As spring ushers in a revitalized energy to your backyard, it is time to begin preparing for new and returning diners and nesters. Look forward to a front-row seat to view the many charming behaviors of the backyard birds throughout the spring and summer months.
Some of the most entertaining backyard bird performances debut during the mating and nesting seasons. Don’t miss the show in your backyard, thinking it’s okay to stop feeding birds just because the weather is getting warmer.
When the first blooms lure you into your backyard, recognize that the birds aren’t far behind. But first it’s time for a little spring cleaning.
Use a coarse brush to do away with accumulated debris from wooden feeders. Hot soapy water does the trick along with some scrubbing, but don’t use chemicals because wood is porous and will absorb them. Then, rinse and dry the feeders thoroughly before refilling them with seed.
To clean tube-feeders, soak them in a mild bleach solution and use a long-handled brush to scour the crevices but take care to rinse, rinse, rinse. Again, allow the feeders to dry completely.
Here’s a handy tip to get to those hard-to-reach places in hummingbird feeders. Toss a cupful of uncooked rice inside the feeder and then add a solution of one-part vinegar to four-parts water to the top of the feeder; replace the lid and shake vigorously. Once the feeder is clean, discard the rice and solution, then rinse and dry the feeder thoroughly. Before adding fresh nectar, go back with a small brush to clean the feeding ports.
A combination of elbow grease and hot soapy water is the best technique to refresh bird baths. If using a mild bleach solution to help control algae, use plenty of clear water and rinse several times. Vinegar and water helps remove mineral deposits.