Must Haves


Tested and Trusted Products for Backyard Birders

Our Must Have products are the items that Lindy uses in her own backyard. She puts every product through her own rigorous quality tests that determine value, durability, sustainability, safety and use by her feathered (and furry) friends. She offers honest and non-biased opinions based upon her own experiences.

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Always remember to practice common sense and safety when using our recommended products. Read and follow directions carefully and take any necessary precautions as directed by the manufacturers.

Best Gifts


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    When you think of “bird houses” you may envision the traditional little peaked roof structures with a center entry hole and perhaps a perch of some kind. While those models serve a very important purpose in terms of nesting and breeding, there are a huge range of other products that shelter and protect birds from the elements as well as predators.

    Sometimes our feathered friends need a quick place to get out of a storm or to warm up nestled together on a snowy night. Roosting pockets are a terrific addition to your backyard sheltering options that help keep birds warm, dry and out of reach of hungry foes.

    I discovered the Meric 2-Pocket Roosting Hut during our 2021 winter storm season that covered New Jersey in the deepest snow we’ve had in years. Right before a major storm, I tucked a few of these tightly woven grass fiber pockets into my tall evergreens. It took just a minute to loop the sturdy rope hanger onto a branch. My winter roosting pocket “camp” was set up in no time.

    This hut is 7 inches high by 8 inches wide and contains 2 entry holes that are 1.6 inches by 2 inches. Its breathable material provides good drainage and ventilation.

    The manufacturer suggests this pocket is ideal for small birds like sparrows, songbirds, goldfinches, chickadees, hummingbirds, and finches.


    Buy at Amazon More Roosting Pockets

    This versatile and sturdy deck mount bird bath was actually my first bird feeder back in 2019. It was the item that introduced me to the wonderful world of wild birds right outside my kitchen window. I love this bird bath/feeder and recommend it often!

    In terms of design, there are a couple of features that make it better than other, even more expensive competitive products. The first is the durable, adjustable clamp. It’s made of strong, weather-resistant black powder coated steel to prevent rust. It’s attached to the steel bowl ring in one solid piece.

    What makes this bird bath a favorite is the heavy-duty polypropylene clay-colored bowl with a ridged lower lip that fits with a secure “click” into the supporting ring. When it gets windy (and it does here in New Jersey), the bowl doesn’t blow away. And when it’s full of bird and furry friend traffic at lunchtime, the bowl stays right in place.

    I’ve read some reviews and seen reader photos where the bowl tips as the clamp isn’t secured to a level surface. Simply insert a wooden shim as you’re adjusting the clamp to solve that problem and bring your item level. If you’re using this for bird food, remember there are no drainage holes. You’ll need to clean out any wet or old food to prevent mold or spoilage.

    My first bowl lasted about two years before I had to replace it. I couldn’t find a way to replace just the bowl, so I had to buy the whole unit again. I left the ring clamp up on the deck and it’s enthusiastically used as a bird perch.

    This is one of my top choices for a bird bath, a bird bowl feeder, or a gift for a bird lover.


    Buy at Amazon

    If you’re looking for a country-chic gift for a bird lover or a conversation piece for your own little nest, this is it. I found this on Amazon and bought it on a whim. I’m so glad this is a part of my bird-themed decorations.

    I have this hanging in my kitchen from a simple gross-grain ribbon. I used to collect antique advertising tins and the wreath’s folksy design reminds me of my favorite turn-of-the-century looks.

    The wreath is a nice size – about 14 inches at its widest point and 12 1/2 inches at its highest. Seven, 2 1/2 inch birds nestle on bronzy-brown woven wire strands reminiscent of grape vines that meander along an inner metal heart-shape. The “vine” is so realistic, you could think it wooden until you touch its metal surface.

    A 1/2 inch round hanging circle dips down from the top of the heart and makes hanging this a breeze. I sometimes add a little seasonal greeting plaque from the circle that hangs into the center of the wreath.

    The birds each carry their own pretty metal patina ranging from rusty brass to aged green. They are soldered securely on to the wreath.

    I really love this item as a special gift (under $20!) or a special treat for your own home.


    Buy at Amazon