Archive for the ‘News & Updates’ Category

Let’s Ask Sandy: Episode 19 – What about Fall Bird House Maintenance?

Monday, September 24th, 2018

What should you do to maintain your bird house in the fall? Find out what Birds & Beasleys owner, Sandy Shull thinks is the best way to keep up with your bird house. Sandy gives you tips on how to clean it out to make it a roosting box for the winter.

Fall Bird Feeding

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

Fall Bird FeedingThe other day I was making an inventory of items in my tool shed and it looks like it’s time to stock up on birdseed. It is important to take care of our feathered friends through the winter when food sources become scarce.

I like to set aside one afternoon to take down all of the feeders and really wash them well. I use a cleaning solution of one part vinegar to four parts water. If getting a brush inside the feeder is difficult, I use a handful of rice to serve as an abrasive to clean the interior. Tube feeders can be a challenge because there are so many parts to them, so I just remove whatever I can and then I use a solution of bleach and water to soak all the parts. And if you find soaking alone does not do the trick, you may have to use a little elbow grease and maybe even a toothbrush to get down into some of the tighter spots. For wooden feeders, I avoid using bleach and instead use a mild dish washing detergent and a stiff bristle brush to clean them up. With all types of feeders it is important to rinse them thoroughly and let them dry completely before refilling them.

To attract my favorite birds I found that it helps to learn what type of seed they prefer.

For instance, your basic bag of mixed seeds includes millet, cracked corn, small sunflower seeds and milo. Now this will get the attention of jays and doves. But if you’d like to see chickadees and cardinals at your feeder, try putting out black oiled sunflower seeds. If you want to attract finches, nuthatches and siskins offer thistle seed. Now, don’t worry about thistles coming up everywhere, the seeds are generally sterilized. And here’s another idea, suet cakes. It’s a high-energy food made of animal fat and seeds that the woodpeckers just love.

With so many feeders on the market, how do you choose the best one? Well, one of the first considerations is durability, the thing has got to last. It needs to be well built, so it can withstand a fall. And it should be resistant to the weather, rust and squirrels. I also look for one that holds a lot of seed, so I don’t have to refill it so often.

Of course, you want a good-looking feeder, so style is also important. There are as many different types of bird feeders available as there are birds. I always seem to go for ones that blend into the environment. They should also be made with materials, paints and finishes that are non-toxic and bird-friendly.

I like tube feeders for a number of reasons. They don’t waste much seed and you can always tell how much food you have in them. And since they have small perches, it keeps large birds from dominating at feeding time. They are also made with smaller holes for specialty seed like thistles.

When placing my feeders, I like to put them in areas where the birds will feel safe. Close to a large shrub where they can take cover or up in the branches of a tree. And I set up several feeding stations in different areas of my garden to help disperse the bird activity. This prevents overcrowding. Periodically, I like to move my feeders around. This will reduce the concentration of droppings and possible diseases.

If you find a dead or diseased bird around your feeders, one not killed by a predator, you may want to disinfect your feeders weekly. You can do this by simply soaking them for 3 – 4 minutes in a solution of 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water.

Now, there’s another way that you can feed birds that’s particularly attractive to gardeners. Select plants for your garden that are both beautiful and produce fruits and berries that birds love to eat, like crabapples and dogwoods. And when it comes to shrubs, try something like grape hollies or roses for their beautiful bright hips in the winter.

Be sure and place your feeders and plants in places where you can enjoy watching the birds from your window. Nothing brightens a winter day like the beauty of colorful songbirds in your garden.

Source: P. Allen Smith Garden Home

Closed for Labor Day

Friday, August 3rd, 2018

Happy Labor DayBirds & Beasleys will be closed on Labor Day, Monday, September 3rd. Come visit us over the weekend for all of your gift and birding needs. We will reopen with our normal hours on Tuesday, September 4th. Enjoy spending time with friends and family!


August 2018 Featured Products: Wedding Gifts, Hand-Painted Pottery, Chokecherry Jelly, Sarah Dragan Pottery

Thursday, July 26th, 2018
Hand-Painted Pottery

Sarah Dargan Small Pie Dish

Birds & Beasleys has a variety of one-of-a-kind gifts perfect for a wedding! From hand-painted pottery to oil paintings to chokecherry jelly, you are sure to find what you need this summer at Birds & Beasleys. Come by and see us this August!

Sarah Dargan Pottery: Birds & Beasleys has a wide variety of  pottery including honey jars, ice cream dishes, and pie plates. All of her work is high-fired in a gas reduction kiln. It is food, microwave, and dishwasher safe.

Wood Cutting Boards: Handcrafted from cherry and maple wood with walnut inlay. Made by skilled Montana craftspeople who take pride in their work. Contrary to popular opinion, wooden cutting boards are more sanitary than plastic.

Pottery from Montana Artists: Birds & Beasleys carries pottery from many local artists such as Terry Hill, Susan Carroll, Whitney Mitchell, Brandon Hudyma, and Cindy Eve.

Gourmet Snacks and Treats: From Kornutopia’s specialty popcorn to Montana made treats and treats from the Huckleberry People. Birds & Beasleys offers all different types of gourmet snacks including High Mountain’s Wild Chokecherry Jelly. Chokecherries are wild, hardy, tart berries with a distinctive flavor makes it a favorite for home jam and jelly makers.

Art: Oil Paintings from local artist Ann Patterson Bishop, Wooden Tree Sculptures by John Thompson, garden art by Dave Lawson. Come check our one-of-a-kind pieces!

Simple Tips for Helping Wildlife During Heat Waves and Drought

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Many wild creatures can live for extended periods of time without food but… they need water much more regularly. Having convenient supplies of clean water can make a huge difference to the survival of local wild species such as birds, butterflies and small mammals, during times of extreme heat and drought such as we are seeing during the summer of 2011.

Many of the smaller creatures we might find around the home or office are not very wide-ranging and are less likely to head off to local bodies of water, while more mobile species can become dehydrated due to lack of proximity to water. Sudden hot conditions and prolonged drought throw wildlife off their normal routines and put them at risk. But you can help that situation and make a real difference to animals and plant life in your area. Here are a few simple pointers.

  1. Make a special effort to keep your birdbaths full or think about getting one.
  2. Hang a “drip jug” over your bird bath – a basic plastic milk jug filled with water with a tiny hole in the bottom. The birds will hear the drip and it will attract them for a cool bath and a drink.
  3. Put out some additional water-filled containers. Placing a couple of containers (one shallow and one a little deeper) on the ground will help other creature such as ground squirrels, raccoons, and many others.
  4. Use water-conserving garden practices such as using a generous amount of mulch to cover garden beds. This will help insects, worms and other invertebrates.
  5. Watering plants in your garden will help to keep them healthy with natural moisture and the droplets are a favorite of bees and butterflies.
  6. Don’t forget the hummingbirds – they rely on nectar from plants and summer conditions can dry up natural supplies that a good hummingbird feeder can help replace.
  7. Often communities will put watering restrictions in place during times of drought. These are good times to capture water that might otherwise go to waste. One thing many folks do is put a bucket (or two) in their shower. While you bathe, the bucket fills with drinkable water for wildlife that would otherwise go down the drain. (Make sure soap doesn’t get in the bucket.) Many communities encourage residents to install backyard rain barrels that gather rainfall from the roof and store it for drier times.

Source: Kevin Coyle, VP for Education for the National Wildlife Federation

July 2018 Featured Products: Mugs, Hand-Painted Coasters, and more!

Friday, June 15th, 2018

Mugs, Hand-Painted CoastersBirds & Beasleys has a variety of one-of-a-kind gifts for you to pick up this July! From hand-painted coasters to Montana icon mugs to huckleberry coffee, you are sure to find what you need this summer at Birds & Beasleys. Come by and see us this July!

Hand-Painted Bird Coasters: The bird coasters are hand-painted by Butte folk artist, Cindy Micheletti. These coasters are a practical, yet beautiful gift you could give to many!

Montana Icon Mugs: Birds & Beasleys has a variety of mugs available for purchase. Some of these mugs include images of bears, pine cones, and Montana. Mugs are both a great gift or souvenir for any visitors this summer.

Blue Moose Metals Bottle Openers: The Blue Moose Metals bottle openers available from Birds & Beasleys are 100% steel and magnetic. These bottle openers are perfect for the boat, cabin, or man cave.

The Wonder of Birds by Jim Robbins: The Wonder of Birds is new to paperback and is the perfect book for any bird lover! We also have vintage bookmarks you can pick up with this book as well.

Huckleberry Coffee and Montana Chocolates: Birds & Beasleys has some delicious treats available. Huckleberry Coffee and Montana Chocolates make a great souvenir for any visitors you have in town this summer.

Closed 4th of July

Friday, June 15th, 2018

4th of JulyWe are closed on Wednesday, July 4th , 2018. We hope you and your family have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!

Independence Day Fun Facts:

Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

The History Channel

How to Attract Hummingbirds

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Attract HummingbirdsWant more hummingbirds? Tie a big red ribbon around the old oak tree.  Dig out those Christmas decorations and attach the red bows on your deck, yard crane, or other places you want to attract hummingbirds.  Red equals food for hummingbirds. And they’ll come by to check out your bows.

Then have some red blooming flowers or a “clean” hummingbird feeder ready for them to enjoy and benefit from.  Have your feeder up by April 15th. I stress, you must keep hummingbird feeders “clean”, as feeding from a dirty feeder is like a “DWI” for a hummingbird.  Mold and mildew on a feeder or spoiled nectar throws off a hummingbird guidance system. A hummingbird beats its wings about 78 times per second so staying in total control is critical.  As a result, hummingbirds will avoid a dirty feeder. There are feeders available that are totally dishwasher safe. Look for them and always buy feeders that come apart easily and feature wide mouths to the nectar reservoir.

When buying feeders, avoid products with yellow ports or parts.  Yellow is one of the few colors bees can see and they are attracted to it.  If you own one of these, use fingernail polish to paint the parts red. You can also use Avon “Skin So Soft” to safely discourage bees and wasps.  Just put a little around the feeder port. You can keep ants from getting in your feeder by hanging the feeder from an “Ant Moat or Nectar Protector.”  You fill these devices with water because ants can’t swim and thus can’t get to the feeder.

When planting flowers, I recommend native plants wherever possible.  Trumpet Vine, Honeysuckle, Columbines and Cardinal flowers are some species to select.  Regarding annuals always go with flowers with feature wide-open throated blossoms that are easier for hummingbirds to feed.

A couple of other things you can do to attract hummingbirds is to provide a mist of water, a plate of rotting fruit or nesting material.  Because hummingbirds go in and out of hundreds of flower blossoms each day, they get covered with a lot of pollen. Hummers look for a way to clean their feathers.  A fountain that splashes or a shallow bird bath is sometimes used by hummers for this purpose. Better yet, providing a mist they can fly through is a guaranteed way to attract hummingbirds.  In fact, if you put your water supply on a timer, you’ll actually have hummers lining up daily. There are commercial misters available that can be adapted for this purpose or a soaker hose can also work if strung through the air.  You can also buy nozzles developed specifically as bird misters.

Did you realize that while hummingbirds use nectar as their energy source, small insects are a hummingbird’s source of protein and minerals?  A proven way to attract lots of hummingbirds is to put out a plate of fruit (watermelon, peaches, bananas, are the best!) and let it rot. This results in lots of small fruit flies that hummingbirds love.

Last but not least, all bird species respond to you when providing them nesting material.  For hummingbirds, there’s only one proven nesting material and it must be purchased commercially.  The product is called “Hummer Helper Nesting Material” and is endorsed and recommended by The Hummingbird Society.

If you use some of the above suggestions, you should soon have lots of hummers zipping around your yard or pond.  Want to learn more about hummingbirds, check out

Source: The Bird Man Mel Toellner

Closed Memorial Day

Friday, May 25th, 2018

Birds & Beasleys will be closed Memorial Day, Monday, May 28th. Enjoy this time to be with your family and friends.

Birds & Beasleys wants to say thank you to all who are currently serving our country or have served previously. We are very grateful.

June 2018 Featured Products: Cathy Weber Birds, Hummingbird Feeders, & more!

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018
Hummingbird Feeder

Ruby Glass Hummingbird Feeder

Looking for a fun purchase this summer? Many unique summer products are available at Birds & Beasleys! Check out our featured products, including hummingbird feeders, ceramic birds, and wooden quilts, for the month of June. Stop by Birds and Beasleys sometime during the month of June to see the featured products. Learn more about the different products below.

Ruby Glass Hummingbird Feeder: Birds & Beasleys has new glass hummingbird feeders available. These feeders are easy to clean, fill, and hang and won’t break the bank. See our other hummingbird feeders here.

Cathy Weber Ceramic Birds: Cathy Weber is a beloved Helena ceramicist and creates beautiful ceramic art pieces. Her ceramic birds would be a wonderful gift to any bird lover. Take a look at some of Cathy’s ceramic birds here.

Beth Cummings Quilts: Beth Cummings creates beautiful, one-of-a-kind artwork. Beth’s quilts are ready to hang and would be a lovely piece of artwork in your home.




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October 2018
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