Spring is finally here and we are so excited! Our commercials are airing just in time for nesting season. Take a peak at the ad below, and be on the lookout for the new edition of the Songbird Station Newsletter, arriving in mailboxes soon! Full of helpful tips, valuable coupons, and information to get your backyard ready to receive guests of all feathers, don’t miss it!
Migration, Informative | March 02, 2023
Focus on Binoculars This Spring!
Don’t miss viewing colorful Spring migrants up close and witness the excitement of Songbirds building a nest and raising their young. Our optics are also great for sporting events, vacations, and hunting. Binoculars make Great Mother’s Day & Father’s Day presents! Come in today and try a pair. We even offer “Test Drives – NO expectations or strings attached!” Details at the store. We guarantee no one (Big Boxes – websites) NO ONE beats our prices!
Binoculars help to bring birds closer and really are a must for every birdwatcher. You will be able to see things that previously went unnoticed. For example, watch the Tufted Titmouse pick up and drop several peanut pieces before it finds just the right one. Watch the male Northern Cardinal court the female by gently placing food in her mouth. Notice the changing colors of American Goldfinch as they begin to molt from summer to winter plumage. Later in the summer, watch several species bring their babies to your feeder to teach them to feed.
Not convinced? Come to our monthly First Friday Bird Walks and test a pair!
Here is a great article to help you determine your needs and select the perfect pair, Focus on Binoculars!
Due to lack of photo submissions, Songbird Station will not be offering a 2023 calendar. We appreciate those who took the time to enter their images in the contest!
Informative | October 03, 2022
We love your feedback!
Keep those notes and letters coming!! Below is a letter that I received yesterday. It was so kind of Becky to take time to write. I was especially happy she noticed that I appreciate the every day wonder of the world that God has created for us like she does. I love the 2 videos she recommends. Take a look at them.
Remember Nature is a Stress Reliever from God. Take time today to listen to the birds sing!!
~Bird Man Mel
Informative | March 01, 2022
Gold Crest Distributing & Songbird Station are excited to be featured in the current edition of Rural Missouri Magazine!
“Birding Business” By: Zach Smith
If there is such a thing as reverse empty-nest syndrome, then Mel Toellner — or Bird Man Mel as he’s known to friends, family and viewers of his YouTube channel — probably has it. Since last summer he’s stepped back from his companies’ day-to-day operations; his son, Grant, and daughter, Becky, have taken the reins of different sides of the businesses he built from a few seeds. He’s neither sad to walk away nor concerned for the transition for a few reasons. His business was built on a passion for birding, and that passion was shared with the family. Mel’s kids were born into it, the same way he was.
Mel fledged his family business sense by helping his father with his company, Toellner Tire Co., in his native Bunceton. Later, he’d find his wings as a manager of sales, development and distribution for Ralston Purina. But like so many of the birds he loves to watch and educate others about, there was something instinctive calling the young entrepreneur. Tiny seeds planted by Boy Scout merit badge work, watching the geese in Rochester, Minnesota during trips to the Mayo Clinic with his father and a birding summer camp scholarship given to him by a member of the Columbia Audubon Society all germinated in Mel’s garage in Mexico. There, the idea for a birding store that would one day grow into a company supplying most of the same kind of businesses in North America, was hatched.
To view the rest of this article by Zach Smith of Rural Missouri click on the link below.
4 Cups Birdseed for Songbirds
¾ Cup Coarse Whole Wheat Flour
1 Packet Unflavored Gelatin
½ Cup Hot Water
4 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
Combine dry ingredients above in a large bowl and after the water is hot (I microwave for 1 minute), add the corn syrup to dissolve in the hot water. Pour the hot water/corn syrup
mixture over the dry ingredients and blend well to incorporate the wet to the dry ingredients.
Having prepared the work surface with wax or parchment paper, get your favorite cookie cutter shape and spray the inside with non-stick baking spray. Laying the cookie-cutter flat on the prepared surface, press the above mixture into the cookie cutter and overpack getting it as full as you can. I take something that is flat and continue to press leaving a flat surface on the cookie cutter.
Taking a chopstick or a drinking straw, put near the top of the cookie-cutter, pressing through to the bottom but leave it in the mold. Carefully lift the cookie cutter up and away from the chopstick or straw and repeat the same process for the next ornament.
Remove the chopstick or the straw after 15 minutes and don’t disturb the ornament until the next day. I turn them over once leaving them to dry another 24 hours. I then dry them in a dehydrator or an oven that is on the lowest setting for at least 15-30 minutes to ensure the ornament is dry and to eliminate any mold forming.
Origami Flapping Bird
Summer activity around the feeding station is like watching an animated movie. Adults fly down with their young for lessons in getting food and water, flitting from one antic juvenile to the next in a rapid-fire exhibition of maneuvers. Now you can experience the frenzy with your own bird. Using the diagrams and instructions below, turn a simple piece of paper into a complex pattern of folds for flapping.
Winter is a special season for birding everywhere. Birds are not only (usually – there are some exceptions, like male goldfinches, who lose their bright gold coloring) easier to spot against the snowy foliage, but their behavior changes in dramatic fashion. As naturally-appearing nuts and seeds dwindle, and the energy demands of survival increase, your birds will frequent your feeders and birdbaths more often. That means that winter is a great time to attract new birds to your backyard. They will be out and looking for new sources of food. As birds are creatures of habit, they will continue returning to your feeders even as the seasons change and other food becomes more plentiful.
Let’s consider some things you can do to make our part of the world more welcoming for birds. One of the biggest and best things you can do for your yard is provide fresh, liquid water – ideally with a De-Icer or in a heated bird bath. Maintaining a liquid-water bird bath is not as much of a challenge as you might think. This is a subject important enough to have its own segment in this newsletter. See the article “Winter Birdbaths” for more details.
Missouri’s winter and year-round birds will need many more calories to survive and thrive than they did over the summer. That means their preferred food sources will change. Energy is paramount. And the highest-energy, highest-calorie foods that we have are the suet cakes. Pine Tree Farms High Energy Suet is Songbird Station’s best-selling winter food. Suet appeals most to clinging birds like titmice, chickadees, woodpeckers, and bluebirds will all delight in suet cakes, especially if they’re catered to. In addition to High-Energy Suet, Pine Tree Farms makes a variety of specialty suet cakes. Some are formulated to be more attractive to specific birds – insect suet, for example, will draw in more bluebirds. Other cakes are made for different purposes, such as hot pepper suet, which will keep pesky squirrels, raccoons, and deer away from your feeders.
As you observe your birds this winter, you may notice that they appear larger and fluffier than before. This is not necessarily because they’re bulking up or storing extra fat. Birds keep themselves insulated from the cold by fluffing their feathers to add more layers of air between them. The multiple layers of feathers and air keep their body heat efficiently trapped. Feathers and fluff alone won’t keep them through the coldest Missouri winters, though. At night and during snowstorms, they’ll be looking for shelter to roost.
You can help them out by providing roosting space. Nest boxes left over from last nesting season are not ideal roosting spaces because their entrance portals are at their tops. While this is a feature during summer, in winter this allows heat to escape into the world. Dedicated roosting boxes are similar to nest boxes, but have their entrance portals at the bottom of the box to allow heat to stay trapped atop, and generally have a built-in ladder or other platform to allow birds access to the warmer top of the box.
Not all nest boxes can be reasonably converted to roosting houses. One recent addition to the Songbird Station catalog is designed to do double-duty. The Songbird Essentials Convertible Roosting House has a detachable front cover that can be flipped depending on the season: entrance portal on top for summer, bottom for winter, and a removable internal ladder. Alternatively, Songbird Essentials’ dried grass roosting pockets not only provide birds with shelter and space, but look fantastic on trees.