PB & J in Your Glass Bird Feeder?


April 30, 2015
posted by birdhouse chick @ 3:36 am

Oriole feeder with glass cup for jellyWho doesn’t love a good ol’ PB & J sandwich?

Peanut butter’s pretty good for bird and squirrels in winter too, the extra fat and protein provide calories to stay warm. It’s the base for many types of commercially made suet cakes, and you can easily make your own!

We smear some peanut butter on squirrel corn and right on tree trunks during frigid weather. Nuthatches, woodpeckers and warblers love it! But when spring migration rolls around, it’s all about the grape jelly, plus living in Hotlanta, the peanut butter will melt too quickly!

Orioles and cat birds adore grape jelly… but don’t try and get away with the cheap stuff, they seem to prefer Welch’s!

Because it has a glass, and for all intent purposes, this fun oriole feeder is posing as a glass bird feeder for today. The cup holds enough for a few days of food, depending on your bird traffic. One really cool thing we’ve discovered with this feeder is that it can be used year-round, when migratory friends are long gone.

Swap peanut butter for jelly, and suet for the orange halves… you’ll have some very happy resident birds! Lots of online recipes for making your own suet, including no-melt varieties for warm weather feeding, find a few quick suet recipes on our site too. Form suet balls and simply cut them in half to use with this feeder in cold weather!

Check out these orioles up close, chowing down on their favorite food!

Blowout Sale on Copper Roof Birdhouses will WOW Mom!


April 22, 2015
posted by birdhouse chick @ 8:04 pm

Copper Roof Birdhouses with huge discounts- durable vinly/PVC is guaranteed for lifehappy mother's day

Give the queen her castle this year! You can make this Mother’s Day splendid, and one that Mom remembers with stunning copper roof birdhouses. Overstocked and drastically reduced for quick sale, prices have never been so low, and free shipping sweetens the deal!

These architectural vinyl houses look like wood, they’re totally functional for feathered friends and add some major curb appeal too. The best thing is they’ll look new years down the road… we guarantee them for life.

Sized from small abodes for bluebirds, to large dovecotes and majestic martin houses, all designs feature a roof that lifts for easy nest removal. Decorative brackets (also in vinyl/PVC) are included as shown above, the whole thing slides right on a standard 4×4 post. Finials are composite resin and will not deteriorate either. These fine birdhouses are impervious to weather and insect damage. And oh yeah… birds love them too!

Since the early bird always catches the best selection, and each is made to order, best not delay. Mom’s big day is fast approaching! Be ready with a gift to show your love and appreciation in a way that’s sure to knock her socks off!

Sharing is Baffling: Put a Squirrel Baffle on that Birdhouse!


April 16, 2015
posted by birdhouse chick @ 11:12 am

Keep birdhouse residents safe with a squirrel baffeSome of us feed them while others despise them, but squirrels are usually a large part of bird feeding. You can move the feeders, grease the poles or try any contraption, but the only effective and permanent way to keep critters off your feeder is with a squirrel baffle that’s placed correctly. In this case, correctly means the squirrel has no possible way of jumping from something else to gain access, and boy, can they jump!

But baffles aren’t just for feeders – they protect birdhouses too! Or rather they protect residents inside those houses. Both squirrels and raccoons can and will destroy nests and eat eggs, raccoons will even consume baby birds. Devastating not only to mom and dad, it can be bad for hosts too should you happen to be monitoring the progress of your new tenants.

If the birdhouse is pole-mounted, there’s plenty of options for a pole baffle, with easy wrap-around installation. These open for placement then lock into place. Hanging birdhouse? Not a problem! Simply place a hanging baffle above the birdhouse. With 20-inch diameter, it will deter pesky squirrels and raccoons.Hanging squirrel baffles protect birdhouses hung from a branch

You can even make your own squirrel baffle with a few items from the local home improvement store. The Kingston and stovepipe baffles are popular designs among bluebird monitors. Just do a quick search for directions on how these are made.

Offering places for birds to nest is a great way to entice them to your place without actually feeding them, and fresh water is another easy method to attract feathered friends. But if you put up housing for them… please make it safe! Watching babies grow and fledge is well worth preventative measures.

Thanks for housing the birds :)

 

To the Sad Little Friend on the Bird Feeder Bracket


April 13, 2015
posted by birdhouse chick @ 8:49 pm

Both bird feeder bracket and feeder must be removedYou don’t look well little finch, so sorry but I can’t feed you anymore :(

Every garden pole and bird feeder bracket now sit empty, except for the single bird perched there wondering “what’s happened to my food?”

The best intentions: Down, all of the feeders have been removed in hopes of population disbursement, encouraging the birds to move on. To an avid backyard birder this is heart-wrenching, especially during nesting season and migration. Disease has been confirmed and is being spread through feeders. Even the cleanest set-up won’t stop the spread of salmonella, respiratory, or air-born diseases in birds once its taken hold. Bleached and sparkly clean feeders mean nothing since it takes only one infected bird to start the cycle again.

Safety’s not always in numbers: Finches and pine siskins tend to travel and congregate in large groups. Even though there’s ample feeding stations to accommodate them, they’re more susceptible to the spread of respiratory disease or bacterial infection when large groups feed together.

Course of action: Obligated to do the right thing because attracting birds with feeders brings with it a responsibility to those birds. First and foremost is to remove all feeders. The USGS National Wildlife Health Center lists 4 diseases and 8 precautionary steps to keep disease at bay. It will be about two weeks before the feeders are placed for use again. The ground’s been raked clean, and feeders will be sanitized with 10% bleach solution.

The sight of a sickly bird is fairly obvious if you notice the signs. Lethargic and almost easy to catch, ruffled, unkept feathers, puffed out and sometimes shaking (even though it’s not cold), and swollen eyes or eyelids. They have trouble eating and fly slowly. Upon seeing a dead pine siskin with no signs of trauma last week, the thought of disease had entered my mind. Another the next day, and then a dead goldfinch in full summer breeding plumage confirmed the realization that I’m not helping the birds… but rather killing them :(

So now, I’m not sure who’s more upset? The frantic cardinals perching on empty poles and feeder brackets, the confused nuthatches and chickadees who are nesting and already have clutches, or myself, the one responsible for creating the mess? Woe is me, and what a rotten way to start the week :(

 

What’s Really in Your Window Hummingbird Feeder?


April 11, 2015
posted by birdhouse chick @ 4:00 am

Window hummingbird feeders see lots of activityGot a new window hummingbird feeder? Please fill it with the good stuff… read on:

One of the biggest myths about feeding hummingbirds is their food needs to be red. That one, along with leaving feeders up in fall will deter the birds from migrating. Neither are true, and the former may actually be hazardous to the tiny sprite’s health. Although no formal studies have been done to prove red dye #40 is not safe for hummingbirds… none have been conducted to say that it’s safe either!

Confirmed in Julie’s Zick’s recent blog post (yeah… she’s an expert) she’s got an interesting view on the subject: http://juliezickefoose.blogspot.com/2015/04/red-alert-for-hummingbirds.html

We’ve been encouraging folks to make their own nectar for years. Not only extremely economical, we believe hummingbirds prefer the home made solution over commercial mixes. 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water… it couldn’t be simpler!

Should you have any doubts or fears upon taking this leap from store-bought to home made, check out the new Nectar Aid. It’s the absolute easiest (and foolproof) way to make your own hummingbird or oriole nectar. Measure, mix and store it using one container, even the stirrer’s included!

Check out the demo video below, then watch some tiny sprites in action at this fun window hummingbird feeder!

nectar-aid

Vinyl Bluebird Houses that Rock and Secret Sauce for Blues!


March 31, 2015
posted by birdhouse chick @ 12:24 am

Vinyl bluebird houses will last a lifetime‘Tis the season, bluebirds are busy claiming territory, finding mates and already nesting in many parts of the country. Because they typically have 2-3 broods per season, it’s not too late to entice them to your place with quality bluebird houses.

Open spaces best suit blues, with places to perch and swoop up insects. They’ll perch on lower limbs of nearby trees, on top of birdhouses, and even on feeder poles. Not only to hunt prey, but to keep a watchful eye over their box and nestlings as well. They’re such tentative parents, with mom & dad’s teamwork accounting for successful fledges!

Vinyl bluebird houses rock because they’ll never deteriorate like wood. The light color is better for late summer scorching temperatures too. This copper roof bluebird house is complete with predator guard and removable roof for easy nest clean-out. It mounts on a standard 4×4 post… no tools required!

The Gilbertson nest Box is also mighty popular among blues. Vinyl with a birch appearance, it’s a great design if you’re up for monitoring nests (recommended). Be polite and always knock first (well, tap) before checking nests!Bluebirds adore the Gilbertson Nest Box design

The secret sauce? In an attempt to bring bluebirds to our yards, and after exhausting all other food treats to lure them, many folks finally resort to offering live mealworms. They do the trick! But what soon happens with many bird addicts (like any addiction) is we’re feeding too many worms and the bird’s diet is skewed.

Extremely high in protein, too many worms can cause problems for female blues during nesting season. Something called egg bound, where she becomes unable to pass/lay her egg. It’s fatal most times, and really sad when seasoned bluebird monitors discover this. It can and does happen in the wild without gorging on meal worms too.

lightly dust live worms with calcium carbonate prior to feedingSo if you’ve got the bluebird itch and find yourself feeding lots of worms during nesting season, this supplement helps lower the chance of females becoming egg-bound. Calcium carbonate powder is widely available online, or maybe at your local health and nutrition store.

Just a little in the container with a few shakes & swirls to lightly dust worms is perfect. Doesn’t that sound yummy? :)  It also helps other females during nesting season should they be partaking (or stealing) your mealies!

 

Life After Death for a Tube Bird Feeder


March 19, 2015
posted by birdhouse chick @ 9:02 pm

nest materials in an old tube bird feeder cageMaybe it’s seen better life and about ready for the trash, but don’t toss that nasty old thing yet! There could still be purpose for an old tube bird feeder, especially if it’s the kind enclosed by a cage.

With bulbs a- blooming and buds a- popping, spring finally takes flight… at least in the southeast. It won’t be long for the rest of the country either, and oh what a welcome site it is! Cabin fever be gone, it’s gardening time, spring cleaning in the yard, and one of the best times for backyard bird action!blooming daffodils signal nest starts - offer materials in old tube bird feeders

When sprucing up, don’t trash the debris either! Consider a small brush pile in one corner of your property, it not only provides shelter but food for birds and others to forage.

So back to the cage thing, it’s absolutely perfect for offering nesting materials. You can help birds feather their nests with a few common materials that may be on hand. Fido or fluffy? Save the hair, chickadees and titmice will line their nests with the soft fluff. Decorative mosses are really popular with Carolina wrens, jays and chickadees will use them too. Lots of folks use cotton yarn scraps, but if they’re dyed… I dunno? Same with dryer lint, it’s Carolina wren with moss for nest buildingnot natural for birds, so we steer clear. Feathers of any kind (sans the dye) also help in construction of soft fluffy digs. Even birds who don’t use houses will benefit from readily available nest materials!

 

Don’t have one of those caged things on hand? Suet baskets are also ideal, and something like these spring feeders are perfectly versatile for year-round use. For fruit in summer, whole peanuts or suet in winter, and of course, nesting materials now. Happy Spring y’all!Spring-type feeders work well for nesting materials too

 

Warblers be Gone- it’s Time for Hummingbird Feeders!


March 11, 2015
posted by birdhouse chick @ 8:43 pm

Pine warbler perched above bird feeder on a cold dayIt’s time, farewell and see ya next year! Inundated every winter with pine warblers, it’s good to see them – and good to see them go as their journey North usually coincides with budding trees and blooming bulbs. This event can only mean other migratory birds are on their way, it’s really one of the best and busiest times for backyard birding!

Something about the start of nesting season and the return of hummingbirds that awakens the soul, just plain exciting for those who are really into their backyard beaked buddies :)

Because migration maps already show ruby-throated hummingbirds in the gulf states, they’re headed back to their favorite breeding grounds. If you saw the sprites at hummingbird feeders last season, there’s a strong likelihood they’ll return. Are you ready?ruby throat hummingbirds are headed your way

If you’re in the southeast, it’s time to dig out feeders and have them in place… this weekend would be ideal! Even if thoroughly cleaned prior to storage… rinse them well before filling. Since natural food sources are still rather scarce, sugar water can be a tad stronger. If using a commercial mix, use a little less water. If making your own nectar (highly recommended) use a 1:3 ratio. 1 cup plain table sugar to 3 cups of water. Migration is the only time nectar should ever be stronger than the standard 1:4 ratio, the extra calories serve tired and hungry birds well.

hummer helper nesting materialConsider some nesting material to further entice hummingbirds, after all they did come back to breed. The Hummer Helper Nest Kit was developed specifically for hummingbirds (although goldfinches like it too) and has been endorsed by Hummingbird Society president, Ross Hawkins.

Give tiny sprites a big welcome this year with freshly filled feeders and some nesting materials to help raise their families!

Check out the video and see it in use!

Post-Mount Hopper Bird Feeder Offers Major Curb Appeal


March 5, 2015
posted by birdhouse chick @ 1:38 am

Majestic for a hopper bird feeder, this one adds curb appeal too!Larger seed feeders seem to be banished to the backyard, likely for the best viewing options. Sometimes on the side of a home, but you do occasionally see them in the front. Some folks may place a beautiful birdhouse in the landscape… simply for the aesthetic. But those who actually feed the birds are serious!

Gazebo style feeders offer a traditional architectural accent, some with Victorian flair, others even more creative. But the tube, the tube’s the problem for the serious backyard birder. They’re relatively small, holding maybe one or two pounds of seed. With winter still hanging on and natural food sources depleted, birds have been ravenous around feeders. And with spring bulbs already forcing through the ground, migratory friends will soon arrive (whether the weather cooperates or not!)crocus blooms coincide with the start of nesting season

 

Enter the post-mount hopper bird feeder with ten-pound capacity and majestic appearance. A distinctive accent for the landscape, it’s definitely worthy of the front lawn. Because the roof is copper, and that’s actually vinyl/PVC (not wood) its appearance remains new. In fact it’s guaranteed against rotting, cracking or warping. Vinyl will not mildew, making it a healthier feeding surface for birds. Bacteria and mold have nowhere to settle, no deep, dark cracks or crevices in which to grow.

Hopper style feeders like these are one-time investments in the landscape with ideal functionality to entice feathered friends. They’re simple to fill, clean and are virtually maintenance-free. An aged patina finish is offered, as well as a hanging model. Lots of options with easy installation too – slides right on a standard 4×4 post, brackets included as shown.

Save 10% through 3/15. Use code MC10 and feed the birds in high style… now come on spring!

 

Could You Handle a Silent Sky? Songbird SOS


February 28, 2015
posted by birdhouse chick @ 9:57 pm

Perhaps it’s the name, or maybe the message: songbirds are in decline, some will remain, some will disappear.

Sure we’ve all heard it before, wild animals in peril, elephants, tigers, lions rhinos… but birds? One wouldn’t think so, except science confirms the facts. What is it about waking each day to birdsong? Or stealing a few moments at the window with binoculars in hand? An escape, a connection with nature. It’s calming, it’s universal, it’s necessary – because everything in life IS connected.

A few years ago, Defenders of Wildlife did a short video on Clark’s Nutcrackers and their role in the ecosystem. Should this bird disappear, or any others for that matter, there are simply no answers as to environmental impacts. No control-Z, no undo, extinction is forever.

The Messenger is an indie documentary seeking funding for its completion. A wake-up call for the masses, the film not only deserves support, its message is critical. For the environment, for future generations… for the birds, please help get the message out. No amount is too small to help fund the project!