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Christmas Gift Suggestions and Special Gifts for Bird Lovers and Bird Watchers

by Barbara 12. November 2013 11:43

Question about holiday gifts for bird lovers.

Q:"Please suggest holiday gift ideas for bird lovers. My in-laws enjoy watching and feeding birds. Thanks. Marianne."

Answer: Your question is certainly wide open for suggestions.

Here are some of the most popular of our birding product gifts for those who want to attract birds to their backyards.

Bird Feeders Come in essentially three types: Seed, Suet and Nectar. They can be hung from trees, deck hangers, feeding station poles or attached to windows with suction cups. To choose the best ones for your loved ones, look on line to see which birds are typically found in their geographical areas. Note what the birds prefer to eat and then choose from the Safe Home Products' large selection.

Bird Mugs, Dishes and Glasses and Bird Magnets are great choices for those unable to feed birds and for those who enjoy the colorful choices. Consider their favorite birds or the color scheme in their kitchens and browse through our offerings such as:

For new bird watchers, I suggest "Bird, Birds, Birds" a DVD guide to recognize birds and bird songs and the Audubon Backyard Birdwatcher. For bird tips, try this DVD, Mel's Backyard Birding Tips, an inexpensive introduction to birds. 

Choose from dried meal worms(they won't crawl out of your feeders) and squirrel baffles, to keep the bird food from being poached by squirrels.

Thanks again for your questions. Feel free to contact us if you have questions or need more help.

Sincerely,
Barbara

How Do Bird-X Yard Gard, Deer Gard and Balcony Gard Animal and Bird Pest Repellers Differ

by Barbara 10. July 2012 10:04

Question about the differences among the Bird-X Products besides the colors.

Q: "What differences are there among the Yard Gard, Deer Gard and Balcony Gard products? All three look the same to me except for the colors. I want to get rid of pest birds. Thanks. Tim."

Answer: The YardGard Electronic Animal Repeller and BirdX DEERGARD Electronic Deer Repeller have identical controls on the back. All three will get rid of pest birds. Only the color differs. The green is less obvious when nestled among green plants. The brown is barely noticeable when mounted on trees. Remember if you use these products to keep animals away from bird feeders that you must distance them from the feeders. Many people use them as a perimeter boundary, i.e. they mount  them on the trees facing away from their yards at a distance from feeders. If you place the units near bird feeders, you will scare awy the birds, too!

The Balcony Gard is a light beige color, less obvious for mounting on balconies of apartments, condos, etc. This is used primarily to get rid of birds from balconies, decks, etc. You can also change the settings to keep small animals away.

All three units can be set to repel birds, small animals and deer.  All three units can be run continuously off AC power or can be set on motion sensor only to run from C batteries, not included.

The Yard Gard Manual and the Deer Gard manual are identical.

Caution: these units should not be placed so that the sounds are directed at people. The best results for all the units is to use them with other types of pest repellent products. For example, add holographic ribbon or a Terror Eyes balloon to your Balcony Gard for better bird repeller results.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

Bird-X Irri-Tape and Tanglefoot Bird Repeller Ribbon Bird Control Products for Backyard Pool

by Barbara 30. June 2012 09:29

Question about bird control products for swimming pool areas and boat docks.

Q: "Birds keep pooping in my swimming pool.  What easy to install products are there to get rid of pest birds? Thanks. Tim."

If you have trees or poles around your swimming pool, the best inexpensive bird control products are the bird repellent ribbons.

My suggestions are:

The Tanglefoot repeller ribbon is 2 inches wide and 100 feet long. It also keeps deer away. This bird repeller ribbon makes an audible sound when the wind moves it plus the sun hits the ribbon and causes it to appear like a flashing light. Cut into 2 to 3 feet lengths and use twine to attach to tree branches, post, etc. Let it hang freely and replace when sun bleached.

The Bird-X Holograhpic Irri-Tape is made of 2 mil polyester ribbon imprinted with a holographic pattern of interlocking circles. The pattern resembles owl eyes, the natural predator of many birds. This is a 3 dimensional image that reflects all the spectrum colors with laser-like intensity. The visual deterrent also is perceived as a ripple pattern. Even the slightest breeze produces a fierce metallic-sounding "rattle" plus you can install it like a physical barrier. For that install in a linear fashion along a ledge, fence, etc. to deter birds from their "landing strips." Support brackets are included for installation. You can use several different patterns. For example, the maypole would need 12 or more lengths on the 2 inch by 2 inch fence post. For orchards, you can wrap the tree by spiraling the Irri-Tape around it from bottom to top. Or you can add cross stips to the main lengths of Irri-tape to make a streamer applicaton.

If you have a railing around the pool, you can also attach the streamers there.

For additional effectiveness, add "scarecrow" devices such as the < ahref="http://www.safehomeproducts.com/shp2/product/terror-eyes-moving-eye-holographic-bird-repeller-ball/visual-scare-devices/93/93.aspx"> Terror Eyes Moving Eye Holographic Bird Repeller Ball or the Tanglefoot Inflatable Birdchaser Balloon, Yellow. The "eyes" on these devices scare away birds. The BirdChaser ball has streamers. The Terror Eyes is mounted on a support that helps it bounce around even with little wind.

If these are not effective, then you need to consider a battery powered or electric bird repeller device. The BalconyGard by Bird-X uses either batteries or AC to keep birds away. It is weatherproof. Or target a particular bird types with a Bird-X Peller Pro1 Pigeon Sonic Bird Repeller which also gets rid of starlings, sparrows and seagulls.

Feel free to contact us if you have more questions. Sales@safehomeproducts.com is the best contact address.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Differences Between Bird-X Structural Bird Netting, Standard Bird Net and Knotted Polyethylene Bird Net

by Barbara 15. June 2012 06:17

Question about the differences between Bird Net Structural 1/2 In. Black Mesh 200 Ft x 14 Ft and Bird Net Standard 3/4 In. Black Mesh 100 Ft x 14 Ft.

Q: "What are the differences between the two types of Bird-X bird netting? I'm not sure which would be better for my application. Thanks Tim."

Answer: The main differences are in the size of the mesh openings, the strength, the flexibility and the weight.

Structural bird net from Bird-X:                           Standard bird netting from Bird-X

Mesh openings: 1/2 Inch                                    Mesh opening: 3/4 Inch

Strength: 8.5 psf (pounds/square foot)                Strength: 2.5 psf (pounds/square foot)

Both are black, UV protected, plastic, barely noticeable. The standard is more commonly used by home gardeners and the structural by vineyards, construction companies, farmers, etc.

There is also a third type, Bird Net PE Plus Premium Grade Knotted ¾ In. Polyethylene 25x50 Ft. This is preferred for orchards or commercial settings where you may want to keep out small animals as well as birds and bats. Because it is knotted, there is stretch to it and it drapes more easily. The mesh openings are 3/4 inch.

If you have questions, please direct them to sales@safehomeproducts.com. These bird nettings come in several sizes.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Hang Gourd Bird Houses for Purple Martins to Control Flying Insect Populations

by Barbara 15. May 2012 09:22

Question about attracting Purple Martins to my yard to keep insect population under control

Q: "I'm looking for an easy-to-clean bird house for Purple Martins. Our yard attracts a lot of flies and other flying insects because we are next door to a farm. Please explain to me about the Gourd bird houses and which ones would work the best for me. How many would I need? How would I hang them? Thanks. Dave"

Answer: Currently we sell two brands of manufactured gourd bird houses. These are the Bird Adobe SuperGourds and the Purple Martin Gourds by Heath. Both come in light colors, white or almond.

The SuperGourd is a unique "bird house" was invented by James Hill Founder and past Director of the Purple Martin Conservation Association. His research revealed that martins fledge one extra nestling per nesting attempt in gourds compared to aluminum martin houses with 6” x 6” compartments. So he developed the Supergourd,

There are three models of SuperGourd. The main difference is the bird entry hole size. Each SuperGourd is a 10”, one-piece, plastic gourd with a molded-in, threaded access port, covered
by a screw-on cap. The access port is 3 7/8” in diameter, large enough to admit a human hand. The cap has a liner that makes both the cap and access port totally watertight. To do nest checks, twist the cap off. At the end of the season, clean out the old nest. The access port has a high viewing angle so it is easy to see the nest contents. The large molded-in rain canopy doubles as a perching platform. The canopy is placed high enough above the entrance hole to allow the perfect amount of head clearance for hole-perching martins. The SuperGourd weighs about 32 ounces, slightly more than a natural gourd its size. This one piece unit has no seams so there are no leaks possible. There are seven 1/4” drainage to drain any rain that may blow into the gourd. The SuperGourd is blow molded in a white (sun reflecting), opaque, high-density polyethylene plastic, with ultraviolet inhibitors added for long life. These gourds are an attractive alternative for those
landlords too busy to grow, paint, and modify natural gourds. It has all the advantages of a natural gourd without the fuss and muss of making one.

For Purple Martins, the best choices are the Round-holed SuperGourds with 2 1/8 Inch Diameter Entry Hole shown here on a gourd rack system. Or choose the Crescent-holed SuperGourds with 1-3/16 inch entrance hole that are Starling-resistant.


Easy to Hang:  SuperGourds can easily be hung underneath an existing martin house, from a gourd rack, or strung on a line between two poles. One set of 1/4" hanging holes (side-to-side) are predrilled and will accept a hanging wire; a set of front-to-back holes can easily be drilled by the purchaser if so desired.Easy to Hang:  SuperGourds can easily be hung underneath an existing martin house, from a gourd rack, or strung on a line between two poles. One set of 1/4" hanging holes (side-to-side) are predrilled and will accept a hanging wire; a set of front-to-back holes can easily be drilled by the purchaser if so desired.

When hanging SuperGourds underneath a martin house, or along a line, use #10 or #12 gauge, plastic-coated, solid (singlestrand) copper wire. Do not use copper wire that has multiple internal strands — it is not strong enough. In extremely windy areas, the #10 gauge wire is the preferred choice because it is thicker and stronger than #12. You will need about 15 inches of wire per
gourd. Insert the wire through the hanging holes so an equal amount sticks out each side. Bend the wires 90-degrees upward, then wrap each end of the wire snugly around the line, eye hooks,
porch railings, or gourd rack arm you are attaching it to. When properly hung, the gourds should swing (not twist) in the wind and should not be capable of bumping each other or other objects
in a strong wind. The top of the gourd should be about 1” below fluffy wood shavings, or dried pine needles, in each gourd Should these gourds ever reach the end of their useful life span, they can be recycled in your community’s recycling program.

You can hang these gourd birdhouses as close as with 2 foot centers. You just don't want them to bounce against each other when the wind blows.

The Heath Purple Martin Gourds are made in two pieces. One piece is longer than the other: the hanger hole is in that piece. Each gourd is about 9 inches in diameter at its widest and about 12 inches high. There is a half-moon piece of plastic in the entrance hole to discourage starling nests. To clean these, you must take them down and take the two pieces apart. These are Made in USA/

Purple martins begin nesting in June. The manufacturers suggest putting up the gourds any time. This years baby birds will be looking for a nesting place for next year. You can hand these as low as 6 feet off the ground. Add nesting materials to encourage the birds to stay. Supply aids such as nest materials like dried white pine needles, dry twigs or straw neaby. Supply mud for nest building. Visit purplemartin.org for more information.

Purple Martins are sociable birds so hanging a minimum of 4 gourds is recommended. You can hang with cable or purchase a pole hanger that holds many gourds. Remember these are flying insect eaters except they don't eat mosquitoes. For that, we suggest a mosquito trap by Koolatron or Mosquito Magnet.

We also sell purple martin and other bird houses.

Thank you for your question. If you need more help, please contact us at Sales@SafeHomeProducts.com

Sincerely,

Barbara

 

Bird-X Electronic Balcony Gard Keeps Birds Off Balconies, Decks, Patios, Etc.

by Barbara 14. May 2012 09:39

Question about how to keep birds from perching and leaving bird droppings on my 5th floor balcony.

Q: "We live on the fifth floor of a condo high rise. We have a high protective railing but no screening above the railing. Birds try to build nests in our outdoor plants. Cleaning off the balcony furniture and the floor is a continuous issue due to bird droppings. How do we get rid of them? Thanks. Diana."

Answer: We suggest a combination of the Balcony Gard and other bird deterrents. If possible, install the Balcony Gard before the "bird season" in your area. Keeping birds away is easier than getting rid of them once they have built nests or begun to roost.

The Balcony Gard by Bird-X operates on 4 C batteries or on AC current. The strongest settings on ultrasonic would be the LO position, the lowest frequency. Rarely humans can hear this frequency. Having the unit run constantly works best. Otherwise the unit makes repellent sounds only if the bird (or animal, like squirrels) starts the unit by moving past the motion sensor. Coverage is up to 900 square feet in a generally oval pattern: the speaker projects sound on a horizontal plane in one direction. You can adjust the motion sensitivity and the frequency of sound generated.

More than one unit may be required. Getting rid of birds is more effective if you use the Balcony Gard plus other deterrents such as bird netting and a visual repeller like Bird-X Holographic Bird Tape or Tanglefoot Bird Repeller Ribbon,2 inch X 100 ft or bouncing ball repellers like the Terror Eyes Moving Eye Holographic Bird Repeller Ball.,

Point the Balcony Gard away from dogs or cats: outward is the best choice. The Balcony Gard operates at 15,000 to 25,000 vibrations per minute, Usual coverage is 50 feet forward and 30 feet wide at the higher frequency. At the lower frequency, this increases up to 80 feet forward by 50 feet wide.

You'll know it is operating when the red light is in during continuous AC use or when the red light comes on when something passes in front of the unit. The unit should make a chirping sound when turned on. Batteries last about a month on the MS or motion sensor mode.

  • Unit dimensions: 7” x 6” 4”
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Coverage: Up to 900 sq. ft. in a generally oval pattern
  • Frequency Range: 15–25 kHz (adjustable)
  • Sound Pressure: 90 db at 1 meter
  • Electricity Costs: Less than $0.25/month
  • Motion sensor range: 35’ x 70’
  • Working current: <200 mA
  • Power supply: 4 x 1.5v “C” batteries or included 120v AC adaptor. Other voltage adaptors should be purchased locally. Unit switches to battery power during a power failure (if batteries are in).
  • All versions of AC Power Cord are 30 ft
  • Compliance: UL and CE listed
  • EPA EST: 075310-OR-001

The warranty is 6 months from the ship date. Weatherproof – casing is designed to withstand outdoor use (rain cover included)

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Organic Pond Water Treatments for Clear, Quality Water

by Barbara 24. April 2011 07:01

Question about the Organic Biotech Pristine Natural Pond Cleaner 32 oz and Organica Clear Blue Pond Clear Water Formula 32 oz.

Q: "What is the difference between these two products? How much do I need for my pond? Thanks. Todd"

Answer: The products are identical in composition. The difference is that the second one has a safe blue organic dye. Both formulas of pond water cleaner contain a broad spectrum of beneficial bacteria and microbial nutrients. The water cleaner removes excess nutrients such as phosphates, nitrates and ammonia from water, breaks down sediment, colors water an aesthetically pleasing shade of blue, improves water clarity and water quality. Both are safe for all aquatic life including fish, plants, and invertebrates. You need to measure your pond and determine approximately how many gallons of water are in it.  Unfortunately, I do not currently have this in our Iowa warehouse. The best information I can find is to put in 4 Gallons Per Acre Foot (325,000 Gal) As A Shock Dose, 2 Gallons Per Acre Foot (325,000 Gal).

Fountain Protector by Care Free Enzymes 4 oz. treats up to 5 gallons of water in small fountains with just one capful. Made in the USA, the directions say to use weekly. This is a non-toxic, biodegradable, natural enzyme product that uses food grade enzymes and is free of bacteria. It prevents stains, sludge, mineral deposits and organic contaminants for naturally clear water. It is safe for birds, pets, wildlife and humans. The only caution has to do with drinking the product undiluted and keeping it out of one's eyes.

Fountain Clear for Bird Bath and Pond 16 Oz. is another preventative option for cleaner bird baths and ponds. This formula prevents organic contaminates from forming (ie: crusty white scale deposits, iron, copper, hard water stains) using two unique technologies: one helps prevent the buildup of stains, and mineral deposits on the birdbath surface; the second uses bio-enzymatic activity to keep water clear and free from the organic debris that can make the water cloudy. For larger water fountains and indoor/outdoor waterfalls, Fountain Clear is also a great choice. One capful treats 1 gallon of water. No need to dilute. Just pour in. 16 ounce bottle of fountain clear treats 6400 gallons of water. Safe for fish, birds, animals, even safe for humans! From Ecological Laboratories.

Clear Water Jumbo Bale Barley Straw for Ponds, 5000 GAL contains natural enzymes that keep pond water clean, too. One gallon treats 5000 gallons of pond water.  Just float this on your pond. Choose the correct size of barley straw according to the size of your pond. There are several sizes to choose from including Clear Water Mini Bales Barley Straw 500 Gal. 2/PK  with each bale treating 500 gallons of water and the Clear Water Super Mini Bales Barley Straw 1000 GL 2/PK with each of the bales treating 1000 gallons of water. The barley straw bales need to be replaced every 6 months. Since it takes about a month for the action to occur, the recommendation is to add sufficient barley straw bales every 5 months. Then water stays clear.

I hope this answers your question.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Choosing Window Mount Cardinal Bird Feeders

by Barbara 31. October 2009 09:48

Question about the Duncraft Cardinal Feeder and the Duncraft - Super Songbird One Way Mirror Window Bird Feeder.

Q: "My dad wants a window type bird feeder as a birthday gift. Which unit do you suggest? How does it mount? What do you feed cardinals? Thanks. Jill"

Answer: The Duncraft feeders mount with suction cups. Both units have mirror film installed so you can see the cardinals or other birds and they won't be scared by seeing you! These are currently the most popular holiday birdfeeders that we sell. The first unit is 12 inches long by 4 inches high by 5 inches deep and holds about 2 pounds of mixed seed. There is a one way mirror film that lets you birdwatch as they feed. Two heavy duty suction cups attach the bird feeder to window glass. Easily filled and cleaned, too.  The second unit is 8.5”H x 11.5”W x 3.5” L and has two seed containers and a larger mirrored viewing area. There is a special cardinal bird seed mix. We recommend sunflower seeds as the most popular and less messy seed to use.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely,

Barbara

 



 

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Bird Feeders | bird products | garden accessories

Add Suet Feeders to Attract More Wild Birds to Your Yard

by Barbara 20. September 2009 12:52

Question about suet cakes, suet feeders and seed feeders.

Q: "I have several seed feeders in my backyard. My neighbor also feeds birds suet. What would adding suet feeders add to my backyard birdwatching? Would the squirrels get into the suet? Thanks'. Paul

Answer: Paul, views have changed about feeding birds suet. Adding suet means adding more of the clinging type birds for your pleasure. Yes, squirrels can get into suet. There are squirrel resistant suet feeders, too.

Now many bird lovers offer suet all year around. Nesting birds need more energy in the spring. Suet provides it.  For insect eating birds in summer, suet can substitute for insects especially in years when insects are in short supply.  Suet helps birds store fat needed for energy to migrate or to prepare for the cold winter weather and to survive winter in colder climates.

Most suet is made from meat fat, Some regard beef fat from kidneys as the best suet. Suet can also be made from vegetable fat. Suet can be flavored, mixed with seeds, peanuts, peanut butter, berries, etc. or just plain. Suet comes in many forms, netted bells to hang directly from trees, blocks, plugs, pellets which birds can carry back to their nests to eat,etc. There are suet feeders available that are made from coated wire to which birds can cling or perch. Most suet loving birds are cling feeders like woodpeckers. If you plan to feed suet, be well-supplied as once birds discover it, it is eaten quickly.

The birds most seen eating suet are chickadees, woodpeckers, warblers, titmice, kinglets, nuthatches, jays, and wrens. Starlings can be a real pest in some areas: you may want to use a starling resistant suet feeder. that is suited primarily for birds that hang upside down to feed. Likewise, pest squirrels can be better kept away by a squirrel resistant suet feeder.

I recommend that if you buy suet on-line, that you buy a minimum of 6 to 12 blocks, bells, etc. Otherwise your shipping costs will void out any savings or convenience as shipping 6 to 10 pounds cost very little more than shipping 2 pounds.

The choices are too numerous for me to add to this blog. I suggest you search for suet and you'll see the choices we offer.

Thanks for your questions and enjoy your backyard birds.

Sincerely, Barbara

 

 

Attract Bluebirds for Natural Insect Control and Beauty

by Barbara 27. June 2009 11:23

Question about the bluebird houses and how to attract bluebirds to my yard.

Q: "My family enjoys bird watching in our backyard. How do we attract bluebirds? We know they are beautiful to watch and we understand they eat a lot of insects, too." thanks. Dave

Answer: Attract and keep bluebirds in your backyard by providing them with houses in which to nest and the foods they love to eat. Bluebirds love insects, especially larva.

Some suggested boxes:

Some suggested bluebird feeders:

  • Song Essentials Bluebird Feeder. Bluebirds soon learn to reach inside this feeder for the meal worms & treats you provide. Designed for easy three step training. 1) Leave the lid open, held by the cable and remove one plexiglas side. 2) Insert plexiglass side. 3) Close the lid so only bluebirds can use the feeder.
  • Protected Bluebird Jail FeederThis feeder is made to discourage larger birds from feasting on meal worms and blue bird food.

Suggested food:

Thank you for your question. Enjoy your bird-watching.
Sincerely, Barbara