artisan’s unique birdhouse boutique

866.478.8265

Birding Tips and Resources

New Year - New Bluebird Birdhouse January 13 2017

Bluebird building nest in natural cavityFace it, real estate's tough out there if you're feathered and in search of a new birdhouse!

Competition for nest space increases each year with invasive species (English house sparrows and European starlings) not to mention our own native birds like house wrens, tree swallows, crows, grackles and others. The destruction of habitat doesn't help the cause either. Natural nest cavities found in trees and snags are sadly and continually being cleared for development. Ants, wasps, bees and snakes... oh my! None are friends to the bluebird nest or babies.

female bluebird at snowy feederEven though snow covers much of the US in January, some species like Eastern bluebirds will begin searching for territory and laying claim to the right birdhouse. The action starts early in order to procure the perfect digs, lure a mate and settle down for spring nesting season.

As early as February and regardless of weather, blues are out and about, on the hunt for the perfect bluebird birdhouse. Family units previously co-existing in harmony will most likely see the patriarch chasing offspring from feeders and/or houses - all bets are off!

It's the number of hours of daylight that signal the instinct. Just like the hummingbird southern migration, it's never really weather-related... but the diminishing hours of daylight telling them to prepare for the journey.

Now's the time to install a new blue bird house for spring. Just like having hummingbird feeders out prior to the sprites' arrival... bluebird scouts will be in action before you know it! If waiting until spring when the weather warms up sounds more appealing- you're new birdhouse may end up void of any bluebirds!

As always, habitat is key and placement of the birdhouse is important. Open area that's shaded or sunny with short grass and places to perch for hunting insects are preferred. Sunlight is okay but the nest box should be in shade during the afternoon when sun is hottest. The entry hole is best positioned away from prevailing winds. Fresh water is a must (shallow), and if you're so inclined... meal worms (dried or live) are their favorite food!

Experience parenthood again- we promise this go-round is a million times easier than your kids!  

AMonitoring a Bluebird Nestlthough a little scary at first, you actually help bluebirds when you monitor their birdhouses. It basically entails watching/keeping track of eggs, and hatch dates, predators in the area, chick's growth and timing to fledge.

Checking nest boxes is easy of you use a bluebird house with side door for viewing, a Gilbertson Nest Box, or Peterson style box with front opening door. Always tap when approaching the house, avoid early morning and dusk nest checks, and steer clear a few days prior to fledge time as spooking the babies can cause premature fledging.

Recycled Plastic Bluebird House with BirdCam

The website sialis.org has a wealth of information on hosting and monitoring bluebirds. The site answers ANY question and offers troubleshooting tips for all of the "why's and how's" and the reasoning behind most bluebird events.

Crafted of traditional wood, recycled plastic or vinyl/PVC... grab a new bluebird house, learn to monitor, and help bluebirds thrive!

C'mon Spring!!


Gift Idea 12- Living Wreath Planter and A Merry Little Christmas! December 25 2016

Gift Guide Day 12- Planters and Home AccentsThe Living Wreath Planter appeals to all gardening types whether bird folk or not! With the wild popularity of succulents lately, uuggh... better yet, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas! May you receive all that you'd hoped for and more~
Living Wreath Planter


Birds simply bring so much joy and solace in rough times too. It's comforting and comfortable to just "be" among nature, even in your own yard, sitting perfectly still. Stop and listen, not only to their song, but the trees, the breeze... they speak if you can quiet the mind and listen. A most beautiful song too. Backyard birding is addictive, but one can't really grasp this until the hobby/habit sets in.

To catch 10 minutes of peace watching cardinals feeding at dusk, or bluebirds right before them grabbing the last worms prior to roosting for the evening. Unexplainable. Creating the habitat is half the joy, it becomes part of you, your heart, soul, and sometimes sweat, making it that much more rewarding.

As the year draws to a close it offers a time of reflection. Should life seem hurried and rushed too often, or too damned demanding, there's a cure for that! Just unplug and go watch the birds!

We're thrilled to have sent so many awesome wares for the birds this holiday, it goes to show folks are taking note of the back yard phenomenon that is birds!

A few quick notes received as time was running out, we find them rewarding as well. Possibly should be filed under testimonials, but it goes to show we love what we do!

Merry Christmas! The hummingbird feeder and nesting material I purchased turned out to be the best gift ever for my bird loving friend. Thanks so much and I hope to do more business with you in the new year.
Kindly, Kathy F

You're not going to believe this...but my mother in laws neighbor just showed up with the package.  They were going through their holiday packages to wrap things and realized they had one of ours.  

I cannot tell you how sorry I am that you went to all that trouble with the post office.  But I am so thrilled to have her feeder and the house to wrap up to give tomorrow!  They're both even better than I expected and the information you included about the birds and types of food to use is wonderful! 
Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you for your help and again, I am so sorry!! 
Have a fantastic Christmas! We'll definitely order from you again! 
Paula

Just a quick note to say thank you so much for all your flexibility and helpfulness with the stained-glass birdhouse order!  Daniel and Ellie received it in the mail and they love it!  Thanks again, and Happy Holidays!
Best,
Noah

(Local customer received expedited shipping refund)
You totally made my day! I've been shopping for days for a feeder for my mom and your site was the only one that could get it to me on time for Christmas! You're a life saver and I'll be back again! Merry Christmas!

Thank you for all your help with the feeder AND for letting me know this.  You are a blessing. 
Ruth

Really, who could make up this stuff?
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!


Gift Idea 11- The Gift of Zen Sculptures & Chimes December 17 2016

Gift Guide Day 11- Zen Sculpture for Home or Garden

After all, who couldn't use a little tranquility?
Swell gift ideas for non-birders too!

From the Decor selection, give something cool to grace their place, soothe the soul and relax the mind... handcrafted gifts will be cherished for many years to come.


A large lava stone Buddha Face Sculpture is free-standing and equally suited for indoors or garden. He's just nice to look at, nicer to have your very own for a bit of mellow in a fast-paced world! Beautifully hand carved with detail and natural texture, his rich dark color bodes well in just about any space.
Large Lava Stone Buddha Face Sculpture

The Namaste Frog Sculpture adds a whimsical and peaceful character to the atmosphere. Standing 8-inches tall, he won't tip over at a hefty 5 lbs. With a quirky smile and meditative pose, he brings warmth and joy to all lovers and collectors of amphibians!
Namaste Frog Sculpture

The Tranquility Table Chime is ideal for home or workplace. Even the design offers a pleasing simplicity. Just give it a tap when escape is required! The perfectly toned soothing sound can help clear the mind, putting things back into perspective. Yes, please!
Tranquility Table Wind Chime

Good things come in small packages too! Check the hand-blown glass Hummingbird Sun Catchers for any hummingbird fancier. In warm or cool pallet, they magically catch light for extended gazing time.

Detours of Life Garden Plaques make a really fun gift though a sense of humor is required. 4 sayings from which to choose, the handcrafted weatherproof stoneware endures indefinitely. Complete with leather hanger.

And if you happened to notice... someone messed up big time on the 11th- and 12th-day icons for the Twelve Days of Christmas... but we still find them fun, colorful and serving the purpose for this year's holiday gift guide :)


Gift Idea 10- A Hanging Bird Bath to Soothe the Soul December 15 2016


Gift Idea 10- Hanging Bird BathEven if they have no yard at all... you can get someone hooked on birds by gifting a cool hanging bird bath! Fresh water was, is, and always will be the easiest way to entice feathered friends!  

Perfect size for any space, they work well on the balcony, deck, front porch, or in the garden. Hanging from a tree branch, garden pole, deck bracket or simple wall hook, birds seek fresh water on a daily basis.  Just keep it fresh (and shallow) and they will come! 

Choose from unique hanging baths that are handcrafted of copper, ceramic or glass. Warm tones or cool hues look swell in the landscape, texture and patterns can offer an interesting focal point as well... although the birds aren't picky at all!

Ceramic Hanging Bird Bath

The Daisy Ceramic Bath offers a whimsical style, with vivid color and texture, definitely art for the soul!

Maybe a Tiffany-inspired glass birdbath would tickle their fancy? Reasonably priced, it's beautifully crafted with soothing warm colors that contrast naturally with surroundings. Functional art for the birds!


Tiffany Glass Hanging Bird Bath

Contemporary designs in solid copper are hip and so sleek. A little higher-end, the copper will patina over the years for a more natural look in the garden. Birds love these things, and there's even a matching bird feeder. Both are available in medium or large sizes so you give the look without a hefty price tag. 

Handcrafted in the Blue Ridge Mountains by European metal-crafter Vasse Vaught, the Vogeli designs are timeless pieces for all ages and all songbirds. Place a large rock or a few rivers stones inside the bird bath for safety and easy footing.
Hanging Copper Bird Bath

Give a hanging bird bath and offer someone the gift of nature, because it gives back tenfold. Birding is addictive... in a most positive way that soothes the soul and quiets the mind. Nothing to plug-in or download, no saves or back-ups required. So simple yet so refreshing!

 


Gift Idea 9- Suet & Finch Feeders that Won't Break the Bank December 11 2016

Gift Guide Day 9- Suet and Finch Feeders

Let them branch out from boring seed mixes to entice more feathered friends!

Check these fun feeders for long-lasting gifts that get seen and used daily... without breaking the bank!

Finch and suet bird feeders make an awesome gift for any backyard birder from novice to extreme. Ideal also for those who dig gardening as they leave no waste. They up the ante on visiting species and offer variety over standard birdseed mixes.

For gifting a suet feeder, print out these easy recipes on pretty paper to give along with the feeder... it's a swell gift indeed!

For thistle feeders, add a cotton nest ball for more spring activity or pick up a small bag of nyjer seed... they even sell it in some of the bigger grocery stores now!

So here we go, two finch and two suet feeders that won't break the bank!

The Quad Suet Feeder and Recycled Tail Prop

Quad Suet FeederRecycled Tail Prop Suet Feeder

Rainbow Finch Feeder and 1 qt. Thistle Feeder

Rainbow Finch FeederThistel Feeder with roof and tray


Gift Idea 8- Recycled Metal Yard Art December 01 2016

Gift Guide Day 8- Recycled Metal Yard ArtBecause the grass is always greener and urban dwellers dream of the farm!

Cows, and goats and chickens, oh my!  Fun stuff for the garden, metal yard art rocks for it's uniqueness and charming personality.



    Colorful Rooster Metal Yard ArtFind some colorful rustic roosters, rockin' chickens (who literally rock), pigs who fly (and those who don't), even a Chihuahua Metal Yard Sculpture. This one's so ugly he's actually adorable!

    Two Old Crows Kinetic Garden Stake might be ideal for the parents or grands, while the Kingfisher with Catch would be a kick for the birding enthusiast on the water. No two sculptures are ever exactly alike as they're handcrafted in Mexico from scrap metal.

      Chihuahua Metal Yard Art

       

      Metal Billy Goat Garden Critter 


       

       

       


      Rooster with Trumpet Yard Art

      Billy Goat's a real hoot- even better when paired with a buddy, simply because life's better with a friend at your side.

      Jammin' Roosters are large colorful sculptures yielding trumpet or fiddle, perfectly suited for the one who may jam (some sense of humor required).

      The scrap metal will weather over time (rust) and some folks do prefer that old and gnarly look. Color may be preserved by applying a clear coat spray every year. Not polyurethane, just plain old clear coat does the trick.

      When pondering a unique gift for the gardening type, consider first if they're into the bird feeding thing. Most are because the hobbies go hand in hand. But some... maybe not so much? This is when a piece of unique garden art could very well be a fab choice for the one who has everything!

      Spotted Cows Garden Art
      Adopt a cow, goat or chicken this holiday season... no farm chores necessary!


      Gift Idea 7- Church Birdhouses or Rustic Bird House November 26 2016

      Gift Idea 7- Church Birdhouses or Rustic Style

      Because most are one-of-a-kinds

      Seeking a totally unique gift this holiday season? Find distinctive church birdhouses that are handmade and likely one-of-a-kind.

      Barn wood and other reclaimed materials are used along with vintage hardware, the designs are unique and quite bird-friendly!

      Nest clean-outs, drainage & ventilation, proportioned entry and floor... this is important stuff to a bird seeking new digs to raise their family. Yet the ironic thing (to us anyway) is that most folks display them inside for unusual decor.

      Four new church birdhouses just in, with features birds love and fab color for a striking accent as well, bird house collectors love these! Aged tin roofs are sealed for durability outdoors, salvaged barn wood will be around for many seasons of successful broods! Pole- or post-mount, they offer feathered friends an ideal roosting spot during the off-season too.

      New Church Birdhouses

      On a more elaborate scale, this deep red rustic church makes a fine statement indoors or in the garden. With a scrolling oversize detailed cross and real ringing bell, any bluebird would be elated to claim this sanctuary as their own!

      As far as gifting? We're fairly sure the recipient would be stoked to receive such a unique piece of art for their feathered friends. Pssst... this one's on sale as there's seven churches up for grabs!

      Another rustic birdhouse which is very bird-friendly is the log-front style. Several designs, each being unique and one-of-a-kind as they originate from Mother Nature herself!

      Also handcrafted from old barn wood and tin, log sections are chosen for the deep knots used for entries. They create natural predator guards which help keep nests and babies safe from thieving paws of squirrels, raccoons or cats. They also replicate the natural cavities found in trees and snags where birds (without birdhouses) will nest!

      Log-front birdhouses are equally suited for garden pole, 4x4 post or back-mounted on a fence or structure. Entries measure about 1.5-inches so they're ideal for Eastern bluebirds, tree swallows, downy woodpeckers and other usual suspects! Deep predator guard thwarts bully birds like starlings, while effectively shielding nestlings from elements.

      It might even be a tough choice when choosing a church birdhouse or log-front design for the perfect gift... but we promise birds will adore them all and they're bound to become a most popular nest site for many years to come!
      Rustic Log BirdhouseBarn Wood Rustic BirdhouseBest Birdhouse Gift  Best Birdhouse Gift
      So many birdhouses and so little time...
      H
      appy Gifting and please help house the birds :)



      Gift Idea 6- Copper/Vinyl Birdhouse November 24 2016

      Gift Guide Day 6- Copper/Vinyl Birdhouse

      Simply because your loved one is worth it!

      A most impressive gift from small to tall, our copper roof birdhouses range from bluebird houses to purple martin mansions. Although both of these birds prefer open space, some serious ground is required for the extreme martin mansion.

      The true beauty lies in their durability. Although they look like wood, vinyl birdhouses and feeders wear just like vinyl siding on a house. They're guaranteed against cracking, splitting, warping or mildew. Virtually impervious to the elements, take the garden hose and a soft cloth to clean environmental build-up.Copper-Vinyl Bluebird Birdhouse

      Copper portals or perches adorn both single and multi-entry designs. Finials are composite resin, so no breakdown there either. Roof lifts for easy nest clean-out and vinyl decorative brackets are included on medium and large birdhouses. Smaller sizes include vinyl mounting bracket with detailed trim.

      So many stunning birdhouses it's really a tough call!

      Should I get a birdhouse or feeder?
      One will definitely see more activity at a bird feeder, but it must be maintained... in other words, kept filled with fresh seed and cleaned periodically.

      Really wanna see a jaw drop when you give their gift? This square mid-size birdhouse has been a best seller season after season.

       

       


      Two-Story Copper & Vinyl BirdhouseShown with a shiny copper roof, each birdhouse is made to order with choice of bright or aged patina copper.

      They ship within 1-2 of days of ordering, and transit time to most of US is just 2-3 days via Standard FedEx. But don't wait till the last minute because the sheer volume of packages being sent across the country is monstrous!

      Regardless of the style or size, each is a distinctive garden accent offering timeless elegance. Crafted in the USA, they'll host many successful broods over the years.

      Your other half, parents, grown children, siblings, aunt, uncle or dear friends will absolutely flip for one of these beauties! Witness some real joy with the best birdhouse gift out there!

      Psssst... use promo code FB10 to nab $25 off (except bluebird size) and get FREE shipping on all birdhouses.

      Please help house the birds :)

      Here's the best birdhouse gift for holiday

       

       


      Gift Idea 5- Edible Birdhouses & Festive Seed Treats November 23 2016

      Gift Guide Day 5- Edible Birdhouses and Festive Seed TreatsGifting an Edible Birdhouse like the Bed & Breakfast or Wren Casita is really like two gifts-in-one!

      Fun to give yet more fun to receive, birds love these things for several reasons. The premium seed offers a tasty food source, while the real wooden birdhouse beneath is awesome for nesting in spring.

      Bed and Breakfast Edible BirdhouseBeyond that and once seed is consumed, beaked buddies will even find these festive birdhouses a cozy roost for cold nights.

      Fun for the recipient (if the least bit crafty) houses may be painted or stained for a joyful project. Wood may also be left untreated to weather naturally over time.

      Overall, it's a festively fun bird feeder, functional wood birdhouse, and artsy-fartsy, rainy day project for the recipient :)

      Other large seed treats birds adore are Peanut Snowman (noms) and the Deluxe Fruit & Pecan Wreath. Finally a fruitcake somebody likes!

      Deluxe Pecan and Fruit Wreath for BirdsNo-Waste Seed Wreath comes beautifully boxed on a bed of straw with a nice hanging net. The cool thing here is that the straw will be most popular once nesting season is underway.

      A natural material found in many nests (like dried grasses) straw and net should be saved for spring offerings! Add some pet hair or feathers to the net along with straw and birds will be all over this like white on rice!

      If opting for this DIY bird project, omit dryer lint, it's just not something found in nature. Straw should also be cut into small sections (just a few inches at most) because little birdie feet can get tangled in long strands causing big problems... really.

      Giving an Edible Birdhouse or Festive Seed Wreath offers the recipient a multi-use gift their feathered friends will adore now and later!


      Gift Idea 4- Bluebird House- a good one! November 20 2016

      Gift Guide Day 4- Bluebird HouseGive them bluebirds... well, at least a decent house that's NABS Approved!

      In a birder's world, there's not a whole lot that compares to watching the nest process, fledge and journey for a new family of bluebirds.

      Because they actually have 2-3 clutches per season, older siblings will offer their services to help mom & dad raise the younginOlder bluebird siblings will help feed fledgelings's. It's probably one of the coolest things to witness.

      At first, folks may be hesitant to monitor a bluebird house for fear of scaring the birds off. But it's not the case! So long as one learns the habits of their blues, avoids nest checks at dawn or dusk, and most importantly to steer clear a few days prior to fledge time, the birds really don't mind much. Oh yeah... knock first, always knock first!




      Bluebird house with front doorSo who is NABS and why do they have approved boxes? The North American Bluebird Society actually recommends and strongly encourages monitoring nest boxes, the main reason being that it helps the birds thrive. Being aware of predators and/or other mishaps gives your blues a better shot at successful fledges.

      For this reason, a bluebird house with front- or side door opening is preferred because they're easy to monitor.

      One exception might be the Gilbertson Nest Box which is also very easy to monitor. Also NABS approved, though unlike a traditional bluebird house, it operates in a different fashion.

      Another great option is vinyl because it's mold and bacteria resistant, and unlike wood, PVC/Vinyl material lasts a lifetime. This front-door bluebird abode features a copper roof and other amenities blues will surely dig!
      Vinyl Bluebird House with Front Door
      Notice both house have predator guards at the entry, this helps keeps thieving paws out as eggs are a tasty treat to most furry ones :(

      One important note: Should your blue bird house gift be for someone in the Eastern part of the country, opt for an Eastern Bluebird House. On the flip side, should the recipient reside in the western part of the county, be sure to give a Mountain/Western Bluebird House. The differences are the entry size which is only about 1/8th-inch difference and the floor size... but this is important stuff to a bluebird!

      Want to make the gift a little nicer still? Add to it this popular bluebird book about attracting and hosting the birds. Full of wonderful images and great advice, these wares will bring big smiles to a bird watcher... from novice to expert and for many more seasons to come!Bluebird Gift Book



      Top