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Birds Choice™ Giveaway Official Rules

Birds & Blooms




The Birds & Blooms Birds Choice Giveaway (#748) (the “Sweepstakes”) is sponsored by RDA Enthusiast Brands, LLC, the publisher of Birds & Blooms magazine (“Sponsor”). Sweepstakes begins at 10:00 a.m. Central Time on March 2, 2015 and ends at 4 p.m. Central Time on May 10, 2015 (the “Sweepstakes Period”).

1. ELIGIBILITY: You are eligible to enter this Sweepstakes if you are 18 years of age or older as of the date of entry and are a legal United States resident residing in one of the 50 United States or District of Columbia or a legal resident of Canada, excluding the province of Quebec, during the Sweepstakes Period. Entries originating from any other jurisdiction are not eligible for entry. Employees, officers and directors of Sponsor and its parent companies, affiliates, subsidiary companies, judging agents and promotion partners and their immediate families (parents, children, siblings, spouse) or members of the same household (whether related or not) of such employees/officers/directors are not eligible to enter. Void where prohibited by law or otherwise regulated.

2. HOW TO ENTER: You can enter this Sweepstakes via the Internet. During the Sweepstakes Period, please go to: and complete the entry form. Additional entry options include: Liking Birds & Blooms on Facebook, subscribing to the Birds & Blooms Birding email newsletter, following @birdsblooms on Twitter and Tweeting a message about the giveaway. There are 5 entry options possible and a limit of one entry per option, per person, for a total limit of 5 entries per person. To be eligible all entries must be received by 4 p.m. (Central Time) May 10th, 2015. Only fully completed entry forms are eligible. Proof of submission will not be deemed proof of receipt by Sponsor. All entries become the sole property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. Each entry has an equal chance to win. In the event of any dispute regarding the identity of an entrant for any online entry, the authorized account holder of the email address used for the entry at the time of entry will be deemed the entrant. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an email address by an internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g. business, educational institute) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. Any potential winner may be requested to provide Sponsor with proof that such winner is the authorized account holder of the email address associated with the winning entry. Sponsor is the official timekeeper for this Sweepstakes. All information provided by entrant must be complete, true and correct. If an entry does not contain all necessary information, entrant will be disqualified. Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the operation of the website or the entry process. In the event the Sweepstakes is entered via a mobile device, Message and Data charges may apply. This Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or Twitter.  Entrants understand that they are providing their information to Sponsor and not to Facebook or Twitter.

3. PRIZE: Three (3) winners will receive a prize package consisting of:

An Oriole Feeder, a Finch Feeder and a Recycled Hanging Fly-Thru Feeder from Birds Choice. The Total Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of each prize package is $154.60, for a total ARV of $463.80. The prizes are not transferable and cannot be assigned, substituted or redeemed for cash. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a similar prize of equal or greater value in the event that any of the stated prizes cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor. All taxes, if any are the sole responsibility of the winner. Neither the Sponsor nor its affiliates, subsidiaries or agencies, nor the prize provider, will be responsible for any loss, liability or damage arising out of the winner’s acceptance or use of the prize.

4. SELECTION OF WINNER/ODDS: A total of three (3) winners will be selected by random drawing from all eligible entries received on or about May 13th, 2015. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Winner will be notified by mail (and those with known email addresses may be notified by email as well) within 14 days of the drawing and may be required to execute a Statement of Eligibility and Release within 14 days of prize notification attempt or winner will be disqualified and prize may be awarded to an alternate winner selected at random among all remaining eligible entries. In the event winner is a minor in his or her place of residence all required documentation must be signed by parent or legal guardian. Return of prize or prize notification as undeliverable will result in disqualification and an alternate winner may be selected at random among all remaining eligible entries. Entry and/or acceptance of prize constitutes permission for the Sponsor and its affiliates, subsidiaries, licensees and agencies to use the winner’s name, hometown (e.g., city and state) and/or likeness for advertising and trade purposes without further compensation or authorization, worldwide and in perpetuity, in any and all forms of media, now known and hereafter devised, unless prohibited by law. If any winner is a resident of Canada, s/he will also be required to answer a mathematical time-limited skill-testing question. Failure to answer the question correctly, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, will result in disqualification and at Sponsor’s discretion, an alternate winner may be selected.

5. CONDITIONS: By entering, participants agree to be bound by these complete Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor. By participating, entrants and winners agree to release and hold harmless Sponsor, its affiliates, partners and promotion and advertising agencies, the prize provider, and each of their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, licensees, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors, from any and all liability, for loss, harm, damage, injury, cost or expense whatsoever including without limitation, property damage, personal injury and/or death which may occur in connection with, preparation for, travel to, or participation in Sweepstakes, or possession, acceptance and/or use or misuse of prize or participation in any Sweepstakes-related activity and for any claims based on publicity rights, defamation or invasion of privacy and merchandise delivery. Sponsor is not liable for late, lost, delayed, damaged, misdirected, incomplete, garbled or jumbled, stolen, postage due mail or illegible entries or for printing, distribution or production errors. No facsimile, mechanical, reproduced, altered or forged entries are permitted. Sponsor is not liable for any malfunctions or failures of any telephone network or lines, computer internet system, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet or at any website, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to participant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials relating to this Sweepstakes, or other technical difficulties or failures or other errors of any kind. Any person attempting to defraud or in any way tamper with this Sweepstakes will be ineligible for prizes and may be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Sponsor reserves the right to terminate or modify the Sweepstakes at any time for any reason. In such circumstances prize will be awarded based on entries received to date of termination. All prizes will be awarded.

6.  NO RECOURSE TO JUDICIAL OR OTHER PROCEDURES/SEVERABILITY: To the extent permitted by law, the rights to litigate, to seek injunctive relief or to make any other recourse to judicial or any other procedure in case of disputes or claims resulting from or in connection with this Sweepstakes are hereby excluded, and any entrant expressly waives any and all such rights. In the event that a court of competent jurisdiction finds the foregoing waiver unenforceable, entrants hereby consent to the jurisdiction and venue residing exclusively within the federal or state courts sitting in Milwaukee County in the State of Wisconsin and agree that any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action. Entrants agree that these Official Rules are governed by the laws of the State of Wisconsin, without reference to principles of conflicts of law. If any provision(s) of these Official Rules are held to be invalid or unenforceable, all remaining provisions hereof will remain in full force and effect.

7.  ANTICIPATED NUMBER OF ENTRANTS: The total number of entrants anticipated is 4,000.

8. CONSUMER INFORMATION: Sponsor may share customer information about you with reputable companies in order for them to offer you products and services of interest to you. If you would rather we not share information, wish to receive a list of winners, a copy of the Official Rules, have any questions about the Sweepstakes, or you do not want to receive future sweepstakes or skill contest mailings from Sponsor, specify your request in writing to: Birds & Blooms Birds Choice Giveaway (#748), PO Box 50005, Prescott, Arizona 86301-5005. Requests for list of winners must be received by February 29th, 2016.

Best Online Plant Retailers

This is Tangerine Dream, a coneflower from Great Garden Plants

This is Tangerine Dream, a coneflower from Great Garden Plants

People often ask me for recommendations on where to buy plants. I’m a huge supporter of local nurseries and garden centers. I also like to support my area garden groups and plant sales. (We have a fantastic Master Gardeners plant sale every year as well as a native plants sale at our local nature center.)

But as any plant geek knows, you can’t get all of your needs met in one place. Therefore, it’s good to know about the best online retailers. I pulled together my list of companies that I’ve personally bought from, so I can definitely vouch for them and recommend them to you. I like them for all different reasons, and I hope they help meet some of your needs as well.

What about you? What plant companies do you really like? Please share your suggestions with me. And tell me why you like them. Because if there’s one thing a gardener needs, it’s definitely more plants!

Great Garden Plants

Most of their plants are in big pots, and they are very healthy. They have many plant options available, but they are especially fantastic for unique coneflower varieties.

Bluestone Perennials

The garden in the front of my house was started with one of Bluestone Perennial’s pre-planned gardens. Don’t be afraid to try one of these kits. They are awesome, focusing on plants that are easy and low-maintenance. Then you can fill in as needed.

Annie’s Annuals

They have great selection. I once bought my mother-in-law some unique sunflowers from Annie’s. (It’s not always easy to find plants instead of seeds.) They have some really cool varieties.


They specialize in fruiting, rare, and tropical plants. I bought my mom a lemon tree from Logee’s one year, and I have my eye on an avocado next. Check them out for unique options of all kinds.


They are still one of my go-to sources for veggie plants and seeds. If you’re looking for something specific for your vegetable garden, they probably have it.

Butterfly Bushes (Rose Franklin’s Perennials)

They have the best selection of milkweed that I’ve ever seen. Milkweed is surprisingly hard to find as plants, and they offer many great varieties.

Terroir Seeds (Underwood Gardens)

The couple that own Terroir Seeds are just delightful. We featured them a couple of years ago because they were one of the only places we could find that carried cucamelon seeds. Cucamelons are these adorable little veggie/fruits like a cross between a cucumber and a tiny little watermelon. Seriously, check them out.








Rainbow Seed Tube DIY Garden Gift

Jill Staake

I really do love giving seeds as gifts, and coming up with creative ways to present them. While browsing my local dollar store today, I came across a multi-colored container meant to be used as a daily pill organizer, and immediately knew it would make a fun way to present a rainbow of flower seeds this spring. This DIY garden gift is fast and easy, and you can choose any seeds you like to match the colors of the container.

Rainbow Seed Tube DIY Garden Gift

Rainbow Seed Tube Materials

  • Tube-shaped pill organizer, multicolored (The organizer shown screws apart into different sections. Each section serves as the lid for the section beneath, with a real lid on the top clear container.)
  • 7 packets of seeds, one for each color of the tube (I used white flowers for the clear section, along with red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet)
  • Ribbon in color of choice
  • Cardstock for card (4 X 6 inches shown)
  • Paper punches in butterfly and flower shapes (optional)
  • Multicolored pens
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors

Rainbow Seed Tube DIY Garden Gift

Rainbow Seed Tube Directions

  • Unscrew the sections of the tube.
  • Carefully open each seed packet and pour the seeds into the appropriate colored portions of the tube. Work from the bottom up, since each section serves as the lid for the section beneath it, and screw the tube back together as you go.
  • Tie a ribbon around the tube as shown.
  • To create the card, use the paper punches to cut shapes from the fronts of the seed packets showing the flowers. (If you don’t have paper punches, you can just cut around the shapes of the flowers instead, or cut any free-form shapes you like.)
  • Glue the shapes to the cardstock in the pattern of your choice using the glue stick. Use pens to label each flower so the recipient will know what the seed types are.
  • If desired, write “Plant a Rainbow!” across the top of the card.

Rainbow Seed Tube DIY Garden Gift

Looking for more DIY garden gifts? Try these DIY Gift Basket Ideas for Nature Lovers.

Bird Day Challenge: Kirsten’s Team


Meet Team Kirsten! We’re birding for Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the Birds & Blooms 2015 Bird Day Challenge at The Biggest Week in American Birding on May 9. Donate and show your support for Team Kirsten at our Crowdrise campaign page. We’re raising money for Cornell, a world leader in the study and conservation of birds.

Kirsten is the senior editor of Birds & Blooms, and she’s been with the magazine for almost 8 years. This will be her fourth time at The Biggest Week in American Birding. It’s quite possibly her favorite bird event of the entire year! Even though her team came in second in last year’s challenge with 79 species in 3 hours, it was an absolute blast. It’ll be even better this year with an amazing team, birding for a great cause.

Ken is a naturalist, author and environmental educator, currently living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He used to call northwest Ohio home, so he’s familiar with the area where we’ll be birding. So not only will he be sharing his mad birding skills with the team, he’ll be our navigator. You might know Ken from his frequent articles published in Birds & Blooms magazine.

Ashli grew up on the south shores of Lake Erie in Ohio and began her studies of the natural world at an early age. She now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She currently serves as the secretary for Rio Grande Bird Research, Inc., is a licensed bird bander, and is the project lead for her Black-throated Gray Warbler research project. Ashli is also the secretary of the New Mexico Ornithological Society and sits on the Steering Committee of the New Mexico Burrowing Owl Working Group.

Paul and his wife Rachel moved from Toronto to the country, where they spend time growing their own food and watching birds with their boy-girl twins. He has a love for birds and punk music, so he combined his two loves and created PRBY Apparel. The creative duo make and sell apparel designed specifically for bird-watchers. It’s seriously cool stuff, so check out his online store.

Please support Team Kirsten and Cornell’s bird research now. Even just $10 can make a huge difference!

Bird Day Challenge: Stacy’s Team


I am so proud to introduce you to my team for the Birds & Blooms 2015 Bird Day Challenge! Don’t forget to support my team in our Crowdrise campaign to raise money for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory. This is a very worthwhile organization, and they’ve been pioneers in getting kids active in birding.


Stacy Tornio is the editor of Birds & Blooms, and she’s been with the magazine for 10 years. She loves Biggest Week in American Birding, and her favorite warbler is the black-and-white warbler. Last year, her team won the Big Day Challenge with 88 bird species in just 3 hours. This year, she expects to take home the title again, and she’s hoping to make it to 90 species.

RAYMOND (Stops at Nothing) VANBUSKIRK  

Raymond VanBuskirk has lived in New Mexico his entire life. His infatuation with birds started at the young age of 7, and since then, he’s been studying, banding and watching birds all around the world. He is one of the owners and guides of BRANT, a tour guide company created in 2012. You can find Raymond on one of his company’s tours or sporting Leica Optics at birding events and festivals throughout the country.


Douglas Gray was introduced to birding by his grandfather while growing up on the family farm near Clarksville, Tennessee. He currently resides in Franklin, Indiana and works as a senior engineering specialist…but his passion is birding. Doug leads bird hikes throughout Indiana and beyond, and is known for introducing people of color to the world of birding. However, Doug’s favorite hikes are with children, as he loves engaging with the upcoming generations of birdwatchers.

ROB (Smooth Operator) RIPMA

Rob Ripma, a life-long Indiana resident, is owner and creator of, the place to go to find birds. He is also a partner in Sabrewing Nature Tours leading birding and photography trips in the US and Central and South America. Rob currently sits on the Black Swamp Bird Observatory’s Board of Directors as Secretary. Rob is also a blogger for Birds & Blooms, and you can read his blog posts online.

Go support Team Stacy right now. Just a small contribution of $10 can really help!


Be a Butterfly Hero

Join the National Wildlife Federation in their new campaign to help save monarchs and attract butterflies.

Colorful Winter Gardens

It may be winter, but not all gardens are covered in snow. Enjoy these colorful Southwestern winter gardens.

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