I found the perfect weather shield for my outdoor bird feeders, the Brushed Copper Bird Feeder Weather Shield. It is like having an umbrella for the bird feeders. It serves to shade the sun on my hummingbird feeders, therefore assisting in the keeping the nectar fresh.
You know how bad the sun is for the nectar! It keeps the rain from getting the birds
wet and keeps the snow off of them, too. In addition, I noticed it deters squirrels since they cannot grab on to the shield.
The best part about the Brushed Copper Bird Feeder Weather Shield is that it is beautiful. The brushed copper finish with an embedded oak leaf design makes this an attractive addition your yard.
Easy to install over any hanging type feeder by using the the included plug and
hanger that goes through the hole in the baffle and is kept in place with the i
ncluded screw. You just hang your feeder from the hook beneath the shield,
and then the top hook hangs the shield and feeder from a branch or bracket.
Large dimensions of almost 18 inches wide at outer rim x 5 inches high.
Your birds will be cool in the summer and dry in the rain or snow and your feeders will look beautiful thanks to the Brushed Copper Bird Feeder Weather Shield!
Bird feeding is great fun. Cleaning the bird feeders is not, but must be done to keep the feeders in good working condition and more importantly to keep the birds safe from disease that could be past from bird to bird. Clean and disinfect feeders regularly, at a minimum once per month.
First, take down your feeder and empty all the seeds inside. Discard the seeds, and do not reuse them. Then, make a 10 percent solution of bleach water. To do this use one part of liquid chlorine (regular household bleach) in nine parts of warm water. Do not make the solution any stronger as it may damage the feeder. Do not use hot water as it may damage the feeder. Make enough solution to immerse an empty feeder completely for three minutes. Wearing rubber gloves, thoroughly scrub the feeder surfaces using a bird feeder brush. Thoroughly rinse the feeder with clear water. Allow to air dry or dry in the sun.
It is important to have the right type and size bird feeder brush to clean feeders properly. The Perfect Litte Brushes shown above are perfect to clean the small crevices and ports in your hummingbird feeders. The Perfect Little Brushes are 3 1/2 inches long and come in a package of 3. Made in the USA.
In addition to a little brush, you will need a large brush like the Birdfeeder Cleaning Brush – 24 in. This 24 inch brush has long natural soft bristles that will not scratch the tube of the feeder.
Remember, a monthly cleaning is imperative to keep your backyard birds healthy.
Is your largest feeders hung on an available tree deep in your yard?
Can you even see it from the house?
These feeders are usually filled on nice days, but they may go unfilled at times because it’s easy to forget about a feeder that you don’t regularly see! Not to mention nasty weather can keep us from filling a feeder that is not in our view.
Rather than let the birds go hungry, why not invest in a couple of poles and hangers that can be used to move feeders closer to the house and also in position for better bird viewing?
Pictured to the right is the effortless bird feeder that actually slides down the pole for filling!
Move your feeder now when the ground is not frozen and the weather is nice. With a little forethought and action, you can be enjoying beautiful bird views all summer and winter long from the comfort of your house—and filling feeders will be easier than ever!
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.
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.
Spring will be here before you know it and most of the birds will return to look for a great source of food.
To prepare yourself for spring and the birds, it is a good idea to get your bird feeders now ready for feeding the birds if you haven’t done so already. Before you fill up your bird feeders with bird seed, they should be thoroughly cleaned and inspected for any damage. It is a good idea to throw away any birdfeeders that is cracked because cracks can be breeding grounds for bacteria and mold.
To clean your bird feeders properly, use hot soapy water to kill any bacteria or mold. Dish soap is great for removing grim and mold from the feeder and rinsing clean. Use a brush like the Perfect Little Brushes to get into the corners and crevices and to thoroughly clean out the feeding ports.
A kit like the Bird Feeder Accessory Starter Kit by Droll Yankees is also great for starting off your bird feeding season. This kit contains a soft brush for cleaning out your bird feeder, a great scoop for scooping out and pouring bird seed and a chain for hanging up a bird feeder.
If you have a collection of hummingbird feeders, the Hummingbird Foam Cleaning Mop is great for cleaning out your feeders. This soft, sponge is designed to get into all of the crevices of the feeder. It is ideal for cleaning out a tube style hummingbird feeder or an irregular shaped feeder.
After you have scrubbed down your bird feeders, carefully rinse them out and allow them to air dry in a warm, indoor spot. Once dry, your bird feeders are ready to be filled and hung.
Use a variety of birdseed to start off the season right!
Seed trays, also known as seed catchers, are a great addition to bird feeders. They primarily can be attached to tube bird feeders, which is good because it is perhaps the most popular type of bird feeder. Seed trays are an economical way to prevent bird seed from being wasted. Bird seed can fall out of any feeder due to a variety of factors, including eager birds and bad weather. The first great reason to get a seed tray is to save money!
Another reason is to prevent a mess below your feeders. Seed trays prevent seeds, as well as shells that are discarded from birds, from piling up underneath your feeder. No matter if your bird feeder hangs over your porch, patio, or grass, no one wants to see a messy pile of seeds and shells. Plus, this pile can attract ground feeding animals to your yard. With a seed tray, unwanted animals are much less likely to find your bird feeders.
Lastly, many birds like to feed off of flat surfaces, as opposed to standing on perches. With a seed tray, you will be able to attract more species of birds to your backyard! Northern Cardinals do not like to stand on perches, which are usually features of the common tube bird feeders, but they will be eager to stand on the seed trays that are attached to these tube feeders. Large birds also are usually unable to balance on tiny perches, so they would also benefit from seed trays.
The Clever Clean Bird Feeder Tray 11 in., pictured to the right, is a large seed tray. It can be attached to any Onyx feeder with a simple snap. Then you will use a wing nut to ensure that the Clever Clean Bird Feeder Tray 11 in. will never fall off. If you do not have an Onyx feeder, you can get the Universal Seed Tray by Droll Yankees. This seed tray is a large 13 inches in diameter, which is sure to attract a variety of large birds. The Universal Seed Tray by Droll Yankees can be attached to any pole mounted feeders.
One of my favorite seed trays doubles as a squirrel guard. The Giant Seed Tray and Squirrel Guard can be mounted underneath any feeders that are on a pole. Not only will the Giant Seed Tray and Squirrel Guard catch any seeds and shells that fall from the feeder, but it will prevent any squirrels from climbing up onto the feeder.
When you have bird feeders in your backyard, it is very important that you always have them filled with bird seed. Birds quickly become dependent on food sources, and letting your bird feeders become empty can cause trouble for birds. The best thing to do is to stock up on large amounts of bird seed so you never run out.
The best solution to this problem is to get large storage bins that can hold plenty of bird seed. The best container for this task is the Vittles Vault II – Feed / Seed Storage, pictured to the right. You can hod many months worth of bird seed in this container. The best part about the Vittles Vault II – Feed / Seed Storage container is that it is translucent, which means that you can see when your seed is getting low. This container is made of durable plastic, and is completely leak proof. The airtight seal also keeps any potential odors inside the storage bin. Not only can you use this bin for bird food, but you can also use it for any type of pet food.
You will also need a scoop to transfer the bird seed from the Vittles Vault II – Feed / Seed Storage container to your bird feeders! You can go with a relatively standard scoop, like the Garden Song Scoop N Fill. This scoop has a tapered tip so it is easy to fill even the most narrow tube bird feeders. The Garden Song Scoop N Fill can hold up to 2 cups of bird seed. A more intricate bird seed scooper is the Heath Bird Seed Scoop – 3 cups. This scoop is similar to a funnel, with a wide end for scooping, and then a smaller end that is perfect for filling tube bird feeders. There is a lever on the Heath Bird Seed Scoop – 3 cups that controls the pouring. It is made of durable plastic.
If you want a scoop to hold huge amounts of bird seed, the Bird Seed Scoop 2 qt is your best bet. As the name suggests, it can hold up to 2 quarts of bird seed at once! The Bird Seed Scoop 2 qt is the largest bird seed scooper on the market. The ergonomic design makes it comfortable to hold and carry around.
Cleaning your bird houses, bird feeders, and bird baths is essential for a variety of reasons. Always remember that birds like cleanliness, and they are more likely to visit houses, feeders, and baths that are clean!
The main reason you must clean bird houses is because birds can carry lice and mice. While these pests cannot affect humans, they can easily spread from bird to bird. If birds decide to live in a bird house that is infecting with lice, you can expect them to be very uncomfortable, as well as possibly succomb to an early death.
When birds leave bird houses, there is a good chance they are leaving parasites behind. To ensure that new birds will not come in and become infected with parasites, you need to open up the bird house and remove any materials that are in the house. You should rinse it out with water, and allow it to dry before you allow other birds to use it. During the winter time when birds are not nesting, you should close the opening of the bird house to prevent any unwanted guests from inhabiting.
Cleaning out your bird feeder can be a difficult task. Tube feeders are especially difficult to clean. For tasks like this, you will require a specialized cleaning brush, like the Birdfeeder Cleaning Brush, pictured to the right. The 24 inch long natural bristles stemming from the thin wire post make for the perfect tool to clean out a variety of bird feeders. The bristles are strong enough to remove unwanted debris, but soft enough so that they will not scratch the feeder. If you have a hummingbird feeder, you will require special brushes. I use the Perfect Little Brushes for Cleaning Bird Feeders. One package comes with 3 tiny brushes that will fit in the tiny opening out of your hummingbird feeders.
And finally, you need to clean your bird bath! People may think that since the bird bath is filled with water that it isn’t dirty, but this could not be further from the truth! Using a formula specifically made for cleaning bird baths would be best. I recommend you use the Birdbath & Statuary Cleaner 32 oz, which will sterilize the bird bath to prevent the spreading of infectious diseases among birds. Use it as often as you wish, but I would recommend using it at least once every 2 weeks.
Various pests may try to get into your bird feeders. Squirrels are particularly difficult pests. They just LOVE bird seed. Not only do squirrels scare away birds, but it is a huge waste of bird seed! It can be an expensive habit to keep up. Here are a couple ways you can prevent squirrels from emptying your bird feeders:
Your first defense against squirrels should be baffles. Not only do baffles protect hanging bird feeders from squirrels, it can also protect the bird seed from rain and snow! Baffles hang over feeders like a dome, although some baffles may be placed below. The goal with a baffle is that the bird will not be able to find his way around it and onto the bird feeder.
I would recommend the Super Dome Squirrel Baffle, shown to the right, for your pest problems! It is the largest baffle on the market at 18 inches in diameter. This huge baffle minimizes the risk that your bird seed will become soggy from rain or snow. Wet bird seed becomes moldy, which can make birds get sick. You do not want birds to associate your bird feeder with bad bird seed!
If you want to make a home-made baffle, you can use an aluminum pie plate. Just cut a whole in the center and string it above the feeder. If your bird feeder is close to the ground, you can put a baffle underneath the feeder. Be sure to have your lower baffle at least 4 feet above the ground so that squirrels can not leap over them.
Decoy Feeding Station
Believe it or not, some people enjoy having squirrels in their backyard. I am actually one of these people! I love having animals of all kinds in my backyard. However, I do not want squirrels to eat my expensive bird seed. What I do is set up a wire basket and fill it with dried corn and put it near the trees that the squirrels like to climb. Having cheap food easily accessible to squirrels makes them less likely to try to attempt to steal from a bird feeder.
Set Up Live-Traps
Live-trapping squirrels and relocating them is an option. When relocating a squirrel, be sure to take them far away from the nearest bird feeder. More squirrels will most likely show up, so you will have to set up more live-traps. Therefore, it would be easier to try baffles and decoy feeding stations before trying live-trapping!