Spring is Almost Here!

Birds, Gardening, Gifts, Store

Most of us are extremely sick of this winter, but don’t worry, winter can’t last forever! The cold is just grasping on and sticking around longer than normal, but fear not, Spring is almost here… you can already tell since daylight seems to stick around a little longer each night!

Everyone here at Willard & May is really excited about spring coming up! Here are our top reasons why we enjoy Spring:

1. The weather is warming up, finally! Be sure to watch the temperatures rise with these cute & stylish thermometers.


Herb Pattern Thermometer – $10.00


Blue Blossom Ceramic Thermometer – $24.24

1172Froggy Thermometer – $11.00

2. The birds are returning to the yard, so get out your bird feeders and bird houses! Use this modern bird feeder; a great addition to your yard. Bring back the song of the birds!


Modern Bird Feeder – Only $20.00

3. You can scratch that garden itch by starting your seeds indoors or by planting herbs or annuals. Check out these small leaf-patterned pots on a tray, there is nothing quite like the vibrancy of new spring leaves. A great way to cheer you up after this long harsh winter we have had!


3 Elm Pots on Tray – $13.00

There are so many great reasons to love Spring! Tell us what you love about spring – we’d love to hear.


Fall to Winter Birding

Beautiful Outdoors, Birds, Store, Weekend DIY

Fall is a great time to start getting into birding and is very easy to attract autumn birds with our simple tips! A lot of people don’t realize how early fall migration actually starts. August through October are the peak months, although migration does continue into December for some species, especially the shorter-distance birds. There is a common misconception that feeding or attracting birds during the migratory season will interrupt their migration, which in fact will not. So don’t be concerned!

Use these great tips for the perfect fall birding season:

  • Offer nutritious fall foods such as: sunflower seeds, nuts, peanut butter and suet
  • Start winterizing your bird houses (see winter tips below)
  • Ignore your leaves and build a brush pile for an instant shelter

IMG_5568 (Source: Willard & May, Photo Credit: Stephanie Osiecki)

Winter is just right around the corner and while you’re doing your fall clean up outside, keep those bird houses out there! Birds suffer when the temperatures turn colder, but with the help of your bird houses, they can survive even the coldest nights and storms!

Check out our tips for winter birding:

  • Position the bird houses and shelters towards the most sunlight to take in more heat
  • Provide insulating materials in houses and shelters, add more perches to accommodate more birds
  • Prune in the spring rather than the fall so that the birds can take advantage of extra insulating spaces that cover throughout the winter

By providing shelter for backyard birds you will attract a wide range of species that will visit year-round. We have some great options at Willard & May to choose from, to protect the birds in your neighborhood!

bird_houses You can find these styles of bird houses and many others at willardandmay.com [1.Bird Villas, 2. Nesting Box A Frame, 3. Copper Roof Bird House, 4. Sea Grass Nesting Pocket, 5. Sparrow Apartment Building]

Also, be sure to check out this great weekend DIY project for the birds! tree+5 (Source: Robin Beck)

We would love to hear from you, let us know what you use to help protect the birds in your neighborhood!


Gift Kits for Mother’s Day

Birds, Gardening, Gifts, Store

Don’t forget, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12th and time is running out if you were thinking of buying your mother a gift online! Send her a gift that matches her passion – what is she passionate about, other than being your mom? :)

Does your mom love to cook? Does she love to get her hands dirty in the garden? Love to watch the flying creatures in her yard, the birds and butterflies? What about if she doesn’t have a green thumb but still loves plants? If your mom falls into any of those categories, we’ve got you and her covered! Check out the gift kits we put together with your mom in mind – and don’t forget to order by Sunday, May 5th for delivery in time for Mother’s Day!

For the Mom’s that Love to Cook…. 
Herb Growing Kit

For the Mom that Loves to Garden…
Garden Deluxe Collection Gift Kit

For the Mom that Loves to Watch the Birds…
Bird Lover Collection Gift Kit

For the Mom that loves Butterflies…
Butterfly Lover Collection Gift Kit

And for the Mom with a Brown Thumb…
Forever Terrarium Collection Gift Kit

Check out all of our Mother’s Day Gift Kits on Willard & May and show Mom how much you love her!

Spring DIY Projects

Birds, Gardening, Outdoor Decor, Pin Inspiration, Weekend DIY

We’re over a month into spring and well, for most of us, it quite frankly hasn’t felt much like spring yet. Seems like Mother Nature is perhaps a bit confused? Here in Wisconsin we’ve been plagued with the opposite of a drought – never ending rain and very non-spring like temperatures. Some of our friends further north are even getting more snow!

Whether the outside says it’s spring or not, it can still be spring inside your heart. To get thinking spring, check out these fun DIY ideas that incorporate spring ideas – and let’s hope all of these April showers do in fact bring May flowers!

Hose Wreath Tutorial by Create.Craft.Love. hose-wreath

Indoor Herb Garden DIY by DesignSponge

Butterfly Bell Jar Tutorial by The Pin Junkie
If you’re looking for a bell jar/cloche, check out the ones we have available here.

Under $5 Spring Bird Feeder by A Cowboy’s Wife

For more fun spring and DIY ideas, check out our entire DIY Pinterest board.



Attracting Birds to Your Yard // Guest Blog

Birds, Gardening

Written by Guest Blogger, Ernie


Many gardeners have a love/hate relationship with birds and other wildlife. While it can be fun to watch the little critters, sharing your flowers and produce with them can be a bit of an inconvenience. However, there are a lot of benefits to attracting birds to your garden. Below are reasons why and ways that you can do so.

Why Attract Birds?
Birds visit gardens to eat. Like humans, they need a varied diet. So if you provide a variety of plants, they won’t focus on just your berries or tomatoes. By providing a variety of flowers and seeds, you can get the benefits of avian visitors without sacrificing your food supply.

The main benefit of birds is that they get rid of bugs and weeds. A healthy stream of birds in your garden will prevent a buildup of harmful bugs, and uproot many of your weeds. This allows the native plants in your landscape to flourish.

Attracting birds also provides you with the opportunity to witness beautiful creatures in your own yard on a regular basis. Keep a camera handy so that you can try your hand at some nature photography. Maybe you’ll even start scrapbooking.

If the birds are getting into your prized plants, you can always place netting over certain parts of your garden. Just be sure to get materials that birds won’t get stuck in. Finding injured birds in your garden is not worth saving a few tomatoes.


How to Attract Birds
Making your yard bird-friendly does not mean you have to let it run wild. You can landscape in such a way that attracts both birds and humans. The main things that birds need are food, shelter, and water. Plant trees that offer shade and plenty of perching space. The more places there are to hide from predators, the more visitors you’ll get. For double duty, provide trees that grow seeds and/or berries. These foods, added to flowering bushes and berry growing shrubs will make your yard the hoppin’ hotspot for your flying friends.

You can supplement your natural attractions with bird baths, fountains, and feeders as well. Hummingbird feeders are inexpensive to maintain, as you can easily make your own sugar-water solution. If you have seed and mullet feeders, be sure to provide good mixes that don’t contain pesticides and harmful chemicals. A lot of packaged mixes have a bunch of filler that birds don’t actually prefer, so watch out for that.

A water feature can add a lot to your lawn. It brings an air of natural peacefulness to an area. Weather you install a pond, fountain, or bird bath, be sure to maintain it well. Water features can also be breeding grounds for bacteria, so keep them clean. You may need to add a heating function. Line baths with plastic so you can easily lift ice out. Night lights and small lamps can go a long way to prevent freezing.

You don’t have to stop at birds though. Putting nuts out might keep squirrels away from your feeders, but give you the benefit of their presence in your yard. Watching squirrels titter away can be fun as long as their aggression doesn’t startle other wildlife.

Reptiles and amphibians keep bugs away too, so if you have a pond, consider a ceramic toad house to keep toads cool in the summer. They’re great for eating those pesky insects and are great conversation pieces with the grandkids (“how about you go kiss that toad and see if it turns into a prince?” “EWWW!”).

If you take these steps to provide sufficient food, water, and shelter for your native birds, your garden is sure to benefit. You can start by utilizing the resources you already have- bugs and plants, and expand your efforts from there. If you have any tips for attracting birds to a garden, share them in the comments below.


Ernie Allison Ernie Allison has been a “bird nerd” since he was a kid. He loves contributing to conservation efforts and spreading awareness to issues concerning birds and nature in general. Writing for birdfeeders.com has given him the opportunity to spread awareness as well as learn about hummingbird migration patterns himself.


Weekend DIY: A Christmas Tree for the Birds

Birds, Outdoor Decor, Weekend DIY

While most of our northern bird friends fly south for the winter (as would I if given half the chance), some of our bird friends stay put and wait out the long, cold winter with us. Chickadees, Cardinals, owls and many others are the brave souls you’ll see fluttering around your yard this winter. Finding food in the winter is a much larger task than in the summer months, as snow covers the ground and not as many people venture out to re-fill their bird feeder.

Once Christmas is past and your tree is starting to look dried out, here is a suggestion: decorate the same tree, but outdoors for the birds! Robin from the blog The Robin’s Nest shared a great example of just how to decorate a Christmas tree for the birds. We’ll share a few photos and ideas from her blog, but then head on over to her site to view more!

(Photo: Robin Beck)

A few examples of decor she created for the tree were peanut and berry garland, bird seed ornaments and purchased bird houses. A few tips she shares:

  • Use wire for the garland instead of string. The birds will bite through the string and take it with them otherwise.
  • You can buy square-shaped bird seed chunks and then turn them into a present with raffia. Otherwise you can find bell-shaded ones at this time of year, or make your own from these diy instructions.
  • Add bare sticks throughout the tree for birds to perch on.
  • Tie everything to the tree with wire and zip ties. Squirrels also will love the tree and will tend to run up and down – easily knocking things off the tree if items are not secured.

(Photos: Robin Beck)

Happy Weekend!

Welcome Back the Birds


We know the birds have been back a few weeks now, but isn’t it just wonderful when they begin to grace your backyard again. We love to hear all their chirping, singing and fluttering about near our windows. We even have a goose we’ve nicknamed “Gazer” (short for Stargazer) that tends to visit our office weekly.

If you are looking for more ways to attract birds to your backyard, we have some solutions for you! Check out these birding products from Willard & May, including this dual sided feeder we did a mini photo shoot with:

(1. Bird Feeder with Umbrella 2. Ceramic Bird Bath 3. Cast Iron Bell with Birds 4. Maple Leaf Bird Bath 5. Blue Aged Ceramic Bird Bath 6. Decorative Bird Bath and Feeder on Stand 7. Woodpecker Bird Knocker)

These also make great gifts for Mother’s Day – which isn’t too far away!

Weekend DIY: Bird Feeder

Birds, Weekend DIY

Do you have a special place in your heart for the birds that visit your backyard? Many other animals that enter your backyard can quickly become pests. Like squirrels stealing your freshly planted bulbs, rabbits and deer that eat your hostas and trample through your garden – but birds, there’s not much that is pest-y about them, besides a little bird poop here and there.

If you are into feeding the birds, check out this great rainy-day or snowy-day do-it-yourself project. This easy to make Acorn Bird Feeder comes from DesignSponge, a super great blog for tons of DIY stuff and decorating ideas. Using just a few common objects – seeds, soda bottle, wooden bowl, gelatin and a couple other – you can make this great feeder that birds will love hanging from your tree or near your window.

(Source: DesignSponge)

We also found a few other bird-related projects on Pinterest for you to try out – a garden roof to a birdhouse, cookie cutter bird feeders, and a birdhouse chandelier. And if you are into creating a habitat for the birds in your backyard, check out Willard & May’s great selection of bird baths.

(1. Garden Therapy 2. Eighteen25 3. Pinterest)

Happy weekend and have fun with the birds!