Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What is the importance of providing water for wild birds?
A. Wild birds need fresh, clean water just as much as they need seed. Birds stay healthy by using water not just for drinking, but also for bathing, cleaning their feathers and to remove parasites. Waterers are better options than bird baths because they provide birds with fresh, clean water that prevents dirt and debris from contaminating it. In hotter climates or seasons, providing water for birds makes it easy for them to have access to a water source and retain their energy. By adding a water source, you also can attract a larger variety of birds to your yard. You may even attract more colorful birds that don't eat seed, but are in need of water!
Q. What are the most popular bird seeds to use?
A. Black Oil Sunflower Seed is the most popular bird seed. It is much smaller than the traditional sunflower seed and best for those birds with smaller bills, such as the sparrow, junco and goldfinch. This seed is accepted by the greatest variety of birds.
Mixed Seed is also popular. It is best to buy the mixes that contain white proso millet, a tiny cream colored seed with a shiny shell. Mixes containing finely cracked corn and black oil sunflower are also preferred by a large number of birds.
Nyjer (Thistle Seed) is imported from Africa and Asia. Nyjer won't germinate, however, it has a tendency to become moldy due to lack of air circulation. If you notice mold on the seed, it must be removed from the feeder and the feeder must be cleaned thoroughly.
Q. How do I clean my bird feeders?
A. Before filling your feeder with fresh seed, it is recommended that the following precautions are taken:
- Remove all old seed.
- Soak feeder in a light water/bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach).
- Scrub feeder and allow to air dry.
- Rake and remove accumulated hulls and droppings from underneath the feeders.
- Spread mulch (bark or wood) under the feeder, replace mulch when soiled.
- Thoroughly wash hands after handling and cleaning feeders.