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.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

How to keep your birds healthy in extreme heat

Hot, humid weather can make seed go bad if it sits in a feeder too long. I've found that if I clean my feeders regularly and mix Feeder Fresh in with the seed, my feed stays at its best.

When temperatures rise to extremes, many birds don't like to travel far to forage for food. They prefer to make a quick stop at your bird seed restaurant and then go back in to a sheltered location.

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. Or you can purchase professional cleaners like Scoot at Wild Birds Unlimited, or use a mild 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.
2. Check your feeders after a rain to make sure the seed is dry. If not, replace it.
3. Use Feeder Fresh to keep your seed dry in humid weather.
4. 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.
5. 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/

Related Articles:
A Hobby for All Seasons: Bird Feeding in the Summer http://bit.ly/LpfHNd
Birds Don't Sweat: The Importance of Birdbaths http://bit.ly/KTWD2U
Do we stop feeding suet in the summer? http://bit.ly/GKWSRt
Feeding Baby Birds http://bit.ly/GSHKwY
Don't Forget The Water: Tips to Maintain a Birdbath http://bit.ly/zjg6Iv

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