6 Steps to Better Bird Feeding

1. Put out the welcome mat
Help fight habitat loss by landscaping with native plants. Native plants provide nesting sites and shelter from predators. Be sure to offer plenty of feeders, nest boxes and water.

2. Prepare a proper menu
There’s no substitute for delicious and nutritious seeds, nuts and fruits. Selective mixes draw specific birds for your viewing pleasure. Refill feeders often.

3. Keep it clean
Dirty or uncleaned feeders are breeding grounds for disease. Clean feeders at least twice a month with a 10% solution of bleach in warm water. Keep seed and foods dry. Discard food that smells musty, is wet or looks moldy.

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. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions.

5. Keep cats away from birds
Birders love all kinds of animals. Protect your feathered friends by keeping cats indoors. Install feeders in areas not readily accessible to cats and install fences or other barriers to keep stray cats from feeders.

6. Reduce window collisions
Collisions with glass windows kill millions of wild birds every year. Windows can trick birds by reflecting the sky or vegetation. Cover problem windows with a screen, decals or other decorations. Consider moving feeders to within three feet of windows so birds cannot accelerate to injury level speeds.