Aimee Diehl writes from her home in rural Cornwall, VT, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and a dog.
Our Songbird Tweets are made by hand in an Arkansas workshop.
EVERY Gardener's Supply Songbird Tweet is handmade by a small company of artisans — and birdwatchers — in the Arkansas bottomlands. What are Songbird Tweets? They're an exclusive collection of birdseed ornaments, part of our ever-expanding collection of birdfeeders and other items for backyard habitat enthusiasts. Our first Tweet design — a dozen birdseed eggs cleverly packaged in a real egg carton — was such a huge hit with customers that we've introduced new, giftable Tweets each year.
Birdseed Candy Cane
Shop: In our Birdfeeders department, find a variety of feeders, as well as decorative birdseed ornaments.
Learn: Browse our library of articles on Backyard Habitat, where you can learn more about birds and birding.
Hear: Listen to recordings of songbirds — and dozens of other birds.
To start the Songbird Tweet manufacturing process, the best-suited natural seeds, food-grade dyes and nontoxic bonding substances are selected for each ornament shape, such as strawberries, pears, eggs or candy canes. "We use a variety of seeds on different products to attract different types of birds," says Terry L. Hughes, who oversees the production of Songbird Tweets for Gardener's Supply.
Depending upon the Tweet's shape, it can take anywhere from six to nine steps to create a solid-seed ornament that's ready for outdoor hanging. The process starts by hand-tying jute hanging loops, which are incorporated into each shape. Next, seed for the Tweets is mixed with bonding substances and scooped, then hand-formed and placed into a press. (Some shapes start out as hand-cut wooden silhouettes, which are then layered with multiple coats of seed and bonding substances.) Colorful Tweets, such as strawberries and candy canes, are painted with food dyes. Finally, Tweets are allowed to dry, then inspected for quality: Tweets may need fine-tuning, especially if the weather is humid. "They still have to be reshaped many times by hand to keep the unique shapes intact," Hughes says.
Hughes and his employees love seeing Songbird Tweets in action. "My favorite thing about this business is seeing our products hanging in customers' yards, being enjoyed by a variety of birds," he says. Though sparrows, blue jays, robins, road-runners, orioles and other birds are commonly seen in his area of Arkansas, Hughes counts finches among his favorites. He explains, "I have to go with the finches, because here we have them in a variety of colors."
A delightful gift for bird-lovers of any age, Songbird Tweets are especially appreciated by those that might have trouble refilling birdfeeders. Simply hang the Tweets near a window so everyone can watch the birds from indoors.
Our selection of Songbird Tweets will continue to expand in coming seasons. "We always look forward to working with Gardener's on new designs. It seems
that our thought patterns — and those of the designers at Gardener's Supply — are often on a
similar wavelength," Hughes says. "We can't wait to see what new products we'll come up with for next year."
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