Posts Tagged ‘Northwest Indiana Bed & Breakfast’

You may find it helpful to print a regional tally sheet so you have a list of birds you’re likely to see in your area in February.

Get your check list at this link



  • · Count birds at any location for at LEAST 15 minutes—or more if you wish. Later you’ll be asked to record the amount of time you spent watching.
  • · Write down only the

highest number of each species you see together at any one time to avoid counting the same birds more than once. For example, if you see 8 cardinals as you start your count period, then later you see 12, and later still you see 3, you’ll only report 12–the highest number you saw together at once. Please do not add the numbers together.

  • · You’ll submit your data on a new checklist for each day you participate in the count. It’s OK if you count at the same location each day—submit a new list for each day.
  • · You’ll submit a new checklist for each

new location.

You can submit more than one checklist on a given day if you count at more than one site.


When you’re ready to enter your checklist(s), go to the GBBC website at http://www.BirdCount.org and click on the big “Submit your checklists” button at the top. You won’t see this button until 7:00 AM the Friday the GBBC begins. Everything you need to know will be clear on the web page as you enter your information. If you’d like a preview of what you’ll see, keep reading.


Happy Birding!

Songbird Prairie 877-766-4273 find us on facebook and twitter


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 Imagine waking up to Oprah serving you breakfast in Hawaii when she retires! The TV talk show host — whose The Oprah Winfrey Show is in its last season — is renovating a 12-bedroom inn on the island of Maui to become a “low-key, rustic retreat.” Several online tabloids have announced this and unfortunately Oprah hasn’t returned any of my calls so I can not confirm the story. But you can go to this website: http://www.showbizspy.com/article/213445/oprah-winfrey-to-open-bed-and-breakfast.html or maybe you have someone on the inside who will verify the story and can share with us.

 From Showbizspy.com

 OPRAH Winfrey is reportedly planning to build her own bed and breakfast in Hawaii!

 The TV talk show host — whose The Oprah Winfrey Show is in its last season — is renovating a 12-bedroom inn on the island of Maui that will be low-key, rustic retreat.

 “Oprah’s planning on having a high-end bed and breakfast for her friends and wealthy customers who like the quiet of the Mai countryside ,” a source told American tabloid the National Enquirer.

“It will be a place for people to rest and reflect.

 “Oprah plans to personally play hostess on the ranch when she is on the island.”

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Complimentary Gift w/ Gift Certificate Purchase


Looking for the perfect Christmas gift?  Surprise your loved one with the gift of a getaway!  Gift certificates are available for purchase and are a very thoughtful gift idea. As an added bonus, with every $200 gift certificate purchased you will receive a $20 gift certificate for use in our gift shop.  Add it to your gift or use it yourself when you pick up your certificate. Two birds with one stone! 

Experience the beauty of Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast in Valparaiso, Indiana, one of the finest luxury inns in the Midwest. The natural beauty of the grounds, including the certified wildlife habitat, the common areas, and of course the grand guest suites, demonstrate that you have entered a true luxury bed and breakfast.

For a romantic weekend getaway, you’ll find no better lodging choice than our romantic bed and breakfast. And for a fun-filled girlfriends’ getaway, this bed and breakfast in Northwest Indiana is the optimum choice. Our convenient location makes access to many dining, shopping and entertainment options easy, but our secluded location virtually assures your rest and relaxation – and perfect romantic getaways.

Located just fifty minutes from downtown Chicago and just twenty minutes from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, this Lake Michigan bed and breakfast puts you within close proximity to so much! Imagine an Indiana Dunes bed and breakfast close enough to enjoy the lakeshore but far enough to ensure your solitude.

Songbird Prairie is one of the finest award-winning romantic inns in the Midwest. Our awards and accolades speak for themselves – and comments from past guests who have experienced romantic weekends away in our inn are testament to the fact that Songbird Prairie truly is one of the best luxury inns in the Midwest.

  • Named “one of the 20 perfect summer getaways for 2008” by Travel & Leisure Magazine
  • Named “one of the top 25 ‘Best Undiscovered Incredibly Romantic Inns” by BedAndBreakfast.com
  • Recipient of the coveted “2008 Top 10 ’ Award” from American Historic Inns, Inc.
  • 2008/2009 winner of “Best in the Midwest” from BedAndBreakfast.com
  • Winner of the “2004 Hotel of the Year for the Casual Coast of Indiana” as selected by the Porter County Convention and Visitors Commission
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    Nicknamed “wild canary”, the American Goldfinch is a prized visitor at Songbird Prairie. This little finch is welcome and common at our feeders, where it eats primarily sunflower and nyjer.   At Songbird Prairie, they also cover the salvia along our walkway to the Inn.  They love to drink and bathe in our shallow birdbaths and are attracted to the watercourse that runs through this Indiana Dunes Bed & Breakfast’s woodlands.  The American Goldfinch is a frequent visitor to our feeders and you would be assured to spot these vibrant yellow birds and hear their twittering call on your visit! 

    In nature, the goldfinch feeds primarily during the day on seeds of grasses and trees. They may occasionally feed on insects and berries. They frequently visit backyard feeders – particularly those filled with thistle seed.

    Size and Color: 
    A small bird, the American Goldfinch is generally between 4″-5″. The male is a vibrant yellow in the summer and an olive color during the winter months. The female is a dull yellow-brown shade which brightens only slightly during the summer. The brightly colored plumage of the male is to impress the female during the breeding season and attract a mate.

    A long, twittering “per-chic-o-ree” or “po-ta-to chip.” The American Goldfinch is known for singing in flight, which adds to their cheerful, “wave-like” flight pattern.

    These are active and acrobatic little finches that cling to weeds and seed socks, and sometimes mill about in large numbers at feeders or on the ground beneath them. Goldfinches fly with a bouncy, undulating pattern and often call in flight, drawing attention to themselves.

    The goldfinch’s main natural habitats are weedy fields and floodplains, where plants such as thistles and asters are common. They’re also found in cultivated areas, roadsides, orchards, and backyards. American Goldfinches can be found at feeders any time of year, but most abundantly during winter

    Backyard Tips: 
    To encourage goldfinches into your yard, plant native thistles and other composite plants, as well as native milkweed. Almost any kind of bird feeder may attract American Goldfinches, including hopper, platform, and hanging feeders, and these birds don’t mind feeders that sway in the wind. You’ll also find American Goldfinches are happy to feed on the ground below feeders, eating spilled seeds.

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    February’s Bird of the Month The Cedar Waxwing

    The Cedar Waxwing is one of the most frugivorous birds in North America. Many aspects of its life, from its nomadic habits to its late breeding season, may be traced to its dependence upon fruit.

    Medium-sized songbird.
    Gray-brown overall.
    Crest on top of head.
    Black mask edged in white.
    Yellow tip to tail; may be orange.
    Size: 14-17 cm (6-7 in)
    Wingspan: 22-30 cm (9-12 in)
    Weight: 32 g (1.13 ounces)
    Sex Differences
    Sexes nearly alike.
    Calls are very high pitched “bzeee” notes.

    Conservation Status
    Populations increasing throughout range. Other Names
    Cool Facts:
    The name “waxwing” comes from the waxy red appendages found in variable numbers on the tips of the secondaries of some birds. The exact function of these tips is not known, but they may serve a signaling function in mate selection.
    Cedar Waxwings with orange instead of yellow tail tips began appearing in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada beginning in the 1960s. The orange color is the result of a red pigment picked up from the berries of an introduced species of honeysuckle. If a waxwing eats the berries while it is growing a tail feather, the tip of the feather will be orange.
    The Cedar Waxwing is one of the few temperate dwelling birds that specializes in eating fruit. It can survive on fruit alone for several months. Unlike many birds that regurgitate seeds from fruit they eat, the Cedar Waxwing defecates fruit seeds.
    The Cedar Waxwing is vulnerable to alcohol intoxication and death after eating fermented fruit.

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    America is pet with a avid variety of plants that crapper be used to find our surround more pleasing.

    America is pet with a avid variety of plants that crapper be used to find our surround more pleasing. Outdoor warning crapper be heavy or created by planting trees, shrubs, and added plants that impact grandiloquent flowers, colourful leaves or berries, or symptomatic forms. When used in combinations, they ofttimes pass revelation holding as, for instance, in placing anthesis shrubs against taller scene trees, or multifarious the essay of a activity to remuneration flow flowers and move colors. Freshly hierarchal or cold slopes along anchorage and trails are secure and their attending improved when grasses, wildflowers, or vines are sown. Not inner do plantings add a occurrence of warning to a post but they entertainer songbirds and added wildlife. TREES FOR BEAUTY AND COVER The dogwoods. It grows meliorate on reddened soils than on heavy soils and seldom occurs on poorly evacuated soils. Litter from cornel is dowse in minerals, good to trees and added plants. Dogwood grows up to 40 feet tall and 12 inches in diameter. It grows apace for 20 to 30 eld but noise tardily thereafter. Dogwood is easily injured by wind and is hypersensitised to drought.


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    Ice, Snow, & Critters, Oh My!

    Hi everyone,

    Can you believe it’s February already? Winter began right on schedule and we haven’t seen bare ground since the snow began to fall. It’s been a very cold winter here, but maybe not as humid because I don’t seem to be feeling it as much as I normally do.

    We’ve had some good sized snow storms and a couple of ice storms, as well. With the cold temperatures, the ice stayed on the trees for quite some time, keeping many of the branches at critical breaking stage.

    This week, it has warmed some. The icicles are gone and some of the snow has melted.

    The groundhog predicted another six weeks of winter. I expect an early spring. I’ve noticed some of the branches around here are looking a little reddish, and this weekend I spotted a weeping willow tree that was looking very yellow. A sure sign that the trees know that something is up!

    Another indicator is the picture above. We have a very fat mama squirrel preparing a nest. This will be the fourth generation since I began observing this family of squirrels. With such an early start, I wouldn’t be surprised if we enjoy a second nesting in the autumn.

    (You can click on the pictures to see them larger.)This is one of the babies we watched last autumn. Still that cute little turned up nose! I’m constantly grateful that we saved some of the tree during last year’s cutting of the tree. It may look unsightly, but it gives me endless hours of pleasure to watch these cute little critters.


    Scratch, scratch
    Another squirrel looks at me through the window, while I am watching the Mama work on her nest

    A first time visitor to my garden. A Red-Shouldered Hawk. We have seen Red-Tailed Hawks, Merlins, Sharp-Shinned, and Cooper’s Hawks, but never a Red-Shouldered in the yard. They really don’t belong here at this time of year, but there it was, big as life!

    Another even more surprising visitor – HOLY SMOKES! Is that really a Great Blue Heron down in the gorge behind my house? Yes, it really was. Not the best picture in the world, but I’ll take it! If you could see the terrain behind my house, you would be amazed that this bird was down there. It was snowing that day, so the picture is a little “murky”. The bird slid down a hill, balancing itself with its beautiful large wings, and then waded in the brook, coming close to my house, and eventually, it flew off, with a whoosh of its wings. I don’t think there are fish in the brook, but I remember the kids next door catching crawfish there.

    We actually had another “first” this week, too. I have waited since 1997 to see a deer in my yard. Finally, yesterday, I saw tracks and scat, so we did have a visitor. Leave it to me to miss the deer, but catch the poop! 😉

    Last weekend, I decided to try and walk on one of my favorite trails. As luck would have it, cross-country skiers had opened a nice path to walk on. The light was beautiful, casting some great shadows on the forest floor.

    A little chickadee walked on the snow in front of me
    And more chickadees were in the trees alongside the trail
    More light and shadows

    On a recent drive on a road nearby, I passed by a farm and of course had to stop for my favorite scene. 🙂

    Digging in the snow. “I know that there are sunflower seeds down there SOMEWHERE!”
    Tracks in the snow.

    The light was a little better in this direction

    Ice encrusted branches after an ice storm
    Taken with flash, this one shows the ice better
    A typical winter scene while on the road – no, I wasn’t driving, but you never know with me. I’ve been known to put the camera on the steering wheel. 😉

    Sunset  near the Inn

    A little friend watching me

    Dawn outside my window

    Shadows on the snow

    And that’s about all I have for now. Just a combination of pictures taken over the past month.

    To those who have enquired, Mom is doing better. Thank you for asking. Her health has improved somewhat. She is no longer bleeding internally, but she is still unable to walk on her own. It is looking like she may have to stay at the nursing home. I am not qualified to take care of her in the way she needs, so the options are limited. It still means hours of driving each week to visit her and do errands for her.

    I hope all of you are well. I am healthy, but a little burned out, so I’m just doing what needs to be done and taking one day at a time.

    Take care and I’ll see you when I can.
    Big hugs to all of you.

    Hybrid Mallard

    Hybrid Mallard


    Snowy Egret

    Snowy Egret


    Canada Goose Family

    Canada Goose Family



    American Goldfinch

    American Goldfinch

    Snowy Egret

    Snowy Egret




    Yellow Swamp Iris

    Yellow Swamp Iris

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