Franklin, Massachusetts

Ellen & Stacy Davis

Ellen & Stacy Davis

We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.

Franklin, Massachusetts

Franklin Village Mall,
215 Franklin Village Drive
Franklin, MA 02038

Phone: (508) 541-6800
Fax: (508) 541-6866
Email: Send Message

Store Hours:
Mon - Fri: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat: 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Comments:
Celebrating 19 years in business

Map This Location
We can show you how to turn your yard into a birdfeeding habitat that brings song, color and life to your home.

Greetings from the Folks @ the Franklin Wild Birds Unlimited® Nature Shop  

Nature Products Designed by Experts - Trusted Local Advice!

Woodpeckers

Fun Facts About Woodpeckers

  • Considering the pounding it takes, why doesn’t a woodpecker’s bill wear down to a ragged nub? Wear down it does, but special cells on the end of the bill are constantly replacing the lost material. This keeps the chisel-pointed bill strong and resilient, while actually allowing it to be sharpened with every blow.
  • Woodpeckers use their stiff tail feathers for extra support when digging for insects or hollowing out a nest in a tree.
  • A woodpecker’s pointed tail feathers are especially strong and rigid. The tail bone, lower vertebrae and the tail’s supporting muscles are also large in comparison to other birds. These modifications allow a woodpecker’s tail to serve as a prop that supports their weight as they climb and cling to trees.
  • Woodpeckers rarely climb down trees, their stiff tail feathers and relatively short legs are much better adapted for climbing upward instead of down.
  • The contrasting black and white pattern found on the backs of many woodpeckers helps to conceal them from predators. Known as disruptive coloration, this sharp contrast in colors helps to break-up and conceal the shape and outline of a woodpecker as it climbs the side of a tree.
  • The barbed tip of a woodpecker’s tongue is very sensitive to touch and can both detect and impale insect larvae. The tongue is coated with sticky mucus that is secreted by large salivary glands; this coating helps to ensure that its prey does not slip away.
  • Most woodpeckers’ tongues are two to three times longer than their bills.
  • The base of some woodpeckers’ long, retractable tongues reach entirely around the back and top of the skull and end behind the right eye socket.
  • To prevent small bits of debris from entering their nostrils while excavating trees, woodpeckers have tufts of stiff feathers growing over both nostrils.
  • Woodpeckers have a third eyelid to help protect their eyes from debris while drilling into trees.
  • Woodpeckers have a thicker skin than most other birds, an adaptation that has probably evolved from their constant contact with the rough bark of trees.

Adult and Juvenile Downy WoodpeckersWoodpecker Family Activities

Families opting to stay close to home this summer won’t have to travel any farther than their backyards for fun and entertainment. Across the country, adult woodpeckers are introducing their young fledglings to a whole new world of experiences.

People who only feed the birds during the winter miss out on summer bird feeding fun and fascinating wild bird ‘family life’ activities. By mid-summer, woodpecker fledglings begin leaving the nest and are fed and taught to eat from feeders by their parents; a fascinating interaction to observe.

The health and growth rate of a fledgling is determined by the amount of nutritional foods it consumes. High-protein and high-calcium foods are especially important until a bird is full grown. Fledglings require a lot of protein to help them grow strong, properly-colored feathers and strong flight muscles.

Help your birds with high-protein foods like mealworms, peanuts, Jim's Birdacious® Bark Butter® and suet. These energy-packed foods will entice your birds and their young back to your yard. The young birds will learn the location of your bird food and begin to make return trips on their own.

You can recognize Downy and other woodpecker fledglings by their fresh and dapper plumage, whereas that of the adults is worn and dusky from their repeated trips in and out of the nest cavity.

After a few weeks, the parents stop feeding their fledglings and may even peck at them if they persist in begging for food to get them to feed themselves.

With lots of young woodpeckers around and the molting process in full swing, woodpeckers are seeking the extra calories and proteins that feeders can provide.

Visit us soon and we’ll make sure you have the expert advice and quality hobby products you need to make friends with some of the cutest birds in the neighborhood.

How to Accessorize Your Advanced Pole System®

How to Create a Bird Feeding Station - Advanced Pole System® 2 Minute Challenge

Eastern Bluebirds Nesting in a Natural Cavity

How to Attract Bluebirds with Food

 

   Click to view our Suet Stackables Page  Click to view Flying Start Combo
Click to view our Suet Stackables Page Click to view Daily Savings Clubs Offers

Click to view Barkbutter

 

Let's get started....by telling you about our Newest, Most Exciting Advancement in Bird Feeding:  Bird Feeders & Accessories

Available only at Wild Birds Unlimited, our accessories are the most advanced bird feeding products available on the market.  EcoClean products feature a patented technology that inhibits the surface growth of damaging bacteria, mold and other microbes.  This protection won't wash or wear away, and it uses environmentally friendly technology.

We like preparing you for the best backyard birdfeeding experience possible. At Wild Birds Unlimited®, our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists™ are trained to show you how to turn your yard into a birdfeeding habitat that not only brings song, color and life to your home, but also benefits the wild birds and the environment in your area.

WBU isn’t just about selling birdfeeders and birdseed. We pride ourselves on being able to give you the most accurate information and knowledge about your local birds.

Home of the Best Birdfood in TownBased on more than 30 years of research and experience, our products have been designed to be the highest quality birdfeeders and birdfeeding equipment on the market today. We’re so confident about our designs that many of our products carry a lifetime guarantee.

We’re not only proud of our feeders though. We also have the freshest birdseed in town, and we can prove it. Our exclusive regional blends aren’t just fresh; they’re specially formulated from 100% edible seed that the birds in your backyard will love.

It is our goal for you to have the best possible experience from your birdfeeding hobby. Backyard birdfeeding is the most relaxing, fulfilling, educational and exciting hobby that anyone, young or old, can enjoy.

At Wild Birds Unlimited, we aren’t just a birdseed store. We are Your Backyard Birdfeeding Specialist®, here to help bring you, your family and nature together. 

 

 Birds love our exclusive seed cylinders and no-melt suet cylinders. Unfortunately, so do many nimble, furry backyard inhabitants.

Well, no more! We've added some heat to our bird food cylinders. While birds such as chickadees, titmice and nuthatches readily eat foods containing hot pepper, pesky critters will shy away from them.

For best results, use a cylinder feeder with a roof to prevent the hot pepper from being washed off or diluted by the weather. 

Are You A "Responsible" Bird Feeder?

HabitatIf you enjoy feeding and watching your backyard birds, then you probably want to do as much as you can to practice your hobby safely and ensure the birds’ overall health and well-being. Just as people can catch colds or other illnesses from people who are sick, birds that feed at crowded or dirty feeders have the potential to develop diseases that are harmful to them.

While the incidence of birds falling ill from feeders is small compared to other natural hazards birds face, there are things you can do to help your birds stay healthy:

 

  • Provide multiple feeding stations in different areas of your yard to disperse bird activity.
  • Provide seed from a bird feeder rather than scattering it on the ground.
  • Keep areas clean under and around your feeders.
  • Keep fresh seed in the feeder and be sure it doesn’t get moldy.
  • Clean your bird feeders regularly with a solution of one part bleach and 10 parts water. 

 

For other tips or questions, stop by our store and talk to one of our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists.

 

Avoid Shell Shock; Try Tidy Dining

Chickadee on Peanut Feeder

Have you ever experienced shell shock? That feeling of surprise as you survey the copious amount of shells that are left behind by your birds.

It's a common occurrence, but it doesn't have to be. That's because tidy dining solutions are one of our specialties.

Sure, we still have our No-Mess Blend, featuring seeds and nuts without their shells, but we now offer more tidy dining options than ever before.

Additional Tidy Dining Foods
Peanuts – the best single source of protein and fat, peanuts attract most birds.
Suet – high in fat and energy, suet is always a tidy dining option.
WBU Bird Food Cylinders – long lasting and easy to use, Bird Food Cylinders allow you to refill your feeders less often.

Jim’s Birdacious® Bark Butter® and Treats - 100% edible, these dining delights are gobbled up too fast to leave a mess.
Mealworms – a tidy, protein-rich food for attracting common and uncommon birds.

Nectar – hummingbirds’ favorite. Just keep it fresh, and there’s no mess!

Tidy Dining Accessories
Offering the right food doesn’t always solve the problem. Sometimes, you need some additional help. We offer a large selection of trays that catch the shells and keep your feeding station nice and tidy.

Tidy dining allows you to spend more time watching your birds and less time cleaning up after them.

Visit us soon, and we’ll help you find a tiding dining solution that is good for your birds and great for avoiding any unnecessary shell shock

 Attracting Birds To A New Feeder

Finch FeederWhat's the best way to attract birds to a new feeder? There isn't a perfect answer for this question, but it's one we get a lot! There are times when you put up a new bird feeder and birds come to it within minutes. And, other times it can take months for the birds to come. You may notice the birds fly by a feeder and stop in mid-air as if to say "whoa, new feeder alert, turn back!"

Give the birds time to find the feeder and get used to its presence in your yard. Make sure the birds can see the feeder, as they find their food by sight. Try putting some seed on the ground or near the feeder. Above all, be patient!

 

 

 

 

 Molting: Out with the Old, In with the New

Goldfinch MoltingJust as people make seasonal wardrobe changes, many birds are beginning a transformation of their own, losing and replacing their feathers in a process known as molting.

Molting is when a bird replaces some (partial molt) or all (full molt) of its feathers.

This complicated process requires a lot of energy and may take up to eight weeks to complete. Molting is so physically demanding for most ducks and geese that they can’t fly and will molt in seclusion to avoid predators.

Molting season varies by species and time of year. Right now many birds are beginning their main molt of the year, however, American Goldfinches (pictured above) are one of the last to molt. Due to their late nesting period, they won’t start their molt until late August.

Distinguishing birds that are molting from those that are not can be difficult. Though some birds may lose patches of feathers and appear “balding,” most birds’ feather loss and replacement are far less noticeable.

 

Feathers are made of more than 90% protein, primarily keratins, so every molting bird needs extra proteins to grow strong feathers for proper flight and effective insulation.

For the next few months, offer high-protein bird foods, such as Nyjer® (thistle), peanuts, Jim’s Birdacious® Bark Butter® and mealworms, to ensure that your birds have a reliable source of protein to help them with molting.

Visit us soon for all of the high-protein foods that will meet your birds’ needs.

We have everything you need to help your birds keep going (and re-growing feathers) during this critical time.

 Bird Feeding: A Hobby for All Seasons

How good are our seed blends? So good, Martha Stewart has tasted them!

Red-breasted Nuthatch on Peanut FeederOur blends may be tasty enough for the "Domestic Diva," but, they can't overcome nature and disrupt birds' normal routines.

See, there's some sort of urban myth that says people should not feed the birds year-round because it will make them lazy or too dependent on food offered at feeders.

In truth, there's no reason, or season, you should stop feeding your birds. After all, food offered at feeders only makes up about 10 to 20% of a bird's diet.

During winter, food is scarce and birds fed in these harsh months are more likely to survive to raise their young in the spring.

Birds that are fed during nesting season spend less time away from their nests looking for food.

During summer, many food sources are still growing and providing food allows birds to teach their fledglings where and how to feed. In the fall, you can provide food for migrating birds and help over-wintering birds prep for the tough months ahead.

Birds with year-round access to abundant food supplies, such as backyard feeders, can spend more time doing activities that enhance their health like preening, nesting, molting and being more alert of predators.

So stop by the store for the best prices on the best bird food in town. We will help you enjoy your birds more and make their lives a bit easier, and that's a very good thing.

Meeting Your Birds' Nesting Needs

Eastern BluebirdA new generation of birds will soon be entering the world, and the food and housing we provide can make a significant difference on how well they will thrive and survive in our own backyards.

Recent research studies show that birds with access to bird feeders often lay their eggs earlier than those without feeders. This is significant because earlier broods typically have better rates of survival and fledging success than later ones.

Feeders also allow breeding females to spend less time searching for food and more time selecting better nesting sites and constructing higher quality nests. The adults will also have more time available for protecting their nest, eggs and young from predators.

When abundant food is accessible to parent birds it means that more food is provided to their chicks. Studies have shown that this extra nutrition reduces aggression among nest siblings and increases their rate of growth.

But food is not the only key in helping birds to nest successfully in your yard.

A properly designed and installed nesting box can make a significant improvement in nesting success, especially during extreme periods of cold and damp weather.

Now is the time to take action for the next generation of birds in your yard and it’s also a great time to have the next generation of kids come outdoors and help.  

Variety is the Spice of Bird Feeding

Peanut Feeder

Bird feeding has come a long way since its primitive beginning in the late 1800s.

In those days, bird feeding enthusiasts could only offer some waste grains swept up from a hay-loft, bits of suet or pork fat nailed to a tree or maybe a few table crumbs placed on a tree stump.

Today, thanks to decades of observation and research, the menu available to your backyard birds is the most diverse, highest quality ever offered.

This broad selection of foods has been developed specifically to attract a wider variety of birds to your feeders and provide the most beneficial foods to meet birds' nutritional needs.

Peanuts, being relatively new to the bird feeding menu, are a great example. They are nutritionally high in protein and fat while being very attractive to a broad array of woodland and backyard birds.

Since the 1990s, mealworms have dramatically grown in popularity because of their ability to draw insect-loving birds, such as bluebirds, wrens, catbirds and even certain warblers into the backyard.

Then there's Jim's Birdacious® Bark Butter® — no other single food is known to attract more birds. More than 76 species have been observed feeding on this nutritious, spreadable suet.

So embrace these advances in bird food. They will attract an exciting new variety of birds to your yard, while providing them with much better nourishment than the foods our ancestors scraped together more than 100 years ago.

Clean Your Feeders Before Refilling!

Feeder BrushGenerally, all you need is warm water and some sort of feeder brush that will allow you to scrub the inside. Rinse and dry thoroughly before you refill. If the feeder has any mold in it, or you have noticed sick birds around the feeder, consider cleaning the feeder with a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Rinse thoroughly and dry. Check out our line of Wild Birds Unlimited BirdCare brushes.

And remember, never add fresh seed on top of old seed

 

Fun Facts About Squirrels

  • Fox Squirrel Adult Squirrels can consume about one and a half pounds of seeds and nuts each week, which is roughly the equivalent of their own body weight.
  • Squirrels’ favorite natural foods are hickory nuts, pecans, black walnuts, and acorns. Their favorite feeder food is black oil sunflower seeds, their least favorite feeder food is Nyjer® (thistle) seed.
  • A 19-inch-long gray squirrel has a seven-foot-long digestive track that enables it to utilize a wide variety of foods including tree fruits, insects, bird eggs and mushrooms.
  • Squirrels must drink water at least twice per day.
  • A squirrel’s scalpel-sharp incisors grow about six inches per year. As with all the other members of the rodent family, squirrels must constantly gnaw on hard materials to keep them worn down and to sharpen them.
  • In an hour’s time, a squirrel can collect and bury 25 nuts. Unable to remember each nut’s location, they find them again by using a highly developed sense of smell.
  • During a harsh winter a squirrel may loose up to 25% of its body weight.
  • Most squirrels are active in the winter only around mid-day, during the remainder of the year they are early risers with a peak activity period during the two hours after sunrise and again during the mid-afternoon.
  • The name “squirrel” originates from the Greek words for shade and tail.
  • Squirrels will have a litter of three to four young around early January and again in early August. The average life expectancy of these youngsters in the wild is approximately one year, although some captive squirrels have lived up to 15 years.
  • Squirrels may den in the ground, tree cavities, and in nests they construct that are called dreys.  Summer dreys are located in tree branches and consist of twigs and leaves. Winter dreys are waterproof and have a lining of bark, lichen, moss, fur and leaves.
  • Squirrels can jump up to six feet vertically and eight feet between trees or structures. Placing feeders and baffles outside of their jumping range will help to deter them.
  • The Gray Squirrel uses its tail as a shield when fighting, as a blanket in cold weather, and, sometimes, as an umbrella during rain storms.
  • The Gray Squirrel weighs only ½ an ounce at birth and reaches its adult size six months later.
  • The Gray Squirrel stocks its winter pantry by burying up to 10,000 nuts each fall. It also feeds on grapes, fungi, grasses, larval and adult insects, and amphibians.
  • The Fox Squirrel sweats through its paws. During hot weather, it will actually leave damp tracks on a dry surface.