Add a Bee or Butterfly Feeder & Help Pollinators Thrive


September 26, 2017
posted by birdhouse chick @ 10:29 am

Natural Butterfly Feeder“I am currently turning my weedy flower garden into a bird station with flowers for pollinators! (no more weeds!) I am very excited about my project and will have it completed by next Spring. So I am having fun perusing your website and procuring items to begin installation after Winter. For now, I’m preparing soil and tweaking my plans. Thanks for your wonderful shop! ”  ~Nancy

The note above was recently sent in by a customer and  friend… it’s simply music to our ears! Consider adding a bee or butterfly feeder to help all pollinators and to ease the great monarch migration in fall.

Fall plantings beyond your traditional mum varieties will extend your garden’s blooming season and even better yet, continue to attract butterflies! By choosing some of these beautiful, fall blooming plans in your garden, you’ll enjoy an abundance of blooms and continue to attract butterflies.

Even though we see a plethora of butterflies in spring and summer months surrounding our flowers, there are still many that have a need for nectar in the fall. Some varieties have migration paths as long as thousands of miles, so good nectar sources are needed along the way. Many butterflies are not migratory and continue searching for nourishment locally. Try your hand at some of these fall plantings for an additional bonus of butterflies to your garden!

Bee and Butterfly Feeder
Think red, yellow, pink, purple and other bright colors as you design your garden’s artistic palette of blooms for fall. Many flowers attract butterflies and are suitable for almost any garden. Consider plants that can withstand the season’s first or second frost. Some recommended plantings are:

  • Sedums: Easy to grow plants in gravelly soil in full sun with decent drainage.
    Pink and Purple Asters: When sheared in the spring can produce a mound of pleasing, compact loads of daisy-like blooms
  • Salvia: Continue to bloom through the first hard frost come in many varieties and produce tubular blossoms to attract swallowtails, fritillaries, and other butterflies
  • Latana: A favorite of butterflies that blooms in the summer until a hard, killing frost.
  • Penta: A true love of the butterfly! Colors are typically bright red and work well in beds, borders, or in pots on a patio
    Dark Night
  • Bluebears: Drought-tolerant for those of you living in dryer regions. Produces clusters of deep-blue flowers and typically grows 3 to 4 feet tall.

Remember, these are just a few varieties of fall bloomers to get you started! Consider fall planting choices for beauty-enhancing blooms and the additional benefit of nourishment for our butterfly friends!

Try a Vertical Humming Bird Feeder for Busy Migration


August 27, 2017
posted by birdhouse chick @ 5:42 pm

humming bird feederIt happened last year too, we skipped out on the blog from Mother’s Day until well after Father’s Day… hate when that happens, especially with all the happenings and splendor of spring backyard birding.

We hope you’ve been blessed with many successful broods, maybe you’ve seen a monarch or two, bluebirds fledge, and that your hummingbirds returned from last year to bless your garden for the season! If this is your first stab at the addictive hobby, we hope you found lots of joyous moments and wonder with new avian visitors and that you’ll continue enticing new feathered friends with food, water and shelter.

Now that summer is waning and daylight hours are fewer, hummingbirds are preparing for migration. It has nothing to do with temperatures and it’s a total myth that leaving feeders up will prevent them from going. So leave at least one feeder up for stragglers!

Their long journey south requires extra fuel, so they’re fattening up and absolutely owning their favorite humming bird feeders! If you think the sprites were a tad territorial before… just watch- it’s magnified ten times now! The show is mesmerizing as crowds gather and vie for a feeder to call their own. Have one of those hummingbird swings that was never really used much? Watch! Just watch the little guys fight over that too!

Triple Orb Humming Brd FeederThese cool humming bird feeders have a great feature for expansion or vertical linking without extra hooks or hardware to get lost. Recycled glass in a top-fill, no leak design just rocks!

They’re easy to clean and less likely to mold as plastic does. The coolest thing? Remove the lids for winter and you’ve got a great multi-use bird feeder for resident friends; use suet, peanuts, meal worms, nuggets, jelly or fruit.

 

The same feeder/idea comes stepped-up a notch in vivid red with circular perch. We think (but can’t promise) hummingbirds prefer to perch while eating as it conserves energy. Put 2 or 3 of these glass hummingbird feeders together and use them year-round for chickadees, nuthatches, wrens, bluebirds and other usual suspects!Linkable Humming Bird Feeder

And should ants ever become a problem… don’t forget the moat! The best investment ever for feeding hummingbirds- or orioles- or butterflies! Any time there’s sweet, sticky nectar, fruit or jelly, you can easily keep pesky ants at bay with plain water inside the moat. The birds will thank you!

 Celestial Ant Moat

Safe travels little ones… hope to see you back again next year!

For next season, here’s the simple nectar recipe and helpful guide for keeping nectar fresh. Cloudy nectar is always a sure sign the solution needs to be changed!

keep humming bird feeders fresh and clean

Red Neck Solar Bird Bath


April 29, 2017
posted by birdhouse chick @ 11:47 am

one-piece solar bird bath kitCould it be… the red neck version of a solar bird bath? Maybe so, but we’re betting birds can’t tell the difference and won’t mind one bit!

Because fresh water is the best (and easiest) way to attract feathered friends, just about any vessel, bowl, container or bird bath works- provided the water is fresh and not too deep. Yes, even a frying pan!

A major misconception that’s actually dangerous for birds, is birdbaths that are too deep. There’s a good reason birds use shallow puddles to bathe as water should be no more than about 2 inches deep. No need to fill your bird bath to the top, it makes a scary encounter for birds, especially juveniles in spring and summer.

And if there were ever a few good reasons to keep bird bath water moving, think Zika, West Nile or EEE (that’s Eastern equine encephalitis) which are all mosquito-borne viruses.

Solar bird baths absolutely rock for feathered friends as moving water acts as a visual magnet to entice them for bathing. Water stays fresher and nasty mosquitoes are unable to lay their eggs.

Speaking of rock (or rocks), placing a few stones or large rock in your birdbath helps birds with safer footing. Possibly even a lifesaver, the stones or rocks may prevent a drowning incident should water be too deep.

Solar fountain pumps are available separately and allow you to add them to an existing bird bath. They create a whole new dimension for backyard birding that delights birds and hosts as well! Shown above is the one-piece unit which sits completely in the bird bath. Note that panels must be in full sun to operate, only the pump beneath solar panel needs to be submerged.

Separate Panel Solar Bird Bath KitAnother option is the separate solar panel (with 10 ft. cord) which allows the bath to be shaded while the panel is placed in sun. We prefer this as bath water is much more refreshing when cool, but the possibilities depend on your own set-up.

Lots of options besides solar fountains exist for offering birds some moving water; leaf misters, rock waterfalls & bubblers, and drippers provide the same. Some operate via outdoor spigot, while others run on electricity.

Whatever water feature you may opt for, we can promise the birds will love it… even if it happens to be a a red neck version solar bath in a frying pan!

 

Copper Roof Birdhouses for Earth Day- No Trees Please


April 22, 2017
posted by birdhouse chick @ 1:09 pm

Earth Day Tidbit: No trees cut for these birdhouses or feeders

To celebrate Earth Day, here’s a few cool birdhouses & feeders that  don’t require cutting down trees… we’d much rather save the trees for birds!

 

Copper Roof Bird Feeder is vinyl that looks like woodCopper and Vinyl Birdhouses with wood-like texture

 

The real beauty lies in the textured vinyl because it looks like wood. Many folks do prefer a natural look in the garden, and our copper roof birdhouses and feeders really do pass for wood. In fact, some past customers have insisted they received a wooden bird house!

Vinyl, poly-lumber and recycled plastics have numerous advantages over traditional wood when it comes to birdhouses and feeders.

Wood is good but it will always weather. These man-made materials are inert, in other words, they’re impervious to the elements and to insect damage. They will never crack, split or rot, and there’s no maintenance (except for regular cleaning of bird feeders). A soapy rag and forceful spray from the garden hose will cleanup environmental grime in a snap, leaving the house or feeder looking new again.

The inside non-porous texture is much healthier for local birds in the yard because mold and bacteria can’t settle into cracks and crevices as it typically does with wood. It also makes cleaning much easier and more effective.

Color is integrated with materials so scratches, dings or dents are barely noticeable. Recycled plastic or poly-lumber helps keep plastics out of landfills. One manufacturer uses labels saying how many milk jugs it took to make the item.

Recycled and Reclaimed Wood Church BirdhousesOf course there will always be wood birdhouses too, but the trend has shifted to salvaged, found, vintage and reclaimed wood from barns and other structures. These unique birdhouses are usually handmade by artisans with a passion for birds, with each piece possessing an individual character and charm.

Many styles are even one-of-a-kinds. Birds love them too and will be quite happy calling these places home to raise a brood or two!

Happy Earth Day… time to go get out and garden!

Hang a New Bird Feeder- it’s Good for the Soul


April 5, 2017
posted by birdhouse chick @ 8:45 pm

Porch Swing Bird FeederBe it a feeder for seed mixes, or nectar feeder for hummingbirds, attracting and watching backyard birds is simply good for the soul!

We’re not sure if the popular pastime is something that coincides with age or the crazy world of being hyper-connected all the time… maybe a bit of both perhaps?

 

A bird feeder makes life sweeter, though it’s hard to put your finger on the actual feeling of how. Unplugging, communing with nature (from the comfort of your home), being detached from daily chaos… it’s a connection that’s intangible. And until you’ve tried enticing birds with a feeder or two, it’s difficult to explain. It is a well known fact however that many folks become hooked, simply addicted to backyard bird watching!Hanging Pagoda Bird Feeder

The kind of “learn as you go” hobby, there’s not a whole lot you can do wrong, but there are a few easy hacks to make the experience more enjoyable.

With migratory birds now making their way across the gulf and lower states to summer breeding grounds, many folks eagerly await their arrivals. Hummingbirds, orioles, martins and others will be welcomed with opened arms, specialty housing and bird feeders made just for them! These birds generally claim the same territories every season, something John James Audubon discovered in the 1800’s using a simple silver thread for banding a few birds!

ceramic humming bird feederSo what are a few hacks or tips for better bird-watching?

Baffles: Foil squirrels before they become a problem! Baffles work beautifully if used correctly!

Feed Clean: Birds are like little kids and go for the good stuff. If using cheap birdseed, you can bet much of it will land on the ground. The fillers aren’t nearly as tasty as the main seed, so why not just buy better quality seed? Seed trays also assist in a clean feeding strategy.

Ant Moats: Need we say more when feeding hummingbirds? The ever critical accessory helps keep nectar fresh and pest-free. Because ants can’t swim, hummingbirds and hosts will be much happier!

Make Your Own: Nectar for hummingbirds, orioles, even butterflies. It’s just pure cane sugar and water with different ratios. Mix up a batch of suet and store in the fridge, same for Bluebird Banquet. Use recipes which omit lard for summer feeding as the gunk will turn rancid in heat.

Feed The Birds Garden PoleCleanliness is important for your feeders and the areas around them. Because birds gather in unnatural groups at feeders, disease is spread more easily. Keep any bird feeder free from nasty build-up of bacteria and mold… they’re air-born killers for birds via respiratory infections. Keep ground below feeders clear of spilled seed as well.

Add some fresh water in a bird bath and keep it shallow, plant saucers works great! And for those who “don’t feed the birds in summer” you’re the one who’s missing out. The birds can get along just fine without your bird feeders, but scenes of parents with fledgelings are most entertaining, something you won’t see in winter!

Happy Spring… now go Feed the Birds 🙂

 

Let Them Decorate Their Own Birdhouse


March 19, 2017
posted by birdhouse chick @ 12:45 pm

Birds prefer to build their own nest inside a birdhouseYears ago, in a well-meaning gesture, the nice lady only wanted to help the birds. She’d purchased 4 or 5 birdhouses but phoned us a few weeks later to advise there were no takers. In the Southeast, nesting season was in full swing, and she related the many species of birds in her garden.

Since none of this made much sense, we asked about birdhouse placement? Clustered together, attached to a once mighty tree that succumbed to storm damage, this was not the ideal locale as most birds prefer solitary housing on a post or hanging from a branch in a quiet, secluded area. Strike number one.

Upon further discussion, she told us that placing dryer lint inside each birdhouse was meant to lure the birds to their new homes. Say what… dryer lint? Would a bird ever really find dryer lint and use it for nest construction? Chances are slim to none because it’s not natural, it’s not something found in nature. Strike number two.

Birds prefer to decorate their own digs, be it inside a birdhouse or natural cavity found in trees and snags. They use materials that suit their liking, materials readily found among nature. Things like grass clippings, mosses, feathers, pine needles, weed stems, twigs, leaves, wood chips, hair and fur, bark, mud and plant fibers. The list is varied and mostly species-specific. They’ve been doing it a really long time too… before we ever started offering birdhouses or feeders.

To celebrate spring’s arrival and the start of nesting season, we’re in the midst of our spring promo… free nesting materials with all orders! No codes, no minimum purchase required. You’ll receive a bag containing horse hair, alpaca fur, 2 kinds of moss, a bit of short raffia strands and feathers. An instruction sheet is included with easy ideas for offering the materials. The main trick is to be ready before the birds start claiming territories and nesting!

Natural nest materials in suet cage, hang near birdhousesThese natural materials (not dryer lint) will further entice friendly fliers to new birdhouses. Please steer clear of this man-made material as birds are unfamiliar, and it retains moisture as well. Also if saving pet hair for birds’ nests is up your alley, please avoid doing so if your pet has been treated with flea/tick medicine.

Help house the birds at your place… but allow them the courtesy of decorating their own birdhouse 🙂

The commercial below absolutely rocks, definitely worth a view!

Go Above and Beyond Hummingbird Feeders


February 20, 2017
posted by birdhouse chick @ 2:05 am

Humm-Bug Hummingbird Feeder

There’s all sorts of cool accessories these days to further entice hummingbirds; from the highly popular Hummer Helper Nest Material, to Leaf Misters in the garden and the ever critical ant moat which keeps nectar ant-free. But hummingbirds don’t survive on nectar alone, be it hummingbird feeders or nectar-producing flowers. They (as many other birds do) require insects for survival.

Their tiny but oh-so speedy metabolisms thrive on protein. Babies in the nest require protein- which nectar does not offer, plus transporting the sticky solution back to the nest is probably very difficult- if not impossible for the attentive and hard working mama!

Imagine feeding hummingbirds without messy nectar? And feeding them one of their very favorite, protein-packed foods? It’s fruit flies! Yes fruit flies may be a royal pain when flying in the kitchen, but outdoors, the tiny insects are coveted for their nutritional value. Here’s a whole new way to feed the tiny sprites, all natural and super healthy too.

Enter the new Humm-Bug Protein Hummingbird Feeder. An innovative feeder that incubates and offers fruit flies to hummingbirds. An all-around perch lets them rest to eat should they ever decide to sit still. Instead of changing nectar every 2-3 days in hot summer weather, just replace fruit and vegetable scraps every 3 weeks… rinse well when re-filling of course.

No more fighting over a feeder port, no drip, no mess, no mixing, no bees or wasps and no ants! We’re thoroughly stoked to try out this unique humming bird feeder… check the video to see the Humm-Bug in action.

Unique Bird Feeders for the Best Valentine’s Gifts


February 5, 2017
posted by birdhouse chick @ 2:25 pm

Happy Valentine's Day- Show some love for wild birds

The Best Valentine’s Gifts are for the birds! Because they’re long-lasting and provide daily joy and entertainment, kind of a reprieve from the chaos of life. They also help wild birds thrive, especially in winter. Roses fade quickly, chocolate’s gone in a few days, but gifting a unique bird feeder is something that will bring happiness for years to come… think about that for a moment!

Valentine-theme unique bird feeder

This Glass Hummingbird Feeder has the perfect Valentine’s theme! The tiny sprites bring so much joy to both novice and seasoned bird enthusiasts alike. Parasol crafts quality bird feeders that really do last a lifetime. Eco-friendly from recycled glass, they’re hand-blown in Mexico by true artisans. Hummingbirds love them and the top-fill design offers a no-leak, no-mess feeder.

Unique bird feeders with contemporary style

Something a bit more substantial might be in order, and should the recipient lean towards contemporary or modern styles, the Bauhaus Bird Feeder rocks! It’s versatile for different foods and fresh water – which attracts more birds than anything. Handcrafted in Europe, the clean lines and sleek style look beautiful in the garden. Definitely a keeper, this stainless steel feeder remains rust-proof for the duration!

Unique Bird Feeder in Copper and VinylLast but certainly not least… a post-mounted copper/vinyl feeder is tops! For a special Valentine’s Gift that’s more traditional, copper roof bird feeders are guaranteed for life.

Simply stunning and superb quality, the vinyl looks like wood though it will never crack, rot or fade like wood does over time. The non-porous feeding surface is also healthier for birds. The copper stays bright & shiny for 4-5 years before weathering dark, and there’s a patina roof option which remains indefinitely.Unique Bird Feeders with aged copper roof

 

Either of these unique bird feeders promises to be a coveted gift bringing joy and happiness (and songbirds) for many seasons to come… making it a perfectly swell gift for your love bird!

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Celebrate Year of the Rooster with Metal Yard Art


January 31, 2017
posted by birdhouse chick @ 5:09 am

Big Rooster Metal Yard ArtFor those celebrating the New Year of the Rooster, a happy, healthy and prosperous year to you and yours!

Funny thing because the large birds have become all the rage. From recycled metal yard art to functional birdhouses, adorned kitchen walls and other rustic home decor, roosters are big news!

This one’s kind of rustic with earthy colors and aged appearance. Raised texture adds interest to the piece as well. Just under 2 feet tall, this rockin’ rooster works well for indoor decor or in the garden.

On a more animated and whimsical note (no pun intended) the Jammin’ Roosters bring smiles to young and old alike. Should you happen to know someone who plays a fiddle or trumpet, and celebrates the New Year now… omg, then these guys are the bomb!

Big, bold and handcrafted in Mexico from reclaimed metal, the vivid colors will vary, though all make for some pretty awesome recycled metal garden art. Always Best when paired with a buddy!Rooster Metal Yard ArtLarge Rooster Metal Yard Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should the preference be for something a bit more functional, the metal rooster birdhouse might be in order! He’s quite colorful, adding warmth and character to the garden. Best to hang any metal birdhouse in the shade as nestlings may fry in afternoon sun. Be sure the house is well ventilated too. Any metal decorative bird house with only a tiny entrance isn’t really good for the birds.

Rooster Birdhouse

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All That Chatter Around Blue Bird Houses


January 23, 2017
posted by birdhouse chick @ 7:01 am

recycled blu bird houseLots of bluebird chatter recently and lots of chasing from feeders. It’s only January but in the southeast this activity means one thing… bluebirds are claiming their territories already!

The chattering along with the comical tip of the wing proves dad’s ready to find mom, pick the right blue bird house and get to work!

The previous family unit is severed and all bets are off now as juveniles are no longer welcome at meal worm feeders. Less than one full season old and it’s time to go find your own digs and significant other… they do grow up fast.

It’s difficult to watch sometimes, so you put extra meal worm feeders out and hope everyone gets a fair share. But instead, panic ensues and papa is frantically chasing his own offspring from feeder to feeder to feeder. Good grief!fence post meal worm feeder

This is precisely why having more than one bluebird house within view of another doesn’t work. But one in front, one in back does seem to work peacefully. And it’s worth it because watching blues nest and raise their young is fascinating. And it goes on for months if the first clutch fledges successfully.

Two, three sometimes even four nests per season! That’s superb entertainment for up to 6 months if you’re in the southeast anyway.

Always remove nests after babies have fledged. Unlike some cavity nesting birds, bluebirds prefer to build a new clean nest for each brood. Promptly removing old nests opens up the birdhouse for their next clutch. Discard away from the birdhouse (like in the trash) as old nests on the ground or nearby will draw predators.

A couple of new blue bird house for spring:New Blue bird Houses for Spring 2017

The Paisley Vinyl Bluebird House is whimsical garden decor with total functionality. Upgraded features make this one very bird friendly. Babies will love their fledgling ladder when it’s time to leave the nest!


Gilbertson Nest Box with new roofIf you happen to be ready for the next level and wish to monitor your bluebirds’ progress (recommended) the popular Gilbertson Nest Box recently received a cool upgrade. An optional recycled plastic roof (poly-lumber) in matching brown looks perfect.

The new roof coupled with its vinyl birch-like cavity will be around for many seasons. And tests were performed measuring ambient heat… the plastic roof keeps houses cooler in summer than the the original cedar roof. But for any die-hards out there… the original roof is still available.

C’mon spring and happy birding!

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