Outdoor bird feeders and birdhouses are extremely popular with bird watchers and birding enthusiasts. For many there is nothing more exciting than getting up in the morning and watching birds nesting and feeding in the backyard. Children and adults alike are able to learn a great deal about birds by watching them each day. What many bird enthusiasts do not realize is the fact that owning a bird feeder and bird house requires more effort than just stocking it with seed. In order to keep the birds safe and healthy, homeowners must do what they can to properly set up and maintain these items.
The first step in protecting birds is placing birdfeeders and birdhouses in a safe location. Place bird feeders in a very open location that gives birds a chance to see, and react to, any predators like house cats. They can also be hung from poles making them virtually inaccessible. When hanging a bird house always place them in a high location away from any potential perch that can be used by predators like cats. Even if you do not own house cats it is important that you follow this advice since neighboring cats can easily get into your back yard and attempt to attack what they consider to be easy prey.
In some situations hawks will be attracted to your bird house or, more than likely, your bird feeder. If you notice a hawk coming near your bird feeder several times a week take it down for a few days and keep a look out for the hawk. Once the hawk has come, not seen a buffet, and left, put it back out. The hawk will leave your yard alone once it believes its free meal ticket has been called in.
The second step you can take to ensure the safety and health of the birds your feeders and houses attract is to keep everything clean. This is one thing that many people forget and overlook. While most people are used to cleaning indoor bird cages they do not think to clean outdoor bird houses. A bird house, after time, can attract and develop parasites which could cause sickness and disease to spread among the birds nesting in it. You should clean your bird house at least once a year or twice a year to be perfectly safe.
Bird feeders need to be cleaned much more often because of the number of birds coming and going on a daily basis. Remove any seeds from the ground around your birdfeeders and bird houses to discourage birds from attempting to eat it. Also empty and clean the bird feeders once or twice each month while constantly replacing the seed with fresh, dry, bird seed to keep the birds from eating moldy seed which can make them sick.
Outdoor birdfeeders and birdhouses can be fun for the entire family. They give you a chance to observe many different types of birds without having to leave your yard. In order to enjoy this special treat for a long time it is important that you and your family work hard to maintain a clean, safe, environment for your birds.