Friday, April 21, 2017

So Nice Hearing Hummers Again

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The sights and sounds around here just keep improving!

Male ruby-throats showed up, then male Baltimore orioles, then female ruby-throats, and now a male orchard oriole. Our little flocks are beginning to move back in!

Re-orders are coming in from our retail outlets. So the ruby-throated migration is in full swing with them returning to their breeding areas.

Watch for mating dances - deep, fast swoops back and forth - as he shows off for the lady.

We're going to a new-to-us area next weekend. We'll be in Huntington, WV, at the Big Sandy Arena for the Dogwood Arts & Crafts Festival. We hope to make a stop at our favorite WV glass maker - Blenko in Milton - as well.

As the hummers return, remember to keep the nectar fresh for them. If the feeder isn't empty after 3-5 days, dump it out, clean it, and refill it with fresh nectar. If you want to use pre-packaged nectar, we recommend only EZ Nectar, made from ONLY sugar and water with no additives or preservatives. Enter coupon code ozarklake at checkout for savings!

Hummingbird fact for today: The Aztecs were one of the first known cultures to embrace the beauty and representation of the Hummingbird. They wore talismans that had Hummingbirds on them as a symbol of the vigor of their people.

Friday, April 14, 2017

First Ruby-Throat Has Arrived!

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Our first ruby-throat of the season arrived on April 10, 3-6 days sooner than any have ever arrived. So far he seems to be alone, but more will surely show up.

We've been to two shows this spring, one in Fort Smith, AR, and one in Evansville, IN. So despite a slower show season, wholesale orders have kept us hopping, with some new locations ordering. Last week we sent orders to Inspired! Gift Shop in Port Angeles, WA, and to Awakenings in Pleasanton, CA. Now we're working on orders for the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, AR, and Frames of Mind in St. John, VI.

Here's a complete list of retail locations that carry Ozarklake items:
Coronado National Monument Gift Store, Hereford, AZ
Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Fayetteville, AR
Awakenings, Pleasanton, CA
An Artisan's Marketplace, Plainville, CT
The Secret Shed, Shererville, IN
Alley Gallery, Marion, IA
The Owl House, Saugatuck, MI
The Hermann Mercantile, Hermann, MO
Tar Heel Trading Co., Corolla & Duck, NC
A Bird's Eye View, Littleton, NC
Stewart's Village Gallery, Waxhaw, NC
Blue Heron Gallery, Sunset Beach, NC
When Pigz Fly, Raleigh, NC
Beech Branch Arts & Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN
Rio Grande Valley Arts & Heritage Museum, Harlingen, TX
SPI Birding and Nature Center, South Padre Island, TX
Inspired! Gift Shop, Port Angeles, WA
Dickinson & Wait Craft Gallery, Shepherdstown, WV
Frames of Mind, St. John, VI

Everyone who feed hummers knows that sometimes ants will find your birdfeeder, especially if you're feeding nectar or fruit. They just march right down whatever the feeder is hanging on and march right in to the sweet stuff. Using pesticides, oils, or anything that is sticky is bad for the birds. They can be poisoned with pesticides, all oils can get on their feathers (they're tiny and fast and curious) and affect their flying ability, and something sticky (like inside-out duct tape) can actually entrap the little hummingbirds. 


 So what's the answer??? Ants do not swim! In fact, since they breathe through their skin, they actually suffocate in water. Enter our new AntSentry. Hang the AntSentry from the hook that your feeder was on, hang your feeder from the bottom hook of the AntSentry, fill the copper bowl with water. Ants might march down from the top hook, but the water moat keeps them from marching on down to the feeder. Our AntSentry is handcrafted in the same style as our feeders, but will be a beautiful accessory for any feeder. The solid copper will last a lifetime, and certainly a lot longer than the plastic ant moats you can find in the big box stores. The copper bowl is 2" across, and 1.5" deep. Just watch for evaporation and replenish with water when needed. You can order your here



Hummingbird fact for today: As with most of our migratory birds, hummingbirds apparently evolved to their present forms during the last ice age. They were (and largely still are) tropical birds, but as the great ice sheets retreated from North America, they gradually expanded their ranges to exploit rich temperate food resources and nesting space, filling unoccupied niches in the U.S and southern Canada while evading intense competition in the tropics. Ruby-throated hummingbirds spend the summer months in the eastern half of the US and some provinces. Watch the migration map fill in with dates of "first" sightings.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Two More North Carolina Stores Have Ozarklake Feeders

We shipped out orders this week to two stores in North Carolina. How exciting! Both are in summer "tourist" areas and both are near a lake. Gee. Sounds like home here at the Lake of the Ozarks.

A Bird's Eye View in Littleton, NC, had just gotten their order unpacked when a customer walked in and purchased one! The store owner was so excited that she called to tell us about it. Blue Heron Gallery in Sunset Beach, NC, will have their order delivered early next week. We hope they have the same type of response!

These two NC locations join Tar Heel Trading Company in Corolla & Duck, Stewart's Village Gallery in Waxhaw, and When Pigz Fly in Raleigh. So if you're in North Carolina, Ozarklake feeders can be found in all corners of the state!

Hummingbird fact for today: Hummingbirds can fly in the rain and, like dogs, shake their heads to dispel drops of water. Unlike dogs, however, a hummingbird shakes its head violently, 132 times per second, and rotating 202 degrees—all while flying and maintaining direction.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Is Winter Over Early?

It is unseasonably warm here. In fact, we pruned the butterfly bushes yesterday in shorts! Just wish that the hummingbird migration depended on weather and not on other factors (like Mother Nature and length of daylight hours, etc.). BUT they should start showing up in about 8 weeks!!!

We're working out our spring show schedule. Hopefully we'll be going to Huntington, WV, and Greenville, SC, after our March trip to Ft. Smith, AR. In July we'll head back to the Sedona Hummingbird Festival, this year by way of Portland, OR, site of the International Master Gardeners Conference this year.

We're VERY EXCITED that Ozarklake feeders are now available in the Visitors Center at Coronado National Memorial! In this very southern area of Arizona, hummingbirds of many species are in residence year-round! The Visitors Center is south of Sierra Vista and west of Bisbee, an area we visited last summer. https://www.nps.gov/coro/index.htm.

We have always recommended that people mix their own nectar from cane sugar and tap water, but we understand that sometimes the convenience of a pre-packaged nectar is needed. We have researched a lot of the nectars on the market and have concluded that the ONLY pre-packaged nectar we recommend using is EZNectar, available at Amazon, in many Wal-Mart stores, and at www.eznectar.com. This nectar is all natural with NO additives. Just sugar and water. So when you want the convenience of pre-packaged nectar, stock up on EZNectar!

Hummingbird fact for today: Hummingbirds have been part of our culture for centuries. The Aztecs have noted them in their talisman, and they were beloved and admired for their energy. Warriors believed that if they were true to battle but lost their lives, they would come back as a hummingbird. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Summertime Fun is at an End




It seems that most all of our tiny visitors have moved on southward. We might catch a brief glimpse of one at a feeder 2 or 3 times a day, but for the most part they are gone. We had terrific summer traffic, though. The hummingbird bander was here in July, in August, and a surprise visit in September. All together, she banded 26 birds on our porch. It is awesome to know that we have contributed something, no matter how small, to the scientific study of these amazing creatures.

A couple of weeks ago when she came over, she banded 13 birds in just about 2 hours! For the previous visits, we've been neighborly and invited our neighbors over to observe the process. This last time we didn't tell anyone and Terrie was the scribe, recording the information that Veronica got from the measuring and weighing.

We're off to the Northwest Arkansas Arts and Crafts Festival in Springdale in a couple of weeks. Then we'll have our first experience at the Nashville Christmas Village in November. We cut back on our show participation this year. With any luck, the wholesale accounts we've picked up will be steady customers.

Hummingbird fact for today: The instinct to migrate is so strong that nothing short of captivity can keep a healthy, normal migratory bird from going south. The few hummingbirds that try to winter in climates too cold for their survival most likely are physically unfit to migrate or have off-kilter internal compasses and would have died sooner had they not found feeders. By leaving a feeder up through the full migration period, you may give a disadvantaged bird a second chance at survival.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Not Getting Much Done

Who wants to work when the hummer activity is up? Besides, Bill is still "recovering" from last week's cataract surgery. So we sit and watch hummers getting fat in preparation for their migration. And the hummingbird bander is coming back this evening :-)

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Hummingbird fact for today: Each species of hummingbird makes a different humming sound, determined by the number of wing beats per second.

Friday, August 12, 2016

It's Fattening Up Time!

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We had a great time at the Hummingbird Festival in Sedona, followed by the Southwest Wings Birding Festival in Sierra Vista, AZ. It's always great to see old friends and repeat customers. Plus we had some quality sight-seeing in-between shows. And lucky for us, we have a wonderful neighbor who took care of our hummers and orioles while we were away. Most of the orioles have already departed, but the hummers are fattening up for their journey south and the feeder activity is positively crazy!

Until we need to gear up for our holiday-shopping shows in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri, we'll take care of personal business and enjoy our hummers until they leave. Hopefully the bander will get back while we still have a ton of hummers!!!

Hummingbird fact for today: Most ruby-throated hummingbirds winter between southern Mexico and northern Panama. Since hummingbirds lead solitary lives and neither live nor migrate in flocks, an individual bird may spend the winter anywhere in this range where the habitat is favorable, but probably returns to the same location each winter.