First and foremost, the Hummingbird Society recommends leaving at least one feeder out for stragglers or the occasional sprite who doesn’t head south! Wintering along the East coast, several birds have been documented enduring tough weather in the Northern hemisphere- and their dedicated hosts who manage to keep nectar from freezing!
Although the company is now defunct, Bird Brain hummingbird feeders are still around, but we’re partial to the elegance of Parasol’s feeders instead.
Both made from recycled glass, the ones made in Mexico are better quality than what comes from overseas. Their designs are unique, and Parasol’s love of birds shines through not only in their product offerings, but community involvement with raising awareness and conservation of the species.
In heir latest newsletter, the Mexican tradition Day of the Dead was explained and how Parasol was involved with the annual fall celebration. Their altar theme was dedicated to Martha, the last passenger pigeon. She died 100 years ago in a zoo after spending many years in captivity. Once an overly abundant bird, the passenger pigeon became extinct in a period of one hundred years due to indiscriminate hunting.
Martha is considered a symbol of the threat that humans pose for some species, and that’s why Parasol honored the centennial of her death and its relevance with their Day of the Dead altar. Several hummingbird species are currently listed as critically endangered, and The Birdhouse Chick is a proud business sponsor of The Hummingbird Society. A portion of proceeds from each hummingbird feeder sold goes towards the society’s ongoing conservation efforts.
Recycle and Reuse… that’s the deal to minimize your carbon footprint. In all facets of life-including backyard birding, there so many recycled products from which to choose. Recycled plastic finch feeders, and every other kind of feeder and birdhouse seriously help to keep plastics out of our landfills.
A recycled bluebird feeder I purchased a few years ago came with a sticker saying how many plastic jugs were used to make this item. It wasn’t a “stock” sticker either, because the number 33 was hand written on it. Besides that… the feeder still looks brand new after three years!
These new recycled finch feeders are pretty cool too as they feature “all-over” feeding space. Unlike traditional tube feeders that have perches, these finch feeders have something called “magnet mesh” which is very attractive to clinging birds such as finches.
Consider making your next finch feeder, oriole feeder, bluebird or woodpecker feeder a recycled plastic one. The non-porous surface is easier to clean and minimizes mold and bacterial growth. They won’t warp, crack, split or fade, and it’s likely the feeder (or house) will still look new after several years of use. Recycled is a wise investment and saves money in the long run because the product lasts!
Attract 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 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.
This 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!
Bluebirds covet mealworms, in fact, I’ve discovered that lots of birds love these tasty morsels. In trying to attract bluebirds to this North Georgia yard, first came the bluebird house…but no luck. Then came a bluebird feeder, you know, the kind with the entrance holes that supposedly only bluebirds will fly into for food. Unfortunately that didn’t seem to work either, every different “bluebird delight” on the market was used.
After some quick research, it seemed live mealworms would do the trick, so I squeamishly ordered the first batch. They weren’t too bad, as long as I didn’t have to touch them! Unpacking and storing that first batch was pretty funny looking back at it now. Newspaper spread on the counter, latex gloves, and a semi-faint heart about the whole thing. Then just knowing I had a container of live worms in the fridge…omg! But I wanted to see bluebirds – so I persevered.
Not only did it work, it worked great…Eastern Bluebirds in my yard finally. Two or three showed up at first, and then they began to build a nest in the house. Watching the daily activity was fantastic. A few weeks later the babies started to fledge, one, two, three, four of them, all following mom and dad. Truly a great season! It didn’t take long for them to figure out how to enter the mealworm feeder and retrieve their own worms at will. The coolest thing is there was a second successful brood that season too. Watching the juveniles with the new fledgelings was absolutely awesome. Now I’m addicted to meal worms just as much as my bluebirds are. Making sure to feed them twice every day, close to the same time. My new friends stuck around all winter, likely due to the three heated birdbaths, and the regular feeding schedule.
Traditional bluebird feeders aren’t the only way to offer mealworms to feathered friends. Many dish-type styles have attachments for poles, making it simple to add a mealworm feeder to any existing feeding station. Tray type or platform feeders also have the capacity for worms, but there’s no guarantee the bluebirds will get them first. Maybe that’s where the saying “early bird catches the worm” comes from?
This recycled plastic mealworm feeder easily mounts to any standard one-inch diameter pole. The wooden Siamese Cat has a metal screen tray that’s perfect for offering worms too. The best part about these types of feeders is versatility. Foods like suet, peanuts and fruit may also be offered, depending on the species you’d like to attract and season.
Some bird feeders hold more seed than others, while some feeders just look better in the yard. There are some large capacity wild bird feeders that really do look good! You can spend less time filling, and more time watching when using hopper style feeders. They tend to have a larger capacity than tube feeders, and many will compliment your environment too.
This recycled feeder is a “Double Decker Hopper” and allows more perching room than a traditional hopper bird feeder. The bottom, or base also acts as a seed catcher to prevent unwanted ground mess. This type of feeder will attract a greater variety of wild birds, while the recycled plastic is guaranteed to never crack, split or fade. With a 4-quart capacity, you won’t have to make as many trips filling the feeder.
They’re guaranteed to never crack, split, or fade!
If you could purchase something that came with a manufacturer’s guarantee, wouldn’t you trust it? Recycled wild bird feeders are probably one of the greatest advancements in backyard birding products. Made from milk jugs and other recycled plastics, they greatly reduce landfill waste, and are some of the most durable feeders on the market! The Log Bird Feeder above uses 10 milk jugs for it’s production, while the Fly-Thru Feeder uses about 32 milk jugs each!
Most recycled feeders are guaranteed to never crack, split or fade. Attractive as well, they’re available in every style from hoppers, to platforms and fly-thrus, and even log feeders for feeding suet to woodpeckers and others. Recycle and Reuse!
Great Project Overview for Virtually any Organized Kids’ Group: Doing good in your community!
Birds For Brains How To:
Birds For Brains is such a rewarding program for kids, seniors and coordinators alike (the birds too!). If done right it will not take much funding at all to start and run.
– First Off and Most Importantly the Volunteers– BFB is set up specifically to get kids of any age involved. Daycares, scout groups, 4H, classrooms or any group with kids at any age (or if you just have one child that you would like to get accustomed to doing good for the community.) At least one adult to plan and implement the program is needed or a group of adults such as an Audubon Chapter to oversee the children.
– The Site- The easiest step is to find a place to visit and set up the bird feeders. Nursing or Assisted Living Homes, a retirement home or a single family home with a senior or disabled individual are in every neighborhood and will welcome the program and the enrichment that comes with it.
– Bird Feeders- Many ways to keep the costs down, BFB was initially set up to recycle wood from discarded fence panels or scrap that can be found around town. This idea was thought of not only to recycle and help the environment but also to have another hands on activity for the youth. Any fencing or construction company can direct you to scrap wood that could be used and Google is great to find Do-it-yourself plans to build the feeders.
We have not yet built any feeders for the program because once word got out about the program donations of feeders were given. We immediatley received a couple from the local Audubon Society Chapter and then as we approached Critters Feed and Seed to fill the feeders they to donated many feeders, not to mention the Birdhouse Chick donating 2 large rainbow finch feeders.
– Seed- If you live in a larger community you have a feed store in the area that you can approach. This is great on so many areas, you are starting a relationship with a local company and shopping local (rather than the big box stores), the seed will be of the best quality, and the relationship you start will help the local seed store by spreading the word that they have helped a good cause out and hopefully will attract new business.
Critters Feed and Seed in Moorhead, MN has been a wonderful partner and I cannot thank them enough!! When possible they get ‘sweepings’ from their seed supplier that would otherwise go to waste. This causes some additional work for the supplier and the vendor but when they hear that the seed is going to the Birds For Brains program they will be happy to offer the help. I have to mention that at times ‘sweepings’ are not available and Critters has been more than kind to donate seed off the shelf!
If you do not have a seed store contact a grain elevator, local pet store or any location that offers bird seed. Make sure you explain where the seed is going and the Mission of BFB.
– Visiting the Site- We ask that you stop by once a week or at the very least every other week to fill the feeders, clean the bird baths and spend some time visiting and interacting with the residents. Make sure that the activities coordinator knows when you will be there. Get involved and play games do activities or just visit.
This may be too much of a committment for some, so get a couple families or groups together and take turns at the site. If you have a few get together a once a month committment won’t be any trouble, but most kids that get involved will probably want to do it more often
Bird Feeder and Birdhouse Kits are also an inexpensive option for starting a site in your area.
For more information, please visit 3littlebirdsonline.com website.
Backyard birding is a wonderful hobby, that for some like me, turns into an obsession! Too many feeders, too many bird baths to fill and clean all the time.
Keeping bird feeders filled can get expensive, especially when using premium foods. Every birdfeeder is equipped with a squirrel baffle…I’ve learned the hard way! When warmer weather approaches and it’s time to put out hummingbird feeders, I know it will only cost pennies to create the nectar hummingbirds adore.
Last season I did a test with commercial red nectar and plain old sugar water…the sugar water mix won! One hummingbird feeder was filled with red nectar, while the other had the home made version. Three times as many hummingbirds went for the sugar water. It convinced me immediately to make my own nectar .
The recipe: 1 cup table sugar to 4 parts water. Could it be any easier? No need to boil the water (bacteria is spread through the birds’ bills at the feeders) but in doing so it dissolves the sugar quicker. I use 1 cup of boiling water until sugar is completely dissolved, then add 3 cups of cold water. There is no cooling time and nectar is ready to go in feeders!
If you do decide to try the recipe, NEVER add anything else to the mixture as it will harm, or even kill hummingbirds.
Reuse and Recycle with eco-friendly wild bird accessories.
Recycled glass has become very popular in the last few years. Even hummingbird feeders are available in this eco-friendly art glass. These feeders are high quality, and functional design for any environment.
The choices are amazing….you don’t have to use a red plastic version anymore! The myth of the red feeder is really just a myth. Tiny jewels know if the feeder has nectar in it for them…not sure how, but they know!
With the vibrant hues and creative designs, hummingbird feeders make lasting, and excellent gift choices for the nature lover on your list.
Commercial nectar is ok for hummingbirds, but we’ve found that plain old sugar actually works best to attract more hummers.
Simple Nectar Recipe: 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water…nothing else in the mix as it will harm hummingbirds.
You don’t have to boil the water–bacteria is spread through the bills of the hummingbirds at the feeders. Boiling water makes for quicker and easier dissolving of sugar. We boil 1 cup water, mix the sugar and add 3 cups cold water. The nectar is ready with no cooling time. Store unused portion in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Happy Birding!
Backyard birding certainly entails some chores! Attracting wild birds requires some effort with filling feeders, maintaining houses, and keeping birdbaths clean.
If you enjoy feeding wild birds, but sometimes get tired with the frequency of filling feeders…fret no more! Large capacity bird feeders are the answer. In general, a hopper bird feeder will hold more seed, they’re desgned to do just that.
You can spend less time filling and more time watching with a large capacity feeder. This double hopper feeder holds 7 quarts of sunflower or mixed seed. They’re even available in recycled materials, and built to last a lifetime. By investing in a few quality bird accessories, you’ll ultimately enhance your bird watching experiences.