Get Major Curb Appeal with a Dovecote Birdhouse


November 19, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 2:33 am

five-foot tall dovecote birdhouseGift idea #37 Make it palatial

It’s got to be the grandaddy of all houses… as far as aesthetics anyway! Standing almost five feet tall and two feet wide, this dovecote birdhouse is a most impressive site when situated in the landscape. It takes some room, we refer to it as “estate size” because its grandeur commands more than just any old spot.

Martins may take to it if a scout finds its surroundings suitable with plenty of open area and a good distance from trees. Having a pond, lake or nearby stream is also a plus for them. No doubt somebody will be roosting during cold nights prior to spring nesting season, and really, could you blame them? If I were a bird, I’d not only know who to poop on, I’d claim these sweet digs for my own!

The dovecotes also come with a stunning aged patina roof, but the real beauty in these homes is dovecote bird-houses in vinyl/PVC are maintenance-freethe meticulous construction using vinyl/PVC. You see there’s no wood at all, nothing to rot or deteriorate over time. The material won’t mildew either, and it never requires painting, just a damp cloth with some soap to remove environmental build-up. Heck, you can even take the garden hose to these birdhouses and feeders for a thorough cleaning should the desire strike!

So maybe this one’s a little too big for the average lot? No worries, they come incrementally sized down to a six-or eight-inch diameter, perfect for chickadees, titmice, bluebirds and other friendly fliers. Your resident birds would be happy to call this residence home and the recipient will absolutely be wowed!

Save 20% on extreme sizes, 10% on all others through Sunday, November 30th
Use promo code MC10 at checkout

Unique Bird Feeders Can be Custom Made


November 17, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 12:31 am

Unique bird feeders offering custom colors, hang or pole-mountGift idea #39-Give  favorite colors

If considering a gift of nature for someone special this year, consider one that might be customized to suit the recipient’s favorite colors, or even their favorite team.

These unique bird feeders offer a variety of stained glass hues, you can even choose two colors for a heartfelt, hand picked gift. Requested one year was a red and green option for Christmas. It sounded a tad garish for such a Copper and stained glass bird feederstunning art piece, but it actually came out beautifully…
and the recipient was thrilled!

Some other post-mounted bird feeders offer custom team colors too. Also made in the USA, durable PVC will never crack, mildew, peel or rot. See? That’s part of the beauty of these unique feeders! The quality and materials will last for years of enjoyment- by birds and their hosts alike.

Team colors offered on these unique bird feeders

Shown with standard roof choice, all styles of feeders and houses are available in 12 team choices! Check out these cool combinations for the sports-birding enthusiast on your list!

Blue-Whitevinyl birdhouses and unique feeders in team colors

Great Birdbath Accessories to Entice Feathered Friends


November 15, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 6:01 pm

Add a fountain to your hanging birdbathGift idea # 4o: Make it Move

What happened to the other 3 gift ideas? We were busy getting our own baths and bird habitat ready for the coming polar vortex! Out with the water wigglers and drippers- in with the heaters.

Without a doubt, the easiest way to attract more birds is with fresh water. Even a plant saucer with an inch or two of water near shrubs or a tree line serves friendly fliers and other wildlife well throughout the year. If you have an existing birdbath, or know someone who loves bird watching- it’s easy to understand the sheer joy of seeing birds bathe and wade, or preen and drink from the life-essential offering.

Accessories like misters, fountains or drippers really bring a birdbath to life with the gentle motion of moving water. During the season, hummingbirds can be seen flitting about a moving stream of water. Butterflies adore leaf misters plus gardens grow lush below them. Even songbirds quickly become trained awaiting the start of birdbath action each morning!birdbath accessories like drippers entice more birds

You can quickly craft your own simple dripper from a milk jug! Take said plastic 1-gallon milk jug and poke a tiny pin hole in the bottom corner. Use a chain or strong wire to hang the jug above your birdbath. At one small drop every 3 or 4 seconds, the gallon of water will last at least a few days. There will definitely be increased activity that’s well worth the effort… for you and birds alike!

Should you be pondering the perfect holiday gift (without breaking the bank) for the nature lover on your list, a leaf mister or even mister-dripper combo will bring great joy… and for many seasons to come!

Thank a Veteran with Patriotic Decorative Bird Houses


November 11, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 2:29 pm

In honor of veterans- patriotic Decorative Bird Houses Gift idea # 44: Go patriotic!

In honor of Veteran’s Day, here’s a few vintage pieces hand made in Texas… and no two are ever alike! With bird-friendly features, the Americana birdhouse makes a grande accent in the landscape that promises to host many successful broods over the years!

Decorative bird houses are crafted from vintage materials and reclaimed wood, may be pole or post mounted. Their spirit shines through and each is branded by the artist for a most unique gift.

For year-round outdoor use, birds will find these houses a cozy roost during the off-season. Nest clean-out is fairly simple by removing two screws on the metal roof and gently lifting. Chickadees, wrens, titmice and other friendly fliers would be happy to call this place home!

On a more decorative note, large vintage flags provide a most unusual focal point, indoors or in the garden. Also crafted from reclaimed wood, each is unique and signed by Lorenzo. So unique in fact… there’s only one in stock!

For birding patriots this holiday season, Americana series decorative birdhouses and vintage flag rule!flag

 

 

 

Partial to Parasol Over Bird Brain Hummingbird Feeders


November 10, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 2:12 pm

Parasol's are just nicer than Bird Brain Hummingbird FeedersGift idea # 45: Get someone hooked on hummingbirds!

First and foremost, the Hummingbird Society recommends leaving at least one feeder out for stragglers or the occasional sprite who doesn’t head south! Wintering along the East coast, several birds have been documented enduring tough weather in the Northern hemisphere- and their dedicated hosts who manage to keep nectar from freezing!

hummingbird feeders in winter

 

 

 

Although the company is now defunct, Bird Brain hummingbird feeders are still around, but we’re partial to the elegance of Parasol’s feeders instead.

recycled glass hummingbird feeder

 

Both made from recycled glass, the ones made in Mexico are better quality than what comes from overseas. Their designs are unique, and Parasol’s love of birds shines through not only in their product offerings, but community involvement with raising awareness and conservation of the species.

In heir latest newsletter, the Mexican tradition Day of the Dead was explained and how Parasol was involved with the annual fall celebration. Their altar theme was dedicated to Martha, the last passenger pigeon. She died 100 years ago in a zoo after spending many years in captivity. Once an overly aParasol's passenger pigeon altarbundant bird, the passenger pigeon became extinct in a period of one hundred years due to indiscriminate hunting.

Martha is considered a symbol of the threat that humans pose for some species, and that’s why Parasol honored the centennial of her death and its relevance with their Day of the Dead altar. Several hummingbird species are currently listed as critically endangered, and The Birdhouse Chick is a proud business sponsor of The Hummingbird Society. A portion of proceeds from each hummingbird feeder sold goes towards the society’s ongoing conservation efforts.

 

 

Edible Birdhouse Gift Keeps On Giving


November 6, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 2:36 am

Edible Birdhouse keeps on givingKudos to the company who makes this edible birdhouse, because that’s all they do… specialty wild bird treats. And birds will tell you they do the job right! The Birdies Bed Breakfast not only looks good for an awesome present, it keeps on giving too.

Really like two gifts in one, a bird feeder at first, so the recipient gets an excuse to sit back, relax and enjoy watching some resident birds. It then becomes a real nesting site for spring. They may even catch someone roosting inside on a blustery day trying to escape the elements.

With 1.5-inch entry, it’s perfect for bluebirds, chickadees, warblers, wrens and other favored songbirds. The full size wooden house beneath the quality seed may be stained or painted, or even left natural to weather over time. A sturdy hook’s attached for easy hanging… just keep it away from squirrels!

Best to use edible birdhouses in sheltered areas as feeders, or with baffles or weather guards. They’ll feed more birds over a longer time if protected from harsh weather and pesky critters. Once the seed’s consumed, the house should be hung from a branch in a quiet part of the yard.

Keep watch in early spring (sure hope it’s earlier than last year) when local birds start claiming nest sites and attracting mates to raise their young. Now, what mama bird wouldn’t be totally impressed with digs like these?

Watch Out for this at Wild Bird Feeders


November 2, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 4:23 am

Wild Bird Feeders can have perches or all-over feeding spaceSeeing more traffic at your feeders lately? The recent cold snap and first freeze of the season has finches flocking to feeders. The frost will damage some plants with fruit or berries, and likely zap most flying insects. As the cold wears on, these natural food sources disappear so wild bird feeders start seeing increased  activity.

Aside from the usual suspects like cardinals, chickadees titmice and wrens, goldfinches are still around from summer- but with their new winter feathers they’re looking a bit drab as seen on Non-porous wild bird feeders are easier to cleanthis snowman feeder. House Finches, who tend to travel in large flocks are crowding feeders now too, and they appear at new  feeding areas in large groups. These birds are prone to a respiratory infection (see Cornell Lab for the history) that may infect other birds through bird feeders. The disease is actually conjunctivitis, though it’s not transferred to humans.

House finch with conjunctivitis-may be spread through bacteria on bird feedersAffecting their eyes, the bacteria itself is not fatal, but infected birds usually end up blind and die from starvation or predation. You’ll see them with swollen, half-closed, or crusty eyes, and sometimes completely swollen shut. They go where it’s easy to feed, on the ground scavenging below feeders or staying in a nearby tree. It’s really a sad sight, but knowing that other birds may become infected through your feeders is worse.

This is why maintaining clean feeders is important. Non-porous surfaces like glass, copper, recycled plastic or vinyl are much easier to clean than wood. These wild bird feeders promote a healthier environment because bacteria can’t settle into cracks and crevices. There are a few easy steps to help prevent the spread of conjunctivitis and what to do should you see an infected bird in your yard.

  • Space feeders as widely as possible to divert large crowds from gathering at one spot.
  • Clean feeders with a 10% bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) with extra attention to feeder ports. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.
  • Rake fallen seed and bird droppings beneath feeders, keeping this area clean.
  • Take feeders down if you see one or two birds with infected eyes, and clean as suggested above.
  • Some folks even wait to hang feeders again, encouraging the flock to move on.Scavening for food below wild bird feeders

Unique Birdhouses Worthy of the Big Screen


October 27, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 4:02 am

unique birdhouses in HollywoodYou know that saying a day late and a dollar short? Well for once we were early, so if this post resembles a previous one… it’s because we got too excited and jumped the gun on launch date!

Folks can now make their way to the big screen, thanks to a new innovation in mobile advertising. But it’s not mobile as in phones, it’s mobile as in wheels.

A few of our unique birdhouses might be worthy of the big screen… enough for a second look anyway, even if to say “what was that?” Birds find them swell places to nest and roost, and they’re even crafted with your own pooch as the model. So check out what we stumbled upon. Since the last post favored felines, we’ll touch on man’s best friend this time – the ever loyal canine :)

unique birdhouse will host many successful broods Daily sensory overload is apparent, but Zeusvision is something new and cool that will grab your attention. Extreme by all means, they’re 40-foot buses with a 31-foot digital screen on each side. Buses are complete with top-notch audio systems delivering fab sound as well. To experience this up close is to experience something pretty amazing!

The means can serve for public messaging where anyone could get their personal words or commercial ads seen in crowded public spaces. Ads are just one example; a football mom could use Zeusvision to congratulate her son’s team on their championship, announce a wedding proposal in a big way, or just say something special in a larger-than-life manner! This innovation makes big media accessible to everyone, because your words or product may be worthy of something more than a post on social media.

no molds are used for these unique birdhousesBig city outdoor ads are owned by huge companies because of the price tag associated with prime real estate. That’s why Zeusvision runs their buses in these prime locations. Hustle-bustle cities like New York, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills are just a few, with new markets being added.

And because it’s an affordable service for individuals and smaller businesses, we’re thrilled to put these unique birdhouses on the big screen. How cool is that? Man’s best friend immortalized in a functional bird home… and up on the big screen to boot!golden retriever unique birdhouse is modeled after your own buddy

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month!


October 22, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 12:17 pm

adopt a shelter dog And what would this have to do with wild birds? Absolutely nothing, but our own dogs and cats have always been – and will always be rescues… because they make for the best pets ever! And yes, there are purebreds of every kind waiting and hoping for their own family.

It’s an alarming statistic: over 7.6 million animals enter animal shelters every year, yet only 29% of cats and dogs are adopted nationwide.

In honor of October’s National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, those considering adoption can look to rescues for their new family member. Most shelters house a wide array of animals, including purebreds, and will work with you to find the best pet for your family.

Adoption can be seen as a two-way street, as a rescue can benefit not only the animal they are taking in, but also the new owners as well. Heidi Ganahl, CEO of Camp Bow Wow, North America’s largest and fastest growing pet care franchise has offered her insight regarding the benefits of pet adoption and important factors to consider.

Benefits of Pet Adoption and Factors to Consider:

  • General Benefits - There’s a reason that they say dog is man’s best friend. Having a pet, not limited to dogs, is something that everyone should experience at some point in their life. Pets can be calming, mood lifting, empathetic, and so much more. They teach you how to be selfless and responsible as you are caring over another life (for those of you without children).  Generally speaking, they make you happy.
  • Save the Life of a Shelter Pet – Only 29% of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters; the rest are left to live in the rescue centers or, worse – euthanized. Bottom line: Adopting a pet saves their life. Give a dog or cat a home they wouldn’t have otherwise.
  • Stress Reduction - Some studies show that people begin to feel less anxious after spending less than an hour with an animal. There are endless benefits from lowering your stress level and while the things that we find stressful in our lives are often hard to cut out, including an animal in your life can help.
  • Helps with Depression - In some cases, therapists suggest to patients suffering from depression that they adopt a pet. An animal will love you unconditionally and also be a great friend and listener. People with depression often benefit from having a pet, as the animal can help them get out of the house and out of their own head.
  • Engaged Mind - A key to a healthy mind, especially for those who are elderly, is staying engaged with others. A pet is often a conversation starter and being out with a pet often warrants questions or comments from passersby. Bringing your dog to a dog park is a great way to meet other people with similar interests.

    Factors to Consider:

  • What breed are you looking to adopt? Different breeds have different characteristics and you will want to understand the types of behaviors that may be displayed by your new family member. You need to understand the energy of your household, the size of dog that you can handle, how much exercise you are able to provide and more. If your family tends to be very low key, you do not want to choose a high energy dog that needs tons of energy. If you live in a small space, a very large dog may not be the best for your family. Think about all of these variables before choosing your new pup.
  • Who will care for the new pet? Be sure your new pet correlates with the ages of those in the household. A good rule of thumb: the new pet should fit the current physical capabilities of the caretakers with a perspective for what the next 10-15 years will bring.

If you have children in your household, enrolling your new pup and family members into an obedience class should be high on your priority list. Children need to learn how to safely interact with the dogs so that accidents don’t happen. An experienced trainer will help the whole family understand how to safely interact with your new family member.

  • If there are elderly members in a household, a strong vigorous adolescent pet is not advised. Large breeds also demand more physical upkeep, something that an older person may have trouble performing.
  • Does your family have an opinion on their newest member of the family? Although it is exciting to surprise the family with a new pet, do some research and poll each family member to find out what they are looking for in a new pet so that the pet you choose aligns with the household. Once your family has chosen a breed that suits the family’s requirements, the best approach is to bring the whole family to meet the potential new family member and gauge how they all interact.
  • Are you financially ready for this responsibility? A new pet can go for “free-to-a-good-home” to several thousand dollars. A budget must be set not only for the upfront cost of taking the pet home, but also for immediate follow-up costs like veterinary check-ups, a training crate and pet obedience classes. Also keep in mind that your pet will need to be fed and groomed and will also need chew toys and additional supplies like food bowls, a dog bed, brushes, leashes, etc.  Also keep in mind the necessary chunk of money needed for veterinary emergencies. You might also think about getting pet insurance for your new family member to help keep the cost of veterinary bills more affordable.

Friend and Foe Use Bluebird Houses Through Winter


October 15, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 8:19 pm

clean bluebird houses for winter roostingFairly late and third nesting reports for Eastern bluebirds were common this year, possibly due in part to the previously treacherous winter and their delayed instincts for claiming territories and nest boxes (nest starts).

Now’s a great time to check bluebird houses for repairs and remove nesting materials from the busy spring season. Although bluebirds don’t usually roost in houses… others will!  Offering shelter through tough winter months for resident birds is simple if you have a house or two up already. Just clean them out and check for repairs. And a good cleaning is optimal if you have the time, a diluted bleach solution works great. Use a 1:10 ratio of bleach to water and a good scrub brush. Rinse well, let air dry and replace.

damage on old bluebird houses likely due to squirrelsSquirrels can do a number on wood birdhouses, especially enlarging the entries to gain access. If the damage isn’t too bad yet, it’s an easy fix by adding a metal or brass portal over the entrance. It’s a good way to save your birdhouses for the birds and deter squirrels through winter. Well… some squirrels anyway!

For the past few years we’ve had a downy woodpecker who claims a bluebird house for nightly roosting, it’s actually pretty cool! House sparrows on the other hand, should be discouraged from roosting in any houses… they’re a major foe of the bluebird and most native cavity nesting birds.

If and when you do go to clean out houses, you may see droppings which will give you a clue as to who’s roosting in there. If they’re white, you can bet house sparrows are in the area. Black droppings with seeds indicates bluebirds. Let’s hope for the latter :)