Our Feathered Friends Cafe - Thanks to Wild Birds Unlimited

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
I love wildlife, especially the wildlife in my own backyard.  No matter what the season I love feeding the birds.  Whether it's hummingbirds in the summer or newly fledged nestlings in the spring, or the hungry birds of winter, I love every bird that visits my Feathered Friends Cafe!  I even like the bossy Blue Jays and the noisy Catbirds.  Besides watching the birds, I love photographing them, so sometimes I like to think outside the box when it comes to feeders.  This week I added a few new feeders to our collection, as well as a new pole, so today I want to show you how to make some fun new feeders for your yard and introduce you to a fabulous pole system that every bird watcher will want to have.

The first place that came to mind when I knew I wanted some new hardware was Wild Birds Unlimited in Wilton, NY.  WBU carries a huge selection of feeders, accessories, bird seed, bird related gifts, more than anywhere in the area.  Aside from their quality products, their staff is so friendly and knowledgeable.   No matter what you need to know about birds, their staff has the answers.  We went in hoping to pick up a new pole - a shepherd's hook and a baffle for it.  As much as I find squirrels cute and amusing, I'd prefer to limit their snacks. Right away the gal on duty introduced us to the Wild Birds Unlimited exclusive, patented, Advanced Pole System.  At first I had a little sticker shock, but the more I saw and the more I learned, we knew this was the product worth investing in.   Here are some of the components...

Now, there may not be snow on the ground but there is frost in the ground, so perhaps this was not the best time to approach this task............however, my determined husband (St. John as I call him) did not let 5 or 6 inches of frost deter him.  The first piece we needed to install was the base pole with auger.  Several buckets of hot water, a pipe for drilling a hole and a sledge hammer and lots of muscle later and the base pole was in the ground 12" down.  Next John had to install the stabilizer...

Again.... lots of hot water and eventually, we were stabilized.  From there you have several options, depending on how high you want the pole and what accessories you want to add.  We opted for a 4 foot additional pole, a double decorative arm, a finial for the top, a decorative branch and a bracket to attach a suet cake.  Once the pole  and stabilizer was in the ground, the rest of the assembly was easy peasy!    This is what the top half of the feeder looked like....

As you can see from this photo, these aren't your typical feeders.  Nope, and my bird friends seem to like some variety in their dining room.  Let me talk a little about how I made these feeders.  My mom actually inspired me when she bought a teapot at Marshall's Homegoods.  She glued the lid to the top of the opening and voila.....the feeder is hung from the teapot handle.

Using this principle, there's no end to the possibilities.   For example, take this sugar bowl.....glue the lid in place using the appropriate glue (I used E6000), wait overnight for the glue to dry, fill with seed and hang from the handle!

Again with another teapot.....under $10.....

For another option, again with inexpensive china from discount stores, glue a cup and saucer together and presto.....a cup full of seed and a nice little place for the birds to sit and dine in style.

Once I had all these nifty new feeders, I quickly realized I needed more places to hang them.  So back to Wilton we went and purchased another double crook arm and a little accessory feeder cup and roof.  Here's a look at the complete set-up today.......with all the parts labeled.

The decorative branch arm is a cute resting place for birds to perch while waiting for their turn at the feeders as well as a close spot for sitting and opening a seed.

Yes....there's one empty hanger for the pretty glass feeder that's coming in the mail tomorrow ;)  .
For the more impatient diners, I have two large feeders, one tray type and one hopper type in another area of my yard where I'm less concerned about the mess that results from big feeders thanks to those birds that prefer to 'scatter' the seed to be sure there's nothing better hiding in the feeder.  Here we serve safflower seed, mostly because the birds love it and the squirrels do not, although last winter they did get desperate enough to eat it.  In these specialized feeders we use sunflower hearts for two reasons, the birds love it and there's no waste or mess.   As you can imagine, these specialty feeders need to be refilled almost daily.  We also have a heated bird bath, a very important addition to your winter offerings.

What's so nice about this system is the versatility.   Every piece is able to be adjusted according to your needs and your feeders.  Extra sections of the pole are available in various lengths.  In fact, just look at all the pieces you can buy...

The baffle you see in the photo above, the one we purchased, is actually a squirrel and racoon baffle.   Handy for those folks living where raccoons are regular visitors, but also very effective against our pesty squirrels.  The pole and accessories are powder coated, making them rust resistant.  The poles are strong and the stabilizer makes this system very sturdy from tipping in wind or wet soil.  A big investment, but so worthwhile for the serious bird enthusiast!

If you are not able to feed the birds yourself, you can still have the pleasure of birdwatching.  Check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology feeder cam using this link:  http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/40/Cornell_Lab_FeederWatch/
This camera is hosted by Wild Birds Unlimited and is located at Sapsucker Woods in Ithaca, NY.
Or you can watch the live cam in Ontario, also an active and fun location using this link:
Great entertainment where you have the pleasure of viewing and hearing all kinds of birds at the feeding station there.  The other day while we were at WBU, we got to see Pine Siskins, Evening Grossbeaks and many other varieties of birds.  

Make a trip to Wilton to Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop for all your birding needs!  They are located at 3084 Route 50, Suite 1 (next to TJ Maxx).    And next time you're in the dollar store or Homegoods, pick up a pretty piece of china and brighten up your bird feeding station.  It may or may not keep the guests happy and cordial!

Sometimes the chickadees even go inside the pot where they can just sit, protected from predators and eat to their heart's content!  This little finch wasn't quite that comfortable yet.

For more information on Wild Birds Unlimited, check out their website and Facebook using the links provided below!

Thanks for reading and come back soon to Life As I See It.
As with all my blog posts, this post was not a paid advertisement and I did not receive any compensation for featuring this store or it's products.  I am just sharing a product and place I feel is worthy of some notice!


  1. good blog gail I have to get new feeders. ill try some of these ideas.


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