Spring is here–even if it doesn’t feel like it in your area yet. Just like spring cleaning your home freshens everything up for warmer days, a little spring maintenance in your yard can yield big results when trying to attract song and/or nesting birds. Use our checklist to make sure your ready for feathered friends to call.
Spring Bird Prep Checklist:
- Clean birdhouses. It’s time to clean out your Purple Martin apartments and Bluebird houses. If this chore is skipped, house sparrows or starlings are likely to take over. These assertive birds will keep the more attractive Martins and Bluebirds away and could actually harm them.
- Clean feeders. This should be done every week or two anyway, but now is the time to take down pole-mounted and hanging feeders for a thorough cleaning with a bleach and water solution.
- Clean Bird Baths. Use a bleach and water (10 to 1 works best) solution and a wire brush to thoroughly scrub down your bird bath, both inside and out.
Bird feeder upkeep:
- Check feeder perches. Make sure any perches on your bird feeders are secure and clean.
- Check for waterproofing. Make sure hummingbird and tube feeders are still water-tight and you’ll avoid mold or other issues with the feeder. Consider adding a rain guard over hopper and tray feeders to protect them.
Install window warnings. Spring is a high-risk time for backyard birds to fly into windows and sliding glass doors. As birds stake their claim on specific nesting spots during mating season, they are especially conscious of their reflection in windows and mirrors. Seeing this “other bird” as competition, they will attack. Robins, Bluebirds and sparrows suffer many casualties from window-collisions each year, but protection is easy. Adding a screen or an ultra-violet sticker to the glass will help protect birds.
Switch bird food:
Remove suet from your bird feeders. If you’ve been feeding suet blocks to birds for the winter, now is the time to switch out to sunflower seed and/or nuts and fruit for most birds. As the weather warms, suet can begin to melt and go rancid quickly. This can harm the birds in two ways. First, melting suet can stick–like oil–to the bird’s feathers. making more difficult to fly. Second, rancid suet will repel birds from your feeders.
Spring is the most exciting time of year for most bird watchers. It’s mating season and that means eggs, nestlings and more engaging bird behavior. Follow this simple checklist to make sure your yard is ready!