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5 Tips to a Bird Safe Yard
Hidden Dangers to Songbirds
1. Do you use toxic pesticides and/or herbicides?
2. Do you have indoor plants in front of your windows?
3. Are your bird feeders clean?
4. Do you have clean, sturdy bird houses to shelter birds and their nestlings from storms?
5. If you have a bird bath, is it clean and free from debris that could harbor disease-carrying bacteria?
Our busy days are filled to the brim with all kinds of demands on our time. But, taking a few moments to make sure your yard is safe for your resident birds as well as migratory visitors, will pay big dividends for future generations of songbirds.
Pesticides and Herbicides
Anyone who knows me or has read my articles knows that I am all about natural and non-toxic alternatives to poisonous chemicals in our environment.
Commercially available organic and non-toxic pesticides and herbicides are a much better choice. But the best choice is to make your yard bird friendly. Your birds will do a very good job of taking care of the pests and weed seeds. If you still feel the need to eradicate certain weeds, and bugs, please use the non-toxic varieties of weed and bug killers. They can be found both online and at your local garden center.
Toxic weed and bug killers contain ingredients that are harmful to humans and wildlife. Remember, if you kill the insects, you deprive the birds of nourishment their offspring depends on. Further, birds ingest pesticides and herbicides that linger in the environment. These toxins harm and often kill Mother Nature’s built-in pest and weed control.
Bird Window Collision Solutions
- Bird Collision Deterrent Window Film Solutions | Feather Friendly
Feather Friendly window film solutions for bird deterrence help prevent birds from flying into windows of buildings, greatly reducing bird collisions.
Avoiding Bird Window Collisions
If you have indoor plants on display in front of your windows, it’s an invitation for bird window collisions. Every year millions of songbirds die when they collide with man-made structures; specifically glass windows. They cannot see the glass, and see only the reflection of the trees, plants, and sky.
One solution is to add inexpensive translucent tape in a grid pattern to the outside or inside of your windows and sliding glass doors. Humans can see through it, but the tape produces an ultraviolet reflection the birds can detect and therefore avoid.
Do Birds Ever Collide With Your Windows?
Do You Take the Time to Clean Your Bird Feeders?
It is essential in order to keep disease-carrying bacteria and mold organisms from harming or killing your backyard birds. Remove old, stuck-on seeds and other debris with a putty knife; then clean each part of your feeders with a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts of water. Leave out in the sun to dry before reassembling and refilling with fresh seeds. Your birds will be much healthier if you perform this easy maintenance throughout the bird feeding season.
Make a Hummingbird Happy!
Don't neglect your nectar feeders. Make sure to supply fresh nectar every 3 to 4 days, especially in hot weather. Clean the inside and outside ports with hot soapy water and a brush to remove any residue or bacteria buildup. Rinse thoroughly with hot water and allow the nectar feeder to dry before refilling.
Hummers stop using feeders if the nectar has spoiled. In fact, they will remember that location and avoid it in future. So it is best to keep on top of this necessary task. It just takes a few minutes to make a hummingbird very happy!
How to Clean Bird Feeders & Baths
Inspect Your Bird Houses
Purchasing sturdy, well-built bird houses insures the next generation of backyard birds will be protected from predators, storms and bitter cold winds. Make sure your bird houses can withstand the elements without leaking. Do not let a nest full of baby birds drown or fall ill because a leaking roof has allowed cold rain to enter their bird house. Does your bird house have adequate ventilation areas to keep baby birds from overheating?
Before nesting season begins, inspect your bird houses. Remove any old nests, debris and droppings. Clean your bird house with a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water, and rinse with clean water. Leave the bird house open to the air to dry thoroughly. Do everything you can to keep the next generation of birds healthy.
While you have the bird house open, rub the interior roof with non-deodorant bar soap to deter wasps and bees from attaching their nests.
To keep mice from using the bird house, plant mint at the base or put peppermint oil on the bird house pole. Mice hate mint!
Do You Keep Your Bird Bath Clean?
Clean water is essential to birds’ health just as it is to humans. They not only use it to quench their thirst, but to bathe in. It helps reduce parasite infestation and keeps their feathers in great flying condition.
Maintain a clean bird bath by removing dirt, algae and debris. Scrub the bird bath with a wire brush to remove stubborn algae that does not rinse out easily with a hose. Once a month, or more often in warm weather, use 1 part bleach to 9 parts water to kill any disease-carrying organisms and algae. Rinse thoroughly and refill with clean water. Invest a little bit of time in this routine, and you will see more birds using your bird bath or fountain on a regular basis.
Birds like to have safe places to perch, preen and dry their feathers after a cool dip. Place your bird bath near a large shrub or evergreen tree to provide branches for rapid escape should a predator approach. Keep lower branches of the shrub or evergreen trimmed so no predators can hide beneath them.
These few helpful steps will make a huge difference to your backyard birds and their offspring. This is time well spent to insure the health and well-being of our feathered friends.