Monday, November 5, 2012

Dinner at Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast

Salmon and Shrimp entree

Enjoy Dinner at Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast Grilled Salmon and Shrimp with rice and asparagus are sure to please that seafood lover. Or you may be a meat lover,  bacon wrapped filet or macadamia encrusted white fish, whatever you choose for your entrees, our chef will expertly prepare and serve you! Dinner for two  is $150.00 in the comfort of the Inn. No buttoning up your overcoat when the wind is free... We'll take good care of you! 219-759-4274 Then saunter up to your guestroom and relax with couples massage and slip into the whirlpool with thymes bath salts then wrap yoursleves into our comfy robes. We can have a bottle of sparkling beverage waiting for you to celebrate the two of you!  Your chocolate truffles at bedside will satisfy the chocolate lover with smooth fudgy center and candy nest on top. Drift off to sleep and awaken to the smell of Costa Rican special blend of full bodied coffee, sure to please even the most fastidious connoisseur.

Saturday, September 8, 2012 writes about Songbird Prairie

Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast

174 N. 600 West

Valparaiso Indiana 46385

United States

(219) 759-4274

(877) 766-4273

Editor's Review

A woodsy couple's retreat, Songbird Prairie is an elegant Federal-style, all-suite B&B serving a gourmet, garden-fresh breakfast almost too pretty to eat.

Lovebirds like to nest in the luxury suites at Songbird Prairie B&B located an hour from Chicago and 90 minutes from Indianapolis. The romantic inn run by Barbara Rivera and her husband, Efrain, caters to couples seeking a pampered getaway in a quiet country setting. Tucked in the woods, Songbird Prairie's five posh suites (each with fireplace, rain shower and Jacuzzi) promise romantic pillow talk. Barbara greets all guests. Although just 6 miles west of downtown Valparaiso's shops and restaurants, Songbird Prairie seems out in the countryside surrounded by corn fields and forest. Walking paths meander through the inn's 6 wooded acres (bug spray and birding binoculars provided). Weekdays, rooms start at $109 and include a mini-breakfast, making Songbird Prairie a lovely alternative to big-box properties for business travelers flying solo. Weekend rates start at $199 and include a gourmet, multicourse breakfast of Barbara's specialties: glazed poached pear; puffy French toast souffle’ and "Bananas Barbara," a layered sweet version of bananas Foster topped with candied orange peels she makes. Each course served on a still-life work of art composed of seasonal, fresh flowers and leaves Barbara picks from her garden and presses between two glass plates. Guests dine in the second-floor, treetop porch where birds feed next to the windows. An expert birder, Barbara can identify a bird by its chirp even though she's in the Provence-style kitchen cooking for guests as she can hear their peeps and chirps through the microphones that pipe in the sounds. She whips up weekend breakfast for the public, $20, and weekday afternoon tea, $23 (reservations required).

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Come to see the King of Pop: Popcorn that is!


September 8th 2012

Times newspaper readers for the last 13 years have named the “Best Festival of the Region” by far the Popcorn Festival of Valparaiso. Come to see the new statue of the "King of Pop"! Popcorn that is. Who better to salute than a Valparaiso native who became a household name with the Orville Redenbacher brand name of popcorn?

With its beginnings in 1979, now there are over 200 arts & crafts booths, 30 food booths, games, the five-mile Popcorn Panic, and the nation’s First Popcorn Parade are only the beginning of the excitement of this incredible festival.

It all began in 1979, when the idea to bring a festival to the city popped up in the minds of the Valparaiso city leadership. Who better to salute than a Valparaiso native who became a household name with his very own brand of popcorn!

Reserve your two night stay now and receive complimentary popcorn treats. From $199-$249 per night 877-766-4273

Friday, June 15, 2012

Elopement or Vow Renewal Package

                   Elopement or Vow Renewal  Package $1,000.00 in the Cardinal Suite


This includes two nights in the Cardinal Suite for the bride and groom a local Baptist minister,( you must use our minister)  the bride's bouquet and the groom's boutonniere, a small wedding cake for the two of you and a bottle of sparking beverage


Any additions are at an additional cost. This package is for the bride, groom and two witnesses if they so desire. Also available are  couples massage in our spa, chocolate covered strawberries, cheese and cracker tray, rose petals scattered around your whirlpool and more. call 219-759-4274

Monday, June 11, 2012

Romantic Bluebird Suite

Stay in the romantic Bluebird Suite for your next anniversary, birthday, or any celebration! Order a cheese and cracker tray to await you in your room while you prepare for your couples massage in our spa or in summer in our screened area, then fall into bed to relax or slip into the whirlpool before going to dinner. Or why not order dinner right here at Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast? You may choose your own selections for a custom tasted dinner. Watch a movie from our extensive collection while enjoying complementary popcorn, Orville's of course. Awaken in the morning to fresh coffee brewing and enjoy your breakfast in the sunroom while you enjoy the antics and operas of our feathered friends. To reserve go to the rooms and rates page on the web site or call 877-766-4273 877SONGBRD

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Birders Delight at Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast

Visit Songbird Prairie and have breakfast watching the orioles drink nectar from oranges and eat grape jelly!
[Bright orange bird with black head]© Gerhard Hofmann

The Baltimore oriole is perhaps the most famous neotropical migratory bird. Its brilliant orange and black plumage is reminiscent of the crest of Lord Baltimore, an important figure in Maryland's history, and the bird has become the mascot of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team.

Oroile's journey begins in the tropics, from Mexico to northern South America, where Baltimore orioles spend most of the year. Here they inhabit lush, tropical forests and feed on nectar, pollen, fruit, and insects. They especially favor coffee and cacao (the plant that chocolate comes from) plantations where these crops are grown in the traditional manner, the coffee and cacao shrubs flourishing under a shady canopy of natural forest trees.

Pairs of males and females form flocks of about 10 individuals, although sometimes as many as 30 or 40 are in a single flock.  Baltimore orioles are often the most common migratory bird in these agricultural forests except for maybe the warbler family. The birds favor the tops of trees, especially those in the genus Inga, where they forage among the numerous blossoms for nectar and pollen. Orioles have a special tongue, which resembles a brush, for lapping up nectar.

Shade grown coffee plantation, winter habitat of the Baltimore oriole.

By April, most Baltimore orioles have begun the journey north to their breeding grounds in North America, which span most of the eastern United States and into southern Canada. Here they eschew the dense forests that so many other migratory birds favor, instead preferring open forests such as those along rivers and even in city parks.

Their nests are unmistakeable in that females build an unusual grassy hanging nest that is suspended like a sack from the end of a branch. The shape of the nest may help deter predators from eating the eggs or young because the eggs and young are hidden from view and the entrance to the nest is difficult to access. The nest is often built in an elm, sycamore, or cottonwood tree. In the video clip below you can see a nest.

Because these orioles spend much of their time in the tops of trees, they are often heard before they are seen. The male has a lovely warbling song and both males and females utter a variety of chatters and short call notes.

  • The female lays 4 to 5 eggs in late spring or early summer and incubates them alone. Then, both the male and the female feed the young. Pairs make only one nesting attempt per year. And by August or early September, most orioles are on their way back to the neotropics.

Sometimes orioles can be enticed to visit our backyards.
[Bright orange bird with black head at hummingbird feeder] [Bright orange bird with black head feeding on a cut banana]
Oriole at hummingbird feeder (left), and halved banana (right)

Orioles sometimes visit feeders put out for hummingbirds, and are also attracted to fruit such as bananas and oranges. Visit Songbird Prairie to view these beauties!!/Indigo_Bunting

How would you like to see a fireball of citrus orange and black, the Baltimore oriole next to the breathtaking tropical blue of the male Indigo Bunting? Look no further, come to northwest Indiana to Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast and as you enjoy your three course hot breakfast, you will see the colorful birds serenade and entertain you.

Appearing all black against the light, the male indigo bunting properly lit is an unforgettable sight. A persistent late-season singer, he sings a jingly song comprised of paired notes that are often described as: Fire! Fire! Where! Where! Here! Here! Put it out! Put it out! Much of what we know about celestial navigation in songbirds derives from work with captive buntings at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, but you don't have travel far from downtown Chicago to see the Indigo. Just 45 minutes southeast to the country of Valparaiso, IN home of Valparaiso University.

The male indigo bunting is so breathtaking with its tropical blue and silvery bill. The females and immatures are a warm cocoa brown overall. This bunting has a habit of twitching its tail to the side, and its spit note is characteristic. Males change their blue feathers for brown in autumn, which makes for some interestingly mottled specimens. They molt again on the wintering grounds in Central and northern South America and return in spring, blue once more. This species is common on roadsides and disturbed areas there "trashy" vegetation flourishes. Power lines cuts, old fields, landfills, railroads, and hedgerows ring with the songs of indigo buntings, especially as summer reaches its fullest. That is where you will find them right here at Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast.

The indigo bunting takes insects when they are available, especially to feed its nestlings. Weed seeds are its mainstay, and thistle from the feeders, supplemented by berries and small fruits. It forages on or near the ground, as well as in low shrubs and trees. Watch for them in autumn, bending grass stems and flickering their tails side to side as they forage in weedy patches here at Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast. Indigo buntings have a rather loose definition of monogamy, with extra pair copulations being frequent. Males visit females in neighboring territories, and females visit males. Males vary in their tendency to feed young. Some are attentive parents where as other leave most of the chick rearing to their mates. The nest is bulky but compact, cup-shaped and constructed of bark strips, grasses and weed stems and skeletonized leaves, all bound with spider webs. It's often low in blackberry, sumac or other brushy vegetation. These birds nest quite late in the season, reflecting their dependence on late maturing weed seeds. Three to four eggs are incubated by the female for about 12 days, and the young leave the nest 8-14 days later. Early in the spring you may see them feasting on dandelion seeds. Later, black oil sunflower seeds and millet mixed prove attractive. They love coneflower, Mexican hat, cosmos, coreopsis and especially foxtail grasses. Come and enjoy the beauty of the indigo bunting here at Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast. 877-766-4273 219-759-4274

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mom's are special! May Special



Whether she's a "Red Hatter" or a "Tool  Belt Diva", Plan a night reminiscing with Mom at Songbird Prairie Bed  and Breakfast. Remember those breakfasts in bed where you served her  burnt toast and cold tea? Let us serve you both our Three Course Hot  Breakfast in our sunroom where songbirds serenade and entertain.
Stay  at Songbird Prairie with your mom  in the Warbler or Purpefinch suite and make her a  bracelet of hand-blown glass beads and silver-plated metal beads which  are topped off with a touch of rhinestone bling. Bracelet is included in  package with beads of your choice up to $50.00 retail value
Starts  @ $249.00. Children 12 and over welcome. Can't make an overnight? Come  just for Breakfast or Afternoon tea (4 person minimum) Call for  reservations. 877-766-4273  219-759-4274

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My favorite sounds at Songbird Prairie

Sauntering down the path, I listened to some of my favorite songbirds singing passionately to attract mates. Scarlet tanagers belting out their rough, two-syllable “chip-burr” notes, and rose-breasted grosbeaks singing sweetly like robins that had taken voice lessons. Black-throated green warblers sang a melodious five-syllable phrase that Bach or Beethoven would have copied, had he ever had the fortune to walk in an American forest. The chorus of yellow warblers, redstarts, towhees, (my favorite-drink-your-tea!) veeries and the incomparably beautiful and flute-like wood thrushes produced the music fitting an entry to a magical setting. And so I entered into my favorite meadow as a yellow throat flittered out of the bushes to grab a mayfly.

I took the shortcut, an overgrown trail now used only by deer. Along the way, like a royal carpet welcoming me, were star flowers, bluet, gay wings, bird’s-foot violets, jack-in-the-pulpits, bleeding hearts and lilies of the valley. I realized, as I paused to enjoy fully the spectacle of these wild and temporal beauties, that I was no longer in a rush to pass them by as I used to be many years back. Over the last 12 years we have enhanced the woods and left several acres “natural”. Come and stroll or sit for awhile at Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast in Northwest Indiana. We are located 45 minutes southeast of Chicago near the Dunes National Lakeshore.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Valentine's Day 1 month away "Cupid's Arrow" Package

"Cupid's Arrow" Package

Enjoy your stay with a view of nature, while cupid shoots his arrow at your sweetheart. We provide the romantic atmosphere with the flowers, fine chocolates,sparkling beverage, dinner for 2, Fireplace,Jacuzzi, bath salts, oversized Egyptian towels and robes and in room music. You provide the love, laughter and the celebration of your relationship. Starts @ 349.00 Complete
Warbler and Purplefinch suites