Scooter is Spring Cleaning and Ready to Welcome His Wild Bird Pals… and All Their Yummy Seed!!

Well, it’s spring-cleaning time in the Northwood Commons Back Lot at Wild Birds Unlimited’s Nature Shop and along with cleaning out his garage and attic and closet spaces, Scooter isn’t forgetting his backyard habitat where his favorite Florida wild bird cousins will be gathering in the coming months… bringing seeds… and nuts… that he can steal… because his rehab failed… again! ***SIIIGH*** Although many of us may indulge our feathered friends with ornate feeders and grand houses, we must not forget that these should be maintained properly in order to keep them free from disease and unwanted pests.
Even Scooter doesn’t want a sickly-looking Cardinal coughing and hacking in his yard! Gross!
Does your Bird house or feeder look like this? Scooter says...YUCK!

Does your Bird house or feeder look like this? Scooter says…YUCK!

Proper cleaning and repair on houses, feeders and fountains will ensure a healthy backyard habitat and repeat breeding of our favorite Florida wild birds for years to come. Here are a few ways to keep your backyard habitat clean, healthy and safe for Florida’s wild bird visitors:

  • Clean feeders, houses and baths using mild soap and water. Tough stains may be removed by dabbing baking soda and vinegar on the spots. Allow to sit for a few minutes then scrub with a toothbrush. If possible, allow to dry outdoors in the sun. Luckily, in Florida, sunlight is easily had on most days.
  • Trim hedges near feeders, houses and baths. Keeping the area free from unwanted growth will provide an easier view of visiting wild birds and will promote newer and healthier plant growth preferred by Florida’s wild birds for nesting and perching.
  • If nearby structures like yard art or fencing are often used by your visiting birds or other wild life, like Scooter and his pals, make sure to clean these surfaces as well. Because surfaces like these are often overlooked during spring cleaning, they can carry disease and fall into disrepair which can prove harmful Florida’s wild birds and other backyard habitat visitors.
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Specialty feeders need special care. Certain, special feeders for certain species of wild birds, like hummingbirds, need special care and attention. Make sure no nectar remains from any prior season. Empty the container completely and wash it with hot water.
Try this helpful hint: Nectar residues can be removed from hard to clean bottleneck feeders and tubes by swishing them in a mixture of vinegar and water with some uncooked rice. The vinegar can cut through the sticky residue while the rice acts as a natural abrasive. Repeat this cleaning method until all residue is gone. These natural cleaning tools offer a healthy way to keep your feeders clean and safe for future use.
Wooden wild bird feeder   Dripper bird bath
While many home stores, garden centers and nurseries carry wild bird houses, feeders and accessories, not all backyard habitat supplies are the same. Although they may seem economical in the short term, many mass produced wild bird products can actually do more harm, than good.  Here are a few things to consider when looking to buy wild bird feeders, houses and baths this Spring:
  • Is it wood? While many houses and feeders are made of economical wood products, they often break down after only a season of use. Inexpensive, mass produced wild bird houses and feeders are often made of unsealed pine or balsa wood. While wood feeders and houses are a good option, unless properly constructed, they can be difficult to clean as they are prone to absorb waste and other natural stains. Many of WBU’s wild bird feeders, houses and supplies are made in America from recycled milk jugs, have a lifetime guarantee and are easily cleaned and maintained.
  • Is it painted? Some mass produced wild bird feeders, houses and baths can contain harmful paint which can chip and be consumed by Florida’s wild birds. Wild Birds Unlimited in Clearwater/Safety Harbor has a full line of feeders, houses and backyard habitat supplies perfect for a neat, clean and healthy backyard habitat.

For an easy to clean, durable option for your backyard habitat needs this Spring, WBU Clearwater/Safety Harbor Florida suggests these great products:

     WBU EcoTough® Classic Feeder (red roof)                WBU EcoTough® Double Tail Prop Suet Feeder                 WBU APS Basic Setup Mounting Hardware                     WBU High Perch™ Hummingbird Feeder
WBU EcoTough®       WBU EcoTough®       WBU APS Basic Setup               WBU High Perch
Classic Feeder          Double Tail Prop          Mounting Hardware                Hummingbird Feeder
(red roof)                      Suet Feeder
Scooter has plenty of room and invites you to come see these great products for Florida’s wild  birds in action in our Northwood Commons Back lot Observation area behind the WBU Clearwater Florida Nature Shop on McMullen Booth Road. Happy Bird watching!

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Hammock Bird Banding

A dynamic update on the Migratory Bird Banding Project in Hammock Park, Dunedin, Florida.

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