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.
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.
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!
Once cherry blossoms and crocus bloom… you can bet the search is on for the perfect bluebird house! Even though it’s February and still frosty, bluebird courtship is underway. Once they pair up, the search is on for the best bluebird house with single a pine needle or piece of straw to claim their favorite.
What’s the best bluebird birdhouse? Start with a NABS approved design. The North American Bluebird Society actually rates bluebird houses for appropriate features such as the ability to monitor nests, ventilation, drainage and clean-out, correct hole size and floor space. Distance from floor to entry is also a factor as nestlings become easy prey for predators should the entry be too close to the birdhouse floor.
Monitoring is recommended so long as parents and nestlings aren’t disturbed. It’s a great and educational way to get the family involved and get kids outside! Just a quick nest check can help with successful fledges and it only takes a few seconds.
Avoid checking at dawn and dusk when parents are busiest feeding babies. Always tap on the birdhouse first to avoid startling parents. With front- or side-opening bluebird houses, avoid nest checks once babies are about 12 days old as it could cause premature fledging. Never handle eggs or touch nestlings and most of all… don’t pester the birds.
The innovative bluebird house shown is the Gilbertson Nest Box and blues just adore it! Rather than a door for monitoring, the PVC coffee can-shape cavity pops on and off the roof’s underside via two pins. Simple to monitor, just squeeze the top of house with both hands to elongate and release the birdhouse part. Take a peek at eggs or nestlings and pop the house back onto the roof in the same fashion. The Gilbertson is NABS approved, withstands weather and deters house sparrows with its overhang roof.
For information on becoming a bluebird landlord- please visit Sialis.org for more comprehensive answers to all bluebird questions!
Hard working Moms deserve the best for Mother’s Day… simply because they ARE the best!
Whether human, winged or 4-legged, Mom works harder than anyone else in the family unit. Let’s face it- if it were up to Dad to lay eggs, there would be no babies! The same is widely said of humans too 🙂
Yesterday was National Bird Day and although we may have missed it… we celebrate backyard birds everyday for the sheer joy and calming effect they have when one takes the time to observe. Chaos is lifted, you’re absolutely unplugged, no tracking or pop-up ads (don’t you just despise them?)
While Dad gets all the vivid color and glory in the avian world, Mom is really the superhero… what’s up with that? It’s true of cardinals, bluebirds, grosbeaks, orioles and so many other resident and migratory fliers who visit our yards.
Not all birds use houses, some may never even visit your feeders. That’s not to say you can’t offer the best birdhouse for those who do!
What makes it the best? First and foremost- it’s the one you will maintain! Be it a birdhouse, feeder or birdbath- they must be monitored and kept clean for birds.
A leaky birdhouse sitting with bug-infested rotted nest is of no use at all. A bird feeder with nasty seed only serves to spread mold spores and bacteria which can be fatal to birds in the form of respiratory disease. This is very common among finches, pine siskins and the like.
So what else makes the best birdhouse-bird feeder? Functionality, for sure! Feeders should be easy to clean and they should keep seed dry. Birds should have easy access as well. Houses should have the proper entry size for the birds you’re wanting to host and of course proper ventilation and drainage.
While a chickadee needs only 1-1/8″ hole size, an Eastern bluebird requires 1-1/5″ entry. And so help us- if we find the neighbor who has the birdhouse with gigantic gaping hole… because this is where dreaded starlings have decided to take up residence. And they come to our yard to feed!
Last, handmade designs will always make for timeless and stunning gifts! Crafted by artisans who have a passion for wild birds, the unique birdhouse-bird feeders are more than just objects. Also serving as garden decor, these pieces display one’s talent and soul that went into creating the art. Mediums vary from wood, to copper, pottery and more, some are even one-of-a-kinds and signed/stamped by the artist. All are bird-approved- making them by far, the best birdhouse gift for Mother’s Day… and for the mama birds around her place too!