Category Archives: Stuff We Love

August Feeder Sale: Get 20% Off Feeders, Poles, and Baffles

The Annual Bird Feeder Sale is here!

Through the end of August, Mass Audubon members get a double discount on bird feeders, poles, and baffles, so shop our great selection of bird feeders and supplies online and spruce up your bird feeding setup. Call or stop by the brick and mortar Audubon Shop in Lincoln for expert advice and to see our full selection of products.

Here are a few of our favorite feeders to get you inspired:

Classic Pole FeederDeluxe Cedar Hopper and Suet FeederSquirrel Buster Bird Seed Feeder

 

Classic Pole Feeder

Member price: $47.96*
Nonmember price: $59.95

Perfect for the beginning birdwatcher, this feeder comes with everything you need to get started:

  • Holds up to 5 pounds (or 1.2 gallons) of seed
  • Includes a three-section pole for mounting the feeder
  • A built-in baffle to prevent squirrels from climbing the pole

Deluxe Cedar Hopper and Suet Feeder

Member price: $34.36*
Nonmember price: $42.95

Attract a variety of songbirds and woodpeckers to your backyard with the naturally attractive Deluxe Cedar Feeder. The large hopper holds up to 5 pounds (1.2 gallons) of seed, and the cage on each side holds one suet cake. The roof hinge opens easily for filling and protects the seed from the weather.

Squirrel Buster Classic Feeder

Member price: $47.96*
Nonmember price: $59.95

Brome’s patented Squirrel Buster technology is truly squirrel proof. The outer cage is weight-sensitive, so when a squirrel gets onto the feeder, the cage will shift down, blocking access to the seed ports. The unique cage design also provides a great surface for birds that prefer to cling instead of perching (nuthatches, woodpeckers). Holds up to 1.4 quarts of seed.

large-buffet-window-feeder

Cedar Woodpecker Feeder

Perky Pet Pinch-Wait Hummingbird Feeder

Buffet Window Feeder

Member price: $22.36*
Nonmember price: $27.95

Up-close observation of birds is easy with this clear, plastic window feeder. The frame attaches to the window with two suction cups. Two removable trays allow you to offer a variety of seed and make for easy up-keep.

Cedar Woodpecker Feeder

Member price: $33.60*
Nonmember price: $42.00

This handsome feeder is made of beautiful cedar and is specially designed for woodpeckers to cling to the side and extract shelled peanuts through a grommet. Fill with shelled peanuts or nutty blend. Holds up to 1.25 quarts of seed.

Pinch-Waist Hummingbird Feeder

Member price: $12.76*
Nonmember price: $15.95

A colorful favorite, this 8 oz hummingbird feeder has a glass bottle and 4 bright, red and yellow feeding “flowers.” The removable 4-way perch allows the tiny birds to stick around for a while, granting you maximum viewing potential. Also, it includes a hangar to attach to a branch or hook.

*Mass Audubon members always receive a 10% discount (applied at checkout). For the month of August, members also receive an additional 10% discount on bird feeders, baffles, and poles.

Gifts Dad Will Love

Father’s Day around the corner. Find these great gifts for Dad and more in our online shop, or visit the Audubon Shop in person at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, MA.

Listening to a Continent Sing by Donald KroodsmaListening to a Continent Sing: Birdsong by Bicycle from the Atlantic to the Pacific
by Donald Kroodsma

Member price: $26.96*
Nonmember price: $29.95

Follow along on a 10-week, 10-state father-son bike journey to explore the natural world and document birdsong across the nation. The book features gorgeous illustrations and QR codes so the reader can hear the birdsong of each species they encounter along the way.

Author Talk: Take Dad to hear firsthand about the trip!
Meet author Donald Kroodsma and hear more about his incredible journey.
Date: June 15, 2016
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Audubon Shop at Drumlin Farm


Bird Wonder Mug with Birds & Beans CoffeeBird Wonder Mug with Birds & Beans Coffee

Member price: $23.85*
Nonmember price: $26.50

Dad can birdwatch anytime he has a cup of coffee. Just add any hot beverage to the mug and watch the black silhouettes turn into colorful songbirds. Complete your gift with a bag of Birds & Beans certified “Bird Friendly” organic coffee. (Also available separately.)


Walter Woodpecker StaplerWalter Woodpecker Stapler

Member price: $19.80*
Nonmember price: $22.00

This little woodpecker will happily sit on Dad’s desk, ready to assist with all of his stapling tasks. The perfect desk pet. Staples not included.

 


Mass Audubon Tern NecktiesTern Tie

Member price: $28.80*
Nonmember price: $32.00

The most classic of Father’s Day gifts, with a Mass Audubon flair, these neckties are hand-made of 100% silk and feature the Mass Audubon tern. Available in forest green or dark blue.


Fish Bottle OpenerFish Bottle Opener

Member price: $12.60*
Nonmember price: $14.00

A handy tool for the faithful fisherman, this flashy fish can open bottles! It’s only 4.5 inches long so it can be slipped into a pocket or tackle box.

 


Observer Window FeederObserver Window Feeder

Member price: $18.86*
Nonmember price: $20.95

Welcome songbirds right to Dad’s window all year with this simply designed feeder. The deep tray can hold seed, fruit, or mealworms, and drainage holes keep it from filling up with water.

 

*Mass Audubon members always receive a 10% discount (applied at checkout).

If You Give a School a CSA

Guest post by Emma Scudder, Drumlin Farm’s Food and Farm Educator

At Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, the mornings are bustling with activity. Starting at 6 am, the crops team is hard at work, harvesting produce to share with our customers. For years, this harvest has been distributed to individuals through farmer’s markets, a farmstand, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and wholesale deliveries to more than 30 Boston-area restaurants. But this spring marked an exciting new addition to our distribution list: school cafeterias.

_MG_5890

A Fresher Salad Bar

In May, Drumlin Farm and Somerville Public Schools began a pilot farm-to-school CSA. Each week, the farmers deliver a mystery box of fresh produce to Somerville schools, meeting the students and staff in the process (after the first delivery, the farmers came back to the farm feeling like celebrities due to the warm welcome they received!).

This seasonal variety is incorporated into the salad bars in 10 schools across the city, serving students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. So far, the schools have received spinach, arugula, radishes, spring turnips, and lettuce.

Getting to Know Your Food

This pilot is an excellent extension of Drumlin Farm’s Know Your Food programs, year-round experiences for people of all ages to learn about, prepare, and appreciate seasonal, local produce on the farm.

With locally-sourced fresh vegetables in Somerville’s cafeterias, Know Your Food lives up to its name. Students will know where their food came from (a farm 15 miles away), when it was harvested (that morning!), and the farmer who grew it.

_MG_5944

See You in Somerville

This latest collaboration with the Somerville Public Schools furthers our connection to the city. Drumlin Farm is in Somerville every Saturday selling produce at the Union Square Farmers Market, and twice a week we deliver to restaurants around the city. So even when the kids are not in school, they can still enjoy what’s growing at Drumlin Farm.

_MG_1977

Teamwork in Action

Special thanks to Karyn Novakowsi at Somerville Farm to School Project, Simca Horowitz at the Massachusetts Farm to School Project, Drumlin Farm’s Matt Celona (Crops Manager), Jessica Wiley (Restaurant Coordinator), Sarah Lang (Assistant Farmer), and the whole crops team for making this partnership happen!

Make Way for Ducklings: What To Do When You Find a Nest in Your Backyard

What would you do if you discovered a mother duck incubating a nest full of eggs in your fenced-in backyard?

One Newton family found themselves in just such a situation when a mallard (dubbed “Quackie” by five-year-old Dylan) laid a clutch of eggs right beside their back door.

A Female Mallard sitting on her nest beside a back doorstep

Quackie chose a sheltered corner of the yard by the back door to lay her clutch of eggs.

Initially, they were concerned that their golden retriever, Quincy, would bother the new neighbor, but the gentle bird dog, described fondly as “descended from stuffed animals,” showed no interest in Quackie.

But they foresaw a larger issue. Their home is a mile from the nearest body of water, with a busy road in between, and they worried that Quackie would need human intervention to transport her hatchlings to a safe location. They did some research and learned that mallard eggs are incubated for 27-28 days, leaving them about three weeks to make a plan.

A nest of 13 mallard eggs

Quackie will incubate her clutch of eggs for 27-28 days.

What to do?

Should they call Animal Control to transport mother and eggs to a water source? Or wait until the eggs hatch? How should the birds be moved? And where to bring them?
They reached out to Mass Audubon where Joan Walsh, Director of Bird Monitoring, and Marj Rines, of Mass Audubon’s Wildlife Information Line, delivered the answers they needed.

“I always say,” Joan explained, “that these are professional birds, and while we think we know what’s best, really, they do.”

Marj added that it’s not uncommon for ducks to lead their hatchlings for more than a mile to their pre-chosen body of water. Relocating her to the wrong spot could inadvertently make her job harder.

Marj stressed that it’s important NOT to feed Quackie while she’s incubating. Food can attract predators that find duck eggs a tasty treat. Quackie goes off to feed twice a day on her own, a ritual that is actually called recess! Joan walked the family through the hatching process, which can take a couple of days from first cracks to when they leave the nest.

In the end, they all decided it would be best to let nature take its course, perhaps opening a gate once the eggs start to hatch. As a last resort, the family may need to marshal a Make Way for Ducklings-style parade to help with any road crossings or obstacles.

We’re looking forward to an update on Quackie’s progress sometime around May 9-12, 2016!

Quackie incubating her eggs

Quackie poses for an adorable close-up.


UPDATE 5/10/16

Quackie’s eggs hatched on the morning of Sunday, May 8—a wonderful Mother’s Day surprise! The following morning, Quackie led the very antsy chicks away to a nearby water source. A well-placed “Duck Cam” caught the nest departure in action; get ready for some serious cuteness:

We’re wishing Quackie the Mallard and all her hatchlings the best of luck!

For more on what to do if you find a duck nest in an enclosed space, visit our website for Duck Situations & Solutions.

It’s Time to Nest

Provide a home for birds, learn about their nests, and make your own nest cozier with these picks from the Audubon Shop. Find a selection of items in our online shop or visit us in person at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, MA.

Also, don’t miss our in-store only events:

  • Spring Optics Sale on April 2-10.
  • Author and illustrator David Sibley gives a presentation and bird walk on April 10. Separate registration for the talk and walk are required.  
  • Author and illustrator Julie Zickefoose introduces her new book, Baby Birds, on April 28.

Audubon Clock

Audubon Singing Bird Clock
Member price: $23.35*
Nonmember price: $25.95

Enjoy a different authentic bird song at the top of each hour, including favorites such as the American goldfinch, eastern bluebird, and more. This wall clock measures 13″ across. A light sensor deactivates the sounds when the room is dark.

Cheese Tray

Bird & Nest Wood Serving Tray
Member price: $32.40
Nonmember price: $36.00

This tray is a work of art. It’s made of mango wood with rounded corners, and the detailed metal handle is shaped like a branch with a bird in a nest. Soft pads on the underside prevent scratching.

Wren House Kit

Wren House Kit
Member price: $13.45
Nonmember price: $14.95

Wrens are a cheerful addition to any backyard. Welcome them with a house you assemble yourself. This kit includes everything you need except for a screwdriver. It’s an easy and fun project for the whole family.

 

Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings

Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds
Member price: $26.95
Nonmember price: $29.95
By Paul J. Baicich and Colin J. O. Harrison

Both professional birders and amateur nature lovers will find this book invaluable. Discover the breeding habits of over 600 North American birds. Learn how, when, and where they build their nests, how they raise their young, and much more. Color and line illustrations show nests, eggs, and selected nestlings.

Birds, Nests, and Eggs

Birds, Nests, and Eggs
Member price: $7.15
Nonmember price: $7.95
By Mel Boring

This fun guide introduces children to 15 common birds. They’ll learn all about nests, eggs, baby birds, and much more. Plus, they’ll find instructions for building a simple bird blind and a water bucket bird shower. Kids can record their sightings and make drawings in the last few pages.

*Mass Audubon members always receive a 10% discount (applied at checkout)

Built to Peck: How Woodpeckers Avoid Brain Injury

Pileated woodpecker © Kim Nagy

Pileated woodpecker © Kim Nagy

We are pleased to share a guest blog post from Lorna Gibson, Mass Audubon Council member, longtime Leadership Friend, and Tern Society member. Lorna is also Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and MacVicar Faculty Fellow at MIT.

A couple of years ago, Lorna came to Mass Audubon headquarters to share what she was learning about woodpeckers and how they withstand the impacts of constant pecking. Now, thanks to the incredible videos put together by Lorna, co-producer Caitlin Stier, and a team of others at MITx, MIT’s online education department, everyone can enjoy and learn from her work.


I love birds and I love teaching. And I’ve now combined these two interests in a new, eight-part, short-form video series: Built to Peck: How Woodpeckers Avoid Brain Injury. The series, designed for a general audience, is like an online fusion of “Nature” and “Mythbusters,” weaving together intimate observations of bird behavior and physiology with engineering “explainers.” The project was a collaboration with MITx, MIT’s online education division, and, in particular, with one of their media specialists, Caitlin Stier.

A number of years ago, a colleague told me that woodpeckers have a special foam-like material between their brains and their skulls that protects them from impacts during pecking. Since I study the mechanical behavior of foams and foam-like materials, I had to look into this. Once I sorted out an explanation (there is no special foam-like material involved) I started giving talks on how woodpeckers avoid brain injury to birding groups and audiences interested in natural history. So when the opportunity to make a high production value video with MITx on this topic arose, I was thrilled.

We set about translating my talk into a lively exploration of the engineering, biology, and natural history behind woodpecker pecking. After storyboarding to determine the best mix of on-camera presentation, graphics, historical and new footage, our team began filming in late July and August. We were permitted to shoot in Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, where we peered into drawers containing centuries-old and often rare bird species, well preserved and fully feathered.

Another highlight was shooting at the lush Hall’s Pond Sanctuary in Brookline, near the 19th century home of Mass Audubon co-founder, Minna Hall; the final segment in the series gives a behind-the-scenes look at the founding of the Mass Audubon.

Enjoy the videos!

— Professor Lorna Gibson MacVicar Faculty Fellow and Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT. Adapted from Built to Peck: How Woodpeckers Avoid Brain Injury, from the MIT News Office.

More Funny {Nature} Valentines

Looking for that perfect way to send some nature love this Valentine’s Day? We’ve got you covered! For more ideas, check out last year’s options.

Love Is in the Air

Share your love of nature with these picks from the Audubon Shop. Find a selection of items in our online shop or visit us in person at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, MA.

Also, enjoy our in-store February Birdhouse Sale! Members receive a 20% discount on nest boxes and poles.

Match Game

Match a Pair of Birds: A Memory Game
Member price: $13.45*
Nonmember price: $14.95

Here’s a unique twist on a classic memory game: instead of trying to find pairs of identical images, players match male and female birds of the same species. The cards have detailed illustrations and can also be used as flashcards. Ages 3+.

 

Coasters

Cardinal Pair Coaster Set
Member price: $39.60
Nonmember price: $44.00

Celebrate one of New England’s most popular couples: the male and female northern cardinal. This coaster set by local artist Alyssa Watters depicts both the red males and green-brown females. The set comes in a gift box and contains four tile coasters with cork backing to prevent scratching and slipping.

 

Nest BoxWindow Nest Box
Member price: $24.25
Nonmember price: $26.95

Invite lovebirds to nest right at your window. This pine box has a clear back wall so you can watch the chicks grow up. It’s just the right size for many small backyard birds. Four large suction cups secure it to your window. Made in the USA.

 

Wildflowers BookSpring Wildflowers of the Northeast
Member price: $26.95
Nonmember price: $29.95
By Carol Gracie

Flowers make a great gift—but a book about flowers lasts a lifetime. This one is a visual treat, with hundreds of spectacular wildflower photographs. Plus, it’s packed with cultural lore, natural history, and other entertaining details.

 

frogtoys.jpg

Plush Frogs with Sounds
Member price: $8.05
Nonmember price: $8.95

Frogs sing to find love. Enjoy their natural ballads with these plush toys that make sounds when squeezed. We offer several Massachusetts species: spring peeper, American bullfrog, eastern spadefoot toad, and American toad. 7″ long.

*Mass Audubon members always receive a 10% discount (applied at checkout)

Top 10 Facebook Posts of 2015

Enjoy a look back at our top 10 most popular Facebook posts of 2015. Missing our posts in your newsfeed? Like our page (if you haven’t already), hover over “Liked,” select “Posts in News Feed,” and choose “See Posts First.”

Amazing photographs capturing almost frozen waves off Nantucket.

Posted by Mass Audubon on Friday, February 27, 2015

Hard to believe this is a slo-mo video of a ruby-throated hummingbird, but notice the birds in the background.

Posted by Mass Audubon on Saturday, July 4, 2015

Wondering what to do if you find a baby bird? Our chart explains. Share to help spread the word! And find more details here: http://bit.ly/ma_babybirds

Posted by Mass Audubon on Thursday, May 14, 2015

Great news from The Nature Conservancy for bats!

Posted by Mass Audubon on Sunday, May 24, 2015

Happy owl-o-ween!

Posted by Mass Audubon on Saturday, October 31, 2015

Great story from Blue Hills Trailside Museum: It was an exciting week at Trailside! We had four great horned owl…

Posted by Mass Audubon on Saturday, May 2, 2015

Have you seen these lovely plants yet this season? Though the pink lady’s slipper is relatively easy to spot, other…

Posted by Mass Audubon on Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Gobble gobble.

Posted by Mass Audubon on Monday, November 23, 2015

Will you be watching tonight?

Posted by Mass Audubon on Sunday, September 27, 2015

Spotted yesterday: a baby snapping turtle that just emerged from its nest. Keep an eye out for these turtles!

Posted by Mass Audubon on Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Greenest Gift

Still working on your holiday shopping list? Give the gift of 56 wildlife sanctuaries and hundreds of trails with a Mass Audubon gift membership. In addition to free admission to our sanctuaries—including Drumlin Farm (Lincoln), Wellfleet Bay (Cape Cod), Ipswich River (Topsfield), and Pleasant Valley (Lenox)—the lucky recipient will also receive:

  • An organic cotton Mass Audubon reusable grocery bag.
  • Discounts on programs, classes, and camps.
  • Savings on purchases at gift shops.
  • Places to Explore, a full-color guide to our wildlife sanctuaries, nature centers, and museums.
  • One-year subscription to Connections, our member newsletter.
  • Membership cards delivered with a personal note from you and an e-card to let them know the gift is coming!

Holiday giftsYour gift membership helps support Mass Audubon’s conservation, education, and advocacy work and is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.