Saturday, August 16, 2014

What Kind of Bird House Should you get?

The primary reason to have bird houses is to attract different species of birds to your home and give them a place to nest and live in safety and comfort so that you can enjoy watching them. Approaching this from a broader perspective, when putting in bird houses you should also establish feeding and watering sites and schedules for your visiting birds.

·         Robins. Although robins prefer a nesting post, they will build nests in enclosed bird houses.

·         Wrens. Wrens prefer a smaller, boxy structure. They prefer having a single, small entry.

·         Martins. The large, multi-room martin houses are some of the most beautiful bird houses made. Of a size to allow detail work, they can be quite fancy.

Adding a bird house, or more than one, to your yard can attract many birds that you didn’t count on. Wren houses, small and secure, also attract other small birds, but most of them won’t nest in a martin house because of the multiple openings. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from putting up multiple bird houses to attract different kinds of birds.

There are some general rules to follow when locating bird houses, though. Placement is an important consideration. You don’t want to have the bird house too close to the feeder since the feeder will not only attract other species of birds, it will also attract squirrels, cats and other predators. Placing bird houses near bushes or trees will give the inhabitants a place of refuge if they feel they are in danger.

You don’t want the entry of the bird house to face east or south. This will make the interior of the bird house too warm during the late morning and early afternoon. Mounting a bird house on a pole, as opposed to suspending it from a tree, can protect the nesting birds from climbing predators.

Cleanliness is important if you want to attract birds to your home year after year. Buying or building a birdhouse that can give you access to the interior at least once a year for cleaning will make it much simpler. Cleaning should be done every spring prior to the mated birds nesting and laying eggs. For your own health, wear a face mask and gloves while cleaning the bird house.

Keeping your bird baths and feeders clean and full of water and food will also help attract a variety of birds, and other small animals, to your yard. Depending on the season and location, you might have to refill bird baths a couple of times per day to ensure fresh water for visiting birds.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Where and How to Spot Pileated Woodpeckers

The pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is a crow-sized, North American woodpecker that inhabits forests across the eastern United States, throughout Canada and parts of the Pacific coast. It is the largest woodpecker in the United States, with the possible exception of the possibly extinct Ivory-billed woodpecker.

Pileated woodpeckers are easy to recognize due to their size, dark coloration and distinctive red crest. Except for the undersides of the wings, the pileated woodpecker is predominantly black. The undersides of the wings are white and can be spotted when the bird is in flight. There are also black and white stripes on its face and neck. The differences in color between male and female specimens of this woodpecker are mainly limited to the coloring of the crest with the male’s plumes covering his head from the base of the bill to the backside of his head. The female’s crest, on the other hand, begins at the very top of the head and continues to the backside. The male also has a red stripe that runs along the side of his head. This is often referred to as his mustache.

Pileated woodpeckers eat carpenter ants, beetle larvae and other insects, drilling distinctive rectangular holes in dead wood to get to them. It will also feed on wild fruits and nuts, but ants constitute the bulk of its diet. In addition to drilling holes in trees to get at insects, it also excavates large holes in trees to create nests.

The nests of the pileated woodpecker are made in tree cavities, which is begun by the male and worked on by both the male and female, and eggs are laid in batches of four. These eggs are incubated by both parents during the day while the male incubates them at night. The normal incubation period is slightly longer than two weeks and the young woodpeckers fledge, or develop wing feathers large enough to fly, at approximately a month old.

Pileated woodpeckers are very territorial during most of the year. Once it has attracted a mate it ‘drums’ on dead trees to mark its territory and will not tolerate new arrivals except during the winter months. This drumming sounds like loud hammering and can be heard for quite a distance. The pileated woodpecker’s territory is usually within a mature stand of coniferous or deciduous trees, but this will vary depending on the level of forest growth. Dead and fallen trees or even younger growth can attract these woodpeckers if their preferred habitat is not available. These woodpeckers compete with wood ducks, European starlings, Eastern bluebirds and other woodpeckers for territory. However, you can occasionally find swifts and even bats sharing roost cavities with pileated woodpeckers.

The sight and sound of the pileated woodpecker is as distinctive as the bird itself is. With its undulating flight and large size, they can easily be identified in flight, and the red crest that crowns their head along with their distinctive call allows identification while roosting or foraging.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Colorful Bird Houses Here

I finally had to move my bird houses away from the house a little. Sometimes the wrens can be quite chatty. :-) I think they really liked the move though. They now have a lilac bush and 2 apple trees to play in, and I put the 2 bird houses next to each other on a double shepards hook. Now they fly back and forth between the two. So fun to watch!

Colorful bird houses here

Monday, July 14, 2014

New Item for your backyard!

Here is a "Real Orange" bird house to brighten up your back yard. The birds just love these houses. I have 3 in my yard and their all full!

More colors and sale items.....HERE