With the lush foliage background, you can tell this photo was snapped in summer. But no matter what the season… squirrels love their feeders. We like squirrel feeders too because they help keep the crafty critters off the bird feeders.
This large capacity metal corn cob feeder keeps them happy and occupied. During really cold weather, we’ll add something squirrels absolutely adore. There’s probably some sitting right in your cupboards too… peanut butter! It’s really quick and simple to smear some right on the corn, and the extra calories give squirrels energy needed to stay warm. Peanut butter works with any corn cob or log feeder, and buying one institutional size jar usually lasts through the winter.
The logs are a great alternative to corn as they’re also very long-lasting. Actually compressed corn, each log is equal to about twelve ears of regular corn cobs. But you must be sure they’re securely attached, because like we said earlier, the “crafty critters” have managed to steal them once in a while! Twisting them to the top of the screw every few days does the trick.
And you just can’t mention feeding squirrels without bringing up the Bungee Cord Squirrel Feeder, better known as the Squngee! It’s a hoot to watch furry friends in action with this bouncing, swaying feeder… talk about keeping them occupied! Use the logs smeared with peanut butter on this, and get ready to laugh. It even has a bell to warn you when the action starts.
Although some folks despise them, feeding squirrels is fun. It’s good for them, good for your bird feeders, and the acrobatics can be quite entertaining as well. And if you’re pondering giving a squirrel feeder this holiday… don’t forget the peanut butter!
A very popular style is the tube. Platforms are great for versatility, and hoppers tend to have larger capacities. There’s bluebird, finch, oriole, and hummingbird feeders, and there’s peanut, fruit, seed, and suet feeders. Omg… where would one start? One feeder that’s capable of attracting several species is a great place to start. That and definitely a birdbath – even if it’s just a plant saucer with fresh water!
The cool Wave Feeder shown here accommodates black oil sunflower, which attracts a wide variety of birds. If you’re looking specifically for finches, it’s also available for thistle seed. Handcrafted in the USA of durable cedar, it’s one that will be around for many years! Although wavy is shape, it gets classified as a tube bird feeder because of the perches. Hoppers have ledges where birds perch to eat.
Not all tube feeders have perches though. Some offer “all-over” feeding with the body being screen or mesh. And a really innovative idea is the spiral tube feeder. Instead of perching or just clinging, birds actually “run the spiral” while dining. Now this may sound silly, until you’ve seen them in action! A peanut feeder is shown here, which proves tube feeders aren’t just for seed. The spirals offer options for shelled peanuts, thistle (or nyjer), and of course seed.
One other thing to consider when starting out: don’t go for the cheapest seed! It has fillers which end up on the ground and attract some less desirable birds. Spending the extra few dollars on a premium seed will absolutely bring better birds!
Though we all may seem to want more, most of us really have what we need. After viewing images of Hurricane Sandy, speaking with friends affected, and really taking it all in… I’m very thankful this year!
A roof above, with heat that works. A hot shower with a killer Speakman shower head. A comfortable bed, food in the fridge, pets at home where they belong. Birds to feed in the yard everyday (especially the bluebirds) pesky squirrels, even weeds that need pulling. A business that’s survived some rough times, and oh, the repeat customers are the best, really thankful for them! Distributors who are willing to go out on a limb (thanks Mel and Goldcrest), vendors who have faith, artists who craft such wonderful work.
These cool birdhouse kits make for an awesome nesting site for the Eastern Bluebird and Carolina Wren. The houses are assembled like a puzzle and are great projects for ages 4 to 104! In modern or traditional styles, check them out in action below:
Thistle seed adorns the snowman’s hat, gloves, buttons and eyes, and will be a welcome treat for Goldfinches. Don’t think you have any Goldfinches around right now? Betcha you do, they’re just not yellow this time of year. A dull olive- drab plumage is their coat for winter.
You can keep them around with fun finch feeders like these, a thistle feeder or two and a fresh water source (preferably heated). Come summer, that electric yellow plumage will once again grace your yard.
Back to Mr. Snowman as a great finch feeder: Simple ingredients like thistle (or nyjer) and chopped peanuts means no fillers, and that means no messy ground waste. House and purple finches will go for chopped peanuts in winter, as will many other resident birds. Peanuts are coveted for their high fat & protein content, extra calories that convert to energy needed to stay warm.
At about ten inches tall, and a good solid pound in weight, these feeders will last a while if protected from the elements… and squirrels! A weather guard or baffle is highly recommended 🙂
Hang some festive cheer in your yard, or give some away as a gift. Connecting with nature during the busy “holidaze” is always a perfect relaxer and de-stresser from all the chaos!
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Handcrafted wood birdhouses done in reclaimed materials and vintage hardware, no two exactly alike. Meant for the outdoors and feathered friends, they make the perfect nest site and roosting spot for cold nights. Truth be told, most folks prefer to keep them indoors because of their old world beauty, and unusual charm!
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GreaterGood.org Gives $45,000 To Animal Rescue Groups And Shelters
Disaster Grants Provide Relief In Wake Of Hurricane Sandy
Please donate whatever you can to help two-and four-legged victims of Hurricane Sandy.
(SEATTLE, WA–NOVEMBER 2012) –Liz Baker, executive director of GreaterGood.org, announced today that the first round of disaster relief grants, totaling $45,000, have been sent to animal rescue first responders and shelters dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. These grants were made possible by funding provided by GreaterGood Network’s The Animal Rescue Site (http://www.TheAnimalRescueSite.com).
“GreaterGood.org is providing $10,000 each for the Woodbridge Animal Shelter and the Humane Society of Atlantic County which have been hard hit by the flooding. We also are sending $25,000 to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to aid their efforts to rescue animals left behind in flooded areas,” explained Baker.
Both the Woodbridge Animal Shelter and the Humane Society of Atlantic County are located in New Jersey, which experienced some of the worst flooding following Hurricane Sandy. “Our shelter is approximately thirty feet from the Woodbridge River which flooded during the hurricane,” said Heather Campione, Woodbridge Animal Shelter Supervisor. “The water surge filled our basement and came five feet into our main floor.” Although able to move the animals out of harm’s way, the shelter lost all of their supplies, medicines, and food.
IFAW is currently conducting door-to-door searches in previously flooded areas to find pets left behind during evacuation.
Funding for these grants came from small, individual donations given through the Gifts That Give More [tm] program at The Animal Rescue Site (http://www.TheAnimalRescueSite.com).
The current grants were distributed by GreaterGood.org for immediate relief efforts. Additional grants to support rebuilding and related work will be announced later
In recent years, GreaterGood.org’s disaster relief grants for animal rescue following natural disasters have topped more than $1 million overall. These include support of IFAW and Humane Society International animal rescue efforts in Japan following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami; the ARCH rabies vaccination campaign of 50,000 animals in Haiti in 2010 following thee earthquakes there; and the care and feeding of animals impacted by storms in the United States.
At the beginning of 2012, GreaterGood.org’s donation of $75,000 paid for the rebuilding of the Guthrie, Oklahoma, shelter after it was struck by a tornado in 2011.
Through December 2012, visitors to TheAnimalRescueSite.com can select local shelters and rescue groups to receive additional grants in the $300,000 Shelter+ Challenge with Petfinder.com. More than $1 million in Challenge grants has been awarded since 2008 to nearly 300 shelters in North America through this program.
Usually a proponent of donating locally, American Humane, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and The Humane Society of the United States are on the ground helping animals reunite with their owners, or providing food and shelter to strays. Please donate whatever you can to help canine, feline, and human victims of Hurricane Sandy… this is home 🙁
Although the extra four feeders added for busy hummingbird migration weeks have come down and remain in storage until next September, one lonely feeder hangs. It’s an offering for passers-through, stragglers to refuel for their long road trip.
There are still hummingbirds in parts further north who are their way to winter grounds. A pit stop to re-fuel greatly increases their chances of a successful journey! Nectar solution is made stronger this time of year, offering more calories. Because Calories=Energy.
You can turn any hummingbird feeder (except really large capacity ones) into a window hummingbird feeder with sturdy hooks and window hangers. The Great Hang-Up, shown here, accommodates up to three pounds… secure and safe! It’s perfect for smaller nectar feeders, and seed feeders too. Close up views of bird behavior are a big part of the whole backyard birding attraction. Watching behavior up close, lets you determine birds further off in the yard just by how they act, and this is great if you have poor eyesight and never wear your glasses! Plus having the freedom to change the feeder with seasons is also very cool. Switch it up and try a window hummingbird feeder next season, with hangers like these, the possibilities are endless.
One fairly common sight during winter in colder locales (which most folks probably don’t even notice) is the unused, out of commission, over-turned bird bath. The scene is saddening. Obviously folks do this to keep them from freezing and cracking, but this is actually when birds need water most! Sure they can eat snow, (not ice though) but it takes their tiny bodies lots of energy to convert that snow to water. Calories=Energy=Warmth.
When temperatures freeze, shallow pools and puddles are the first thing to ice over, and many feathered friends may have become accustomed and dependent on these water sources. Not only for drinking, but bathing in winter is critical too! Feathers must be clean and oiled to work properly, for flying sure, but for insulation as well. Clean feathers are able to trap air pockets which help keep birds warm in frigid weather. It’s one of the innate, ingenious mechanisms they use to survive. You know… when you see them all puffed up and round looking, that’s air pockets between their feathers.
Offering a fresh water source (especially in winter) is an absolute, sure-fire way to keep birds around your place. It’s part of the reason our bluebirds brave cold winters here in the North Georgia mountains. Heated bird baths are an investment in your wildlife habitat. Just unplug for use year round and it’s likely one of the best investments in backyard birding. If a heated bath isn’t within budget, opt for a simple heater you can add to your existing bath… or even a shallow pan of water. Deeper plant saucers make great bird baths, and many of the heaters today are safe with resin and plastics. If your container is more than 2-3 inches deep, consider placing a large rock in the center for birds to land and perch safely.
Here’s one of our own baths turned heated bath for winter. It’s actually a poly-resin planter that looks like rock. It sits on a tree stump and blends nicely with the landscape. Birds love it because it’s shaded in summer, and offers somewhat of an escape from predators in the surrounding tree. They also like it because the water stays clean… that’s important! If you’re going to offer a water source, be sure to maintain it by keeping water fresh.
Help resident birds in your neck of the woods with heated bird baths this winter… betcha they stick around through spring and summer too!