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Birding Tips and Resources

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




      Gift Idea 3- Copper Bird Feeder November 15 2016

      Gift Idea 3- Copper Bird Feeder

      Because These Last a Lifetime and Simply Rock!

      Know someone who's serious into feeding the birds? Copper Bird Feeders are handcrafted in the USA, done in Vinyl/PVC and virtually impervious to the elements. You'll never see them warp, split or crack... it's guaranteed.

      Post Mounted Copper Bird Feeder
      Non-porous material actually makes them healthier for birds. Bacteria and mold can't settle into cracks and splits which eventually occur with wooden bird feeders. People may even like them better than the birds for the architectural aesthetic and quality.

      Stunning in the garden, we've had folks actually ask how to keep the birds out the matching birdhouses. Much to our dismay, the answer is to plug the holes, or don't fill the feeder... but why?

      Large Copper Bird FeederShould you have a serious bird enthusiast (who happens to be a seriously good friend) they'll flip over one of these bird feeders for Christmas!

      The Double Window feeder with shiny copper roof is shown with a lamp post to complete the fine detail. All will fit a 4x4 wood post, but a vinyl post cover may be purchased locally for much less than online. This installation method offers a seamless appearance for a very minimal cost- try shipping a 6 ft. section of anything these days... it's absurd :(  Simply inquire in the fencing section of any large home improvement store and ask for a corner post for vinyl fencing.

      The most popular style over the years has to be this gazebo style. All roofs lift off for easy filling, and you can take the garden hose right to them for quick cleaning of Copper Gazebo Bird Feederenvironmental grime or buildup.

      Copper remains shiny for at least 4 to 5 years prior to weathering. Aged patina roofs remain indefinitely, really just a matter of preference as both are equally popular.

      All in all, our copper bird feeders rock above all others, for their beauty, for their lasting quality... and for the birds!

       

       

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      Gift Idea 2- Fun Garden Statuary, Chimes & Yard Art November 11 2016

      Holiday Gift Guide Day 2- Garden Statuary & Yard ArtAfter all.... who couldn't use some fun stuff in the garden?

      Because being outdoors promotes sanity and relieves life's chaos, you can actually give some peace of mind and aesthetics wrapped up one cool gift... that lasts!

      Liven up the space with unique statuary or garden accents, even a pretty wind chime will have a calming effect on the mind and soul.Glass Rainbow Wind Chime

      Listen to sound clips of finely tuned chimes from Music of the Spheres and Woodstock Chimes- their tuning is guaranteed for life!

      A family of Teak Puddle Ducks in their vibrant rain gear bring smiles and sunshine to the garden, they're handcrafted in Indonesia with attitude plus!

      A Rockin' Rooster or goat, or chickens or pigs may well be in order for the urban homestead, while a hanging Hummingbird Set lets them keep the sprites year-round (available in red also).

      Duck Family StatuaryHanging Hummingbird Sculpture

      For the more enlightened on your list, the Buddha or Namaste-theme might be more appropriate? Give some Zen style with unique stone sculpture- they're equally suited for garden or indoor decor. It's always nice to have the option.
      Namaste Frog Sculpture  Buddha Face Garden Sculpture
      Zen Cat Stone Sculpture

      Should you doubt getting them hooked on birds just isn't possible... any of the above gift suggestions from our statuary and sculpture are sure to bring some big smiles and lasting joy!

      Gift Idea 1- Unique Birdhouse... of course! November 10 2016

      Holiday Gift Guide Day 1- Unique BirdhousesWe're starting the gift guide early this year... because it always seems like time runs out!

      Although we may not have the partridge, and he/she definitely won't use a birdhouse... lots of other resident birds will! Offering birds shelter has real purpose and lasting value, especially for any nature-buff on your list! Prices run from very reasonable to higher end, and you can bet these gifts will last for many seasons of successful broods, plus the selection is fun to browse.

      Ceramic Pagoda BirdhouseEven during the off-season, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, bluebirds, wrens and others will find birdhouses as a cozy roost for cold nights. Cardinals, jays, robins and goldfinches won't use a birdhouse... but you can still attract them with one of our upcoming gift suggestions!

      Why bother with a birdhouse at holiday?

      It's actually an awesome time to install one because bluebirds (for example) are one of the earliest friendly fliers to start claiming their nest boxes. As early as February, and regardless of weather, scouts lay claim to territories and start attempting to attract a mate. Watch for the fun wing-tip and listen for their song!

      Gilberston Nest Box for Bluebrds
      In order to get birds to actually nest in a new birdhouse, timing is critical. New digs should already be available way before nesting season. The new house must be discovered and then claimed by said resident.

      So many cool birdhouses... so little time!


      Find handmade pottery birdhouses and one-of-kind rustic houses too. Church birdhouses crafted of vintage and reclaimed materials and carved wooden houses in the shape of cats, birds and more. The copper & vinyl classics with pure architectural elements bring lasting elegance to the landscape, while whimsical styles bring a colorful splash to the garden.

      Regardless of style, our unique birdhouse selection makes it fun and easy to match the recipient's taste for a meaningful and super fun gift!

       

       

       


      Boho BirdhouseCopper Roof-Vinyl BirdhouseRustic Church Bird Houses
      Fat Cat Wooden Birdhouse

       

       


      Happy Halloween- A Birdhouse Massacre that Almost Was October 30 2016

      Happy Halloween

      It's that scary time of year with ghosts, goblins... and house sparrows!

      Here's one instance where we'll say please don't put up a birdhouse, everyone will be better off without. Should house sparrows reside in your yard, it's just best not to do so unless you're able to monitor the nesting process and take action as needed.

      Many a good sparrow species do reside in our yards; like the song sparrow, chipping, white throated, Savannah, Harris', swamp and tree sparrow, even juncos are part of the sparrow family.

      But encouraging the non-native house sparrow threatens our native songbirds whom we've grown to love and entice by offering birdhouses, bird feeders and bird baths. Among these favorites are bluebirds, chickadees, titmice, tree swallows, basically any of the native cavity-dwelling birds are in jeopardy of deadly situations when house sparrows are present.

      Although it's legal to trap and dispose of this nuisance bird (European starlings too), many hold the opinion that they are all G-d's creatures and deserve to be here... and just "be". And that's okay, but please don't encourage them to nest and thrive.

      Until one has witnessed a brutal attack on nestlings (and even adults) in order to claim a birdhouse, the full extent of their carnage remains unknown.

      House Sparrow Photo by Raymond BelhumeurBest to learn your sparrows, or at the very least learn to identify the song and appearance of the dreaded house sparrow. Many frequently seen sparrows do look alike, though the house sparrow (originating from Europe) is unrelated. Found is suburbs, farms and cities, it's actually part of the Weaver Finch Family, which deems the species as non-native. Their song is deceiving, they visit bird feeders and birdbaths, and for some, it's the only bird they're able to attract so they "take it".

      Here's where a field guide comes in really handy, or one of the many free apps for bird ID. This page has great info on their massive range and identifying the bird.

      And last but not least, a video via birdhouse cam showing a brutal attack on a chickadee nest inside the house. We wont' post it here as viewer discretion may be advised and it is lengthy (but very interesting).

      While the sparrow sings to claim the box, you can see nestlings honker down and freeze as they sense danger! Luckily, these chicks were old enough to escape the massacre, but a few days earlier would have proven a fatal outcome.

      We're not saying don’t put up a birdhouse, but just realize there comes with it a responsibility for the feathered friends who take up residence... real estate's tough out there and competition can be fierce!

      Please don't encourage house sparrows, they masquerade as sweet birds... Happy Halloween!


      Pollinator Gardens in More Schools... Please! Get a Free Bat House on Us October 13 2016

      Monarch Butterfly Close-upBecause we saw our first and ONLY monarch of the season yesterday...

      We're Donating a Bat House to the first school who replies (and follows through)!

      Fall's an ideal time for planning a garden, planting trees, shrubs and perennials for spring. The kids are settled & back in school so, what better class project than to create a garden spot and beautiful habitat for pollinators?

      Food, water and shelter are the simple components to entice winged ones... no birds feeders necessary!
      Bumble Bee Macro ShotFrom kindergarten to grade 12, curriculum may easily be modified to stress the critical need for bees, butterflies, bats & birds in the ecosystem and their bearing on farming and food crops. Alarming numbers and a recent crash in the honey bee population are a wake-up call if ever there was one.

      National Wildlife Federation's popular Certified Wildlife Habitat program will recognize your school's efforts. We're happy to share any tips and resources for attracting bats, butterflies, and birds to the garden as well.

      Bee a part of this growing national effort and get outside to plant!
      "NWF celebrates the efforts of Sasha Hansen and the students of Plank South to create a garden space that improves habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife by providing essential elements needed by all wildlife – natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young. Certification also makes the Plank South Certified Wildlife Habitat part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to restore critical habitat for pollinators"
      We are so excited to have another passionate wildlife gardener join us and create a certified wildlife habitat. Over the last 40 years, nearly 200,000 wildlife gardeners have joined NWF’s Garden for Wildlife movement and helped restore wildlife habitat right in their own neighborhoods,” said David Mizejewski, a naturalist with the NWF.
      NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program encourages responsible gardening that helps pollinators and other wildlife thrive. It encourages planting with native species like milkweed and discourages chemical pesticide use. With nearly 200,000 locations and growing, NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitats and Community Wildlife Habitats recognize individuals, schools, groups and whole communities committed to providing habitat for wildlife, including pollinators." For information: nwf.org/habitat, 800-822-9919.

      Bat Houses
      Let us know your school and location
      Send a photo of the area/garden to be
      Keep us posted on your plan/progress with a few images
      We'll send a Bat House for your new pollinator garden!
      *Contiguous US Only, Grades K-12


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