“Birdy, it’s Cold Outside!” Tis’ the Season for Bird Houses in Maryland

Bird Houses in MarylandI really can’t stay

(But birdy, it’s cold outside)

I’ve got to go away

(But birdy, it’s cold outside)

Okay, so maybe those aren’t the exact words to the classic Christmas song, “Baby, it’s Cold Outside.” But our lyrics better illustrate our point. The days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping, and guess what? It’s cold outside! And while birds everywhere will soon be heading south for the winter, they aren’t there yet.

Even birds aren’t immune to the cold temperatures and wind chill. And while you huddle indoors for warmth, where do they go? Most are stuck in trees, trying to avoid the icy cold wind and rain. But what if there was a better way? What if you could do something to help?

Tis’ the Season for Bird Houses in Maryland

Cold weather is quickly moving in as we should speak. Birds will be looking for shelter to escape the cold weather, sleep through the night, and avoid high winds.

The Answer: Bird Houses

Bird Houses that were used for spring broods are often used again for roosting boxes through the cold season. Even birds of different types can often be seen sharing a night in a bird house (turned roosting box).

“I have seen blue birds and hairy woodpeckers sharing the night,” explained Ace Hardware and Hearth’s Pete Peterson. “How Cool!?”

Now is an excellent time to add some new birdhouses to your backyard. Be sure to consider that birds like Bluebirds, Downy Wood Peckers, Chickadees, Titmice, Carolina and House Wrens will prefer to have a bird house with a specific sized opening and be a certain height off the ground.

To inexpensively add warm places for birds, roosting pockets are a great choice. They are typically made of rattan or wicker and have a little built in hanger attached to it.

Caring for your Bird House

The proper housing, nesting materials, house placement and cleaning are necessary to attract and care for your backyard birds. Start by completely cleaning and scrubbing your bird house. Since most boxes are of wood, cleaning is simple: use soapy water then rinse. Dawn dishwashing detergent works great. Next obtain a “nesting lift” to raise the area up to prevent mold and dampness from harming the birds. A nesting lift is a black metal grid that has a ¾” raised edge on its side. These, along with a wide selection of bird houses, are available at Ace Hardware & Hearth in Pasadena and Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater. Both feature extensive birding sections, including bird houses of all shapes and sizes for Maryland birds, such as bluebirds, wrens, finches, purple martins and even owls. Don’t hesitate to ask our experts any questions you may have. Ace is here to help.

Finally, gather a generous handful of sun dried grass and place it on the nesting lift inside the box. VOILA!!! A perfect welcoming bedroom for our backyard pets! It’s like having a Bed & Breakfast right in your back yard.

If you have any questions about Bird Houses or Birding in Maryland, please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Cleaning Bird Feeders

Cleaning Bird FeedersIt’s that time of year again. No, not fall (although it is). It’s time to thoroughly clean your Bird Feeders. Yes, even your bird feeder needs cleaning from time to time. And fall is the perfect opportunity to do so, because this is the time of the year when birds are more interested in the rich harvest of fruits, nuts, seeds and berries available on perennials and shrubs then there are in your bird feeder. These foods help the birds build necessary fat reserves for their migratory trips. So you will begin to notice fewer birds around your yard this time of year, giving you the perfect opportunity to clean your feeder.

Plus, with the rains that have come recently, many feeders are holding moist seed that grows mold that can kill many of our wild pets. Birding Tip: Wet seed can be dried in the oven and reused.

Cleaning Bird Feeders

First of all, purchase a black tub (approx. 7”Dx20”Wx30”L) usually used for cement mixing at your local Ace.

Plastic and recycled material feeders:

  1. Make a solution of 10 parts water to 1 part bleach in the tub
  2. Allow to soak for two hours
  3. Using rubber gloves and a feeder brush (double ended on a wire stem), vigorously scrub the feeders until clear and free of dark material.
  4. ALLOW TIME TO DRY THOROUGHLY…use a hair dryer if you are short on time.
  5. Note: use red cider vinegar and baking soda to hand clean if bleach is not for you.

Wood feeders:

  1. Avoid soaking because time required for drying may be a hindrance. A moist wooden feeder will grow bacteria and mold quickly.
  2. Spray either of the above mentioned solutions and scrub thoroughly to remove all debris.
  3. Use Birdhouse and Feeder Cleaner for a naturally safe solution. It is available at Ace in Pasadena and Edgewater.

We don’t recommend putting bird feeders in the dishwasher. After all, would you put a bed pan in your dishwasher?!

Want to learn more about Birding? Head to Ace

Ace Hardware & Hearth in Pasadena and Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater both feature extensive birding sections, including dozens of bird feeders, such as tray and post feeders, hanging feeders, suet feeders and liquid feeders.

Don’t hesitate to ask our experts any questions you may have. Ace is here to help.

If you have any questions about Cleaning Bird Feeders, Birdbaths or Birding in general, please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Birding Tips: Birdbaths attract more Birds than just Birdseed alone

Birdbaths attract more Birds than just Birdseed aloneThe weather may be cooling and birds may soon begin to migrate south for the winter, but that doesn’t mean birding season is over. Migrating birds land in yards to rest, bath, fluff their feathers for added warmth and eat a healthy meal, giving homeowners the perfect opportunity to attract many different varieties of birds. However, if you want to successfully attract birds to your yard, you need to supply all of the above criteria, not just birdseed.

Birdbaths attract more Birds than just Birdseed alone

Birds need water for drinking and bathing just as much as they need food. For this reason, it is important to offer both feeders and birdbaths. This will give you the best chance to attract birds to your yard this autumn.

Birdbath Tips

  1. Birds seem to prefer birdbaths that are on ground level, though elevated birdbaths will also attract birds.
  2. Be sure to change the water every day to keep it fresh and clean.
  3. When the weather begins to near freezing, a birdbath heater will keep ice from forming.
  4. Multiple birdbaths are better than one. This gives smaller, more timid birds a fair chance when the big birds hoard the bird bath.

Interested in purchasing a birdbath or birdbath warmer? Head to Ace Hardware & Hearth in Pasadena or Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater. Both stores have extensive birder sections. And don’t hesitate to ask our experts any questions you may have. Ace is here to help.

If you have any questions about Birdbaths or Birding, please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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About Us: Ace Hardware & Hearth, Ace Home & Leisure is a Premier Caldera and Bullfrog Spas Dealer Serving Washington DC, Greater Baltimore with Stores in Glen Burnie, Edgewater, Pasadena, MD.
We Sell and Service New, Used Hot Tubs, Portable Spas, Gas, Electric, Pellet, Wood Stoves, Fireplaces, Inserts, Gas BBQ Grills, Bird Watching, Paint, Gardening, Patio Furniture, Hardware and so Much More!
Our Brand Names Include: Caldera Spas, Bullfrog Hot Tubs, Dimplex, Enerzone, Hampton, Hearthstone, Heat & Glo, Heat Surge, Heatilator, Jotul, Kozy Heat, Quadra-Fire, Regency, Big Green Egg, Weber Grills, Primo Grills and Many More!
Service Area: We sell and Service Washington DC, Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lake Shore, Severna Park, Annapolis, Edgewater, Pasadena, Severn, Parole, Crofton, Catonsville, MD