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.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Important Backyard Birding Tips

Summer just seems to be flying. If you can believe it, some birds have finished nesting and are already starting to fatten up in anticipation of the journey south. As we approach August and September you will see an increase in feeder activity.

Make sure to keep your feeders clean. It can be detrimental to the birds if you don’t clean your feeders regularly. In order to keep healthy birds at your feeders, remember the following:

1. Feeders should be cleaned at least once a month. Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing - will clean your feeder for $5.00 and it is ready the next day. Or you can purchase professional cleaners like Scoot or Poop-Off at Wild Birds Unlimited, or use a mild one part bleach or 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.
2. Check your feeders after a rain to make sure the seed is dry. If not, replace it.
3. Store seed in a cool dry location. Wild Birds Unlimited has closed steel containers that work well to protect seed from unwanted seed thieves or bad weather.
4. When choosing a new feeder look for something easy to clean and fill.

Also right now there are still young birds around learning the ropes and unfortunately, many times it's the inexperienced birds that fall victim to window strikes.

Birds also strike windows as they quickly try to escape predators, hitting glass in a moment of panic. And during spring and fall migration, window strikes increase as birds unfamiliar with the area pass through your yard. Window strikes are hard to eliminate totally, but there are ways to reduce them and/or reduce their severity:
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1. Locate feeders and birdbaths within 1-2 feet of windows so birds can't gather enough speed to cause significant injury or about 20-30 feet from windows so birds have time to change direction.
2.Window feeders also alert birds to a window.
3. Window screens will reduce injury even if a bird flies into it. Use them where practical.
4. Decals like Window Alert placed on the outside of windows have had the most positive feedback from customers. Each decal contains a component which brilliantly reflects ultraviolet sunlight. This ultraviolet light is invisible to humans, but glows like a stoplight for birds.
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If you do have a window strike and the bird is injured CALL FOR ADVICE! The best course may be no interference. For a list of licensed rehabilitators click HERE. Or visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources at: http://www.michigandnr.com/dlr/

1 comment:

Vetsy said...

I feel so sad just thinking about the summer passing us by so quickly..Where did the time go!

Thank you for these important tips..