Innovative by design, with beauty to compliment any environment, these glass butterfly feeders work perfectly in any garden setting. With their rich hues, the large hand-blown glass flowers make for a fun and interesting focal point. Add versatility to this…and they become more than just feeders.
In our yard a red one sits just below a leaf mister, and as the water collects in the flower, it creates the perfect bath – not only for butterflies, but birds too! The unique shape allows for feeding nectar or fruit to butterflies as well. Over-ripened fruit like bananas, melon, peaches, pears and more can easily be placed in the flower. Add nectar to this glass flower with or without the use of a sponge.
When attracting butterflies, several factors come into play. Landscape and the use of flowers is an important one. Nectar producing plants, and host plants will yield the best results when used in conjunction with one another.
A water source is very helpful too, but butterflies do not use birdbaths. Puddlers are more suited for attracting these “flying flowers”. Puddlers are just what the name implies, pools of water, or puddles. They can range from small to large, plastic or stoneware, raised or at ground level. This puddler is handcrafted of weatherproof stoneware, so it stays in the garden year-round. It gives butterflies a place to dry in the sun (after bathing) with its’ smooth rock-like surface. Some puddlers may even be used as butterfly feeders, with spaces for offering fruit or nectar.
Butterfly accessories that are versatile and interchangeable are always a sure bet as you can try different things to see what works best for attracting these little guys to your garden.
A leaf mister in our yard sits in front of a glass butterfly feeder. Unfortunately from this angle, the feeder is hidden by shrubs. But it’s the perfect example of using a butterfly feeder as a bath instead.
Surprising to me, we had a wonderful butterfly season in the Atlanta area this year. I can’t recall a summer where so many had populated my yard. I know the two leaf misters were a huge attraction for them, along with some newly planted milkweed. Other flowers like lantana and abelia shrubs saw lots of action from these winged jewels too. There is no butterfly house in the yard, and I’ve always wondered whether or not butterflies really use them?
Some butterfly houses are like detailed works of art for the garden, they enhance and add a nice focal point to the area. The butterfly house shown here is constructed of durable red cedar, and the etched glass panels that catch light beautifully. It’s available as a hanging, or post mount model too.
But back to the question if butterflies really use butterfly houses or not?
A bit of research reveals the answer here:
Following the publication of a recent press report entitled ‘Bolivia: Twenty circus lions looking for a home’, Animal Defenders International wishes to clarify the situation.
Jan Creamer, ADI President said that there was speculation with regard to the fate of twenty circus lions looking for a home following the successful Bolivian circus ban, but that ADI’s position remained crystal clear.
“We were deeply concerned to read a media report that suggested that proposals have been made to euthanize older animals that can’t be relocated, without consultation with animal rescue groups such as ADI,” Jan said.
“ADI is totally opposed to any plans to kill circus animals before we have had a chance to look for homes for them.
“On numerous occasions, ADI has promised the Bolivian government, in particular the DGB, help with the relocation of animals from Bolivian circuses. We have offered to rehome the 20 lions that DGB has announced are to be relocated, but still await a response from them,” Jan said.
Animal Defenders International has asked the Bolivian Government to work with them and provide a list of all the animals in Bolivian circuses that need to be rescued, so that the situation can be fully assessed and a comprehensive rescue plan implemented.
Once species, ages and numbers are known ADI can look for suitable homes.. In the interim they have recommended to DGB that the circuses be required to continue to feed and keep the animals until they have all been assessed.
The request comes after the successful rehoming of an 18 year old Hamadryras baboon to a sanctuary in Berkshire, UK in early September, and four lions to California, USA in May by ADI, who were instrumental in securing a ban on animals in circuses in Bolivia.
These animals released by Circo Abuhabda were taken to Cochabamba as there was nowhere else for them to be kept. ADI were then given permission by the Mayor to build a temporary facility while the animals awaited export permits from the government, on the condition that when the animals were moved, the facility be dismantled and the area returned to parkland.
“Just like our previous successful rescues, ADI stands ready, willing and able to help and are waiting to meet with government officials to set the wheels in motion,” Jan said.
“This is not a lack of resources issue for relocating animals from Bolivian circuses for ADI and we will ensure that we do all we can to facilitate further successful rescues.
ADI would be pleased to hear from organizations willing to provide homes or help to relocate and retire every circus animal in Bolivia.
Contact: Agnes Huff, Agnes Huff Communications Group
Tel: (310) 641-2525, Cell: (310) 902-8131
Web site: www.ahuffgroup.comAD
The (not so new anymore) wave of recycled plastics is still a wonderful thing as for as birding accessories. Durable, tough, handsome, and most come with guarantees against splitting, cracking or fading. Bat houses are now available in recycled plastics, and like all other products, guarantee a longer life…in fact…a lifetime of use.
One of the advantages to this recycled bat house is the rich, dark color. Not only for aesthetic purposes, it retains heat from the sun to keep the chambers warmer on cold nights. It’s large enough to hold hundreds of the beneficial little brown bats, whole colonies if you will. Excellent for natural pest control, bats will consume whole populations of mosquitoes in one night.
Wooden bat houses are still mainstream, and are available for smaller groupings and large colonies too. Bat House Kits are even available if you’re so inclined to build your own. Most wood bat houses are constructed of red cedar, also durable and very long lasting. If purchasing a bat house, your decision may be based on looks, size, and or price. A wide variety of bat houses are available, the key is proper placement. Approximately 15-20 feet from the ground is best, usually facing a southern or southeast exposure. They may be post or pole mounted with additional hardware, or simply attached to a tree. Some say they can be erected on structures as well, we would not recommend this.
Help brown bats to thrive flourish in your yard by offering proper shelter and you’ll be rewarded with natural insect control for the season!
Malibu – September 27, 2010 – Save Malibu Lagoon: and the Wetlands Defense Fund will hold a rally and march from the Malibu Pier to the Malibu Lagoon, Saturday, October 2nd, at 1 pm. Surfers, birdwatchers, animal lovers, environmentalists, schoolchildren, local residents and others concerned about the plan to dredge and poison the lagoon will be on hand to protest the plan that goes before the California Coastal Commission on October 13th in Oceanside.
The plan calls for the three charming and well-maintained bridges on the main walk path to be ripped out and trashed. Birdwatchers will be deprived of up-close bird viewing opportunities, nature observers and schoolchildren will be unable to experience intimate environmental education moments and surfers will have to take a longer and less convenient route to the beach and the ocean waves.
According to Wetlands Defense Fund’s Marcia Hanscom, the badly designed plan calls for bulldozers to arrive at the start of visitor season in June, 2011 to excavate and grade 88,700 cubic yards of mud and wetland habitat – killing or displacing most plants, fish and animals and removing shelter and food sources for those not otherwise harmed. In addition, contractors will dewater (drain) the entire lagoon west of the creek channel to transform the site from a series of environmentally-friendly marshy islands into an area with a rock-defined, hard-edged channel and more watery area, but less land, which serves as home and food for the animals.
Hanscom says the engineering firm of Moffat & Nichol drew up the plan after being directed to do so by a technical team which met with little public input. “A private nonprofit organization called Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation is listed on the Coastal Commission staff report as the ‘agent,’ “ Hanscom says. “It seems like millions in bond money are available to anyone who has good political connections and hatches an ill-informed scheme, even if it destroys a living ecosystem.” She says those who are on record supporting the plan include Heal the Bay and the California State Parks Department.
Wetlands Defense Fund, CLEAN (Coastal Law Enforcement Action Network), Access for All, surfers and residents who are opposed to noise, dust and damage to their animal neighbors are outraged. Birdwatchers who have recently observed the resurgence of imperiled species are opposed to the plan. Hanscom added that Glyphosate, a poison named in the proposed plan to kill non-native plants, has been opposed by stakeholders in the Topanga Watershed Council for many years. For that reason, some of those are opposed to this plan, as well.
The California Coastal Commission is scheduled to grant a permit for the proposed project at its October 13 hearing in Oceanside. While under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was prepared, no EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) as required by federal law, was prepared even though a federally endangered species listed on the endangered species list will be harmed.
“Many people have asked me why the State of California is funding such a massive project when the state budget is in such a disastrous state,” Hanscom says. “As we understand it, the funds will come from State water and wildlife conservation bonds, and Proposition 50 bond money has been allocated in the amount of more than $1 million to manage, review and design this flawed plan. A plan that does not conserve wildlife should not qualify for these bonds.”
Those marching are urged to bring signs supporting the wildlife and the bridges to the beach public access. For more information, visit www.savemalibulagoon.com, call 310-578-5888, and join Save Malibu Lagoon on Facebook and @saveourlagoon on Twitter. To make a donation, visit http://ihcenter.org/groups/wdf.
He’s arch enemy number one to most backyard birders! Raiding bird feeders relentlessly until empty, they continue even to destroy the feeder itself. Squirrels can be an impossible pain in the keester, no matter how you try to solve the problem.
To the rescue…a quality squirrel baffle placed in the correct position. When installed properly, squirrel baffles make it impossible for these furry critters to get at feeders. Because of their amazing acrobatics, you must always remember it’s not just the height from the ground, but the horizontal distance from any jumping spot. They can leap tall buildings at a single bound, so feeders must be at least eight feet away from where squirrels can get a foot hold and jump across.
With the investment of a squirrel baffle (and they really aren’t even that expensive) you’ll save money by saving birdseed. You’ll also allow your feathered friends to dine in peace, thus seeing more of the activity you were hoping for.
If the squirrel baffle is a pole mounted one, be sure the bottom of the baffle is at least five feet from the ground. Squirrels will shimmy on up the pole, but will be foiled every time by the baffle. Knowing that you’ve finally won the battle, it’s a pretty entertaining site too!
Bird food, houses and birdbaths, we set them up in hopes of attracting feathered friends to our yards. We start watching and begin to notice much more about birds. Hoping to catch a glimpse of a new species every now and then, we simply “bird watch” and are taken away to another realm.
With the introduction of bird cams, we can catch so much more about bird’s nesting behavior and raising their young. It’s almost like a secret window into another world. The quality is superb, and allthough the price of bird cams has come down substantially, it’s still a pretty hefty investment for some.
Thanks to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, there’s a terrific site for viewing multitudes of bird cams in one place. The Nest Cams Project site offers viewers a drop-down menu of specific birds and their nesting process. They do ask for a donation to keep this site up and running, but for most choices on the menu you can scroll down to see some great video highlights. Definitely worth checking out!
From the Cornell Site: “Your gift keeps NestCams rolling on the fascinating behavior of breeding birds. Millions of web visitors have witnessed live video of birds courting, mating, laying eggs, and raising young. Thank you for supporting this project!”
There are no set rules in wild bird feeding, we offer birds different varieties of food that entice them and keep them coming back. Of course habitat plays a huge role, with places for shelter and nesting like mature trees, thickets and shrubs. The all important water source is also a big factor for attracting feathered friends.
Just because finches eat thistle, or nyjer seed, doesn’t mean they wont’ frequent other feeders offering different seed mixes. For the last few days, I’ve been seeing Black Capped Chickadees at the nyjer feeder. Now maybe it’s just the time of year, but I’ve never seen them at this feeder before. Also, the juvenile Eastern Bluebirds, who will eat suet during our cold winter months, have already started feeding at the suet feeder too.
A favorite treat for several birds is to mix thistle seed with finely chopped sunflower hearts. Placing this seed mix in the nyjer feeder attracts Juncos, Pine Siskins, Towhees and House and Purple Finches, as well as the Goldfinch.
In early spring, try offering nesting materials and encourage birds to take up residence by nesting in your yard. Collect dryer lint, pet hair, cotton yarns and fibers, and decorative mosses to create a nest ball with variety of materials that birds prefer. You can place them in a standard suet cage, or mesh produce bag from the grocery store. Of course commercial materials are available, and even some cool holders to accommodate them.
Just because the bright yellow feathers disappear in fall, it doesn’t mean these birds are gone. Remember to keep nyjer feeders out year round with fresh seed, as goldfinches and others will stick around during during winter months.
Fresh water is hands-down the best way to entice wild birds to your yard. Birdbaths really do attract feathered friends and keep them coming back… even more so than houses or feeders! Baths can range from pedestal styles to ground or deck mounted models, and of course hanging bird baths. Found in materials like ceramics, stoneware, copper and glass, birdbaths range from simple to elaborate works of art for ultimate garden decor.
You needn’t spend a small fortune to have a bird bath though, any shallow container that holds water works just fine for birds. A pretty plant saucer will make a great bathing spot. If ground predators lurk in the area, it’s best to raise the bath off the ground. The most important thing is the water be fresh. What’s the best kind of birdbath? The one you are willing to maintain.
This clever hanging bird bath can be made very quickly and inexpensively. Necessary materials are rope, a plastic plant saucer and a grapevine wreath, the decorative leaves are strictly optional.
First cut three pieces of rope- 5 feet in length. Knot them together at both ends, and place the grapevine wreath inside the ropes as shown here. Next place the saucer inside the wreath. If you opt for the decorative leaves, simply tuck them into the wreath and wind them around the ropes. Use more rope for hanging if necessary.
Fill with water and enjoy birds at their new refreshing oasis!
Yes, this post was planned for Finch Feeders, but a I received a very cool email this morning from a friend. Now I’m not sure if this has circulated or saturated the media, but definitely worth posting!
Several months ago (January [in Oregon ]), the weather stayed so cold that the bald eagles were cruising over our houses looking for helpless cats to make a quick meal.
They could not access fish that were at the bottom of the river and had gathered together.
Some kind souls decided to feed the eagles down at Goose pit so they would survive the cold spell. They gathered fish and started feeding the group of eagles huddled on the shore.
The photos below show what happened.
A former teaching colleague took these photos in front of his home. Incredible!
Feeding the Eagles!
A beautiful morning feeding the eagles, Jan. 2010
Once we started throwing out fish, they did not seem to fear us and word spread fast.
Eagles fighting for the fish. Jan. 2010
No zoom lens here, I was this close!
Here are the men who were feeding them. It was so amazing to get this close!
It was not too long ago that the American Bald Eagle was an endangered species.