Accidental window shopping: Wild Woolies

Last Friday I found myself wandering the streets of an unfamiliar southern city, soaking up the sunshine, enjoying the spring -- at least it seemed like spring to me.

Taking a different route back to the hotel after a late breakfast, this window display caught my eye. What were these whimsical, wooly wonders? Some sort of stylized stuffed toys? PiƱatas?


Nope, even better than that (depending on your perspective)...

...they're birdhouses! (Wild Woolies)

I was at first delighted, then a bit dubious. How good of a birdhouse could felt make?

I decided to think less and just take photos (through the window -- we didn't have time to stop into the store). I could research later...

Which I did. From their website:
And yes, They can be hung outside as well as inside! They are made of naturally water repellant wool, and when it does get wet (mainly on the exterior) it will naturally dry itself out. Made with other sustainably harvested materials including a braided natural hemp hanging cord and a bamboo perch. 
Interesting. I wonder what keeps the wool from shrinking while it dries?

Some of the designs were better than others. This one wasn't my favorite:

So what sort of birds are these designed for? Again from the website:
The 1 1/4'' diameter opening is sized for small birds such as wrens, chickadees, titmice and blue birds. It can be enlarged for larger birds as desired. If birds don't choose to nest inside they can pull at the wool for material to feather their own nests (one of our customers HAS reported seeing a blue bird go inside!). 
If I pay close to $30 for one of these, I expect birds to nest in it, not pull it apart! (If I want to supply them with wooly materials that can be used to line nests, I'll just clean my dryer lint trap outdoors!)

They sure are colorful though! I can see how you'd want to add one as a bright accent to your garden.
Comes partially filled with recycled paper to maintain the shape in shipping that can easily be removed. When exposed to hard weather the birdhouses will maintain there (sic) shape at least for a year. Colors will begin to fade in full sun exposure after about two months. The colors and shape will last forever in a protected outdoor place such as a porch. 
Okay, so maybe it won't be so colorful after a couple of months. A more natural look of earth tones wouldn't be so bad though, right?

I sure wonder how the birds would feel about this one -- if they could even find the entrance hole. Maybe it will scare squirrels away at the same time...

More questions: Where's the ventilation? How exactly do you clean these out after the season is over?

It seems to me that these would make fantastic roosts, nice cozy places to spend those much-too-cold winter nights -- if you're a little bird I mean. (We had another one of those just last night. Brrrr!)

What do you think? Do you have any of these in your garden? I'd love to hear how they work and wear.


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Kathy G  – (March 3, 2014 at 7:50 AM)  

A couple of thoughts:

--Even though it's made from wool, felt doesn't shrink--it's done all the shrinking in the felting process.

--Dryer lint isn't a good nesting material. It hardens after it gets wet and provides a poor nesting material for baby birds. (I throw mine in the compost pile.)

Alan  – (March 3, 2014 at 8:23 AM)  

Kathy: Thanks for the information! So what do you think of these?

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (March 3, 2014 at 12:10 PM)  

Dear lord, this is plain ridiculous. Who is this supposed to appeal to? Shaking my head...

BTW, your dryer lint comment made me laugh :-)

Lisa  – (March 3, 2014 at 8:38 PM)  

Colorful, but not practical would be my assessment. And some of them are just weird!

Alan  – (March 3, 2014 at 8:51 PM)  

I have to admit, the beehive one isn't bad. The owl too. The fox though (I think that's what it is) -- a bit creepy!

Still though, they give me an idea...

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