Wild Bird Safety

Emily White

Wild Bird Safety
The care and safety of wild birds are paramount. Featherfields was founded on this principal and has always promoted wild bird protection. All of our products are meant to enhance wild bird safety while providing enjoyment to birding enthusiasts. To promote the concepts of wild bird care, in conjunction with the Wild Bird Feeding Industry (WBFI), we invite you to review the 6 step Program for creating your very own Wild Bird sanctuary.
6 steps
to turn your yard into a
Sanctuary for Birds
Birds need your help! Populations of many kinds of birds are declining. Habitat loss and degradation, disease, collisions with man-made structures, and a host of other factors contribute to these declines. You can help by turning your yard into a sanctuary for birds.
Here are six steps you can take to make the future brighter for birds:
1. Put out the welcome mat!
Habitat loss is the biggest challenge facing birds. You can help by making your neighborhood more attractive to birds by landscaping with native plants that provide natural food sources, shelter from the elements and predators, and nesting sites. Providing feeders, nest boxes and water also benefits birds. The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Featherfields would be happy to help you develop a perfect backyard sanctuary for the birds.
2. Prepare a proper menu.
Providing the appropriate foods year round will attract more birds to your yard and help ensure that they have a safe and nutritious diet. Refill feeders regularly with food desired by birds in your area. To pick the best menu, stop by Featherfields for expert advice. We carry only the finest quality, freshest birdseed. We insist upon no wasteful fillers in our birdseed blends. This results in the best value for the customer and the best choice of seed for the birds.
3. Keep feed and feeding areas clean.
To help reduce the possibility of disease transmission in birds, clean feeders and feeding areas at least once a month. Plastic and metal feeders can go in the dishwasher, or rinse these and other styles with a 10% solution of bleach and warm water. Scrub birdbaths with a brush and replace water every three to five days to discourage mosquito reproduction. Rake up and dispose of seed hulls under feeders. Moving feeders periodically helps prevent the buildup of waste on the ground. Keep seed and foods dry; discard food that smells musty, is wet or looks moldy. Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned every three to five days, or every other day in warm weather. It’s good hygiene to wash your hands after filling or cleaning feeders.
4. Birds and chemicals don’t mix.
Many pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are toxic to birds; avoid using these near areas where birds feed, bathe or rest…which pretty much means anywhere in your yard. Fortunately, there are now many effective “green” alternatives on the market today.
5. Keep cats away from birds.
Scientists estimate that cats probably kill hundreds of millions of birds each year in North America. This is a big problem, but it’s easy to fix. Many people who enjoy feeding birds also love cats. The best solution is to keep cats indoors. They will lead longer, healthier lives, and your yard will be safer for birds. Install feeders in areas not readily accessible to cats or install fences or other barriers to help keep stray cats from feeder areas. Never place a feeder amongst shrubs where cats can easily lurk. Methods such as using collar bells and keeping cats well fed will not solve the problem.
6. Reduce window collisions.
Collisions with glass windows kill millions of wild birds every year. Depending on their size and location, some windows reflect the sky or vegetation, and birds are fooled into thinking they can fly through them. To eliminate this problem identify windows that cause collisions (typically larger, reflective windows, those near the ground, or those that “look through” the house). Attaching window decals (available at Featherfields) to the outside surface of the glass can reduce reflections. Feeder birds fleeing predators are vulnerable to window collisions. If this is happening at your house, consider moving feeders within three feet of the windows so that birds cannot accelerate to injury level speeds while flying away. Problem windows can be covered with a screen so that birds bounce off, rather than hit the glass.
The information contained here is designed to assist birding enthusiasts in their efforts to attract a variety of birds to their property, as well as to serve as a guide to providing a healthy environment. We, at Featherfields, hope you find this information helpful in creating your own wild bird sanctuary, and wish you many years of happy viewing!

Emily White, B.Sc.

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