see one enjoying a hearty breakfast.

Take the time to look and listen for them. They are among the loudest of birds with whinnying calls. Their drum is a deep, slow, rolling pattern. Watch the video below to see one and hear its call and its drum.

With a nesting cavity of 12-24 inches deep, these monogamous creatures prefer large trees in old forests. The male does most of the work to create the nest, but the female contributes as the nest is nearing completion.  Unlike other birds, Pileated Woodpeckers don’t line their nests with any material except for leftover wood chips. It takes about three to six weeks to complete the nest and once it’s used, Pileated Woodpeckers rarely return to it.  These birds lay from three to five eggs.

Once the nest has served its purpose for the Pileateds, it becomes a valuable commodity within the forest community. The large cavity provides shelter and nest space for many other bird species including swifts, owls, ducks, pine martens and even the occasional bat.

If you want to attract Pileated Woodpeckers, there are a couple things you can do. Make or buy a suet log and keep it well stocked with suet, especially during the winter when they are more likely to visit your feeders. Also, resist the urge to clear out old dead logs, stumps, and log piles – keeping rotten or decayed wood around is probably the best way to get Pileateds to visit. Since these magnificent creatures don’t migrate, once you do get their attention you’re likely to have made friends for a good, long while.


Please click the link below to join the conversation on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coles-Wild-Bird-Products-Company/125017247634656


Cole’s Wild Bird Products is a family-owned company that distributes wild bird feed and suet products. The company is known for offering the highest quality products on the market. Cole’s also specializes in chile infused seed products designed to make your feeder a bird’s only “hot” spot. Cole’s started in the garage of mom and pop entrepreneurs Richard and Nancy Cole back in the early 1980’s. Today it distributes to retailers nationwide. Cole’s is located in the metro Atlanta area. For more information, visit www.coleswildbird.com.

Things You Can Do To Help Nesting Birds

When building a nest, birds search for just the right location and the right building materials. So, if you want to help them out and attract more birds to your yard, there are a few things you can do to make them feel at home.


One – Above all, make sure your yard will be safe for birds. The last thing you want to do is attract birds and their young if there is obvious danger. Avoid using herbicides and pesticides in your yard during breeding season and keep cats indoors.


Two – Raising the young takes a lot of energy. Well placed bird feeders and a good source of clean water make it easier for stressed mommy and daddy birds to provide for their chicks.


Three – Provide various materials birds might use to build a nest and leave them in easy  to discover places. Here are some suggested materials:


Dead trees and branches (perfect for cavity nesters)

Twigs – (both rigid and flexible)  

Mud – (Robins love it)

Dry grass and straw (not treated with chemicals)

Human hair or horse hair

Pet fur (not treated with flea or tick chemical)

Moss, bark strips, pine needles, dead leaves

Snake skins (if you happen to find them)

Spider webs and caterpillar silk (provides good binding material)


Be sure to have the materials out in secure places so they don’t blow away. You can hide them in a suet cage or a mesh bag. It’s a good rule of thumb to use only natural materials and avoid things you find around the house. For instance, never put out dryer lint since it can be coated with residue from detergents.


If you really want to push the easy button, put out some ready-made bird houses. By having feeders as well as water nearby, you can significantly lessen the difficult task of building a nest and raising babies for your backyard songbirds. Having a back yard that feels safe, has plenty to eat and drink, along with a few strategically placed building materials will provide your feathered friends with everything they need right at their fingertips – or beaks as it were. Then just sit back, relax and enjoy watch this showcase of courtship, nest building, and parenting.


Cole’s Wild Bird Products is a family-owned company that distributes wild bird feed and suet products. The company is known for offering the highest quality products on the market. Cole’s also specializes in chili infused seed products designed to make your feeder a bird’s only “hot” spot. Cole’s started in the garage of mom and pop entrepreneurs Richard and Nancy Cole back in the early 1980’s. Today it distributes to retailers nationwide. Cole’s is located in the metro Atlanta area. For more information, visit www.coleswildbird.com.

Learn All About Common Redpolls

Common Redpolls are energetic little songbirds that travel in flocks, burrow in the snow, and thrive in the cold. They make their home in the arctic tundra and boreal forest and can survive temperatures of 65 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.  Since Common Redpolls live in these cold climates and aren’t used to humans, they tolerate people quite well and are very tame. They migrate erratically traveling to Canada and the northern United States depending on food sources. Common Redpolls are always a welcome sight at back yard feeders and have been spotted as far south as Kansas.

They are named Redpolls for their red “caps”. The males have a splash of red on the tops of their heads and a reddish pink blush on their breasts. In the breeding season, the male really stands out as his red becomes more vivid. The females have similar coloring on their heads, but their breasts are duller in color allowing them to better blend in with nature. Both males and females have brown streaking against white feathers on most of their bodies. The coloring is similar to that of the House Finch.

While birch seeds are a staple most of the year, Common Redpolls eat many types of seeds. In addition to their favorites Niger and thistle, they like black oil sunflower seeds. They have small beaks and must eat seeds that are easy to open. In the summer, this colorful bird loves to munch on spiders and insects for some extra protein. It’s a good thing their diet is so varied since they eat as much as 45% of their body weight a day.

You may wonder how these tiny little birds endure the bitter cold temperatures and harsh wind of the arctic tundra. They are resourceful, hearty, and smart. They create tunnels in the snow that help keep them warm. These tunnels can be a foot long and as much as four inches deep. When it gets too cold, several of the birds will sleep huddled closely together in the tunnels and escape the bitter cold wind.

Common Redpolls are also built to be resourceful. They have little pouches in their throats used to store seeds. Sometimes they fill these pouches completely, then fly away to swallow the seeds in a more safe and comfortable place.

Common Redpolls travel in flocks of several hundred birds, so you’ll rarely see just one or two. They have a sharp, buzzy call often heard when they are actively foraging. The oldest known Common Redpoll was 7 years and 10 months old. Not bad for a tiny bird that puts up with the harshest temperatures on the planet! They are truly tough little birds with the ability to make the most of their environment.

Click below to watch a video of a Common Redpoll eating in the wild.


Cole’s Wild Bird Products is a family-owned company that distributes wild bird feed and suet products. The company is known for offering the highest quality products on the market. Cole’s also specializes in chile infused seed products designed to make your feeder a bird’s only “hot” spot. Cole’s started in the garage of mom and pop entrepreneurs Richard and Nancy Cole back in the early 1980’s. Today it distributes to retailers nationwide. Cole’s is located in the metro Atlanta area.


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Honeyguides know about the birds and the bees


Ever want to find a honeycomb? Look no further than your friendly Honeyguides. Honeyguides are also known as indicator birds or honey birds because they have a tendency to lead humans directly to bee colonies. The Honeyguides use their demanding call to lead humans through forests and directly to bee hives. Of course there’s a selfish motive involved – once humans take the honey, these birds feast on the grubs and beeswax in the nests. The diet of the Honeyguide is wide ranging. In addition to the fruits of the honeycomb, these birds eat all types of larvae and flying insects. They will also eat spiders and fruits.

They are usually dull-colored (brownish and greenish), while some do have bright yellow coloring in the plumage. They all have light outer tail feathers, small heads with short bills and raised nostrils. Their actual size varies from 10-20 centimeters. These birds have strong legs and toes for clinging to tree barks. Their wings are long, narrow, and pointed to allow vigorous flying and impressive maneuvering.

Honeyguides are typically found in Sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia. They love to inhabit forests and woodland areas as well as the tree-line areas in the mountains. As far as migration, Honeyguides are known to be stable residents that may remain in the same area for as long as a year.

Honeyguides have an interesting egg laying process. For starters, they like to use the nests of other birds for their eggs. They usually drop their eggs in other host nests, so that their eggs will hatch along with the host’s eggs. Timing is everything if they want to be successful. Female Honeyguides can be in danger if the hosts notice that they are invading their nests. Typically, the female has 10-15 seconds to lay an egg and leave. Females can lay as many as 20 eggs in a season.

These birds are extremely resourceful and intelligent. From the way they assist their human counterparts for a meal to their daring egg laying practices, Honeyguides are intriguing creatures.


Awe, What A Cute Window Shopper!

Imagine seeing this adorable little customer looking in your store window. That’s what happened to long time employee Karen Theodorou as she was closing up shop at the Birdwatcher Supply Store in Buford, one of the retail outlets for Cole’s Wild Bird Products. Karen says she had just closed out the register around 6:30 on July 13th and was headed for the door when she looked up and saw what appeared to be a curious pooch. She looked closer and realized it was actually a little fawn all alone at the door. Karen sat all her things down and grabbed her cell phone to take a picture. “He couldn’t see me because of the reflective glass. So, I snapped a few photos,” Karen said.

The store is located in front of a large forested wetlands area. So, employees are used to seeing wildlife such as deer, rabbits, and hawks behind the store. Karen assumed this little fawn came from the back and had wandered to the front of the store, where it could run into potential danger. “He was right in front of a busy shopping area, and the street isn’t far away. So, I wanted to make sure he would head in the right direction, back to the woods and his mother. He saw the reflection in the glass and hit the store window. I went outside, and he ran toward the store next door and fell on the wet sidewalk. But, he got up quickly. I followed him to make sure he headed in the correct direction, back to the woods,” said Karen.

As soon as Karen got home, she went straight for Google to find out why this little fawn might be without his mom. She found out that fawns are commonly seen away from their moms. There’s a very good reason for that. It’s nature’s way of keeping the fawns safe from predators. It seems the fawns don’t have a strong scent, but their mothers do. So initially, mom stays with the fawn just enough so that it can nurse. By one month old, the fawn begins foraging for food and by three months old, it is weened. If you’d like to read more about fawns, please check out the article below.

Wild fawns aren’t adoptable!

Here’s a photo of Karen Theodorou as she is banding hummingbirds. She describes herself as “a nature nut”. Thanks, Karen! Please share this story with friends. And, join Cole’s on Facebook.

Coles Wild Bird Products


Karen Theodorou



The Rufous Hummingbird: Cole’s Bird of the Month for August

The Rufous hummingbird packs quite a punch in its little body. It’s known for having a feisty nature and a brave determination to protect favorite feeders and flowers.  Rufous hummingbirds will chase away much larger hummingbirds and even chipmunks and other small animals.

The male Rufous has bright orange on his back and belly, as well as a stunning red coat, making him easy to spot and identify. The female Rufous is green with a mostly white neck. A bright orange spot on her throat is the female’s most distinguishing feature. Both males and females move in a dart-like fashion with precise maneuverability.

In addition to a feisty nature, Rufous hummingbirds are also known for their stamina. They have the longest migration, as measured by body size, of any bird in the world! They travel almost four thousand miles making the one way trek from Alaska to Mexico. In case you’re wondering, that equates to more than 78 million body lengths for the three inch hummer. It’s closest competitor, the 13-inch-long Arctic Tern’s one-way flight of almost twelve thousand miles, is a little more than 50 million body lengths.

The Rufous breeds farther north than any other hummingbird in the United States, traveling all the way up to Alaska in the summer. For a little rest and relaxation they then head down to sunny Mexico for fall and winter. Many people along the Pacific Northwest look forward to seeing the Rufous as these mighty little birds make the long migration up and down the western United States.

Additionally, they have a great sense for location, which comes in handy when looking for food on a daily basis. They can remember exactly where a specific feeder was a year ago, even if it has been moved. The typical habitats for these birds are open areas, such as yards, parks, and forests.

Along with visiting feeders, Rufous hummingbirds enjoy feasting on colorful tubular flowers, such as scarlet gilia, mints, lilies, fireweeds, currants, and heaths. To get the protein they need to survive, they eat insects like gnats, midges, and flies. They’ll live in gardens for a while, but move on fairly quickly after one or two weeks. To take good care of these amazing birds, you should make sugar water mixtures on a one to four mixture (one cup of sugar for four cups of water). Be sure to do away with the sugar water if it becomes cloudy or the feeder fills with insects because the spoiled nectar can ferment producing a toxic alcohol.

If you hear a hard ticking sound or a clicking tik or chik that is doubled like ch-tik or ch-ti-tik, there is a Rufous nearby. The adult male will also make a buzzing sound with its wings to draw attention to itself. They make a ch-ch-ch-ch-chi sound, which is very similar to a stutter. Interestingly, immature males do not make any noise or typical sounds at all while they are diving.

When it comes to tough little birds, with lots of aggression and a will to fight for food, you can’t beat the Rufous hummingbird. If you want to see a female Rufous fiercely defending her feeder with everything she has including her quick moves, fanned out tail feathers and quirky sounds – just click on this video and stand back!

How Do You Tell a House Finch From a Purple Finch?

Many people mistake a House Finch for a Purple Finch. It can be tough to tell them apart. They are about the same size and shape, but the difference is in the coloring. The males can be distinguished by the shades of color. The male House Finch is an reddish-orange, while the male Purple Finch is a reddish-purple.

  • Male House Finch Male House Finch
  • Male Purple Finch Male Purple Finch
  • Female House Finch
  • Female Purple Finch

  The House Finch has what looks like streaking on the breast and the sides. The Purple Finch has stripes but not streaking. The Purple Finch looks as if it someone poured purple dye on its head and the color moved over the original brown and cream and flowed down the back and down the chest. The House Finch has color along its eyebrow, but the entire head does not have color. The House Finch also has color on its chest. You’ll have a tougher time trying to tell the female House Finch and Purple Finch apart. Both are various shades of brown and white with no distinguishing colors. The female Purple Finch has bold facial patterns. She has a distinctive white streak over her eye, a dark cheek patch, and a white stripe at the bottom of the cheek. The female House Finch looks mostly brown but has some white feathers showing through on her sides and back. The female Purple Finch has what looks like white and brown streaks down the breast and dark brown coloring on her back. Both the House Finch and the Purple Finch love to eat sunflower seeds and sunflower meats and will often visit feeders to get them. You’ll see House Finches all over the eastern part of the United States. Purple Finches live in the north and breed in southeast Canada. Now, that you can spot the differences, you’ll enjoy watching for House Finches and Purple Finches at the feeder!