Amazon
Amazon

10 Quirky Bird Feeders

Amazon
Amazon

This summer, invite some feathered friends to your garden. Here are some interesting and fun-looking bird feeders to entice your avian visitors.

1. MODERN BIRD CAFÉ; $29

This trendy birdhouse is perfect for birds and homeowners with an eye for architecture. The sleek white building has rectangular windows that show the birdseed inside. There’s a little tray at the bottom on which birds can perch and enjoy a snack. Designed by Teddy Luong, the contemporary-looking feeder is great for a minimalist backyard.

Find it: High Fashion Home

2. FOOD TRUCK; $20

Who says the food truck craze has to be limited to humans? This tiny plastic feeder hangs in your tree and offers “cheep eats” to the birds in your yard. The seeds are poured into the truck, and a small silver tray on the side allows birds to perch on the feeder and grab a quick bite to eat.

Find it: Amazon

3. TIRE SWING; $11

Have a tire swing in your backyard? Get this fun matching ceramic feeder and never swing alone again.

Find it: Amazon

4. WATERCOOLER; $10

Inspired by the classic office watercooler, this feeder acts as a watering hole for birds in your neighborhood. The design slowly provides a pool of water in which birds can drink (or bathe).

Find it: Amazon

5. TARDIS; $41

Further evidence that there is TARDIS-inspired everything: a bird feeder in the shape of the iconic time traveling phone booth. Fans of Doctor Who will love seeing birds hanging around the feeder and possibly going on some timey-wimey adventures.

Find it: Amazon

6. POST OFFICE; $39

Birds don’t get mail, but they can stop by this mailbox for a snack. The feeder is apparently popular amongst blue tits and finches; the seller suggests filling it with peanuts.

Find it: Amazon

7. HAPPY CLAM; $76

Any bird that visits this quirky feeder will be happy as a clam. Artist Jenn Lamb took her inspiration from her time by the ocean when creating this stoneware shell. The feeder offers a bowl for food and a top cover for shelter when it rains. It can also be repurposed as a planter.

Find it: UncommonGoods

8. ONE WAY MIRROR; $39

Let your cats spy on birds without letting them actually enjoy them as a snack. A special screen makes it so cats can see the birds, but the birds can only see their own reflection. The feeder comes with suction cups so it can be attached to most windows.

Find it: Amazon

9. LIGHTHOUSE; $23

Birds with nautical aspirations will love hanging around this lighthouse-shaped feeder. The mesh body lets birds pull out seed, but it also keeps away squirrels. It can fit about a pound and a half of birdseed at a time. There is an LED light in the top of the feeder that can be switched on at night.

Find it: Amazon

10. RETRO DINER ; $85

This nostalgic birdfeeder is meant to mimic the style of diners from the ‘50s and ‘60s. While birds won’t be able to order pancakes, they can get some birdseed that fills the base of the structure. It comes with a dramatic orange roof to complete the look.

Find it: Etsy

BONUS: HORSE AND UNICORN HEADS; $15 - 25

Technically these are squirrel feeders, but hey, even sneaky mammals need to eat—and hopefully they’ll be so distracted by these novelty feeders that they’ll leave the bird food alone. Best of all, they’re shaped like horse and unicorn heads, so when the squirrel climbs up to grab some food, it looks like it’s wearing a mask. The vinyl feeder comes with a hole to hang it with, but you have to get the string on your own.

Find it: Amazon, Amazon

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
Authorities Want This Roadside Bear Statue in Wales Removed Before It Causes More Accidents
iStock
iStock

There are no real bears in the British Isles for residents to worry about, but a statue of one in the small Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells has become a cause of concern. As The Telegraph reports, the statue is so convincing that it's scaring drivers, causing at least one motorist to crash her car. Now road safety officials are demanding it be removed.

The 10-foot wooden statue has been a fixture on the roadside for at least 15 years. It made headlines in May of 2018 when a woman driving her car saw the landmark and took it to be the real thing. She was so startled that she veered off the road and into a street sign.

After the incident, she complained about the bear to highways officials who agreed that it poses a safety threat and should be removed. But the small town isn't giving in to the Welsh government's demands so quickly.

Wooden bear statue.

The bear statue was originally erected on the site of a now-defunct wool mill. Even though the mill has since closed, locals still see the statue as an important landmark. Llanwrtyd Wells councilor Peter James called it an "iconic gateway of the town," according to The Telegraph.

Another town resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph that the woman who crashed her car had been a tourist from Canada where bears are common. Bear were hunted to extinction in Britain about 1000 years ago, so local drivers have no reason to look out for the real animals on the side of the road.

The statue remains in its old spot, but Welsh government officials plan to remove it themselves if the town doesn't cooperate. For now, temporary traffic lights have been set up around the site of the accident to prevent any similar incidents.

[h/t The Telegraph]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
10 Scientific Benefits of Being a Dog Owner
iStock
iStock

The bickering between cat people and dog people is ongoing and vicious, but in the end, we're all better off for loving a pet. But if anyone tries to poo-poo your pooch, know that there are some scientific reasons that they're man's best friend.

1. YOU GET SICK LESS OFTEN.

Dog snuggling on a bed with its person.
iStock

If cleaning commercials are to be believed, humanity is in the midst of a war against germs—and we shouldn't stop until every single one is dead. In reality, the amount of disinfecting we do is making us sicker; since our bodies are exposed to a less diverse mix of germs, our entire microbiome is messed up. Fortunately, dogs are covered in germs! Having a dog in the house means more diverse bacteria enters the home and gets inside the occupants (one study found "dog-related biodiversity" is especially high on pillowcases). In turn, people with dogs seem to get ill less frequently and less severely than people—especially children—with cats or no pets.

2. YOU'RE MORE RESISTANT TO ALLERGIES.

Child and mother playing with a dog on a bed.
iStock

While dog dander can be a trigger for people with allergies, growing up in a house with a dog makes children less likely to develop allergies over the course of their lives. And the benefits can start during gestation; a 2017 study published in the journal Microbiome found that a bacterial exchange happened between women who lived with pets (largely dogs) during pregnancy and their children, regardless of type of birth or whether the child was breastfed, and even if the pet was not in the home after the birth of the child. Those children tested had two bacteria, Ruminococcus and Oscillospira, that reduce the risk of common allergies, asthma, and obesity, and they were less likely to develop eczema.

3. YOU'LL HAVE BETTER HEART HEALTH.

Woman doing yoga with her dog.
iStock

Everything about owning a dog seems to lend itself to better heart health. Just the act of petting a dog lowers heart rate and blood pressure. A 2017 Chinese study found a link between dog ownership and reduced risk of coronary artery disease, while other studies show pet owners have slightly lower cholesterol and are more likely to survive a heart attack.

4. YOU GET MORE EXERCISE.

Person running in field with a dog.
iStock

While other pets have positive effects on your health as well, dogs have the added benefit of needing to be walked and played with numerous times a day. This means that many dog owners are getting 30 minutes of exercise a day, lowering their risk of cardiovascular disease.

5. YOU'LL BE HAPPIER.

Woman cuddling her dog.
iStock

Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than non-pet owners. Even for those people who are clinically depressed, having a pet to take care of can help them out of a depressive episode. Since taking care of a dog requires a routine and forces you to stay at least a little active, dog owners are more likely to interact with others and have an increased sense of well-being while tending to their pet. The interaction with and love received from a dog can also help people stay positive. Even the mere act of looking at your pet increases the amount of oxytocin, the "feel good" chemical, in the brain.

6. YOU HAVE A MORE ACTIVE SOCIAL LIFE.

Large bulldog licking a laughing man.
iStock

Not only does dog ownership indirectly tell others that you're trustworthy, your trusty companion can help facilitate friendships and social networks. A 2015 study published in PLOS One found that dogs can be both the catalyst for sparking new relationships and also the means for keeping social networks thriving. One study even showed that those with dogs also had closer and more supportive relationships with the people in their lives.

7. YOUR DOG MIGHT BE A CANCER DETECTOR.

Man high-fiving his dog.
iStock

Your dog could save your life one day: It seems that our canine friends have the ability to smell cancer in the human body. Stories abound of owners whose dogs kept sniffing or licking a mole or lump on their body so they got it checked out, discovering it was cancerous. The anecdotal evidence has been backed up by scientific studies, and some dogs are now trained to detect cancer.

8. YOU'LL BE LESS STRESSED AT WORK.

Woman working on a computer while petting a dog.
iStock

The benefits of bringing a dog to work are so increasingly obvious that more companies are catching on. Studies show that people who interact with a pet while working have lower stress levels throughout the day, while people who do not bring a pet see their stress levels increase over time. Dogs in the office also lead to people taking more breaks, to play with or walk the dog, which makes them more energized when they return to work. This, in turn, has been shown to lead to much greater productivity and job satisfaction.

9. YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOUR PERSONALITY.

Man running in surf with dog.
iStock

The kind of dog you have says a lot about your personality. A study in England found a very clear correlation between people's personalities and what type of dogs they owned; for example, people who owned toy dogs tended to be more intelligent, while owners of utility dogs like Dalmatians and bulldogs were the most conscientious. Other studies have found that dog owners in general are more outgoing and friendly than cat owners.

10. YOUR KIDS WILL BE MORE EMPATHETIC.

A young boy having fun with his dog.
iStock

Though one 2003 study found that there was no link between pet ownership and empathy in a group of children, a 2017 study of 1000 7- to 12-year-olds found that pet attachment of any kind encouraged compassion and positive attitudes toward animals, which promoted better well-being for both the child and the pet. Children with dogs scored the highest for pet attachment, and the study notes that "dogs may help children to regulate their emotions because they can trigger and respond to a child's attachment related behavior." And, of course, only one pet will happily play fetch with a toddler.

A version of this story originally ran in 2015.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios