Check this year’s gift guide for handmade birdhouses, bird feeders and one-of-a-kind gifts for all nature lovers.
12 themes with 3 suggestions for each, find cool yard art, recycled metal and more ideas for thoughtful and lasting gifts… for non-birders too.
Birdhouses, bird feeders and birdbaths are gifts with purpose, providing an unplugged connection with nature for the recipient and helping to sustain wild birds with habitat. Gifts of nature are always a win-win and there’s never a worry of the dreaded re-gifting!
Blackbird Friday Starts Now!
Nab 10% off and get a free thistle sock… a great stocking stuffer that Goldfinches and others adore)
Thru Monday 11/27 11:59 PM, EST
Use Code Sox
And a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Seeing more traffic at your feeders lately? The recent cold snap and first freeze of the season has finches flocking to feeders. The frost will damage some plants with fruit or berries, and likely zap most flying insects. As the cold wears on, these natural food sources disappear so wild bird feeders start seeing increased activity.
Aside from the usual suspects like cardinals, chickadees titmice and wrens, goldfinches are still around from summer- but with their new winter feathers they’re looking a bit drab as seen on this snowman feeder. House Finches, who tend to travel in large flocks are crowding feeders now too, and they appear at new feeding areas in large groups. These birds are prone to a respiratory infection (see Cornell Lab for the history) that may infect other birds through bird feeders. The disease is actually conjunctivitis, though it’s not transferred to humans.
Affecting their eyes, the bacteria itself is not fatal, but infected birds usually end up blind and die from starvation or predation. You’ll see them with swollen, half-closed, or crusty eyes, and sometimes completely swollen shut. They go where it’s easy to feed, on the ground scavenging below feeders or staying in a nearby tree. It’s really a sad sight, but knowing that other birds may become infected through your feeders is worse.
This is why maintaining clean feeders is important. Non-porous surfaces like glass, copper, recycled plastic or vinyl are much easier to clean than wood. These wild bird feeders promote a healthier environment because bacteria can’t settle into cracks and crevices. There are a few easy steps to help prevent the spread of conjunctivitis and what to do should you see an infected bird in your yard.
- Space feeders as widely as possible to divert large crowds from gathering at one spot.
- Clean feeders with a 10% bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) with extra attention to feeder ports. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.
- Rake fallen seed and bird droppings beneath feeders, keeping this area clean.
- Take feeders down if you see one or two birds with infected eyes, and clean as suggested above.
- Some folks even wait to hang feeders again, encouraging the flock to move on.
Definitely not the ordinary angel statue, these wild bird feeders are downright fun. Angel Cats are pin or staked feeders for offering fruit, suet or seed balls. There’s even an orange tabby who’s equally adorable.
Rustic wings are adjustable, with three perches on both front and back for bird’s dining comfort, complete with metal loop for easy hanging. It’s perfect for any feline lover and is sure to bring some big smiles… we know the birds will love this one too!
A totally different style for offering birdseed, the other one’s actually dubbed “Garden Angel Bird Feeder”.
It’s a great design because unlike tray feeders, the top helps protect seed (and birds) from the elements. Accommodating most seed mixes, you can always opt for peanuts, suet chunks, even fruit in summer for more variety. In an antique bronze finish, this whimsical angel will surely delight anyone who feeds birds!
The gift of birding is one that gives back, there’s just something about bird watching in your own backyard that takes away the daily chaos of life. It becomes addictive entertainment that’s good for the soul… and good for birds too!