Cleaning Birdhouses Ė Once a year, clean out the old nesting material. In warmer climates with fewer than twenty days of freezing temperatures, spray the inside with a 10% bleach solution and repair any worn parts such as the predator guard or the entrance hole. In cold climates, clean birdhouses of all nesting materials and feces in the fall. Since many birds roost in their houses during the winter, itís best to leave the houses alone in the very cold months. Never clean the house when itís in active use.
Many birds (including finches, bluebirds, and swallows) nest twice during the period from spring to early summer. Itís not necessary to clean these houses between nestings. Interestingly, the same parents usually will not use the same nest a second time if they have a choice; typically another pair will use it along with the old nest.
Never buy a house that cannot be opened and cleaned unless you promise to throw it out after one season!
Cleaning birdfeeders - Birdfeeders should be cleaned every one to two weeks with soap and water. Be sure the feeder is dry before refilling it. Itís okay to move the birdfeeder occasionally to prevent large buildups of seed shells and spilled seed. A birdfeeder should never collect rainwateróif it does, repair or replace it. The feeder should have drain holes in the bottom or a tray because standing water can transform birdseed and feces into a toxic substance.
Cleaning birdbaths Ė Birdbaths should be cleaned often to prevent your birds from getting sick and spreading diseases. At least once per week in the summer, clean the birdbath with soap and water using a soft scrub brush. Remove all traces of mold, bird feces, and grass before refilling. A 10% bleach solution can be used periodically for extra disinfection. Make sure the cleaning solution stays in contact with the surface for at least five minutes. During this time make sure no birds land in the bleach solution.
Birdhouse installation - For best results, face the opening of the birdhouse away from the dominant winds. In most cases, depending on the species of bird, the ideal spot is on a pole away from trees and fences in order to keep out predators. If this isnít possible, mount the house on a fence or the side of a building. Installing birdhouses in a tree should be your last option. Generally, birds prefer open areas so they can easily watch for predators while hunting for food near the nest box, but this depends on the species as some prefer denser areas.
Choosing a birdhouse - Every bird prefers a different cavity and design, so choose a model for the specific bird youíd like to attract. Some of the variables to consider include: hole positioning and size, cavity size, and ceiling height. The Bird Man has a Birdhouse Specification Chart and you can choose from our extensive line of birdhouses.
Choosing a birdfeeder - As with birdhouses, choose a feeder for the type of bird you want to attract. Quality matters. If the birdfeeder looks cheap and flimsy it probably wonít stand up to the elements or provide the necessary security. If it canít be easily opened for cleaning it could turn into a death trap. Many of The Bird Manís feeders come with a lifetime warranty and are made in the USA.
Choosing birdseed - To learn about the food preferences of specific birds we have a birdseed chart that identifies the grains and fruits that attract specific species. The Bird Man has a wide variety of birdseed in stock for shipping, and arrangements can be made for delivery in the Denver-metro area.
Choosing a birdbath - There are many options for birdbath materials including plastic, metal, clay, and concrete. Concrete is very durable, but since itís porous itís not easily disinfected. A fired clay pottery birdbath is easy to clean but usually isnít durable. The Bird Man recommends either plastic or metal and we have many birdbaths and birdbath heaters to choose from. If you choose metal, remember to pick a light color since dark metal absorbs heat and can burn a birdís feet. Year-round access to water is the most important thing for any living creature, so in colder climates consider getting a quality heated birdbath.