Well yes actually! Because goldfinches are the birds with the latest nesting season, and because we saw this cool post over at 10,000 Birds, something on nyjer feeders seemed appropriate.
One of the sweetest little resident songbirds, they’ll stick around your place if a consistent food and water source is provided. Although they may not be as pretty in winter, their song remains the same.
The article we found interesting was on the Winter Finch Forecast and conveyed some great info on the why, when and where of several species of finches. Did you know crossbills and grosbeaks were part of the finch family? We didn’t!
For some great photos and worthy information, check out the article here
If versatility is the name of the game, and multi-use is an appealing idea, then you can’t beat peanut bird feeders to fit the bill. Regardless of style, their coils, screens or grids offer spacious openings for whole or shelled nuts… and more!
High in protein and fat, peanuts provide birds the extra calories needed in cooler weather and throughout migration periods. An energy-packed treat, they’re actually helpful to birds year-round. Right now you’ll find chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers and others caching these gems in tree cavities and other hiding places for later use. Sneaky nuthatches are often seen raiding the caches instead of eating at the feeders!
Seasonally, you can use these same feeders to entice feathered friends with nesting materials, fruit and even suet. Although suet can be messy, most peanut bird feeders are dishwasher safe. This architectural copper style accommodates whole or shelled peanuts, along with the above mentioned treats. Birds are able to enter like a fly-thru feeder or cling to the screen for a tasty treat.
Forget the boring tubes, peanut feeders come in all shapes and sizes to complement all spaces, and we’re pretty sure birds would approve of any of them!
The busy hummingbird season’s winding down, and all of a sudden you’ve got ants who’ve discovered the nectar… yuck! Hummingbirds won’t drink (or prefer not to) from feeders with ants or bees, or any insects in their nectar – just doesn’t taste too good. If buying an ant moat this late in the season isn’t so appealing to you, there’s an easy way to get around the pests in your nectar!
Vaseline! Yes a dab of petroleum jelly around the hanger will thwart ant’s passage. If your feeder hangs in direct sunlight (which really isn’t the best location) just try to be sure that if the gooey stuff melts-it doesn’t enter the feeder’s ports. As the one in charge of six hummingbird feeders at the stables, an even better alternative was discovered this year.
It’s called Swat, and it’s purpose is to keep flies and gnats off horses’ wounds, out of their ears, or away from their eyes. There’s two kinds: original which is pink, and their newer version, which is clear, but like always… original is best due to the thicker consistency. They made it in clear because some folks don’t care for the “war paint” effect on their horse. Anyway… this stuff rocks as far as an ant moat! A dab around the hangers back in July… and it’s still working!
And the cool deck-mount feeder above? Parasol stopped making it for this reason… ants and no way to use a moat. The Flower Box is still around (in lavender and green too) and the same principle applies with the Vaseline application. A dab around the hangers and back of the basket keeps this hummingbird feeder ant-free… sans the moat.
Placing squirrel feeders or any wildlife feeder for that matter does have it’s ups & downs. There’s also quite a bit of controversy over attracting and feeding wildlife in residential areas. But you wouldn’t think feeding a few squirrels would be any big deal, right? Right… it’s not, except when larger critters start invading those feeders-and your other ones too.
Even the long-lasting corn logs used on the bungee squirrel feeder are disappearing! Now these are compressed corn, and equal to about twelve ears of regular corn cobs. They usually last at least a few weeks… but whole logs are disappearing. You can bet that’s not the work of hungry squirrels!
Since it’s a busy time for hummingbirds with their migration south, extra hanging feeders have been placed on the deck to accommodate the crowds – we’re up to seven of them now! Still being warm in GA, the nectar needs changing every few days, but we don’t mind in the least because the tiny sprites are so mesmerizing to watch. What we do mind however, is having to take those feeders in at night!
In all the years of offering nectar, nobody’s ever bothered the feeders, except maybe a few ants or bees from time to time. Well, somebody’s being a real pain in the butt this year, as broken feeders and sticky nectar all over the deck have been discovered twice last week. We’ve heard of folks having to bring in seed feeders at night due to bears, but we’ve never encountered a problem with nectar feeders before. Taking them all inside at night, then getting them back out early in the morning as hummingbirds are screaming for their food is a real pain! Just add it to the list of what we crazy folks are known to do for our birds!
Up-cycling seems to be a popular word these days, in fact it’s even a trend. The art of re-purposing, recycling and reusing materials and things to make new and useful things. From the artsy perspective, most of it centers around vintage finds, so it’s no wonder new stuff is made to look old and worn. Even designer jeans with their acid washes and holes can fetch a few hundred bucks!
It’s part of what makes these unique birdhouses appealing. But why? First and foremost, you won’t find them stacked on shelves in a huge fulfillment center awaiting mass purchase and shipping! Because they’re handcrafted from scraps and vintage materials, no two are ever even the same. That’s makes them pretty unique right there.
A primitive or folk art design is usually timeless, not a phase that’s here and gone. In fact these houses are actually designed with birds in mind (yes, many designs don’t even take birds into consideration).
Some of the bird-friendly features are:
A screen set above the floor. This makes it easier for mom to construct her nest with less material, it allows circulation and inhibits insect infestations which can be fatal to new hatchlings and nestlings.
Locking door on back for easy clean-out. If nests are not removed after babies have fledged, many birdhouses are deemed useless. Very few birds will re-use an existing nest. Also, removing the nest provides another spot to raise young for those birds who have two or three clutches per year. In fall when nesting is through, the house provides a roosting spot for cold nights, and protection from predators.
Proper ventilation and drainage are important things in the nest box world, and many designs don’t even address the issue. Placement of entrance is a big deal too. The hole should never be at the very bottom where predators have easy access. And the size of the entrance matters as well. When you see little tiny houses with large entries, or huge birdhouses with little tiny entries, well… this makes no sense, and it’s not good for the birds 🙁
This artist is local, which to me is a positive aspect on many levels. These reclaimed materials have been outdoors withstanding elements for a long time, which means they’ll continue to do so over the years. Now that’s good for the environment, good for the local economy, and above all… good for the birds!
The only good thing about standing at the sink is catching the bird action on the deck! At present there’s five hummingbird feeders, two bird baths, and an open tray feeder… which squirrels usually hog. And flowers-gotta have plants and color to complete the scenery.
Hearing a rustling noise, and seeing movement in those flowers from the corner of my eye, it deserved a closer look. There were two goldfinches feeding and flitting amongst the zinnias. It was pretty cool and well worth a photo, so out on the deck I went with camera in hand. Well, the electric yellow birds didn’t make the shot… but my blue toes did 🙁
In fall, spent flowers like zinnia, coneflower, sunflower… and lots of others with seed heads provide a bounty of food for wild birds. They’re actually nature’s finch feeders. So next time you have the urge to dead-head those spent blooms… don’t! Leave them a while longer so they can do what nature intended… feed the birds.
Most times it’s true, you really do get what you pay for from a quality perspective. Although these two stunning birdhouses appear identical, they are not. Looks can be so deceiving!
One is proudly crafted in the USA (in a mom & pop shop-supporting American jobs and our own economy) while the other is a mass produced knock-off from overseas. Can you tell the difference? Barley noticeable just by looking at the images, right?
Both seem to have identical features, from the finial down to the decorative brackets… great knock-off, huh? The main feature that sets this copper roof birdhouse apart is the basic material: vinyl versus wood. Bet you still can’t really see the difference! That’s because the vinyl one made in the USA is such superb quality… it looks like wood! We’ve even had a customer or two over the years call us with concerns that their order was for a vinyl house – but they received a wooden one!
Sure the price tag is higher for the vinyl version, but it’s guaranteed to last because it’s impervious to weather and insects. In fact it’s even guaranteed to look new 5 or 10 years down the road! How many manufacturers can give that kind of assurance on their products? Actually very few come to our minds. The wooden house will absolutely fall prey to the elements, it may take a year or two, but down the road cracks, splits and warping are inevitable. And heaven forbid a pesky squirrel decides he likes the house enough to chew on it! We’re not knocking the wood version because it really is a great copy, it’s just a well know fact that with any wooden item left outdoors over time-Mother Nature and the elements will take their toll.
Making an investment in your landscape, be it for curb appeal, the birds, or both shouldn’t cause heartache down the road. Know what you’re purchasing, where it’s made, and any guarantees that come with it… regardless of the item. Please support USA made and keep small business in business.
Oh yeah, which is which? The one on the right is durable vinyl and proudly made in the USA 🙂