Seasonal Birdfeeding


Summer Birdfeeding

Cleaning Bird feeders
A clean feeder is essential to the good health of your birds! Give all feeders a good cleaning once a month. Remove any seed and scrub clean with a mild soap. Rinse well with fresh water.

Cleaning Birdbaths
Wash your birdbath with a solution of one tablespoon white vinegar to one gallon of water. The vinegar helps prevent algae growth. Change the water every few days.

Avoiding seed sprouting under feeders
The only sure way to prevent sprouting is to use only non-sprouting seed, such as waste. If you are using Nyjer (thistle) seed—very attractive to goldfinches—all Nyjer is heat sterilized to minimize sprouting, so you can use it with confidence. You can also
minimize sprouting problems by laying pavers in the area under your feeder, or keeping lawn or ground cover plants thick and healthy (to out compete any weeds).

Keeping bees away from Hummingbird feeders
If honeybees are the usurpers, they prefer feeders in sunlight, so move your feeder into the shade. If they persist, distract them with a shallow dish of very sugary water. They usually go for the easily accessible dish, which you can then move further away from the
feeder each day. If you have more aggressive yellow jackets, it may be best to let them have the feeder for a while and put up another one for hummingbirds in a different location. When shopping for a hummingbird feeder, look for designs with bee guards or other deterring
features. And look for designs which will not leak or drip.

Why put out birdseed in the summer? Can’t they find natural foods?
Yes, birds will find plenty of natural food, so you may want to reduce the amount you put out. In fact, throughout the year, wild birds acquire most of their nourishment from natural sources, not feeders. But offer some seed so you can enjoy the visiting birds when you are
outdoors the most. Also, the plumage of many bird species are brightest in the summer!


winter birdfeeding

Provide a variety of different bird feeders
A hanging feeder will appeal most to seed-eating birds such as chickadees that feed naturally at tree level. Ground level platforms, or those just a few feet off the ground, will appeal to ground-feeders such as juncos and towhees. Suet feeders will bring woodpeckers
and many others. So a variety of feeders, with a variety of foods, will bring the greatest variety of birds.

Gimme shelter
Shelter on a cold winter’s night can be a lifesaver for birds. Your spring nest box, if cleaned out, can provide such shelter. Winter roosting boxes are available. And don’t forget that planting densely-growing shrubs (especially evergreen) or even leaving a pile of brush for
the winter can provide a refuge from the elements.

“Best” seed: Black Oil Sunower Seed
Not appealing to pigeons, sparrows or blackbirds, but eagerly accepted by small songbirds. There are many good seed blends, but your birds will always love this pure favorite!

Deal with squirrels
Fact: if there is a squirrel on your feeder, the birds won’t come. (Corollary: If you live in western Washington, there is a squirrel on your feeder.) You can baffle them and/or install squirrel-prooffeeders. In addition, you may start a distraction feeding area just for squirrels
in another part of your yard — keep them busy with their own squirrel toys and corn cobs!

Provide ice-free water
Water is a necessity year-round. During those cold snaps when natural water sources freeze over, a heated birdbath can create a winter oasis, drawing birds from as far away as bird-gossip will reach!