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.