We enjoy seeing beautiful birds in the yard and they are helpful too because insect-eating birds reduce the population of insect pests. Now is the time to prepare bird feeders and bird baths for the winter months ahead.
It’s important to keep bird feeders clean so they are free of bacteria. To clean a feeder, use water and liquid bleach. (One part bleach mixed with nine parts water). Dunk the feeder in the liquid so it is entirely covered for about three minutes. Then scrub away debris with a brush and rinse well with clean water. Wait until it is completely dry before filling with birdseed.
Store birdseed in a waterproof container such as a metal trash can (this keeps rodents out) and keep the seed dry. Throw out any damp, moldy seed.
Providing fresh water for birds throughout the winter months is important. One option is to have a shallow dish of water in the yard. However if the water freezes, you will need to refill it with running water.
There are several options to prevent water freezing. Use a bird bath and a pond aerator or drip system. Or use a bird bath with a built-in heating element. Be sure to follow installation instructions very carefully if using a heating element. To keep the bird bath clean, use the same method as for bird feeders.
Providing food and water for garden birds helps preserve the local bird population so that you can enjoy them in your yard the following year!