About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's a Perfect Day to Labor in Your Yard

I hope everyone is enjoying this Labor Day Weekend. It is beautiful outside! Yesterday was fall cleaning day for me. I went around knocking on all my birdhouse doors to make sure no one was home and then did a little, well actually, a major fall cleaning. I had fun looking at how some birds like to use straw, some cotton, or moss, or feathers in their nests.

I’m afraid I was in a “cleaning zone” and didn’t take any photos but our sister WBU in Tennessee has a great photo on their blog (Our Wild Birds) of different nests on top of each other as the birds fought for the right to use one nest box.

Now I’m almost ready for fall. I prepared a checklist to help you make sure your yard is ready too.

Preparing Your Yard for the Fall and Winter Checklist:
Provide Roosting SpotsNest boxes turn into roosting boxes in the winter for bluebirds, chickadees, nuthatches, sparrows, and other birds that might stay all winter in mid-Michigan. Clean out old nests from houses to allow birds the opportunity to roost in a warm, clean house when winter winds blow. You can also plant natural shelters like bushes or buy roosting pockets woven of all-natural grasses available at Wild Birds Unlimited to offer essential protection in the winter.

Prepare Bird BathsBirds also need a source for water in the winter. In our area, weather can turn cold fast and freeze the water in bird baths. It is always good to cover ceramic bird baths or bring them in for the winter. It’s best to place a plastic or metal bath out with an added heater or a buy a heated birdbath. If you’re not sure what you need, Wild Birds Unlimited will give you accurate information on how to support our local birds.

Clean Feeders
Feeders should be cleaned at least once a month, year round. Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing - will clean your feeder for $5.00. Or you can purchase professional cleaners like Scoot or Poop-Off at Wild Birds Unlimited, or use a one part vinegar to nine parts water solution to clean all of your feeders. Disassemble feeders and immerse them completely for three minutes. Scrub with brushes (we have these too), rinse thoroughly, and let air dry.

Also clean the area around the feeders to help eliminate the build up around the feeder.

Feeder/Hardware Maintenance
Check you feeders to see if there are any repairs that need to be done. Make sure feeders are hung so they are easy to reach and fill. If you are going to need a new Advanced Pole System to hang your feeders this winter now is a good time to get in the ground before it freezes.

Fill FeedersWild birds are already making decisions about which back yards they will visit this winter. Even though natural food sources are plentiful right now, birds are definitely taking note of which yards have food available. What you do as the days grow shorter lets the birds know where to go when that first storm hits. And beautiful, hungry, thankful birds can brighten any dreary winter day.

1 comment:

cindyzlogic said...

Thank you for all the great ideas on how to clean and prepare our backyards for this Winter!