Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Many birds become more sociable to improve their chances of survival during cold weather. By flocking together, they improve their chances of locating food. By huddling together during the night, they conserve their body heat. Such the adage......birds of a feather flock together.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


We would like to take this time to thank everyone for their support. We wish you all a very joyous holiday season and a happy new year. Always remember to take the extra time to enjoy family and friends.

A Time To Talk

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don't stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am,
What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.
Robert Frost

Monday, December 22, 2008

Do Bird's Feet Stick To Metal Perches or Feeders

I get asked this question all the time when it starts to get below freezing at night. "Won't the bird's feet stick to the metal perch on birdhouses or feeder parts." I figured that this would be as good of a time as any time to answer this question, especially since we received 12" of snow the past two days and its been extremely cold at night.

As you may know, our fingers may stick to metal ice cube trays because moisture freezes on contact with frigid metal. So, will birds stick to metal feeder parts and metal perches during subfreezing temperatures?

Well bird's feet are covered with dry scales, so there is no surface moisture, making it just about impossible for them to freeze to metal perches. A bird's legs and feet lack fleshy muscle and are made up mostly of tough tendons. Their eyes, tongues, and beaks are usually safe from exposure to metal feeder parts as well. Rapid reflexes prevent the eye from coming in contact with foreign metal surfaces and bird's beaks are toughened, calloused and dry. During cold weather little blood flows to a bird's extremities.

But, has this ever happened? This is an extremely rare event. We have read only one report of a bird's feet sticking. If you observe this unfortunate circumstance don't panic, a bird can be freed from this rare predicament by pouring warm water over the contact point.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winterberry Holly

Did you know that winterberry holly will attract songbirds to your yard? Songbirds use it as an emergency food source. It is the native plant for December.

Winterberry holly is native to eastern Canada and the eastern half of the U.S. If you have places in your yard that are plagued by wetness, this is the shrub to plant. It prefers acidic soil and can be grown in partial shade or sun.

Although the plant is common in the wild, you can go to your local nursery and purchase it. Buy one male plant and surround it with female plants which will bear the plant's red beautiful berries. The plants at the nursery should be labeled male and female making it easy to purchase them.

As the plant sheds it's green leaves in winter, it displays red berries, the perfect winter food for attracting songbirds.

If you are not interested in attracting songbirds, you can always use the winterberry holly stems for arts and crafts projects. Just make sure you cut them in November before the songbirds start to enjoy them.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Birds Rely on Birdbaths in Winter Too

All birds need a constant supply of water for drinking and for bathing. During the winter months birds need water just as much as they do in the summer months, if not more. Available water keeps their feathers in good condition. This is so important because they rely on their feathers for insulation to keep them warm during the cold bitter winter months.

Many birds will drink more water during the winter months. This is because birds who feast on dry nuts do not get enough to hydrate them. Seed eaters also need plenty of water. Water compensates for the lack of moisture in their diet.

A pond or large water source is ideal for attracting birds and wildlife. Unfortunately, most of us do not have this in our yard. Your water source does not have to be elaborate. A simple birdbath, a shallow indentation lined with plastic in your flower bed or a secured inverted lid all will do the trick. Believe it or not, a simple puddle is just as sufficient for birds to use as a water source.

Just make sure that whatever you use, the birds are able to get in an out easily. And please be diligent about keeping all water sources clean and filled with fresh water. Don't forget to crack the ice that my form during the winter months.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that the bird population that frequent your yard during the winter and summer months are happy and healthy visitors.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Hi Everyone!

Thank you to all who participated in our Thanksgiving Give Away by purchasing something out of our etsy shop. We really appreciate your support!

The winner of our give away goes to Rochelle E from North Carolina. CONGRATULATIONS ROCHELLE. You are the winner of the blue Danbury birdhouse with a retail value of $45.00. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=15402827

Many of the people who participated in the sale were either etsians with their own shops or people who love to shop from etsian artists. Rochelle has a shop of her own. It is called blackethelcash.etsy.com.

Again, we just want to thank everyone. It was a huge success and we are looking forward to doing something similar again in the Spring of 2009.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Visit our etsy store, purchase ANYTHING in our store and be automatically entered into our free giveaway. The more you purchase, the better your chances. Your name will be entered for every purchase made!

This sale starts on Friday morning, November 28th and runs through Monday night, December 1st (EST).

Many many items in our store will be reduced from 10% up to 60% off the original price. The winner will be announced on our blog Tuesday morning, December 2nd.

Want to know what you will be winning? This beautiful carolina blue salt box birdhouse (retail value $45.00) and we will even cover the cost of shipping.


Visit From The Boss

We received a surprise visit from "The Boss" this weekend when were were at the Craft Fair. It was great to see him, his grandmother and Janice. We hope everyone in your family Mason and all your friends have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

DID YOU KNOW - Birds Body Temperature

A birds normal body temperature is usually 7-8 degrees hotter than a humans. A bird uses up to three quarters of the air it breathes just to cool down because they are unable to sweat.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Time To Clean Out The Birdhouses

Once your birds have moved on and the weather becomes brisk, you should set some time aside to cleaning out your birdhouses.

Remember, even if your birds do not migrate, the nesting season is over by late fall.

We make all our birdhouses fully functional for the outdoors. The backs, bottoms or tops can be unscrewed for cleaning. We also make some with the backs or sides that open too.

If you have a favorite birdhouse that does not have this feature, you can carefully take off one piece. You can always refasten it with a hinge or a screw.

It is very simple to clean out a birdhouse. First you should remove the nesting materials from the house. Some people like to collect the nest. If you are one of them, just make sure you spray the nest with bug spray and let it sit for at least 24 hours before bringing it inside.

You may find unwanted guests in your birdhouse, such as mice or insects. Kindly remove these intruders also. It is unwise to use bug spray inside the birdhouse.

Once your birdhouse is empty, scrub the inside with a stiff brush and soapy sudsy water. Make sure to rinse thoroughly.

If you put your birdhouses back up for the winter, remember to check them again in early early spring. Many of the birds that do not migrate will seek shelter in them during the cold winter months. You may need to clean them out again depending on the activity during the winter.

When your birds return in the spring, their home will be clean and ready for a new family of birds for you to enjoy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

DID YOU KNOW - Squirrels

Squirrels can jump a distance of up to 2o feet while in the trees and can fall up to 100 feet without hurting themselves. Squirrels can be found on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

DID YOU KNOW - Eastern Screech Owl

The Eastern Screech Owl will start to nest in March. This is because the rodent prey, that the adult owl feeds their young, is plentiful and easy to catch.

Even though this owl is nocturnal, it can see quite well in the daylight.

The ear tufts on their heads can be raised and lowered, at will.

As with all owls, they are more often heard then seen.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Can You Identify That Bird????

It's a beautiful day and you are walking through the woods. You have your binoculars in your hand just in case you see something worthwhile. Up ahead you catch a glimpse of something red flying between the trees. Can you identify this bird?

Along with those binoculars you may also want to add a pen and paper to your list. Without a positive description of what you saw, your identification process will be unsuccessful.

The first thing to note on a bird is its physical features. It is important to remember the size, tail length and beak. You can compare these features to a leaf or branch that you pick up from the ground. The length and color of its wings, back, breast and belly are key characteristics and need to be noted . Don't forget to check out the birds toes. You will also need details of its voice, posture, how it flies, walks or hops. Last but not least, where did you spot it. Was it in a field, at the edge of the woods, by a pond etc.

In order to identify the bird you saw, you will need a Bird Field Guide. You can purchase one of these from the local bookstore. Choose the guide that specifies the birds in the region where you live. With your careful detailed description and the field guide you can narrow down the bird you saw.

This may sound like a lot of work, but do not get discouraged. It takes time and practice to develop an eye for identifying birds. So the next time you are walking through the woods or you get that mystery bird eating birdseed in the back yard, you just might surprise yourself!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

DID YOU KNOW- Female Birds

Female birds choose their mates based on how attractive they are and how beautifully they sing.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


The average adult bird sleeps a total of three and a half days a year. A bird naps for about 15 seconds at a time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Another's Trash Is Our Treasure

Fred and I took last weekend off and enjoyed ourselves. We did one of our favorite things that we like to do. We scoured out tag sales and flea markets in search of unique items for our birdhouses. I would say we were pretty successful in our findings.

As always, Fred could not wait to get back and start designing some birdhouses around the items we found. He finished these up today. Sure hope you enjoy the pictures.

All our birdhouses are especially made for the small songbirds that frequent your yard. They are fully functional for outside. We make then so the bottoms unscrew easily for clean out. As with all our birdhouses, we give them a slightly aged appearance.

We found this piece of old brass piping in a box of misc. items at a tag sale down the road.

This is an old window latch that was probably used many years ago. The white paint from the windowsill is still on the latch.

This was a great find at the flea market. It is a cast iron horseshoe with a horse and an old rusty hook attached. A great gift for someone who loves horses or a western theme.

This copper plated drawer handle makes an excellent perch.
These birdhouses will be added to our Etsy store within the next few days.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What Type Of Birds To Expect Throughout The Year

There are three categories that birds fall into when visiting your yard. There are winter visitors, summer nester's and birds of passage that will come through when migrating in the spring and fall.

Depending on what type of birds visit your yard, there can be an overlap of different species between summer and winter. There are some chickadees, jays, starlings, nuthatches, winter wrens and woodpeckers that will visit your feeders in winter. They will stake out different territories in your yard. If you are lucky, they will stay and nest.

Winter will bring a flow of birds into your yard in search of food but in spring and summer territorial behavior will limit the number that remains. Sometimes this will bring disappointment. You have been watching the birds singing, courting and collecting nest materials, but then you realize that they are building a nest and raising their young out of sight in someone else's yard.

Do not fret, sometimes, they may return in late summer with their families. Other times, they are replaced by other summer visitors such as hummingbirds, swallows or house wrens. If you make it a point to look daily, you will not be disappointed.

Between summer and winter the bird life in your yard is often supplemented by newly independent young birds who are searching for homes of their own. During this time all sorts of birds may turn up while migrating, making it a special worthwhile time to bird watch.

Rare visitors are no exception. The spring and fall migration could bring such a visitor, perhaps one that has been blown off course or strayed. Keep your eye out. If a strange bird appears, try to identify it before it is gone. You never know, such a rarity may make you a celebrity.

Friday, October 31, 2008

MASON The New Boss

Meet the new boss, Mason. He applied for the job while we were at the Wassaic NY craft show. He showed up early in the morning with great enthusiasm and an interest in our birdhouses. How could we resist.

We gave Mason a little background as to what needed to be done in displaying our birdhouses. He quickly went to work pointing out which birdhouse needed to be strategically placed in order to have a good show.

He diligently placed this birdhouse in the spot HE wanted.

Mason was such a big help both days. We had to snap a couple more pictures of him with a birdhouse. His smile says it all.

Unfortunately this show was only two days, so his tenure with us was short but sweet. We really appreciated all his efforts and help and are nominating him for "Employee of the Month" for October 2008. Mason, you did a GREAT Job.

We would also like to thank him for the two pumpkins that he colorfully decorated for us. (You can see them in the first picture right behind him). They are on our front porch and everyone who goes by loves them.

Fred & Lynn

Look Who's In The Yard

I wonder if you know that an average yard is visited, on a regular basis by 15 to 20 birds.

Across the USA, the most numerous birds that someone can see are cardinals in the southeast, blue jays in the northeast, black capped chickadees in the northwest, and house wrens in the southwest.


Black Capped Chickadees eat great amounts of seed and are the most common visitors to feeders in their region of the northwest.


If you live in the city, you may think that the only birds that visit your neighborhood are the rock doves, house sparrows and starlings. The chances are very good of seeing other birds if there is a vacant lot, a patch of open ground or even a tree around you.

In the suburbs , where it is more rural, the chances of seeing different species of birds increase. There may not be many nesting, but if you have feed out they will certainly visit your feeder. Your opportunity for seeing birds in the winter increase because birds move over a greater area looking for food. Your best bet for seeing a variety of birds comes in the spring and fall when birds are passing through on migration.

Locality does play a major role in what types of birds visit your yard. A visit from certain species of birds depends on whether you have farmland, forest, mountains or desert around you. Lastly it depends on the season, as birds migrate to and from.

Dark-Eyed Junco


Dark-eyed juncos visit yards across the USA. Their plumage will vary depending on where they are at that specific time in their migration.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ten Birding Tips

1. Black Oil Sunflower Seed is the most popular seed. Feeding the birds this seed will give you a variety of backyard songbirds.

2. If you would like to attract the beautiful American Goldfinch, try using nyger seed. Many know this as thistle seed. This seed is oil rich and will draw finches to your feeders.

3. One of the best times to view cardinals is early morning or at dusk. Cardinals like to feed on the ground but will come to feeders that have enough room for them to perch. They prefer to nest in bushes and thickets.

4. Birdseed and suet should be stored in a dark, cool, dry space. Both can also be put in the freezer for storage too.

5. Quality birdseed gives you the most feeding value for your money because birds often toss aside less expensive "filler" seeds. Peanuts, tree nuts and sunflower seeds are quality seeds. These seeds will be eaten with little waste.

6. What about those pesky squirrels. There are squirrel proof feeders available and baffles for existing feeders. If you have enough room in your yard, you may want to set up a feeding area just for the squirrels. This can divert them away from bird feeders. You can keep the squirrel area fully stocked with dried ears of corn and wildlife mixes that are sure to please them.

7. You can extend the life of your quality birdseed such as nyger seed by mixing it with black oil sunflower seeds or seed mix.

8. If you are pressed for time on certain days to restock your bird feeders and seed blocks are an excellent idea. Just unwrap a seed block, set it outdoors and go.

9. A clean feeder is a must to keep birds healthy. You can purchase brushes and bird feeding cleaning products to keep them clean. Oriole feeders and hummingbird feeders need to be cleaned two or three times a week in hot weather before adding fresh nectar.

10. Birdhouses can give winter shelter so keep them up during this time. In very early spring you can clean out the nests and get them ready for new families.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Water and Birdhouses

Birds love birdbaths and a crowed birdbath brings quality entertainment for everyone to enjoy. A modest size birdbath will attract a wide variety of songbirds, especially if a feeder is nearby. A supply of water in a birdbath or pond provides another incentive for birds to visit your yard throughout the year. Birds need fresh water for drinking and bathing. Water is just as important in winter as it is in summer. Birds need to keep cool during hot summer days and what better way than a birdbath. Birds do not sweat but pant to keep cool. In the winter, birds need fresh drinking water. The alternative is eating snow. They have to warm it and this costs them precious energy. Birds also continue to preen throughout the winter. This helps to maintain the insulation of the plumage, which is vital to the survival of birds in cold weather.

Even in a mature yard that is well planted with trees, dense vines and shrubs, there is likely a shortage of suitable nest sites. This is especially true if large number of local birds have been maintained through the winter by food supplied at feeders. It's so easy to follow the bird family life unfold if you put up a well placed birdhouse. A birdhouse should be placed away from the worst effects of the sun and rain. It must be secure enough not to fall down, but it does not matter if it wobbles a bit.

You must resist the temptation to visit a birdhouse or any other nest during the laying season. The laying period is a very sensitive time, and some birds desert their nest if it is disturbed. Visits also make the nest more vulnerable to predators who will follow the trail of your scent, out of curiosity.

Research has shown that a single visit to a robin or bluebird nest increases the chance of both dessertion and predators. If well groomed nestlings are disturbed, they are likely to erupt out of the nest in a panic. If they do, gently place them back into the birdhouse and stuff the entrance with a handkerchief until they settle down. There are about 80 species of birds that nest in cavities and are candidates for birdhouses.

Feeding The Birds

Your success in attracting birds depends on how far you can fulfill their basic needs. Even if your yard does not contain the natural wealth of food, water or large trees, you can create these features for our feathered friends by providing birdfeeders, birdbaths and a birdhouse .

You do not need anything elaborate to feed the birds. Just a few pieces of crust thrown on the ground will do the trick. Of course, many use commercial feed as a food source for feeding the birds. Feeding the birds is a popular pastime and it is estimated that 85 million people in North America use birdfeeders or landscape their yards with certain plants to attract birds. Studies show that several birds including chickadees, titmice, nuthatches and
woodpeckers can benefit from extra food supplies during the winter.

Just to give you an idea as to what birds may require for food, a blackcapped chickadee requires about 160 sunflower seeds each day and requires 250 seeds in a severe frost. Researchers have found that chickadees only take about a quarter of their food from feeders. In other words, the food we give them is a supplement to their natural diet, but is extremely valuable in very cold weather. When natural supplies are scarce, birdfeeders can make all the difference. The birds rely on this food to survive in temperatures zero degrees and below.

By perching quietly with their feathers fluffed out for extra insulation, birds can conserve energy too. They can can do this only as long as they have enough body fat to act as fuel though. Once this is used up they will either freeze or starve. Therefore, it cannot be stressed enough how important feeding the birds becomes in the cold winter months. Feeding in the summer can also be beneficial to birds. Raising a family is a tiring job. Some bird parents can make several hundred flights to the nest with food each day. Making it easy to find an additional food source for them can make their job less strenuous.

Most people get pleasure from the birds that come into the yard. For people who are confined indoors, backyard birdwatching can become a particular joy. A few minutes in the morning or evening can be a perfect way to forget about the tensions of the work day. Children can also enjoy and learn from the frequent visitors that come to the feeders


Food from the feeder is not usually suitable for nestlings. The feeder is actually something like a fast food joint, where both parents can get a nourishing treat for themselves while collecting food for their young.


It is often said that once you start to feed the birds in the winter, you should not stop until winter is over. The University of Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology has said putting food into feeders can make life for the birds that much easier and it is a valuable contribution to their survival in the hard winter, but no bird relies entirely on one source of food. In natural circumstances, birds have to adapt to changing food sources for their survival and this depends on how quickly they find new food supplies. There are times when birds may become dependent on bird feeders. In the spring, before their natural food is readily available or in unusual hard spells of weather, well stocked feeders are life savers.


Many people stop feeding birds at the end of winter because they are afraid that they may temp migrants to stay behind, when in fact, birds may need the extra food to put on fat to be used for their juorney. Many of the birds that do not migrate will leave the suburbs for the country to nest. Those that do, turn to natural food and seem to ignore the feeders.
The yard cannot always be relied upon to be an adequate source of food. If you have coaxed the birds into nesting in one of your birdhouses, you should make sure that they have enough to eat. Many people are often afraid that the nestlings may be fed unsuitable food from a feeder, but in many bird species, the diet of the nestling differs from the adults. The parents can obtain their own requirements easily from the feeder, while finding the correct natural food for their offspring.

Plenty To See When You Attract Birds

Many people get pleasure from the birds that frequent their yard. Feeders provide the easiest way to attract birds. Close encounters with birds are a magical experience. The thrill that comes with the nearness of nature can be experienced by something so simple as chickadees landing on your hand to enjoy some seed.

A more unusual and spectacular occurrence, such as a hummingbird buzzing on almost transparent wings at a sugar-water dispenser outside your window, can create a lasting impression.


Hummingbirds are the only animal that can fly backwards.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Message For The Back Yard Bird Watcher

We make all our birdhouses for the small song birds that frequent your yard. Our objective is to offer information that we have been asked over the past few years. Our goal is to keep you informed on as much information as possible, so you can attract birds to your back yard.

Here's a little tidbit: Did you know that birds are the most visible and entertaining form of wildlife? They come in all colors, provide hours of entertainment as they bathe, feed, court and nest. The effort is minimal in attracting them. The main ingredients are food, water, plants and a good sturdy birdhouse.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Our Show Schedule

This is a list of our scheduled shows:

Nov. 15 & 16
Westport CT
Harvest Fair @ St. Luke Church

Nov. 22
Ridgefield CT
East Ridge Middle School

Nov. 28, 29 & 30
West Springield, MA
Big E Better Living Building
Old Deerfield Craft Show

Dec 5 & 6
Bethlehem CT
Christmas Town Festival

About Birdhouse Accents

  • I started making birdhouses about seven years ago as a hobby for family and friends. Somewhere, someone had the brilliant idea that I "should sell those things". I tried it and since than it has grown into a full time passion. I have always loved wood working and consider myself so lucky to be doing something I enjoy day after day.
  • Our inspiration comes from the many songbirds that come back year after year. Their melodious songs and cute antics have become an enjoyable part of our lives. We have many birdhouses in our yard, some big, some small, some new and some old. We have one in particular that we have hanging up in a tree now for over six years. It is dilapidated and falling apart. Our friends are always telling us to get rid of it, yet we have not been able to do that. A family of wrens come back year after year. We can't wait for next spring to watch them take over this dilapidated birdhouse, build their nest and raise their brood.
  • We love to take day trips and scout out tag sales and flea markets. Imagination is a wonderful attribute and plays out alot in the thought process of making a birdhouse. We strive to find treasures that are unique. Our birdhouses are one of a kind pieces. Many hours go into the making of a birdhouse. It could be a triple layer of paint that has been distressed, to a certain roof angle to give it just the right look, to something so odd that we feel it just has to sell. All our birdhouses are given a worn, aged look to them. We feel it adds to the character of the birdhouse.
  • We participate in many craft fairs throughout the year starting in March and continuing through December. We enjoy talking to people and try to answer all their questions from what type of bird would live in one of our birdhouses to how do you get those pesky squirels from taking over. We especially love the children. It is so exciting to see a little one trying to coax their parents into buying a birdhouse. We encourage this wonderful hobby of getting them involved in the world of birding and are always grateful when they listen to their child.
  • We try to recycle in any way we can. We ship in used boxes and use old bubble wrap from a kyack place down the road. We subscribe to the local paper. Another way to recylce packaging, who would have thought.
  • All our birdhouses are hand crafted and designed by us. Our birdhouses make excellent gifts for any occasion and are sure to put a smile on someones face.
Fred & Lynn