• Bird Houses,  Purple Martin Houses

    Barn Swallows and Purple Martins are on the Way!

    With holidays behind us and the fanfare gone- What’s the next event looking forward? Noticing there was still daylight at 6:00 PM, it’s a natural signal that migrations will be underway soon and the swallows will be first. The early birds are purple martins and their cousins too- Barn Swallows!


    Scouts begin arriving over the Gulf of Mexico and most southern states about mid-January. Migrations will follow via the same fly-way and before you know it, they’ll be here! Martins’ breeding season is fairly short (unlike resident bluebirds who can have up to 3 clutches per season) so preparation is the key to attracting these most desirable birds. Actually, this holds true for for attracting hummingbirds, barn swallows, orioles and any migratory birds. Have your birdhouses and feeders (nest cups too) ready to go before scouts’ arrival!

    New Vinyl Purple Martin HousesNew for 2024, these exquisite Purple Martin Houses are US made of durable vinyl (that looks like wood) with stackable floors available for easy expansion. Crescent entries help deter starlings while porches offer plenty of perch space. Timeless architecture in crisp black & white will remain classic in all landscapes. Although rack & gourd systems are extremely popular among Martins and their landlords, our new vinyl Martin homes offer something a bit more classic with all of the great features that benefit Martin families… and you can bet martins will be happy to call them home. When set in a desirable habitat, scouts will let the families know of these excellent accommodations!

    In the eastern US, purple martins depend solely on man-made housing. Be it gourds, aluminum, wood or vinyl, martins will take to most housing if habitat is ideal. Way back in colonial days, Native Americans first started using gourds to attract purple martins (the largest of the swallow family). A main advantage was and still is natural insect control along with the sweetest of songs. This is also why barn swallows are extremely advantageous to have around your property.

    Both species are very family-oriented and will return to the same nesting spots (with kids in tow) year after year. But hosting martins takes more than just putting up a Martin house. A vigilant approach is required for successful fledges and returning families. Non-native birds such as European Starlings and House Sparrows are enemy #1 to both martins and barn swallows. In fact, they’re brutal to all of our native cavity-nesting birds- including bluebirds. Simple territorial issues will wreak havoc on our nesting birds.  Both starlings and house sparrows will overtake Martin houses, kill nestlings and even kill adult martins. They’ve been well known for decimating our birdhouse occupants and wiping out populations in some areas.

    Monitoring your Martin house is extremely important. Starlings and sparrows (if in the area) will predate martins to claim territory so they must be deterred for martins’ breeding season. Whether you agree or not, these non-native birds are about the only ones where it’s not only legal- but encouraged to dispose of both invasive species.

    Other helpful hints for attracting martins include ditching any chemicals in your yard because insects are their main diet. Installing a baffle or predator guard on your matin pole also deters any curious climber from reaching eggs. Habitat is key with very open spaces, preferably near water. Martin houses should be installed at least 30 ft. from your home and taller than any nearby trees which require a 40 ft. clearing at minimum.

    Check out these Purple Martin Groups on social media, whether Martin novice or seasoned landlord, the popularity of hosting martins has exploded over the years. Anything purple-martin related can be found, mistakes others may have experienced great advice, interesting images and facts… in just a few clicks!
    • PMCA (Purple Martin Conservation Association)
    • Purple Martin Landlords and Wannabes
    • Purple Martin Fanatics
    • Purple Martin Files
    • Purple Martin Group
    Your state may also have their own Purple Martin Society. Most important- have your Martin House up & ready to go prior to scouts’ arrival.

    Oh yeah… Martins adore white feathers for nest construction! If you see the birds, toss a few feathers in the air and they’ll dive-bomb to retrieve. Scatter a few on the ground near your new Martin house too. Offering white feathers with some nesting material will be appealing to mom and dad. A standard suet cage work’s well. Simply hang it so that martins will see your welcoming offer.

    Happy birding and here’s to longer daylight hours!!

  • Bird Houses,  Unique Birdhouses

    Unique Birdhouse-Feeder Gifts: Shop Now!

    2020 Holiday Shipping is No Laughing Matter.

    Be Wise… Shop Now for unique birdhouse gifts, bird feeders and cool birdbaths for real lasting joy!

    Holiday Shipping is No Laughing Matter
    Snowy owl yawning, which makes it look like it’s laughing.

    Online shopping has taken on new heights since spring and the pandemic. Aren’t you just sick to death of hearing about it?  But carriers have been inundated with volume so this holiday (unlike past years) definitely raises some concerns.

    For the most part, USPS, UPS and FedEx are doing a great job all things considered. But since everything is relative, there’s always a small percentage of issues with either a wrong delivery address, damage & breakage or just plain loss. And this really stinks if it just happens to be your holiday birdhouse gift to someone special.

    The struggle is real!
    So this year, we’re literally begging folks to shop early. Not only for the best selection from a small boutique of curated birding and garden gifts, but also for the very best level of customer service should any possible issues arise with your shipment.

    And those possibilities are quite real… frustrating, stressful, time consuming and just plain aggravating because the shipper has no control over such issues 🙁  It takes time, diligence, major persistence and sometimes even re-sending the birdhouse or bird feeder again. If you wait until December 10th to order your gift, there’s simply not enough time to rectify any issues should one arise.

    The little ditty below offers an idea of where things stand with holiday birdhouse and bird feeder gifts and anything else you may be planning to order online)!

    The best birdhouse gifts for holiday start right here,
    For all those on your list may they be far or near.

    Last spring folks dabbled in backyard birding, garden and yard,
    It became addictive- but ya can’t decide? So opt for a gift card.

    Fab birdhouses and feeders mostly handmade,
    Recycled or poly won’t crack, chip or fade.

    Birdbaths in all styles, curated yard art so fun,
    With covid concerns at stores maybe best not to run?

    Find a whimsical, vintage, mod, rustic birdhouse and more,
    Farmhouse & chic’s popular, their gift will make spirits soar.

    Give presents of presence but please order soon,
    Should you want it for holiday and not in June!

    For a bit of motivation, nab 10% off through October 25th.
    Use promo code 10-now.
    Some restrictions may apply.


  • Bird Houses,  Unique Birdhouses

    Best Birdhouses in 2020…

    Come with Free Nesting Materials!

    Through March we’re giving away some organic premium nest materials with all birdhouses. North American songbirds adore our nest materials… even those who may not use a birdhouse will partake! A few of those non-cavity dwellers (who prefer to nest in trees and shrubs) include; cardinals, goldfinches, house finches, blue jays, robins and others.

    Cardinals won't use birdhouses

    Although the materials are found in nature, you might just jump-start the nesting process by offering the materials and having any existing birdhouses cleaned out and repaired if necessary… before birds are scouting! Unusually warm temperatures around most of the country have birds at least looking for the perfect home already.

    Because backyard birding has become so popular, you may have seen all the DIY nesting material tutorials and posts on social media. If it’s on the web, it must be true… right?

    Nope! Especially if you’ve seen this image or similar with yarn strings in a suet cage.

    Dyed nest materials can be dangerous whether birds use a birdhouse or not

    Please avoid! The DIY part is perfect and we do encourage it – but with natural, healthy and correct materials.

    Refrain from anything with dye as its not found in nature and may be harmful to hatchlings and older nestlings alike. If using raffia, strings or stringy moss (Spanish moss) be sure to cut strips short. Two to three inches is plenty as strings may become tangled in little birdie feet! Should this occur, the bird’s circulation could be in danger- possibly constricting blood flow.

    Should blue jays be terrorizing your hanging baskets, they’re most likely after the coco liner or moss for nest nest construction. Best to take an extra liner and cut pieces to place on the ground or in a suet cage.

    We have several older blog posts on the subject… from years ago and prior to social media hype. Examples from our own yard show how easy it is to DIY safely and correctly.

    Dryer lint: Steer clear! Even though it’s so soft & fluffy, fibers may contain dye which once again, are not found in nature.

    Pet hair: Definitely a yes unless fido or fluffy is on medication or they’ve been treated with flea & tick products.

    Always: Let birds do the interior decorating! Place nesting materials nearby so they can gather what works best in their own birdhouse.

    You can encourage residency and have nesting birds grace your place this season… whether they use birdhouses or not!

    Oh yeah… a few 2020 birdhouse models that rock!



    Wood BirdhouseBarn Wood Church BirdhouseFarmhouse Birdhouse is new for 2020Copper-Vinyl Birdhouse