Celebrating Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
Sponsored by the
P.O. Box 163 Smyrna, DE 19977
The birdhouse and bird feeder decorating event is sponsored by the Smyrna Downtown Renaissance Association (SDRA). The Association expresses its gratitude to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge for their generosity in providing the birdhouses and feeders for the competition. Clip and return the form below to the address at the bottom of the form.
Smyrna, Delaware’s Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
The 16,251 acre Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Delaware Bay in Kent County near Smyrna, Delaware. Established in 1937 as a wildlife refuge, it provides feeding, resting, and breeding grounds for migratory birds along the Atlantic Flyway. The Refuge is known internationally and attracts visitors from around the world. Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge was the fourth national site commemorated in 2015 in the United States Mint series of America the Beautiful Quarters. Conde Nast Traveler Magazine selected Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge as Delaware’s entry in its The Most Beautiful Place in Every U.S. State series in its July 21, 2017 magazine. So, the Smyrna Downtown Renaissance Association is celebrating the Refuge as its hometown special place with its 2019 Placemaking Project, a birdhouse decorating contest, and you are invited to join the fun!
The birdhouse/feeder decorating contest has four classes – Youth, Adult, Freestyle and Invitational. Youth Class entries are for children from 5 to 14 years of age; Adult Class entries are from age 15 and older. Invitational Class entries are from invited artists in the community who are being asked to design an entry that will be auctioned at a reception at The Painted Stave. Proceeds will benefit the Smyrna Downtown Renaissance Association. Entries in these three classes will decorate a free bluebird house or bird feeder provided by the Association (Entries are limited to ten entries in each class, so be certain to register early!) and will compete for valuable prizes. All participants will receive a certificate of appreciation. Judging will be by a panel of judges empanelled by the Association.
Freestyle is the final class, and entries will be a birdhouse built from scratch by the contestant without using the kit provided for other classes. These could include replicas of historic buildings (e.g. the Plank House, Smyrna Museum, Smyrna Opera House, Clements Mansion) or any whimsical theme selected by the entrant.
Entrants in the Youth and Adult classes can register for the contest and pick up their free wooden birdhouse/feeder at Smyrna Cards and Gifts (302-566-8553), 16 South Main Street, Smyrna, Del., from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Saturday beginning March 1, 2019.
The completed decorated birdhouses/feeders in all classes will be accepted from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, 2019 at The Painted Stave, 106 West Commerce Street, Smyrna, Del.
Important Dates for Smyrna’s 2019 Birdhouse/Feeder Decorating Contest
March 1, 2019 through March 30, 2019
Register and pick up an unfinished birdhouse or feed kit at Smyrna Cards and Gifts from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
May 19, 2019
- Deliver completed entries to The Painted Stave from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Other times and locations can be arranged by calling (302) 514-9816.
- Winning entries in each class will be displayed in the new garden area at The Painted Stave during a reception with complimentary refreshments and cash bar 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
- Auction of entries to benefit The Smyrna Downtown Renaissance Association will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on May 19th.
- Friends of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Annual Photo Contest entries will be on display.
- Special presentation and book signing by noted photographer and author Kevin Fleming.
Some Tips for Decorating Your Birdhouse or Feeder
Is Painting Birdhouses Good for Birds?
Participants can let their imaginations run wild for decorative-only birdhouses, not intended for nesting birds. However, here are some helpful tips if you wish to use your project for nesting birds. Birds aren’t always picky about their accommodations, and they will nest in painted birdhouses and eat at feeders if the size, shape, and placement of the house or feeder meets their needs. Painting isn’t always the best choice for birdhouses or feeders, because poorly-chosen colors can be dangerous to the birds. Bright colors can draw unwanted attention that will attract predators, while toxic paints can be poisonous to both adult birds and fledglings. Dark colors in sunny areas can also overheat the house, making it smothering for young birds or fostering toxic levels of bacteria growth in a birdhouse.
Best Birdhouse/Feeder Colors
There are times, however, when carefully chosen colors can be beneficial for a birdhouse or feeder. The best colors for a birdhouse or feeder depend on where it will be situated. In general, muted colors can help the birdhouse or feeder blend into its environment and keep nesting birds safe from predators. If the birdhouse or feeder will be mounted in a colorful flower garden, choose more colorful or bold prints that coordinate with nearby floral hues. White paint is recommended for purple martin houses to help reflect heat away from these open area houses, and any house in a sunny area can benefit from that heat reflection on hot summer days. Florescent, metallic or iridescent paints should be avoided because of their brightness and other additives could be harmful to wildlife. While cedar and cypress houses are naturally durable and do not require painting, pine or plywood birdhouses and feeders can be made more weatherproof and long-lasting with a good coat of quality paint. Paint can help seal small cracks that would otherwise widen in the summer heat and destroy the house’s or feeder’s integrity, and a good paint job can revitalize an older birdhouse or feeder.
Tips for Painting Birdhouses/Feeders
■ Use water-based exterior latex paint, and always avoid lead-based or creosote paints that may be toxic to birds. Consider trying alternative, eco-friendly or naturally derived paints as well, or opt for natural or organic stains rather than paints.
■ Avoid painting the inside of a birdhouse or around the lip of the entrance hole. Growing birds may peck at the paint.
■ When painting, take care that the paint does not block or seal small ventilation holes or drainage holes in the house. These holes are necessary for a safe birdhouse and should be kept open and useful at all times.
■ Allow the paint to dry thoroughly for several days before mounting the house or feeder for birds to use. This will allow potentially toxic odors to disperse before birds investigate the house, and will keep those odors from attracting nearby predators.
■ When cleaning the birdhouse or feeder at the end of each breeding season, check for peeling paint, chips or fading. Repaint or reseal the house as necessary, to keep the paint job in good, safe condition.
■ Most of all, have fun and use your imagination!