Bird feeders are a great way to enjoy wildlife but there are some things to consider to keep our feathered friends safe while we enjoy their visits to our yard.
- Place feeder so it may easily be cleaned. Sweeping out the feeder regularly, especially during a wet season, is a good idea and annual cleaning with a food grade, hydrogen peroxide cleaner is important too. Don’t forget the ground beneath the feeder. Spilled seeds left on the ground can then mix with feces and during the damp spring months can develop salmonella. Ground feeding birds contract the bacteria and soon become ill and die. Raking the ground and spreading the same hydrogen peroxide cleaner on it will eliminate any spread of salmonella.
- Your feeder may attract natural predators such as ravens, small hawks, falcons, etc. This is normal and the wild predators may take some of the birds but will likely move on after a few meals. Taking the food away for a few days will stop the birds from coming to the feeder and the predator will definitely move on once they are not there.
- There is the thought that if you stop feeding the birds, they will starve as they have become reliant on the feeder. Wild birds are far more flexible than that and will simply move to the next food source if you stop feeding.
- Wildlife such as squirrels, deer, or bear may also enjoy your feeder. Depending where you live, you can simply share with these animals or use feeders and feeder placement to allow only the birds to access the seeds.
- Predators that are not wild may also be attracted to your feeder. If you have a problem with free roaming cats, contact your community for their protocols or give our Centre a call for advice.
- Windows can be a problem if you are attracting birds to your yard. The reflection of bushes, sky, and trees can fool the birds into thinking they are flying into a safe area and not realize it is a window. Hanging streamers, wind chimes, or anything that will flap in the breeze on the outside of the window is the best deterrent. For more information on window caused injuries we suggest you visit www.flap.org.