There are fairly easy ways to turn your existing feeders into squirrel proof bird feeders. With some careful placement and a quality squirrel baffle, your squirrel headache will be solved for good!
Economical plastic or metal baffles may be installed for pole-mounted feeders and hanging feeders too. On the pole, the baffle sits below the feeder and keeps squirrels from reaching the feeder above. When used on hanging feeders, baffles act as a shield to keep the critters from reaching down past them to the feeder.
Some baffles, like the Twirl-A-Squirrel shown here, have a motorized compartment which reacts and spins when the weight is significantly increased. It’s very effective against squirrels, and extremely hilarious to watch. But don’t worry, it will not harm the spinning squirrel… only make him a bit dizzy – depending on how long he wants to hang on!
Check it out in this manufacture’s video clip:
We’d like to wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving Holiday!
Today I received this email of thanks from Defenders of Wildlife, and it was good news:
Thanksgiving is Thursday, and we here at Defenders have a lot to be thankful for.
Beth, thanks to your efforts and support, here are just a few things we’ve accomplished this year:
Instead of facing another deadly hunting season this fall, wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies once again enjoyed protections under the Endangered Species Act.
Polar bears, bowhead whales and other Arctic wildlife won a reprieve from Big Oil’s drills in the Chukchi Sea.
And since Monday, more than 38,000 supporters have urged President Obama to continue to protect this special place and the wildlife that depends on it to survive.
Hundreds of prairie dogs were moved to a new home on the Great Plains — and away from the threat of poisoning.
In the wake of the worst offshore oil disaster in U.S. history, tens of thousands of Defenders supporters mobilized to pass the CLEAR Act in the House of Representatives — critical legislation to help reform offshore drilling and restore habitat in the Gulf — and nearly 30,000 supporters have urged the Senate to do the same.
But we’re most thankful for the people who made these and many other wins for wildlife — and all our work — possible: you and the hundreds of thousands of caring Defenders of Wildlife supporters.
Our wildlife still faces some enormous challenges. But with the ongoing support of dedicated supporters like you, we can face these challenges head on.
From all of us at Defenders, thank you for all you do to protect our wildlife and wild places.
Defenders of Wildlife
For all kinds of youth groups and school projects, birdhouse kits make the perfect choice. While helping to instill a sense of stewardship in children, the birdhouse kits serve as real nesting sites for wild birds to roost and raise their young. With a severe shortage in natural nest sites, mostly due to habitat loss and competition from non-native birds, birdhouse kits help to fulfill a critical need for Mother Nature’s beaked buddies.
While the innovative kit at left is more like a puzzle, recycled plastic birdhouse kits arrive flat and ready for assembly. Bird feeder kits, and even bat house kits are available in durable and long lasting cedar too. It’s a terrific and fun way to help teach kids about the importance of conservation and our environment.
Whenever I read stories of school projects and birdhouse kits, it give me a good feeling that some folks actually “get it” and really do care. The Birdhouse Chick is more than pleased to offer a substantial discount on birdhouse kits purchased in quantities for any youth or school project. Please Contact us with your details, it’s just a small thanks for housing and feeding the birds! We’ll even send some ideas for home made nesting materials the kids can work on to further entice feathered friends.
Whimsical, yet totally functional, these hand carved wooden blue bird houses provide real nesting and roosting sites for feathered friends. Now mind you, they’re not really bluebird houses that Eastern Bluebirds are likely to use, but just plain fun blue bird houses!
Complete with clean-outs, entrances are proportionally sized for chickadees, finches, wrens, nuthatches and other small cavity-dwelling birds. Paints and finishes are non-toxic, and the wood is a fast-growth type, and renewable resource.
Entice wild birds to take up residence in your yard by providing birdhouses for them to raise their young. Clearly, they needn’t be a boring cedar box. Add charm and color to the landscape with fun and functional blue bird houses. As always, a birdbath filled with fresh water will attract more birds than you’ll believe. It’s the single most effective way to entice feathered friends to your place. And for the holidays…fun birdhouses make for an excellent gift for any birding enthusiast or nature-lover on your list. A gift that actually gets used and enjoyed for many seasons, while providing a valuable resource for Mother Nature’s beaked buddies!
First there’s shelter, in the form of nest boxes, or bluebird houses. But don’t expect success with just slapping up a house. Proportionally-sized for Eastern and Western Bluebirds, these houses have certain features required for a successful brood. A predator guard is a plus, and having a duplicate bluebird house nearby may help with the fierce competition by non-native birds like the House Sparrow. Placement is important too, as Bluebirds prefer their nest boxes in open spaces. Shelter also involves cover, protection from predators in the form of mature trees and shrubs.
Now bluebird houses can run the gamut from your basic nest box (which serves the purpose well) to detailed copper roof houses, and decorative artisan’s works. The main thing is proportion and size, and drainage. Some bluebird houses will have a raised screen on the floor to prevent parasites, others have built in predator guards, and some have clear acrylic viewing windows to check the progress of nestlings without disturbing them. Some may have all these features, while others may have none of them. You usually get what you pay for in this instance, but again, a basic nest box will likely do the trick.
Next is the feeder…Bluebirds are not seed eaters, and are not very likely to frequent this type of bird feeder. Traditional bluebird feeders are a “fly-in” style. They have have holes for the birds to enter and leave. Not many other species will use this kind of feeder…don’t ask me why bluebirds do! On occasion, I’ve seen Black Capped Chickadees enter our feeder in search of the coveted live mealworms. Tray feeders will also entice bluebirds if their favorite foods are offered. Number one choice…live meal worms. Once discovered, they’ll usually stick around for a daily offering of the juicy treat.
The last recommendation would have to be a birdbath. Fresh water offered on a consistent basis has got to be the single, most effective way to attract any wild birds. Especially in winter, a heated bath is a popular hangout where you’ll see many grateful little songbirds! Last winter, our Eastern Bluebirds over-wintered, and toughed out one of the most miserable winter seasons i can remember. Largely because of the heated bird baths, and live meal worms which were fed twice daily. Two successful broods last spring were truly a joy to watch fledge and grow. Once success is achieved…you’ll be hooked on Bluebirds…Happy Birding!
Last season a customer purchased this window hummingbird feeder in hopes of not only attracting the tiny jewels, but bringing them closer to home for better viewing. She seemed happy with her purchase, until I received a note saying there were ants swimming in the nectar!
Now this is perfectly understandable, ants being a constant battle with nectar feeders, but…. this window hummingbird feeder has a built-in ant moat.
So I proceeded to ask: “Is the moat filled with water” and she said “yes”. “Has the moat always been filled with water?” I asked, rather puzzled. After explaining that ants can’t swim, if the moat were consistently filled with water, this would be impossible. Ants just can not cross a body of water. So, my belief is that the water must have evaporated from the moat – it’s really the only logical explanation.
By the way, this is a great little window hummingbird feeder because it allows for full view of birds. It can also be used as a seed feeder during colder months, attracting more feathered friends for close-up viewing!
Some feeders may actually be hiding black mold.
In preparation for the winter season, I recently took down the hummingbird feeders. Prepped for a thorough cleansing in the dishwasher before packing them away for spring, one feeder in particular left me wondering: how does this one come apart? Well, it didn’t, and I proceeded to break one of the perches in trying to do so! I thought it was a pretty decent feeder, with 4 perches and a built-in ant moat, it was purchased from a “big-box store”.
To my surprise, black mold was found in the base, hiding in the recessed areas next to the bottom of the feeding ports. You couldn’t reach it even with the craftiest of brushes. After running this hummingbird feeder through the dishwasher, the ugly black stuff persisted. This mold can be deadly to hummingbirds, and purchasing a feeder that doesn’t come apart was not my brightest idea. Placed in the bin for recycling, this bargain hummingbird feeder is now history. You can bet that any future ones will be be totally disassemble-able!
Not only do natural food sources dwindle, but shallow pools and ponds tend to freeze, leaving birds and other wildlife without a consistent water source. Some folks believe birds can just east snow to get water, and in part that’s true. But it takes them a tremendous amount of energy to actually convert the snow to water. Energy that could be better spent on staying warm. Birds, like other beings, obtain energy from calories, so this process ends up being a terrible waste of precious calories for wild birds’ metabolisms.
Offering heated bird baths will encourage some species to over-winter in your yard and immediate area. Bluebirds especially, will stick around if heated bath water is readily available. Ground baths are also a great idea, because birds’ naturally bathe at ground level. These heated bird baths can also be quite enticing for other wildlife too.
Innovative birdbath heaters will allow you to convert your favorite bath into a heated one. New materials that are safe for all types of birdbaths make it simple to do so. Even resin, or plastic baths can utilize these heaters, there are heated mats, resin-cased heaters and the very cool Heated Rock.
This winter, consider adding heated bird baths to your landscape, or purchasing a bath heater for your existing birdbath. You’ll help feathered friends thrive and flourish during frigid temperatures, plus catch some quality bird-watching time!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
One woman’s seemingly endless battle to save innocent animals from vicious acts of cruelty or instant death by electrocution
Isla Mujeres, November 5, 2010 – The life of cats and dogs on this idyllic island is bleak. The local government has a despicable solution–population control by electrocution! Her organization has become one of hope; dedicating itself to rescuing and caring for these abused and discarded animals through spay and neuter clinics, fostering, and adopting.
Alison has spent ten years working with and supporting other rescue groups in the Yucatan. While continually addressing the big picture she has re-housed over four thousand animals, placing them with individuals and rescue groups in the US and Canada. In 2005 she received the Doris Day Animal Kindred Spirit Award and was invited to the first ‘Forum on Small Animal Over-population’ in Mexico City.
Isla Animal’s programs are run totally on donations. It’s Alison’s goal to educate pet owners and provide them with free services and basic supplies, such as food, flea and tick medication, shampoo, collars, leashes and medical supplies. On a typical day she has thirty to forty dogs at her house; most of them are sick and scared from a life on the streets – and these are the strong ones! Islanders drop the dogs off or tie them to her gate, or tourists find them by the side of the road. It takes time and love to get these animals ready for a good home but Alison is prepared to take care of each and every one until she can send them to a better place. Isla Mujeres is a tourist destination so the animals are considered unsightly and are eliminated in an effort to create a more pristine vacation destination. Alison is sure that if tourists knew what was truly going on they would want to do something about it.
Isla Animals desperately needs additional funding so that they may continue their wonderful work. Donations can be made via check, payable to Alison Sawyer, 1750 30th St., #197, Boulder, CO 80301, with ‘Isla Mujeres Animals’ noted on the check, or directly through PayPal. Please visit their website at www.islaanimals.org for more information on this incredible organization and how to alleviate the plight of these desperately mistreated animals.
Alison Sawyer Current is also the author of an intriguing novel, No Urn For The Ashes (Bayfire Press Publishing), and generously donates the proceeds from her book sales to further the care of her extended feline and canine family.
Ascot Media Group is providing public relations services to this humane organization at no charge in their attempt to help these animals in Mexico.
Georgia weather can be so finicky, we usually get cheated out of any decent spring and fall weather. With the last few days in the 70’s and nights around 50 degrees, a cold snap is headed our way. Predicted low temperatures are below freezing starting tomorrow night, until of course, we are back in the 70’s again next week.
There are several bird baths in the yard, (no – make that too many bird baths in the yard) that won’t fare well in freezing temperatures. The concrete pedestal bath for one, along with the ceramic pedestal bath will definitely crack. The plastic ground bath with the dripper will do the same.
I never really understood how folks could just dump the water and turn their bird baths over for winter? Fresh water is a critical element for birds’ winter survival. When temperatures drop below freezing, most shallow pools and ponds tend to freeze, leaving many wild birds no immediate water source.
In lieu of the nearing cold snap, tomorrow’s chores include winter preparations for feathered friends, almost a bird bath face lift if you will. Removing summer bath accessories like water wigglers (shown above) and drippers like this one, and adding heaters to the baths will keep birds flocking and happy! The deck-mounted bath conceals its heater inside, so it just needs to be plugged in…yay!
Adding heaters to your existing bird baths is one of the best ways to keep birds around. Last year our Eastern Bluebirds over-wintered, staying around through one of the nastiest winters on record.
Help feathered friends to thrive and flourish during frigid winter weather by creating a wildlife-friendly habitat with a consistent fresh water source, food and shelter.