Freebie Nyjer Feeder is Still On- Shop Small thru Dec 31st


November 27, 2016
posted by birdhouse chick @ 1:22 am

Free Nyjer Feeder Sock for Goldfinches

While our previous post touted the benefits of offering nyjer (or thistle) seed, this info extends the offer through Monday night, 11/28.

For Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday… wait, no shopping name for Sunday? Someone dropped the ball! Enjoy 10% off and nab a free nyjer feeder sock with every purchase.

These little feeders make fantastic stocking stuffers because birds really do use them, great quality too. You may even opt to keep the gift for your own birds!

Nyjer is an ideal seed to try if you’re just entering the backyard bird watching hobby. More of a journey as it becomes so darn addictive! Hard to explain, but once bitten by the bug… you’re hooked.

Another petite nyjer feeder, although not free, is the one-quart feeder. It has a molded acrylic dome and tray for extra perching space. In red, orange or yellow, it will prove to be a most popular spot in the smallest of spaces!

petite nyjer feederOsmall nyjer feeder
For those who enjoy the long lines, traffic and overall chaos of the holiday shopping season… hats off to you!

For those who’d rather shop from the comfort of their sofa in PJ’s… (yes, please) look no further. Find the best birdhouse and bird feeder gifts when you “shop small”.

Boutique shopping rocks as many items are one-of-a-kinds and unique wares. Beyond birding, find cool yard art and unusual accents for home and garden decor with fun metal yard art too. Lots of holiday theme gifts they’ll use for seasons to come!

shop small store

We’re part of Shop Small so Am/Ex customers earn 2x points when shopping with us through Dec. 31st.

Visit the official gift guide, or check out birding resources to see daily suggestions for all 12 days. Find something for all nature buffs on your list today and nab a free nyjer sock to boot!

Use code MC10 while this offer lasts!

Black Friday Offer: Free Thistle Feeder with Every Purchase


November 24, 2016
posted by birdhouse chick @ 11:11 pm

Black is the New Black:
Nab a Free Thistle Sock with Your Order Today!

thistle feeder

Because the American Goldfinch resides across most of the US, these fun little thistle feeders are likely useful in your locale.

Get one FREE with your purchase… and cross off a stocking-stuffer on that list! It’s an excellent way to introduce someone to backyard bird watching without going all-out!

Among some of the sweetest songbirds, goldfinches would rather take flight than vie for a spot at the thistle feeder. With their late breeding season, June through September sees the most activity. After that, a second molt brings new olive drab feathers for winter.

Breeding plumage occurs in late spring when the most vibrant yellow feathers appears. Parents feed thistle almost exclusively to babies so feeders do tend to get crowded.goldfinch birdhouse

They don’t use birdhouses, instead nesting in hedges or trees with nests constructed of woven plant fibers lined with thistle (from the weed) or milkweed down.

fun thistle feeder
Another fun feeder which doesn’t require much space at all and accommodates 18 birds at once is the Rainbow Finch Feeder. Tall and slim, when all perches are occupied it’s quite the captivating site! Any birding enthusiast would be elated with this cool bird feeder. It’s easy to fill and clean and fairly obvious birds love them. Best of all… it’s on sale!

Offering thistle (or nyjer) has many benefits:
• Squirrels usually leave these feeders in peace!
• Thistle won’t germinate causing weeds
• Other birds in the finch family may frequent the feeders such as indigo buntings, red polls, pine siskins and more.

Yes, the sweet canary-like birds even earned the name “Charm” when referring to a large group! Lovely song and non-aggressive… why wouldn’t you entice them to your place?

Offer good through Monday, 11/28/16 and should cover Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday, Cyber Monday and any other big shopping days!

Get someone hooked on birds and get your free thistle sock today!

Wishing the happiest of holidays to you and yours!

 

 

Thankful for a Little Rain Please!


November 24, 2016
posted by birdhouse chick @ 3:03 pm

happy thanksgiving

We hope this Thanksgiving holiday finds you content among family and friends! For furry ones on their own and feathered friends- they’d be most thankful for a puddle from which to drink or bathe. In the Southeast it’s been over two months with no rain. Sadly the drought has been brutal with deadly wildfires popping up throughout the region.

A time for reflection (hopefully) it seems the most simple things (like water or good health) are so often taken for granted. There’s not a puddle in sight if you happen to have four legs or wings. California typically sees wildfires… not GA and NC, the environmental landscape is changing and quite scary.

Have a roof over your head and food on the table? How basic, yet so many do not have this luxury. Good health, for the most part anyway? Consider those fighting battles, both physical and mental.

May this holiday, which also marks the start of a crazy/busy shopping season, find you giving Thanks and giving to those less fortunate. Betcha the guy who wants a Jersey Mike’s sub shares with his dog!

Why a Hanging Bird Bath for a Holiday Gift?


November 13, 2016
posted by birdhouse chick @ 6:48 pm

Gift Idea 1-Hanging Bird BathWe’re starting earlier with holiday gift ideas as there’s so many cool bird accessories and so little time. Do stay tuned for some pretty unique non-birder gift ideas too!

Theme: The gift of nature can’t be matched, for it offers an innate connection that’s capable of soothing the soul and clearing the mind. Simply put, watching birds in the yard (or on the patio/balcony) removes life’s chaos! It has the capacity to form a bond between people which may not have previously existed.

So why would a hanging bird bath be a make an awesome gift?copper hanging bird bath
Because they work in the smallest space, because birds adore and use them, because they come in all colors and styles suiting many tastes, including copper, ceramics and glass, but most of all, fresh water attracts more birds than any birdhouse or feeder! Enough reasons? Birds who may not even use feeders will partake in fresh water at a hanging bath.

Lots of options for placement; hang it the from a tree branch, deck bracket, wall hook or garden pole with feeders. Feathered friends will find and frequent it daily. Hanging baths are ideal when their neighbor’s cat(s) is always in the wrong yard too…. grrrr, uggh! Civility is required because they’re a neighbor, but you want to have the birds too, so placing bird baths or feeders up high is always a good idea.

hanging bird bathAlthough birds do tend to bathe more naturally at ground level, a hanging bird bath makes a great gift even for the nature buff with no yard at all!

glass hanging bird bath

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Peanut Bird Feeders that Rock


November 4, 2016
posted by birdhouse chick @ 3:52 am

Give birds peanuts… because variety is the spice of life!

whole peanut bird feeder for year-round useBe it shelled or whole peanuts, birds love them and for good reason. They pack a real punch for nutrition and likely for taste, but you’d have to ask a bird on that one.

Simply put, Calories = Energy, so especially for cold weather feeding, peanut bird feeders are always a good bet. That energy is what keeps birds warm overnight. Ever wonder why many resident birds feed from dawn till dusk? The goal is to store enough energy to make it through a frigid night.

The Wreath Peanut Feeder above is meant for whole peanuts, but it’s easy to pop a suet ball or two inside for more variety. The design is very bird-friendly and even lends itself for other options.

In early spring, it’s ideal for nesting materials. Start saving your pet’s hair from their brush now. Decorative mosses and feathers are also prime materials for nest construction by most of the usual suspects. Steer clear of dryer lint- though it may seem soft & fluffy, it contains synthetic material that’s just not found in a birds’ world.Peant Bird Feeder for Shelled Peanuts

Say you could do without the mess of peanuts in the shell? Opt for a feeder that’s made for shelled peanuts. Most of these will accommodate black oil sunflower seed so you can still change it up, enticing more birds to your place.

The large capacity mesh design offers lots of all-over feeding space. Most styles also lend themselves to doing the nest materials in spring. Adding suet may not work as well in shelled peanut bird feeders as there’s nothing to hold it at the outer wall for easy access – though you’ll likely be able to do black oil sunflower for variety.

Regardless if shelled, or peanuts in the shell, birds will flock for this tasty treat year-round. Expect woodpeckers, jays, titmice, chickadees, nuthatches, bluebirds and others at shelled peanuts. Expect squirrels at all peanut feeders… in which case a baffle is highly recommended 🙂

National Cat Appreciation Day? Cat Birdhouses of Course!


October 29, 2016
posted by birdhouse chick @ 1:46 pm

Fat Cat Birdhouse

They say it’s National Cat Appreciation Day… so here’s a favorite cat birdhouse! Partial to tuxedos, he’s the most expressive and birds find him a cozy roost during the off-season. There’s tabbies in orange or grey, and a Siamese or two, plus some killer ceramic cat birdhouses which can be fashioned after your own furry friend.ceramic-cat-birdhousee

There’s a lot of bird fanatics out there who’d rather NOT see a day dedicated to felines as the only cat they may find attractive is a dead one 🙁

Yes, it’s one of the oldest arguments out there – but so easy to see both sides of the controversy if you love cats and happen to feed birds… keep your cat inside!

The problem with feral populations is breeding, yet so many (bird fanatics) are opposed to the famous TNR (trap-neuter-return) strategy. They insist it doesn’t work, and the only means viable is removal (even going to extremes such as poisoning). But they’re sadly misinformed! Because simply removing cats from a feral colony creates a vacuum where more magically appear to take their place.

Managed colonies prevent breeding, and cats are for the most part well-kept, with provisions of food and shelter. After all and as always, humans are undoubtedly responsible for the messy situation to begin with. That’s all we’ll say here, and thankfully comments are closed because the heated debate will linger forever with some very nasty remarks from both sides… seen it before!

As for our own guys: Shmitty is 20+ years old and mostly due to being an indoor cat, the girls are 16+, and Fatty, the ex-feral has got be at least 14 years old. They’re basically content (and safe) seeing the great outdoors and especially bird watching via screened porch. Unfortunately the neighbor’s 3 are constantly in our yard 🙁

Oh yeah… those cat birdhouses; what better gift for the crazy cat lady in all of us?

Siamese Cat Birdhouse

Grey Tabby Birdhouse

COrange Tabby Birdhouse

Handle the Crowds with Innovative Finch Feeders


October 22, 2016
posted by birdhouse chick @ 6:13 pm

copper spiral finch feederSo many birds yet so few perches… it’s standing room only with no room at the bird feeder! Depending on the season, this happens often, especially with goldfinches in early fall.

What do ya do when you can’t accommodate all your yellow feathered friends? Several options to feed lots of goldfinches at once might include adding a new finch feeder and/or hanging a few inexpensive thistle socks.

Standard perches aren’t the only way birds get seed at feeders; fun spirals like the one at left and “all-over” screen feeders shown below actually offer birds more space at the dinner table!Finch Feeder with all-over screen

Because of their late nesting season, goldfinches abound in late summer/early fall, but they’re molting process begins with dull, olive-drab winter feathers appearing. Should other finches who enjoy thistle (or nyjer) seed be hogging feeders, there’s a cool upside-down model designed just for the goldfinch. upside down finch feeder

Some of these other birds at finch feeders might include redpolls, pine siskins, house finches and more, so competition can get thick, and the sweet yellow ones really don’t compete much at feeders.

An economical way to give everyone a fair share is with thistle socks. The hanging mesh thistle feeders typically come in white, yellow or black , with some red ones fancied up for holiday. So popular nowadays, you may even see them in your grocery store’s bird section! Black Thistle Sock for Finches

Two other great things about feeding finches thistle seed is that it won’t germinate to cause weeds, and squirrels usually leave these feeders in peace!

 

Say What? This Tube Feeder is Bear Proof?


October 15, 2016
posted by birdhouse chick @ 1:33 pm

Bear-Proof Steel Tube Bird FeederCould it actually be… a bear-proof bird feeder?

It’s not here yet, but due in December is a steel tube bird feeder by Birds Choice with claims to be bear resistant.

Although we’ve not seen them in our own GA backyard, many folks (both on the outskirts and in residential neighborhoods) have posted videos and pics of bears destroying their bird feeders… big time too! Whole feeding stations are decimated, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll command said bear to cease and desist either. Worse part is that it becomes habitual for them.

They’re extremely smart and considered problem solvers. Once a food source is discovered, you can bet they’ll return. They like the same foods as birds; seed mixes with black oil sunflower, peanuts, suet and sweet nectar too. That’s why Yogi and Boo-boo hung out at the park… for pic-i-nic baskets 🙂

We’ve seen large raccoons grabbing hold of hummingbird feeders with both hands and guzzle like it was beer, but it doesn’t really compare to a bear in your yard.

Wait… quite possibly we’re in their yards, thus the troubling and increasing episodes with the new urban bear and human contact. Through no fault of its own the bear usually loses, and we hear it on the news all too frequently 🙁

While this video is pretty fascinating to watch… it’s just not a good scenario in the bigger picture.

So back to the steel tube feeder: It features 5 small windows on each side to monitor seed levels and 6 perches that look large enough for cardinals’ comfort. Powder-coated steel tube holds 3.5 quarts, top removes for filling with removable bottom for clean-out. Overall measurements are 25.5″ tall x 8″ diameter, with a hefty weight of 9 lbs.

After viewing some of these bear vs. bird feeder videos, you might need to hang this one high, or secure it (really well) to something so the bear doesn’t walk off with it!

Grandpa’s Pet Bat Didn’t use a Bat House


October 2, 2016
posted by birdhouse chick @ 10:49 am

flying batThey’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky… remember the theme song? Maybe old enough like us to mix them up with the family residing at 1313 Mockingbird Lane.

It was Grandpa from the Munster’s who had the pet bat! Only showing him in flight, I don’t recall ever seeing his bat house, can you remember his name? Regardless, both of those theme songs keep replaying in the brain.

On a more serious note, it’s believed that about 44% of bees have perished this year from pesticide poisoning, which is really scary! Like the birds & bees, bats are also major pollinators of tropical plants and fruit, they’re considered the night shift pollinators.

Thankfully, more folks are tuning into the needs of these friendly flying mammals with fur. Offering bat houses for roosting actually helps promote pollination. Aside from the thousand of insects consumed nightly, pollination is a huge draw. Especially for the agave plant, because without it- there would be no tequila!

Cedar Bat HouseFrom bat house kits and large capacity bat houses to artisan crafted bat shelters, there’s now a great variety of ways to offer proper roosting spots.

Materials vary from recycled plastic and cedar to aged barn wood for a more rustic appeal. There’s even several plans available online to build your own.

It may prove difficult at first to attract them, residing near a pond or lake greatly increase chances of occupancy. Recommended height is 12 to 15 feet, with a clear pathway to entry.

Facing SE or SW allows the bat house to receive maximum sun exposure for retained heat. Structures of brick, stone or wood are ideal mounting surfaces as they also retain heat. Metal- not so much. A pole may be easiest as the shelter can be attached while still on the ground, and then erected with bat house already secured.

Either way, bat houses are definitely something worth looking into. With holiday approaching they’d make an excellent gift for the nature-lover on your list.

And Grandpa’s bat… Igor, of course!cathedral bat house

 

 

Got the Crazies Around Your Hummingbird Feeders?


September 25, 2016
posted by birdhouse chick @ 3:42 pm

The frenzy around our hummingbird feeders is later than usual this year! Folks to the north are still reporting brisk activity this last week of September. Possibly due the hottest August on record (though they say that every year) this month has been fairly steamy as well.

So at this rate, in just a few short years, the East Coast should be seeing hummingbirds close to 9 months out of the year… right? Lucky are those who see the sprites year-round, we’re envious. The end of August used to see peak migration “crazies” at feeders. Birds are fiercer than ever, with juveniles now contending for nectar as well.

Do the birds a favor and hang an extra feeder, even a cheap plastic one serves them well during migration. Nectar can be mixed a little stronger too. Pure can sugar (nothing else-no substitutes please) at a ratio of 1:4, may be kicked up a notch at 1:3. That’s one cup of sugar to 3 cups of water… and only at migration since birds are seeking to fatten up. The extra calories add fuel for their long journey to Central and South America.

Keep the nectar really fresh! During sweltering heat in the mid-90’s, it really should be changed about every other day. Our 7 hummingbird feeders keep us busy… but their delight is so worth the work! Note the pink mandevilla vine, hibiscus and penta as they also provide nectar for the sprites.

If you’ve ever placed a sprinkler out to water grass or flowers… please consider running it for the birds sometimes. Moving water, especially fresh, cool water is an absolute oasis for all songbirds. We can’t even say enough about leaf misters for feathered friends!

If you’re sad because hummingbird season is drawing to a close for your locale… don’t fret. Like Arnold, they’ll be back! It’s called site fidelity, and if hummingbirds were happy at your place this year, they do remember and return next year. It’s actually a pretty amazing cycle for such a tiny yet special little bird.

Safe travels little ones… we’ll catch ya on the flip-side!