Important Rule for Feeding anything - including yourself!
WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE AND AFTER!
type of Feed
Knowing which birds
are likely to visit your backyard is key to beginning to know
what type of feed to put out. Look for area checklists and see
when certain birds are likely to visit your area. Woodpeckers
are for the most part found year-round in central California,
but they do migrate, so spring and fall expect to see more of
Woodpeckers of course
enjoy acorns, but this year has proven to be one of the worst
acorn crops in years. Putting out suet might just keep the
woodpeckers alive not just be a supplement. Planting oaks for
future years should guarantee woodpeckers in your yard.
many flowering plants especially the red varieties. Penstemon,
fuchsia and gilias are three that come to mind immediately.
These are native to my region and grow with little care or
fuss. Try to find plants native to your region for ease of
California, there are fewer species of sparrows in summer so
the bulk of their foods should be grown for fall through
spring feeding. Growing different types of flowers from the
aster family are best as many flower in fall.
seen woodpeckers drink from hummingbird feeders, jays trying
to hover like hummingbirds on suet feeders, and many other
strange antics. The point is most animals will eat what is
available, so many times trial and error will help narrow down
what works best in your yard.
Wild bird seed with millet and sunflower on platform feeders
or scattered on dry ground. Birds that prefer sunflower seed
will empty tube feeders to get at the sunflower seeds
wasting much seed.
Thistle seed in sock or tube feeders and regular wild bird seed on
platform feeders or scattered on dry ground.
Most birds -
Black-oil sunflower seed in tube, hopper or platform feeders.
jays, chickadees, titmice, grosbeaks, and cardinals -
thick-shelled gray-striped sunflower seed and shelled whole
- 4 cups of water to one cup of sugar - boiled then cooled.
No dye is necessary.
Orioles - 4
cups of water to one cup of sugar - boiled then cooled. No
dye is necessary. Slices of fresh fruit.
Store your seed in a
clean, dry, air-tight container, such as a metal or plastic
garbage can. Store suet in the refrigerator until ready to use
as heat can make suet rancid and unhealthy for birds. Store
clean boiled sugar solution in the refrigerator for up to one
healthy bird bath
baths where droppings cannot fall into them. Don't place them
under feeders or perches.
and scrub birdbaths as often as possible, at least daily in
summer. Clean out bird droppings immediately.
month, scrub with a light bleach solution (1/4 cup of bleach
in 2 gallons of water), rinse thoroughly and refill.
healthy feeding station
YOUR HANDS BEFORE AND AFTER!
Disinfect feeders every few weeks or sooner if needed (if they
get wet or moldy). Scrub with a weak bleach solution (1/4 cup
of bleach to 2 gallons of warm water). Rinse and allow feeders
to dry before refilling.
hummingbird feeders that are easy to clean.
hummingbird feeders thoroughly with a vinegar and water
solution and then rinse well with clean water, every time you refill them. [Every day in
hot weather and every three days in cooler weather. ] A specially designed sponge or
bottle brush can help.
If you use bleach as a last resort, follow-up by cleaning
the bleach out with a vinegar and water solution.
spatulas and brushes and keep them with your bird supplies for
your seed feeders to loosen compacted seed before you refill
wet or moldy seed then clean the feeder before refilling.
all hulls off platform feeders and out of seed trays daily.
your feeding station when the ground beneath it becomes
covered with seed hulls and droppings.
sweep or wash the old site to remove hulls.
the soil to refresh the area.
provide suet, reduce the amount you offer in hot weather.
Runny suet can stick to birds' feathers. Use rendered suet or
heat-resilient suet blocks that are available commercially.
use petroleum-based products on your feeder poles or wires to
hinder squirrels, ants, or other feeder-marauding creatures.
Petroleum (jelly, oil, grease) is impossible for birds to
preen or wash out. Squirrel baffles and non-poisonous ant
guards are available commercially.
see a sick or dead bird at your feeders, stop your feeding for
a few weeks to keep healthy birds from being infected. Remove and
discard in the trash any dead birds unless you suspect it may have died of West Nile
Virus: wrap and refrigerate the bird and call: 1-800-WNV-BIRD