Spring Cleaning for Wild Bird’s Return

With spring’s arrival, it is time to prepare for new and returning birds who will use the back yard to dine and nest.

Here are a few tips to make note of this wild bird season:

  • Use a coarse brush and hot soapy water to clean accumulated debris from wooden feeders. Do not use chemicals because wood is porous and will absorb them. It is important to 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. Again, allow the feeders to dry completely.
  • For hard-to-reach places in hummingbird feeders, place uncooked rice inside the feeder and 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 and rinse and dry the feeder thoroughly. Before adding fresh nectar, clean the ports with a small brush.
  • 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.