Nyjer Feeders are Busy Now


August 9, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 12:42 pm

Nyjer Feeder with no more vacancies!They’re the last ones of the season to nest and raise their young, they’re also the only ones who molt twice per year. It really puts goldfinches in a class of their own. It’s the busy season for them, feeding the tiny black seed almost exclusively to babies. During the year, spells of non-activity may be common around nyjer feeders… but not now!

If you offer nyjer or thistle seed year-round, chances are great these birds will stick around. They won’t nest in a birdhouse, but prefer mature trees and shrubs for building their digs. Considered resident birds, in winter you’ll see dull brown-olive plumage, but their sweet song will still grace the garden on the dreariest days. A fresh water source will further entice these friendly fliers.

A fickle seed nyjer can be, it must be fresh for the birds to partake. Should the seed sit in your feeder too long, it may become moldy or rancid and they won’t touch it. One of the benefits of this long tube feeder is the ability to fill it from both ends. By alternating top and bottom refills, there’s no way for older seed to accumulate at the bottom like most feeders.

Another popular style is mesh or screen, offering an all-over feeding space as opposed to individual perches. In recycled plastic, some are durable enough to last a lifetime.Nyjer feeder with mesh screen feeding area

And the last benefit of thistle? It won’t germinate! You’ll never see a nasty weed below these feeders. So fill it up, keep seed fresh, offer a bathing spot and American goldfinches are bound to claim your garden as home sweet home!

Use a Squirrel Baffle to Protect that Nest!


August 3, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 10:54 am

Squirrel baffle for wood postSquirrels can be such a major nuisance around bird feeders, hence the baffle was invented. Aptly named to foil their shenanigans, lots of options are readily available to accommodate wood posts, garden poles, and hanging feeders too. Even fancy shepherd’s hooks have been taken into consideration, with a squirrel baffle that splits or opens to install – then locks back together.

With generally cooler temperatures in most parts of the country this summer, the busy nesting season has seen many birds on their second and third broods. Some use birdhouses (bluebirds, wrens, chickadees) and some don’t (cardinals, goldfinches, hummingbirds) preferring to nest in mature trees and shrubs.This bluebird nest box would benefit from a squirrel baffle

Sadly, birdhouses get their share of thieves, from squirrels and raccoons, to snakes, cats and larger bully birds. Eggs and babies may be killed by territorial birds or eaten and just disappear all together.

One wouldn’t think it’s common practice to use a raccoon or squirrel baffle on a birdhouse… but until you’ve lost a nest of babies to one of these predators, it makes perfect sense! Use a squirrel baffle to protect birdhouses too

The image at left is a bit fuzzy, but it illustrates the use of two different kinds of baffles¬† protecting these houses. The one on the right is even home-made, using PVC pipe and an end cap from the home improvement store. It should really be at least 5 inches in diameter (this was our first try) and it works on the “rocking principle”.

A simple search for stovepipe baffle will show you how to make an expensive and effective design for posts or poles to thwart both raccoons and squirrels. Grow strong and thrive little bluebirds!

 

 

Newest Bat Houses are Vinyl/PVC


July 28, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 9:45 am

New vinyl bat houses stand up to the elementsSmart innovations (made in the USA) using durable materials means better quality, especially for items that remain outdoors. For seven years, we’ve had phenomenal feedback on all of our vinyl birdhouses and feeders – in fact some folks even thought they were made from wood!

With the popularity of natural insect control, and the increasing aversion to pesticides (thank goodness), bat houses have become a top preference for zapping those blood-sucking, nasty insects!

This brand new bat shelter with many a creature comfort will entice friendly brown bats and keep them roosting around your place. One tiny single bat can eat more than 1000 mosquitoes per night, now multiply that by 65, which is the approximate capacity here.

Made in the USA, the new vinyl design is completely impervious weather… will not crack, warp, split or mildew. The light color actually helps cool the box and stabilize inside temperatures during warm summer months. That’s important stuff if you’re a bat! It also blends well with the lighter colors of exterior paint on many homes – and that’s important stuff to people, it won’t stick out like a sore thumb!

Mounting height should be at least 15 ft. from the ground, on any structure, tree, or 4×4 post. Be sure entry is free and clear of any limbs or branches which might impede landing. It may take a little time for bats to discover their new digs, but if they already reside in your area, occupancy could be immediate. Having water nearby is more appealing to them; as in a creek, lake, stream or pond. Not a requirement, but more suitable habitat.

So vow to quit the bug zappers and chemicals this year, it’s far better for everyone’s health and the environment too. Try a bat house and entice these friendly, furry little mammals to your yard!

 

 

Good Luck with Parts for Bird Brain Hummingbird Feeders


July 25, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 1:23 am

Replacement parts for Bird Brain Hummingbird FeedersThey were really great feeders, so it’s sad the company’s no longer around. Trying to find replacement parts for the old Bird Brain hummingbird feeders could pose quite the challenge. A recent customer would absolutely attest to this fact.

Even their feeders with the rubber or plastic flowers… nada, zip, zilch, replacements just don’t exist.

But wait… the light bulb goes off and it’s a brainstorm for Bird Brain. Parasol! Yes some Parasol’s feeders use a red glass flower with a long stem. But will they fit correctly? The only way to know is try and see. So with said customer on the phone, one glass hummingbird feeder from each company was pulled to experiment. Parasol feeder tubes work great in most Bird Brain Hummingbird Feeders

It worked – like a charm too! The glass flowers actually looked better than the original parts. Even with the stem a little bit shorter, it doesn’t have much bearing as hummingbird’s tongues are twice as long as their beaks. Sometimes there’s concern that the feeder port doesn’t reach to the bottom of its vessel, but truth is, it’s not required.

Fun and vibrant, the sprites loved Bird Brain Hummingbird FeedersEven their styles with rubber feeder ports (which had no stems at all) will accommodate Parasol’s feeder tubes beautifully. Doh… forgot to photograph the new combination!

So you’re actually in luck if searching for Bird Brain feeder port replacements, because Parasol’s work great!

By the way, if there’s been a lull at your hummingbird feeders you’re not alone. Many people are saying the same thing. It could be the sprites are nesting, or maybe there’s just not as many this year? In either case… they’re back! We spotted several last week, and our local bird buddies said the same thing. So it’s time to clean your feeder and be sure nectar stays fresh. And in about one more month, prepare to be dazzled when their migration begins.your hummingbird feeders won't make them stay You may even need to another feeder!

The Ever So Versatile Bird Feeder Bracket


July 21, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 1:58 am

This bird feeder bracket attaches to a deck or porch rail for multiple uses. Versatility is good and mobility is even better when referring to a bird feeder bracket. Seasons change and birds migrate, so why would you want to offer the same old, same old throughout the year? Plus, once the birding bug hits, there’s always a need for one more feeder, or one more bath, or one more something in the yard! We can verify this first-hand :)

A simple deck-mount bracket (circled in yellow) accommodates a leaf mister during summer months. Actually mounted on the front porch, the extended arm bracket just slips right onto the rail. This makes it easy to move, and with the mister attached, makes for a happy and lush garden below. When it’s time to put the misters away in late fall, a bird bath or feeder will likely hang from the same spot. In early spring there’s always nesting materials offered in this spot.

Want to see more species of birds but limited on space? No trees to hang from and only one feeder pole in the yard? Check this cool bird feeder bracket with quick-connect that attaches right to a pole – no hardware needed. With a sleek curved shape and leaf design, there’s room for 3 or 4 more items. All of a sudden you’re seeing new birds in the same space!Branch type bird feeder bracket

No-melt suet is great for warm weather feeding as migratory birds enjoy it too. Grape jelly in an oriole feeder entices cat birds and woodpeckers.

Again, if space is limited for hanging feeders, remember that birds bathe naturally at ground level. Fresh water is the easiest way to entice feathered friends. A shallow pan of water is bound to bring some birds who may never even visit feeders. Keep the water fresh and more importantly… shallow. With lots of juveniles about, deep water can be fatal. No more than two inches is a perfect depth for birds to bathe, wade, preen and drink. Adding some stones or a few larger rocks gives birds added security with better footing, they make it easier to land and perch.

For all those who “don’t feed birds in summer” well, you happen to be missing two exciting times during the year when neotropic birds migrate. The opportunity for catching some new species pass through is pretty incredible… even for veteran backyard birders! That flash of orange from a Baltimore oriole, or the vivid colors of a painted bunting are in part what it’s all about!

 

 

Catch a Butterfly Explosion and Family Day of Fun!


July 16, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 10:29 am

New butterfly habitat and nature trail opening on SaturdayIf you’re in the Atlanta area, you may want to check out a new nature trail opening this Saturday on Briarcliff Road. Complete with family activities, the highlight (we think) happens to be a butterfly release.butterflies adore over-ripe fruit, offered here on a staked hanging feeder

It’s not some cheesy release of a bunch of live butterflies either. Each family will have the opportunity to see the chrysalis which has been stored in a dormant state. Ready to emerge from their cocoons, the butterflies will be released throughout the 3-hour event to a newly designed habitat created just for them.

With nectar plants in place, (host plants to come in fall) butterfly feeders and fruit offerings, it should prove interesting to see where the winged wonders are attracted first?

And why would we want to mention this event? First, because it sounds pretty cool… for young and old alike! It’s absolutely free, and because some of the habitats’ features came from thebirdhousechick!¬† Short pedestal bird baths are being used for plates offering over-ripe fruit, along with some staked glass butterfly feeders for nectar, both hand made in the USA.

Ground birdbath doubles as fruit plate for butterfliesbutterfly-feeders

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a family day of free fun and learning…
check out the details below!

Family Day Oldcastle Nature Trail

These Last Longer at Squirrel Feeders


July 15, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 4:27 am

Raccoons love gorging at squirrel feeders

Except of course with raccoons – then nothing edible left outdoors will last!

Rocky and masked friends partake in a buffet of deer corn on a cold night, on a warm night, a rainy night… doesn’t matter. Once discovered, if there’s food they will come.

Since we moved from this place, there’s only a couple of corn cob squirrel feeders in the yard. The bungee cord is probably the most entertaining too, there’s a bell on it, so you know when the squirrels are jumping. This is a great feature should you ever need a few laughs :)Bungees make for really fun squirrel feeders!

Using something called squirrel logs on these feeders is ideal if you’re not too keen on putting corn cobs out daily. The logs are actually compressed corn, and each is equal to about twelve ears of regular corn cobs. There’s even two flavors to satisfy your furry friends!

Compressed corn is great for most squirrel feedersThe logs usually last one week to 10 days, depending on activity. Smearing some peanut butter on them during frigid weather provides a killer treat that helps squirrels stay warm. But back to Rocky and friends… the logs are gone the next morning! For a while, we thought our crafty critters were just stealing them, until we discovered their larger, more destructive cousins were wolfing them down in one sitting!

In the scheme of things, maybe the coons aren’t so bad, they’re certainly preferable to bears! Several recent stories about bears raiding bird feeders is scary stuff! Guess there comes a time when it’s beneficial to both humans and nature to cease feeding everything wild… at least for a little while?

 

 

 

Bring an Ordinary Hanging Bird Bath to Life with Solar


July 8, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 11:52 am

A solar bubbler makes an ordinary hanging bird bath extraordinary!

July can be a scorcher for wildlife, especially with recent droughts and above-average temperatures. Natural water sources like puddles, creeks and shallow pools all but disappear during summer heat. Adding fresh water to the garden may prove to be a life saver for birds and other animals whose habitat continues to shrink. Something as simple as a plant saucer filled with water will see winged visitors happily partaking in the essential life source.

Adding bath accessories like leaf misters, water wigglers, or this solar bubbler can bring a pedestal or hanging bird bath to life! Circulating water stays fresher longer and acts as a magnet for birds! They’re totally attracted by the visual of moving water, and the soothing sounds can be a welcomed addition to human ears as well.

No need for the whole set-up either, these battery or solar powered accessories are a la carte! Some even operate from the outdoor spigot. Add them to your existing bath for a whole new dimension in birding. Hummingbirds are especially fond of birdbath fountains, while butterflies covet the gentle spray of leaf misters. Songbirds around our place actually sit and wait for the drppers to start each morning, it’s looks like a bird spa!

Consider one of many “moving water” accessories this summer and see which new visitors show up at your place. Especially during spring and fall migrations, you may be quite surprised!

 

Happy 4th ~ Save 10% on Unique Birdhouses and Everything Else!


July 4, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 9:38 am

Unique birdhouses are for year-round use as roosts too

Happy Birthday America-July 4th SavingsSave 10% Site-wide on unique birdhouses, feeders, bird baths… and everything else!

 

 

These wild birds wouldn’t know from birdhouses… the beach is their home. If you’re heading to the shore this weekend please think of the locals and share accordingly. From the National Audubon Society – tips for sharing the beach:

Audubon tips for sharing the beach

For pets, fireworks are horrifying, it’s animal control’s busiest weekend of the year. From MarleysMutts, here’s a few tips to keep your pets safe this weekend.

MarleysMutts 4th of July pet safety

Wishing all a Happy and Safe 4th of July Weekend!

 

 

 

Thistle Feeders are in High Gear Once Again!


July 1, 2014
posted by birdhouse chick @ 9:59 pm

large capacity thistle feeders with lost of perches accommodate more goldfinchessIt may be officially summer, but the tail end of spring nesting season is still going strong. Goldfinches are just starting to nest now, which means you’ll be seeing a whole lot of yellow at thistle feeders in the next 2-3 months.

If you’re not offering thistle yet, you may be missing out! The American Goldfinch is a favored backyard songbird as their summer plumage, friendly disposition and sweet song are simply a pleasure to have around the garden. And unlike other birdseed, thistle seed won’t germinate… which is also a pleasure in the garden :)

Goldfinches don’t use birdhouses, so there’s no luring them in with that. They’ll raise their broods in mature hedges or trees, constructing nests of woven plant fibers and down. You can encourage them with some nesting materials placed in the vicinity of thistle feeders. They’re partial to Hummer Helper, the hummingbird nesting material, feathers and other fibrous nest offerings.smaller thistle feeders like these socks are ideal during nesting season

Unlike some more aggressive birds, goldfinches are quite demure, they’d rather fly off than fight for a spot at the feeder. This where lots of perches, or an all-over feeding space to accommodate them are ideal. Thistle socks are another great choice for goldfinches’ busy time of year. You can easily offer several different feeding spots, without spending a whole lot! Parents will feed babies thistle seed almost exclusively at first, sometimes mixed with finely chopped sunflower bits, you’ll see finches consuming this seed mix too.

As always, fresh water is critical to any bird’s environment. Keeping your bird bath clean is important stuff, for them and for your yard – especially in warm summer weather. Keep water shallow (no more than two inches) and keep it fresh… and they will come!

Oh wait, once goldfinches molt again in September they’ll turn an olive-drab color… but don’t quit feeding them. If you offer thistle year-round, their electric yellow plumage will grace your yard every summer!

Offer nesting material along with thistle feeders to encourage residencyOffer this nesting material near your thistle feeders