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NYC Park Makeover using Birdhouse Kits August 09 2015

One NYC Birdhouse Kit Project

In April 2011, we posted the following blog about about one school's birdhouse kit class project for a park make-over in New York City.
The Village Community School had inquired about eighty wooden birdhouse kits. Upon hearing the plan for this cool multi-class project and park make-over, there were many great ideas stirring as far as how we could help to make the project a fun and successful one. 
Getting the kids interested was important, and by adding colorful bright accessories, we thought it would spark their interest. Lots of Pop-Outz recycled plastic suet feeders were added (free) with instructions for creating and adding nesting materials with the finished birdhouses. By asking the kids to gather some simple items found at home, nest building would be highly encouraged around the park.
The suggestion of adding some bird feeder kits was raised, but the administrators declined, as they believed spilled seed might attract some undesirables. So, with this in mind we sent along some suet to further entice feathered friends. Explaining that with suet there's no ground waste - the idea worked out well.
Although we never received photos of the park and finished project, there were some lovely thank-you notes from the kids and teachers. It was truly a pleasurable experience helping this school pursue and complete a large-scale project that ultimately benefited feathered friends!


April 13, 2011 posted by birdhouse chick @ 12:17 am

An elementary school in New york City has a great idea that’s going into action! Eighty school children at Village Community School will each assemble their own bird house kit, decorate, paint it and help install all 80 bird house kits in a nearby park.

When administration first contacted us, we were more thrilled with the idea itself, than the net profit from a sale. So much so, a deep discount was offered on the bird house kits, and they received a plethora of extras to further entice birds, and to get the kids more involved while making their project a huge success.

Chickadee, Wren and Eastern Bluebird wooden birdhouse kits were ordered, but 16 packages of assorted nesting materials were graciously added. In addition, there was a wonderful Stokes Bluebird Book, and 24 “Pop-Outz” recycled plastic suet feeders, (which are perfect for offering nesting materials) along with a pamphlet on “attracting nesting birds” for each child to take home.

Although bird feeder kits and bird food were thought not to be a smart idea for the area, we also sent along a few suet cakes and explained there would be no ground waste with which to contend. Now I can’t wait to see pictures of the project in progress or the finished product. Park services will be taking care of the water aspect as far as birdbaths or small ponds, making sure there are ample fresh water sources to help birds thrive. The birds in this area of NYC are getting a great make-over!

By the way… the tooled leather birdhouse kit shown here is actually recycled plastic-and super fun to assemble. It provides a real nest site for feathered friends and lasts for years to host many successful broods!

Wood Birdhouse Looks Exactly Like Bean! August 09 2015

Thought you'd like to see the resemblance, think they're related? While Natalie was pet sitting Bean, she came across our leaping dog wooden birdhouse. She just knew Bean's parents would get a good chuckle... we sure did!

Custom Garden Shed Roof Matches Copper Bird Feeders August 09 2015

Copper Roof Bird Feeders and Custom Work

Monica in Triangle Virginia purchased a copper roof bird feeder for her yard. After receiving one bright copper roof feeder... she decided on a second patina copper feeder to "balance" the landscape. With her father's scheduled visit from Italy, Monica wanted a meaningful building project he could work on while he was here.

She really wanted a small storage shed for garden tools and bird seed, but sought something elegant to blend with the surroundings.

We went to work with one of our artists and came up with dimensions, proportions, and a gorgeous patina copper roof to match the feeders. Her father built the shed and installed the roof, with the final results no less than perfect! Below are a few photos of the project and yard that Monica was so kind to send us.


Unique Birdhouses Bring Smiles in Chicago July 10 2015

A Most Unique Birdhouse Display in Chicago

If a picture is worth a thousand words... then the smiles these birdhouses bring to some local Chicago kids & adults is simply heart-warming!

She started her flock small, an order for two or three of the hand carved bird birdhouses.
Soon a few more more of these unique birdhouses were on their way to Kelle Frymire in Chicago. And it wasn't too long before even more were ordered!

This piqued my curiosity to inquire on their intended use? I thought "what could someone possibly do with 20 birdhouses that looked like birds?" 
The answer was revealed in a few photos, which immediately brought a "how very cool!" and big smile to my face :)

Adjacent to her house in the city sat a huge oak tree with about a dozen of these wooden bird birdhouses suspended in animation. Looking exactly like that's where they were intended to live, the big bird display seemed to create a fanciful tale for the viewer's imagination.

Last Christmas, yet more birds were ordered to fatten the flock this spring. With that order came the nicest story, one which deserved being published... at the very least, on the birdhouse chick site!

"I can't wait for your customer pics!  I'll send another when I get my new birds up!  All the neighbors will be excited!  They bring so much joy to so many people - young and old!  They think it was such a cool idea!  It cracks me up how many little kids have to come by every day to say "hi" to the birds!  Makes me happy!"

The two bird houses on the far right that seem to be suspended in mid-air, are actually attached with monofilament. It's invisible for the most part, and it's what helps give the scene so much character. Several of the birdhouses hang between the residence and the tree itself, courtesy of (Kelle's husband?) and the monofilm that's strung across this open space. 
"My husband teases me - he's asks me who is Beth - I said it's my bird girl!  He's says who has a bird girl - ME!! Thanks so much!  EVERY single day - someone walks by and talks about my birdhouses!  Some guy was taking pictures yesterday!"  

No doubt the houses povide swell roosting spots for real birds on cold Chicago nights. But had they ever been occupied for nesting and raising babies? I thought the sheer number of houses and their close proximity might inhibit the process. Kelle kindly answered this question as well:
"Last spring, a male Carolina Wren made nests in several the birdhouses and would sing to attract his female!  It was so cute!  It was like she had a choice!  They ended up in the cardinal birdhouse and raised their family! I had so much fun watching him build his nests. I hope he comes back this year!"
The clever birdhouse display receives lots of daily visitors... in those children (and adults) who insist on saying "hello" to all the birds in the big tree!

Below is just a small sample of Kelle's birdhouses. Although a few have been omitted, it conveys the fun and "colorful flock in the tree" that she's created with love and care over the past two years!

Thank you Kelle Frymire for housing the birds and for bringing a smile & simple joy to so many in your Chicago neighborhood!

Barn Swallow Residents Finally Take the Plunge April 18 2015

The wash bay at Leda's barn in Creston, CA., was being held hostage by her resident barn swallows. The adjustable ceiling pipe from where the hose feeds was hosting a swallow's nest, making use of the hose nearly impossible! Instead of adjusting the hose, both humans and horses had to maneuver around it so as not to disturb the nest. Being that swallows are very advantageous around a barn, Leda opted to try and coax her resident birds to some new digs with our handcrafted Swallow Nest Cup Set.

At first it was no go: "As they usually have two broods each year, maybe they'll give the new nests a try on their second batch...I did see one of them checking them out...guess the new nests just didn't pass the peck test!"

Nest Cups installed to the right and left edge of the board. Various nesting materials were placed in the center of the board to lure and coax the birds. The existing nest (circled in black) is precariously placed above the pipe.

But then... success! The next eggs were laid and brooded in the new nest cups - finally freeing up the wash bay and hose for normal use.  "So glad they finally came around...and the horses are happy to have them out of their wash area!"

"Well, they finally decided to move into the new digs and we have our first brood...picture not too good, but you'll get the idea!  We're most pleased... thanks for your service!"

Thank you Leda for housing the birds!

Captain Ralph's Menagerie August 09 2013

Captain Ralph and the kids!

When Captain Ralph Olivett of Palm Coast Fishing Charters placed his first order for bulk quantity live mealworms, we figured their fate would be fishing bait! Prior to his next shipment we just had to ask, and found our conclusion couldn't have been further from reality.

See, Captain Ralph has had some resident bluebirds for the last six years, and they're so comfortable around him-he's got them eating from his hand... literally! Baby Blue (shown first photo) was one of five fledgelings from the first brood of season 2012.

Meet some other feathered friends of Captain Ralph, including Carrie Girl, a four ft. Great Heron! They all share his home, food and outdoor space, living in total harmony with one another.

From left to right: Baby Blue, Snow White, Little Grey

Carrie Girl gets some morning fruit in the kitchen, then just chilling on the sofa!

Captain's only rule: Everyone has to get along!

If you're ever down near Palm Coast, Florida, look up Captain Ralph for a great fishing charter... and gratis birding tour extraordinaire.

Thanks so much for sending us these fun photos and sharing your story!

Captain Ralph writes: "A correction with Snow White... This is Snow White (below)... she's waiting at the slider doors for me to finish my morning coffee and throw the cast net for live mullet, it's a daily morning ritual.  This year I have a new comer at the dock... Ozzie the Osprey (circled in last photo). She's new and still a bit skittish, but spends every single night perched & sleeping on a 22 foot pole I erected just for her. That perch happens to be a $450 carbon fiber, boat push pole... she's got great taste!"

The real Snow White, PeeNut the squirrel who was bottle-fed from 5 days old, and Ozzie

Pretty cool in the morning to walk to the porch area and see ALL of them hanging out together; Carrie, Snow White, Little Gray, and now Ozzie... LMAO, you should here her SCREACH at sun-up every morning!!! BTW, Ozzie got her name from her SCREACHING each morning... now waking to a little Ozzie Osbourne music daily."