Renewable resources are a good thing… and these wood birdhouses are just that! Hand crafted and turned from mango trees, the wood is sturdy and durable. Bright colors and fun shapes provide more than good looks too. These functional wood birdhouses have some nice features your birds (and you) will appreciate.
The distance from entrance to floor is substantial, thus helping to protect nestlings from predators. A simple clean-out on the back wall makes it easy to remove old nests too. Complete with drainage so nests stay dry, these cool birdhouses even come with an innovative iron hanger that lets you mount or hang your house in a snap.
Crafted in NW Thailand, the Mango tree’s life cycle is relatively short at about ten to fifteen years. New trees are planted when these birdhouses are turned from the wood that’s harvested. Even the wood shavings are used in the kiln-drying process, so the entire tree is used by the artisans – making these unique birdhouses quite eco-friendly… and good looking too!
Let’s face it, in any market you’ll find junk and you’ll find quality… doesn’t matter what it is, from products to services… there’s good and not so good. Many bird houses out there claim to be decorative, claim to be quality, and even claim to be functional – when they’re not!
Most times we get what we pay for. So if you purchase a $10 bird house, obviously you wouldn’t expect it to be around for too many seasons. These copper roof decorative bird houses are guaranteed to last a lifetime! They’re hand crafted in the USA, with meticulous construction and stunning quality.
PVC/Vinyl is the main material of the house itself, but you’d never know it. Gone are the slick, plastic-looking materials of yesterday. This vinyl looks and even feels like wood! Absolutely gorgeous in any landscape, these decorative bird houses are available from small to estate sizes. The cooper roof is an option too; in a beautiful, natural patina finish, or a bright, lacquered copper that stays bright and shiny for several years. It will eventually weather, but if desired, polish may be applied to keep the shine. The larger sizes are even complete with the decorative brackets shown. The vinyl collar simply slips over any standard 4×4 post.
In single and multiple compartments, there’s a decorative birdhouse to suit many tastes, and several species of wild birds too. The tops lift off for easy cleanout, and styles come with copper portals (predator guards) or perches. If you’re looking for a truly beautiful birdhouse, with no maintenance, that will last a lifetime… theses copper vinyls are it!
But what this man does for bird conservation is amazing! Steve Simmons is the nest box coordinator for Merced County, CA. He travels to surrounding counties and gives wonderful talks on his amazing setup over in Merced. This video shows Steve banding and discussing a wide variety of birds on Flying M Ranch. This video is high quality, 23 minutes long and discusses Bluebirds, Kestrels, Barn Owls, and more. And yes, you will in fact see a few unique birdhouses, in that they’re true duplex styles, one house accommodating two different species! Watch this highly recommended video below:
A friend of mine who’s new to birding recently received a nyjer feeder as a gift. Several times I’d asked if the finches were coming, but the answer was always no. Difficult for me to understand as our yard just forty miles away was inundated with Goldfinches.
The other day I asked again if there were any Goldfinches in the yard. This time my friend said no, none to be seen, but the seed was all over the ground. It only took a second to realize they were at the nyjer feeder if it was being emptied!
Thistle (or nyjer) is a non-germinating seed. It’s tiny grain-like shape is actually comprised of two parts: the seed itself, and the hull containing the seed. Goldfinches and others, will discard the hulls when feeding at nyjer feeders. These tiny black hulls tend to accumulate under the feeder as no other wildlife finds them suitable to the palette. For bird’s health, and aesthetics, it’s best to scoop up the hulls periodically as they become moldy and create a messy feeding area where fungus and bacteria could be easily spread.
So when my friend said “the seed’s all over the ground”… I knew right away the Goldfinches had discovered the new feeder. Maybe they just need to hone in on the bird watching skills?
Hopper and tube style bird feeders will not accommodate many birds. Cardinals, Jays, Juncos and larger Woodpeckers have a tough time on the small ledges or tiny perches, so platform feeders are better suited for these birds.
Most of the new seed catchers actually serve as platform feeders, offering a an additional area for other birds to feed. Not only will seed catchers and trays keep ground mess to a very minimum, they virtually eliminate wasted seed as well. This makes your seed go further… while spending less money on it!
This recycled plastic seed catcher is made for a 4×4 post. With removable screens for easy cleaning, the large 23 x 21-inch feeding area will entice new bird species to your feeder. The same tray is available in durable cedar, and also made for a standard 1-inch feeder pole. Hanging seed catchers and tray are also available, and most are adjustable to work with different bird feeders.
With so many variations in seed catchers, there’s plenty to choose from that will work with your existing feeder. Entice more birds to feeders by adding a platform-type seed catcher!
An interesting and well-written post in the Bluebird Monitors Forum.
Used with permission: by Keith Kridler, Mount Pleasant, Texas
Molting and migration already underway in EXTREME drought:
Watch around your homes and yards and find this past breeding year plumage laying around observe how worn off the ends of the primary flight feathers and tail feathers are. Look to see how the color has been shed or worn off from these feathers. Or how these feathers now have lost the top layer of cells and do not “reflect” their true colors.
Feathers are REALLY high in protein, as birds are molting they require a diet higher in protein than they normally do.
Flocks of grackles are arriving already. Hummingbirds are really beginning to flock to feeders. Only about half as many this year as in the past years possibly due to the severe drought this summer. In 2008 we had already fed over 50 pounds of sugar. This year we have only fed 20 pounds.
We are seeing small flocks of male Indigo Buntings everyday. Titmice and White Breasted Nuthatches are really busy as they empty the sunflower wild bird feeders and are stuffing extra seeds into holes and crevasses in bark. Scissor tailed flycatchers are moving through as are lots of other flycatchers. Inca and Mourning Doves as Bob mentioned are in very high numbers. Turkey and Quail breeding success was dismal across Texas this year.
Skunks, coons, possums and other four legged predators are moving to towns or raiding pet food and water dishes at rural homes. Wild Hogs are moving during the day and are actually breaking into bales of hay and eating grass as the soils are too hard to dig up roots. Hog scat is filled with bits and pieces of grasshoppers right now! Picture herds of 20 or more hogs out in pastures chasing large grasshoppers for a meal!
Small ponds in Texas are drying up or becoming toxic with stagnant water and or algae blooms. Small streams are powder dry. The Sabine River is dry almost 300 miles BEFORE it gets to the Gulf of Mexico. The Martin Lake coal fired power plant is running low on cooling water. Their average lake water temperature is now over 114*F or just about to the point where they are cooking fish and turtles.
Brutal heat continues locally with temperatures yesterday at 5 PM still at 106*F. The human population of Texas has tripled during HALF of a humans average lifespan. We moved past 25 million Texans now and are consuming 60,000 megawatts of electricity day after day during this heat.
Dry land farming has corn harvests in the state from 7 to 25 bushels of corn per acre….These should be from 100 to 125 in a normal rainfall year in this state or less than half of production from states in the “corn belt”.
With daylight hours starting to wane, the activity around backyard bird feeders is actually gearing up. Hummingbirds especially are frenzied around feeders, preparing for their migration south.Be sure to keep your feeders fresh and full until freezing becomes a problem.
Seed feeders too are being emptied at quicker rate. This cool glass bird feeder holds five pounds of seed, but it’s being filled every 3 or 4 days at our place. And it’s not the only one! Our North Georgia yard hosts about 20 different kinds of bird feeders!
It’s wonderful to watch, when the time is actually taken to sit on the deck with a cup of coffee and just watch. Some friends visited last week and said: “it looks like Hartsfield Airport at rush hour back here”. Honestly… at times it really does!
(Washington, D.C. , August 11, 2011) A five-year cooperative effort involving several organizations has succeeded in returning the Western Bluebird to Washington’s San Juan Islands. The bird had historically inhabited the islands, but changing land use practices and a paucity of nesting sites meant the species had not nested there for over 40 years.
Over the course of the five-year project, biologists with the Western Bluebird Reintroduction Project captured and translocated 45 breeding pairs of Western Bluebirds from an expanding population at Fort Lewis Military installation, Washington, and another four pairs from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The birds were kept in aviaries on San Juan Island prior to release to acclimate them to their new surroundings.
One pair of translocated birds nested in the first year, and in each succeeding year the nesting population size has increased. Over the five years, 212 fledglings were produced. Most encouragingly, some of those fledged birds have returned each year and are now part of the breeding population, giving hope that the population will be able to sustain itself into the future.
“It is gratifying to have the hard work of so many people bear fruit with the result that we now see these birds coming back to an area they had once called home. This year, the islands are home to 15 breeding pairs of Western Bluebirds that fledged 74 birds,” said Bob Altman, project leader with American Bird Conservancy. “We are very optimistic about the future of this population,” he said.
The project collaborators included American Bird Conservancy, Fort Lewis Military Installation, Ecostudies Institute, San Juan Preservation Trust, San Juan Islands Audubon Society, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and The Nature Conservancy of Washington.
Thirty birds returned to the San Juan Islands this year. Ten were translocated birds from previous years, 18 were fledged from previous years, and two were of undetermined origin. The 15 pairs of birds built 25 nests, of which 14 were successful.
“This year saw record breaking cool, wet weather through June, meaning everything, including bluebird nesting, was about three to four weeks behind. This resulted in reduced productivity from the previous year. House Sparrows also caused three or four nesting failures, which is something we may need to address in coming years,” Altman said.
The project is now moving into a two-year monitoring phase to determine the stability and growth of the population, and the need for future population management.
“We are very pleased to have achieved our goal of establishing a breeding population, however, 15 pairs is by no means a large enough population to be considered secure, so we are exploring ways to enhance it beyond the initial five-year period,” he said.
One potential enhancement is Western Bluebird translocations in nearby British Columbia that may be starting next year. The San Juan Islands are only 20-25 miles as the bluebird flies from the proposed release site on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, and it is likely that the continuation of translocations in British Columbia will help to sustain the San Juan Islands population in the future.
In tandem with the translocations, project partners also are working to conserve the oak-prairie ecosystem that the birds depend on. Toward that end, the San Juan Preservation Trust made a key prairie-oak land acquisition – 120 acres in the center of the San Juan Valley- which hosts two nesting pairs of bluebirds and is a primary location at which flocks of bluebirds congregate during the post-breeding season. In addition, approximately 600 nest boxes have been put up on the islands to provide additional nesting opportunities for the returning birds.
Altman said that “the project would not have been possible without the help of numerous people on the San Juan Islands, who hosted aviaries and nest boxes on their properties, helped construct nest boxes and move aviaries, provided materials and project equipment, and helped monitor nest boxes and look for released birds. Further, he added “I don’t know of any other bird reintroduction project that relied completely on so many private landowners”.
A most somber day, yesterday I had the saddest situation, of having to put my horse and (best friend) down for her final resting place. A broken leg can not be mended, but I hope in time that broken hearts do mend.
At 23 years of age, she never acted or looked like her years might have told. With personality plus, Sweets was the best mare in the world! She was the stables’ guest horse when someone needed a mount for a friend to ride. She would lead, follow, go through water, fast, slow… whatever you wanted. She could be a baby-sitter or give you an exhilarating ride to raise adrenaline.
For 17 years we had a most special bond, I could walk in the stables and not even say a word… but she knew I was there and would call for me. I’m so very sad, and today I’m scheduled to work half-day at the stables. It will be eery and uncomfortable-walking by her empty stall. There are others I cared for and looked after, Woody the big warm blood, who looks older than his 26 years due to cushing’s disease. And Aqui, the abandoned thoroughbred, who the owner let stay (in a stall) to live out his life.
I’m also the “bird lady” at the stables, and make the hummingbird nectar, clean, and fill the feeders every few days, as well as fill the other window bird feeders on the break room windows. The cats… always sneaking them wet food against the owner’s wishes. They’re supposed to be mousers. Now it feels like my tie to the stables has been severed, but who will take care of all this stuff now? In a few hours I’ll head over and hope for the best…no mental breakdown.
Rest in Peace Sweets 🙁
Moat: Webster’s defines it as “A wide, deep ditch, usually filled with water, surrounding a medieval town or fortress”. And most ant moats are filled with water to alleviate the pesky ant problem… you see, ants can’t swim! They can not cross the water inside the ant moat to gain access to sweet nectar.
Some ant moats however, operate beautifully without the use of water. This pretty wooden ant moat is deemed the “Anti-Ant Moat” and works perfectly. It does so because a special material is inserted on the under-side of the moat. Now I’m not quite sure what it is, but I do know ants avoid it. The reason I’m so sure of this is because I use one of these non-water ant moats with this substance in it, a green plastic one that has got to be at least five years old… and it still works great!
One trick when using ant moats is to add a drop of salad oil to the water during extreme heat. This helps to slow the evaporation process, because an empty ant moat just won’t cut it. So what if you’ve got a staked hummingbird feeder? Ants can be a real pain in the butt-crawling directly up the stake and ruining fresh nectar. Hummers won’t drink nectar contaminated with ants. This is where ant baffles are used, with staked hummingbird feeders. They’re pretty much the same design as standard ant moats, but placed on the stake and used upside down. Now how would an upside down ant moat hold water you ask? Petroleum Jelly… coating the underside of the ant baffle with this handy stuff keeps ants at bay!
Don’t ever let ants ruin your hummingbird experience, or your nectar again. Use ant baffles and ant moats to keep ants out!
Oh yeah… and the simple nectar recipe: 1 cup plain table sugar to 4 cups of water-nothing else. No red dye needed either. Never use honey or artificial sweeteners as they’re harmful to hummingbirds. You don’t even need to boil the water, but using some will dissolve sugar quicker and more effectively. Right now, hummers need to double their body weight in preparation for the long migration home. Central and South America are very far away, so the nectar solution may even be a little stronger at 1:3 instead of the usual 1:4 ratio.