Archive for the 'Nesting Material' Category

encourage birds to nest in that edible birdhouse after the party’s over!


January 26, 2013
posted by birdhouse chick @ 8:55 pm

Encourage nesting in your edible birdhouse once the seed's goneSo all the food’s gone and the party is over, right? Nope… the fun is just start starting with spring not too far off! And if anything like last year, spring will again come early 🙂

Although it makes an awesome feeder, the All Season’s Wren Casita edible birdhouse is the perfect nest site-for more than just wrens. Some folks have inquired how to re-seed them for extended use as feeders. I suppose peanut butter might work as a good base… but the manufacturer sure isn’t giving away their secret so fast!

So just how does one encourage nesting? It’s all about habitat, so start by offering a fresh water source. No fancy-pants birdbath needed, (unless you’d like one in your yard) something as simple as a plant saucer filled with water works great. On the deck, step, rail, tree stump…wherever! Drill three holes in the sides of a plastic one and make a quick hanging bath should ground predators lurk in your yard (cats). Optimal depth is just 2-3 inches for birds to bathe and wade comfortably. If your dish or saucer is deeper, consider a large rock in the center for birds to perch, or lining the bottom with river rock, or a few layers of pebbles.

Offer nesting materials to encourage songbird residency in your edible birdhouse once the food's goneNext… nesting materials! Again, you can do this one yourself, no fancy store-bought kits necessary (but we do offer some cool ones). Figure out a vessel to hold the materials; a suet cage works great, as does a mesh produce bag from the grocery store (like the kind apples come in). Then start to gather the goods! Some favorites include:

  • Decorative mosses like Spanish, sphagnum, green sheet moss, raffia, and that dried straw stuff. Pluck some from one of your house plants!
  • Feathers are adored by tree swallows, and bluebirds have been known to add a few here and there as well. Really cheap at a craft store, or any un-dyed feather duster will do-preferably clean.
  • Bright cotton yarns, save these from anywhere you can
  • Pet hair is huge favorite of chickadees, titmice, wrens and others. (Not recommended if treated with flea/tick medication)

more nest material to encourage use of that edible birdhouseLive anywhere near a horse farm? Horse hair is the best, and we give it away in the spring! The key is to get the materials out before nesting season actually starts. That way birds see it and become familiar, knowing that when it’s time, the goods are right there for the pickins! Avoid placing materials in any birdhouses as avian amigos prefer to do their own decorating! Simply hang from a branch where they’ll see it. Also, don’t pack the vessel too tightly, as you’ll want the materials to dry quickly after a rain shower.

Offering nesting materials will absolutely encourage nest building around your yard, and extend the use of that edible birdhouse!

Thanks for housing the birds 🙂

fun peanut bird feeders do more than peanuts


May 31, 2012
posted by birdhouse chick @ 12:39 am

fun peanut feeders are versatile for more wild bird offeringsSince variety is considered the spice of life, try offering birds something a little more exciting than just plain old seed. You’ll attract a broader range of species in the process too.

Peanuts! Jays, Nuthatches, chickadees, woodpeckers and more love peanuts. Shelled or whole, they’re a special treat packed with nutritional value for feathered friends – which makes them a great choice for winter feeding. Birds won’t mind them at all in summer though!

This fun wreath peanut feeder features a mod design resembling an old slinky. In powder coat metal, it won’t rust and squirrels can’t chew through it either. There’s a trick to filling this feeder because it takes two hands, so here’s a quick tip: Sit down, and brace the feeder between your legs. This allows for the two-handed action required for pouring them from the bag, otherwise peanuts end up all over the floor. Been there, and done that!

The cool thing about the wreath, or coil design is the options it affords for your birds. In summer, fruit is a perfect choice to attract migratory birds. Apple, pear, or orange slices, and even grapes are wonderful choices for cat birds, orioles, tanagers, woodpeckers and others.

Early spring is absolutely the best time for offering nesting materials too… and so simple with this peanut bird feeder! Bright cotton yarns, decorative mosses, feathers, and even pet hair are a few favorites that will encourage nest building around the yard. Just fill the wreath, pull some materials through to get started, and hang it from a branch where birds will see it. Don’t pack materials too tightly though. Should rain saturate them, you’ll want enough air to pass through enabling the materials to dry fairly quickly.

Even when using as a peanut feeder, you can still “mix it up” by adding suet balls or suet chunks in with peanuts. Birds will love it, and they’ll be back for more!

By the way, this photo was taken in our backyard, so when it shows up other places… please remember you saw it here first. This is how we ship them, assembled, filled and ready to go, with extra peanuts too!

Made from wool? Yes, wool… not wood birdhouses


March 7, 2012
posted by birdhouse chick @ 12:24 pm

Add these fun wool houses to your wood birdhouses to encourage nest buildingWhile scouring the Atlanta Market in early January, we thought these birdhouses were just too cool! After looking at a gazillion wood birdhouses, is was like “what the heck… wool birdhouses?”

They were so darn cute, but were they functional like wood birdhouses? Yes, because wool naturally sheds rain. You can provide a real nest site (and killer, unique gift) with these fun & functional wool birdhouses!

Handcrafted from felted wool and hand-died yarns, they’re made with sustainably harvested materials including sheep wool, hemp and bamboo. And, these fun hand-felted wool birdhouses are created by skilled, Fair Trade artisans in Katmandu, Nepal, supporting both urban and village women.

If the surface gets wet it will easily air dry, they can be used indoors for a whimsical accent, or outside where birds can make a home to raise their young. Another really cool thing is that some birds will even snag the colorful fibers to build their own nests, and with the mild winter temps, nesting season is already upon us here in the Southeast.

The 1.25-inch entrance will accommodate chickadees, titmice, wrens, and other small cavity dwelling songbirds. These amazingly cute birdhouses are designed for year-round outdoor use, and will maintain their shape for at least one year, with a longer life span if hung in a sheltered area. The bright colors may begin to fade if left in direct sun for more than two months. They’re a pretty generous size too, measuring 8.5 inches tall by 5.5 wide.

We can’t wait to hang one in our yard (they’re on their way now) and see who takes up residence, and see which birds enjoy feathering their nest with the bright yarns!

get them buzzing at your window hummingbird feeder


February 17, 2012
posted by birdhouse chick @ 1:14 pm

Entice more sprites to your window hummingbird feeder with Pop's Swing and Hummer Helper Nesting MaterialWith the mild winter season across most of the country this year, it won’t be too long before the hummingbirds are back! Unlike any other songbirds, the tiny sprites are really in a class of their own. If you already have them around your place, then you know what I mean. If not, this is the year to feed, plant, and attract them to your yard.  The rewards are mesmerizing and tenfold! And, no birdseed to buy… you can make your own nectar from plain table, or cane sugar (no substitutes) and water.

To further entice hummingbirds to your window hummingbird feeder, moving water is always a huge attraction! Here are two other very cool accessories which promise Pop's Hummingbird Swing is a fantastic accessory to hang near your window hummingbird feederto bring them buzzing! Check out Pop’s Hummingbird Swing and video below, and Hummer Helper Nest Material (endorsed by The hummingbird Society).

Place this simple but elegant Hummingbird Swing near your feeder and hummingbirds will use it as a territorial perch to watch over their food source. Tested and trusted, check out the video below. Swing, Eat, Chase away other hummingbirds.. repeat! Enjoy!

Hummer Helper Nest Material has actually been endorsed by The Hummingbird Society as being the only commercial nest material that will increase visits to your window hummingbird feeder. By encouraging nesting, juveniles will follow parents to the feeders, and if the habitat is right… those same hummers will return next season! Site fidelity plays a huge role in hummingbird migration, if they find a place they like, they return to that place year after year. Pretty cool, huh?hang the hummer helper nest material and attract more sprites to window hummingbird feeder

be ready for the season with homemade nesting materials


February 9, 2012
posted by birdhouse chick @ 7:13 pm

Gathering nesting materials now will encourage nest building this season around your yard.The cold weather of winter leaves behind some clues for us (if we look) from the previous busy season of the avian world. Simply look up and take notice. Barren-looking trees with their foliage stripped will reveal the nests of several species, and what they’ve used for nesting materials.

Large, messy nests are usually the work of squirrels, while a smaller nest consisting of twigs and grasses may be that of a Cardinal, Blue Jay, or Mockingbird. An even smaller nest with tightly woven plant fibers, maybe even some milkweed or thistle down still attached would be the work of an American Goldfinch. You’d have to search a bit harder to find nests from Bluebirds, Chickadees, or Nuthatches, as these birds nest in cavities or birdhouses. You can easily encourage nest building around your place this season by offering nesting materials before the season actually starts. Although there are many cool kinds of materials and holders available, this is most definitely a “do-it-yourselfer”!

Start by gathering nesting materials now. Feathers and pet hair are preferred by Chickadees, while decorative mosses (Spanish, Sphagnum, and that thin, curly straw-like stuff) might be used by many species mentioned above. Bright cotton yarns add a nice touch too, as variety is the spice of life. Although I’ve always heard that dryer lint is a good one… our local birds have never touched it when previously offered. Stay away from plastics, fishing line, and the like. These can get tangled around nestlings or their legs, proving to be hazardous, and sometimes fatal.

Now, what to put your nesting materials in? That part is simple! A standard suet cage works perfectly, as do the mesh produce bags from the grocery store (the kind apples come in). The Suet and Fruit Feeders often work well for nesting materials tooSpring Feeder shown here is just that, meant for fruit or suet. We’ve found whole peanuts and our nesting materials work great in them too. Talk about versatility! Put a mixture of materials in several holders and hang them from branches around your yard where the birds will see them. Do pull some materials through to get started, but don’t pack them in too tightly. Birds need to be able to pull them out fairly easily, and should the rain saturate the nesting material, it will dry quickly if air can flow through it. So start gathering… and here’s to many successful broods this season!

 

The Pop-Outz is Great for Nesting Materials Too!


December 7, 2011
posted by birdhouse chick @ 6:42 pm

Offer your own nesting materials in this cool recylced plastic suet feederThis mod, recycled plastic thing is called a Pop-Outz. It’s actually a suet feeder that makes for a new and fun way to feed birds this convenient an economical treat. Suet greatly benefits birds in winter as it’s loaded with extra fat and protein. These calories are converted into energy which helps birds stay warm in frigid weather.

We’ve given away hundreds of these feeders with orders, just because they’re so groovy and versatile… and they help keep plastics out of landfills too 🙂

Versatile? You bet! Pop-Outz make for the perfect vessel for offering nesting materials to birds. In our notes to customers, here’s what we tell them: “In early spring the Pop-Outz is perfect for offering nesting materials. Bright cotton yarns, feathers, decorative mosses, and even pet hair are a few favorites to encourage nest building around the yard. Just fill, pull some materials through the holes to get started, and hang from a branch where birds will see it. Enjoy!” Now if you’ve made a purchase with The Birdhouse Chick in the past year or two, you’ve likely seen that note before!

Nesting materials will usually work in any kind of suet feeder, but these are just fun, and something a little different than the standard cage. Put your suet feeder to work super duty year-round. In summer, fruit is a great choice for migratory birds, whole peanuts work well in cold weather, and of course, load up with home made nesting materials in early spring to encourage nest building around your yard!

Offer Nesting Materials Many Ways


May 21, 2011
posted by birdhouse chick @ 9:46 am

A Pop-Outz id perfect for nesting materials tooFor most of April and May, we’ve been giving away free nesting materials with all orders. Throughout most of the spring season, you can encourage birds to take up residence at your place with nesting materials. Different species build their nests accordingly, so we’ve used varied materials to make up the packages.

Shown here is a Pop-Outz suet feeder, and we’ve been giving them away too! The recycled plastic makes a perfect container for offering the nesting materials. Suet is always a welcomed treat for both resident and migratory birds and the Pop-Outz is a super fun way to serve it. No-melt suet or doughs are made specifically for warm weather feeding and the energy boost really helps out migratory birds after a long journey.

But back to the nesting materials, ours were comprised of horse hair (from mane, tail and body), decorative mosses, like Spanish, sphagnum, and the yellow straw-like stuff, feathers and strips of aspen wood. Aspen fiber happens to be another favorite among North American birds, and is found in many of the commercial nesting material kits.

A mesh produce basample of home made nesting material in the yardg from the grocery store (like the kind apples come in) also works great for offering nesting materials, and we use them around our yard. Things like the Birdie Bell are also wonderful for nest materials, plus year-round feeding too.nesting materials in the birdie bell

Entice birds to take up residence at your place by creating a suitable and friendly environment. Food, water and shelter are the basics, be it natural or man-made… the birds will thrive and flourish!

Hold your nuts in all kinds of peanut bird feeders!


April 14, 2011
posted by birdhouse chick @ 11:14 am

Fun wreath peanut bird feeder for whole peanutsAttract many kinds of birds… and squirrels too if you don’t add a baffle to peanut bird feeders! Wood Peckers, Nuthatches and Blue Jays especially love whole peanuts in the shell, and there are so many cool ways to offer up this wild bird delicacy. There are lots of peanut bird feeders available for shelled peanuts too if you’d rather not contend with the ground waste, and birds like them equally as well. The wreath feeder shown here makes a fun peanut feeder, fruit feeder, or even a  nesting material container in spring.

A Recycled Plastic Double Suet Feeder works great for feeding peanuts too

 

A plain old suet cage or basket is a great way to offer peanuts. These cages, whether double, single, inexpensive, or quality recycled plastic make perfect peanut bird feeders. They’re terrific for offering nesting materials in spring, and work wonderfully for serving fruit in summer to attract migratory birds. Now that’s versatility! Even if you don’t feed suet to your birds, the cage-like design makes them perfect for year round use. In fact, this recycled plastic double suet feeder is actually deemed a three-in-one feeder-for suet, peanuts, or fruit.

A suet feeder sreving fruit to orioles, make great penutut bird feeders tooThis suet feeder has Orioles chowing down on oranges in summer, but you can attract a wide variety of feathered friends year round with suet feeders used for peanuts, nesting material, and oh yeah… suet too!

 

add this near your window hummingbird feeder


March 18, 2011
posted by birdhouse chick @ 9:59 pm

Juveniles will visit window hummingbird feeders tooWith the hummingbird migration in full swing, it won’t be long before the tiny sprites are in your neck of the woods. Already spotted in LA, SC, TX and all along the Gulf Coast, its just a few short weeks before they’ll infiltrate up the East Coast and Midwest, ultimately reaching Alaska, British Columbia and Canada.

Aside from your hanging or window hummingbird feeder, you can further entice hummers with moving water such as birdbath fountains and bubblers, and of course, nesting material.

The Hummer Helper nesting material has been tested and proven to increase the numbers and activity of hummingbirds at your feeders. How you might ask? Because if suitable nest sites are found in your yard, juveniles will also visit feeders, including your window hummingbird feeder. If nectar is always kept fresh, and there’s an enticing water feature, you can bet the same hummingbirds will be back next year! They’re known to practice “site fidelity” meaning that attractive diggs will remain their site of choice the following year. Hummer Helper Nesting Material has even been endorsed by The Hummingbird Society for its effectiveness at promoting nesting by hummingbirds.

offer nest material near your window hummingbird feeder

Hummingbirds aren’t the only ones who will use this nesting material either, American Goldfinches also adore the white fluffy stuff and will use it for their nesting season in late June through July.

Encourage nesting in your yard through wildlife-friendly habitat. Food water and shelter are the keys, whether natural or man-made. Nectar-producing flowers provide food, while shrubs help with predator protection and provide nesting spots, these will attract many species of wild birds. Water is the best way to attract even more feathered friends too. Mature trees, fruit or berry-producing trees, and even brush piles serve many wild birds well. Never throw out or burn garden debris, if space allows, use it to create brush piles in the back of the yard… your wildlife will thank you for this valuable and natural cover!

Offer nesting materials early to further entice birds


February 11, 2011
posted by birdhouse chick @ 3:41 am

The Birdie Bell Holds Nesting Material and MoreEncourage birds to nest in your yard by offering them a good variety of nesting materials. Simple things you may likely already have around your home are fantastic, items which birds will use for nest building.

Got a pet? Cat and dog hair are some favorites, as are feathers, and decorative mosses. Spanish moss, sphagnum moss, raffia and aspen fiber are perfect nesting materials birds will go for! Brightly colored cotton yarns add to the mixture also helps grab their attention. One of the tricks is to have your nesting materials out before the nesting season begins, and in plain view where birds will easily see them.

Lots of kits and fun holders are available for wild bird nesting materials.  The Birdie Bell shown here actually does triple duty. It will hold fruit in summer for the more exotic, migratory birds, and seed bells or suet in winter to help sustain your regular crew. Come spring, simply fill the bell with nesting material. An item like this with year round usage is a good value. But truth be told… you can use a simple suet cage to offer nesting materials as well. Even the mesh produce bags from the grocery store (like the kind apples come in) will effectively hold nesting materials that birds can access.

So aside from the birdhouses and feeders, be sure there is a fresh water source too. Be it a creek or bird bath, all species of wild birds are drawn to water. And don’t forget: start gathering materials now that will entice feathered friends to take up residence!  Happy Birding!