Thursday, November 7, 2013

Host and Hostess Gift Ideas for Thanksgiving

Looking for a host or hostess gift for Thanksgiving? has just what you need!

Save 10% on all products through Monday, November 11, 2013 by using promo code turkey10 at checkout.

Autumn Breeze Edible Birdhouse

Perfect for autumn and a treat for wild birds!

Simply hang the edible bird feeder house and observe the birds as they consume the berries, millet, and moss.

Covered in red and orange dyed berries, special bird mix, pearl millet and accented with moss, pine cones, wheat and natural raffia bow.

Bird seed covered Autumn Breeze measures 8" tall by 5-1/2" wide.

Wreath with Birdhouse

Bird seed Wreath and Seeded Birdhouse offer wild birds two feeding choices.

The grapevine wreath is decorated with pearl millet, reindeer moss, green moss, golden spray millet, Japanese millet, wheat, and silk sunflowers.

The edible birdhouse is made from white proso millet, red proso millet, and sunflower seeds.

Seed covered wreath is approximately sixteen inches wide.


Wishing Well Bird Feeder

Seed covered bird feeder comes ready to hang outdoors from a pole or a tree branch, preferably near a window for best viewing opportunities.

Wishing well edible bird feeder is adorned with Indian corn, canola, pine bark, lavender berries, moss and wheat and is a real treat for the wild birds in your area.

Corn cob bird feeder is conveniently designed to hold sunflower seeds and a complimentary bag of seeds is included with purchase.

Wishing well bird feeder measures 11 inches by 4 inches.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Making Halloween Safe for Pets

Courtesy of Joan Morris of

With lots of folks headed out soon for trick-or-treating, it pays to give some thought to those furry "kids," our pets, who may be freaked out by all of the odd creatures showing up on our doorsteps.

More and more, people are including their pets in the celebration, joining in on Halloween pet parades and dressing them on Halloween night.

However, not every pet likes the loud noises, costumes and general creepiness of the day. To help with pets that don't embrace the macabre the folks at the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council offer some tips to help keep pets safe until all the goblins go home.

Quiet places

Noise such as constant doorbell ringing and door knocking may stress your pets. Find a quiet room in the house with food, water, litter box or crate and give your pet a safe, quiet haven until it's all over.

Keep away

Candy and candy wrappers can be toxic to pets. Never leave candy unattended or within reach of your cat or dog. While chocolate is toxic to pets, the wrappers can cause just as much damage. Foil and cellophane wrapper, if ingested, could lead to emergency surgery or death.

If your pet eats candy or other toxic substances, consult your veterinarian, local animal emergency hospital or call the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680. The helpline, which sees a 21 percent increase in the number of calls each Halloween, is staffed around the clock. There is a $39 per incident fee for the consultation and follow-up calls.

Play nice

 Reports of animal cruelty seem to increase during the Halloween season. Keep your pets - especially black cats - indoors to reduce the possibility of harmful pranks.

Beware the flame

Be especially careful with your pets around jack-o'-lanterns and other decorations with flames. Cats and dogs have been known to knock over lighted candles, resulting in fires. Consider flameless candles as part of your decor and try to eliminate as many electrical cords as possible to prevent an anxious pet from chewing on them.

Buckle up

If you're going outside with your animals, keep them on a leash. All the excitement and strange sights can cause a normally obedient animal to make a dash for it. Also, make sure they are wearing tags.

For cats and other pets that usually aren't on leashes, be sure to secure them in another part of the house where they won't have the ability to run out of an open door.

To costume or not

There's no denying that our pets look cute in costumes, but some animals just don't like them. If your pet is one of those, don't force him or her into a costume. Experts say it can make them overly anxious.

If your pet is okay with dressing up, be sure the costume doesn't restrict the animal's vision, movement or hearing.

Calm down

Ask children not to run or make quick movements around animals. These actions could be perceived by your pet as an act of aggression, which could then lead to someone being bitten or scratched. If your pet appears agitated, remove him or her from the action. wishes you a happy and haunted Halloween! And to continue the Halloween theme, if you'd like to help keep the bat population thriving, consider installing a bat house!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Christmas Gifts for Wild Birds: Seed-covered Birdhouses and Edible Ornaments

Join us for some holiday spirit with new candy cane edible ornaments and seed covered birdhouses from

Candy Cane Bird Seed Covered Ornaments

Colorful candy cane bird seed ornaments - a set of six are waiting to add a festive winter holiday touch to your home. Just transfer them to the garden in the spring and the wild birds will eat them like candy!

We use a combination of red groat oats, green groat oats, white safflower, and sunflower seeds to cover the wooden-base candy cane ornaments and each one includes a jute rope for hanging. 

Candy Cane Edible Birdhouse

Colorful candy cane edible birdhouse will add a festive winter holiday touch to your home. Just transfer the bird seed house to the garden in the spring and the wild birds will eat from it like candy!

We attach a combination of white proso millet and red milo to a wooden birdhouse frame and top it off with a ribbon bow, cedar, and small pine cones. A wire or cord is included and the Christmas birdhouse arrives ready to hang.

 A Christmas Holiday Edible Birdhouse
Cheery colors makes this a truly decorative Holiday Edible Birdhouse. White roof and gable enhance the red and green winter theme.

Yellow pine bird seed birdhouse is covered with decorative red and white proso millet, grits, canola, green groat oats, and sunflower seeds. The wood frame is decorated with cedar, red berries, and pearl millet columns - a real beauty!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Wild animals love to eat Jack-o'-Lanterns

How to keep wild critters from eating our Jack-o'-Lanterns?

by Joan Morris of ANG newspapers:

There are a number of things you can try.
  • Hot peppers. Buy the largest, cheapest bottle of hot sauce you can find and either paint or spray it on the pumpkins. You can make your own by mixing powdered chili, water and a drop or two of dish washing liquid in a spray bottle. Squirrels really don't like spicy things, and it can deter other critters, too. The oil in the peppers will saturate the skin of the pumpkin, so even if you don't see the hot sauce, anything taking a bite out of it will immediately taste it.Also, a note of caution: Some folks recommend sprinkling dried peppers around the pumpkins, but the pepper can blow away and can be harmful if the creature or a human gets it in their eyes.
  • Lacquer. Spray the pumpkin with lacquer and let it dry. This could help preserve the appearance of the jack-o'-lantern, too.
  • Dog and cat hair. If you have a pet, then take a blanket from their favorite snoozing spot and place it under the pumpkins. Squirrels especially don't like the aroma of eau de dog, and it might warn them away from the pumpkins. Raccoons are less likely to be bothered.
  • Vinegar. In fact, vinegar may be the most useful thing you can have in your house, good for so many household chores. The astringent smell is effective shooing away creatures with sensitive noses. Because the vinegar can damage the pumpkin, apply sparingly. Pour some on a rag and wipe down the surface of the pumpkin.
  • Eucalyptus oil. Pour some onto a rag and wipe the surface, or soak a cotton ball in the oil and drop it inside the pumpkin, but not near the flame.
  • Commercial animal repellents. I have limited faith in these. Some of these sprays can be rather pricey, and if they worked consistently well, everyone with issues would be buying them. However, some folks have great luck with them. Spray the outside of the pumpkin and repeat as necessary.
  • Hair spray. This creates a sticky texture on your pumpkin, which the creatures won't appreciate. Spray the entire pumpkin but be sure to get the exposed flesh of the gourd.
  • Petroleum jelly or a menthol chest rub. But be aware, this approach also can be messy, and if birds get it on their wings, it can be a problem.


    Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    Bats: Nature's Insect Control

    Why Should We Provide Bat Houses for Bats?
    Bats have long been disliked by humans -- shunned and thought of as a taboo creature. Some consider them ugly ("a face only a mother could love"), furry little animals that fly and seem to be half-bird and half-mammal.
    With proper education and communication, humans are giving them their proper recognition as valuable to mankind in the ecological system. Many night-blooming plants, such as bananas and saguaro cactus, are dependent upon bats for pollination. Give bats credit for helping to reseed tropical rain forests through their inadvertent dispersal of seeds.
    Their most appealing feature is their enormous capacity for consuming insects. A nocturnal mammal, they eat when the insects are out, in contrast to birds, which eat during the day. Some bat species consume half their weight in one night -- as many as 600 or more gnat-sized insects in one hour!
    The most common bat in North America, the brown bat, can eat 3,000 to 7,000 mosquitoes each night, and a bat can live to be 20 years old. That's a pretty effective insecticide, especially when you consider that they do not poison other creatures or create holes in the ozone layer.

    Bats are Cute!
    Bats are harmless to people. They do not become tangled in your hair, nor do they attack humans. They are far less prone to be rabid than your everyday household dogs and cats. "In more than four decades, public health records indicate that only 16 people in the United States and Canada have died of bat-borne diseases. Placed in perspective, this means that the odds of anyone dying of a disease from a bat are much less than one in a million. In contrast, in the USA alone more than 10 people die annually from dog attacks, not to mention dog- and cat- transmitted diseases." (Dr. Merlin D. Tuttle America's Neighborhood Bats, Univ. of Texas Press, Austin, 1988.
    There are approximately forty species of bats throughout the United States and Canada, the most common being the little brown bat.
    In Asia, bats are symbols of good luck, long life, and happiness. They are meticulous in their grooming, spending much of the day and night combing  their fur. They generally congregate with their own gender.
    Bats are the second most common land mammals, with rodents being first. As they fly, they navigate by means of a sophisticated echolocation system. The bat sends out signals of sound energy, which are reflected back, giving it the location of an object as well as its texture and other characteristics. They can avoid a single human hair with extreme accuracy, even in total darkness, giving lie to the myth that bats are blind.

    Bat Housing Crunch
    Places for bats to roost have become increasingly limited as their favorite old hollow trees, barns, and old houses disappear.
    Bat houses have narrow crevices at the bottom for bats to enter and rough surfaces inside for them to hold onto. A bat house should be hung at least 10 to 15 feet above ground, sheltered from the wind, and unobstructed by items that would inhibit their flying, such as power lines. To keep the interior very warm, place the house on the side of a tree or building which receives maximum sun, especially in the morning. If your location is not sunny enough to warm the house to the 80-100 degrees Fahrenheit required by nursing colonies, you may want to add tar paper or dark colored shingles to the bat house roof. Do not paint it, as paints and stains are toxic to the bats. However, a cooler location may attract a colony of bachelors, who frequently prefer cooler roosts.
    Bat boxes located near a source of water, especially a marsh, lake or stream, are the most likely to attract bats, as this habitat provides the insects needed for their food. Twelve to eighteen months is a common waiting period for bats to move into a new house. If you hang your bat house in the fall or winter, it may be occupied in the first active season. If it is not occupied within two years, try a new location. If bats live in your area and your bat house is appropriately located they will find it.
    During the winter months bats living in Canada and the northern two-thirds of the United States migrate south or to nearby caves to hibernate, as most bat species cannot survive subfreezing temperatures.

    If bats are to survive, they need our help and protection. They have proven themselves as valuable members of our ecosystem, and we must increase the awareness of people who have the ability to protect or to destroy these little creatures. A bat loose in a house is probably a young one who is lost and looking for a way out. He should not be killed, but gently caught with a towel and allowed to escape without harm. Bat colonies in warm attics can be evacuated safely and encouraged to take up new residence in a bat house of their own.
    Cave explorers should not disturb the caves of roosting bats, as rousing them from their hibernation may cause them to use up much of their stored body fat and die before spring. Unfortunately, thousands of bats have been destroyed this way.
    Bats are declining, world-wide, at an alarming rate, due to human misunderstanding. They typically have only one offspring per year, making their comeback a slow process in need of our help. Coveside Conservation Products is a supporter of Bat Conservation International, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about these beneficial animals and helping to conserve them.

    Our bat houses are handcrafted of select, kiln-dried Maine White Pine for durability, attractiveness, and insulation qualities. The walls are thick to keep the interior warm and rough-sawn to provide a surface for the bats to cling to.
    Inside are several partitions, because bats like narrow spaces, and this allows more surface room for roosting bats. The house is open at the bottom to eliminate the need for cleaning, and to prevent birds from nesting in their house.
    The bat house is not painted or stained, because these chemicals are toxic to the bats. The pine wood will weather nicely to an attractive silver gray color which will blend in nicely with the outdoor environment.

    Mounting Instructions
    First, decide where the bat house is to be mounted; then place a nail or screw into the tree, pole, or wall so that the head is sticking out 1/4". Hang the bat house by placing the metal hanger (located on the back of the bat house) over the nail or screw. After the house hangs securely, drive a nail or screw through the bottom of the board.

    Thank you for caring about North America's bat population.

    Source: Coveside Conservation Products

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    Woodpeckers: how to prevent damage to house siding?


    How do I keep a woodpecker from pecking at my house siding?

    From The Today Show on NBC: 

    String fishing lines randomly across the area where the woodpeckers are attracted and since they do not want to be tangled they will avoid the area.

    Flicker House and Woodpecker Houses  from