Wild Bird Articles

6 Steps for a Backyard Bird Sanctuary

Developed by the Wild Bird Feeding Industry and partners.

1. Put out a welcome mat! Create a habitat with native plants to provide natural food, shelter from weather and predators, and nesting sites. Provide feeders, nest boxes, and water.
2. Prepare a proper menu.  Offering the right foods year round will attract more birds to your yard and help ensure that they have a safe and nutritious diet. Refill feeders regularly.
3. Keep feed and feeding areas clean.  At least monthly, clean feeders with 10% bleach and warm water. Scrub birdbaths with a brush. Replace water every three to five days. Keep seed/foods dry; discard musty, wet or moldy food. Clean hummer feeders every three to five days, more often when hot.
4. Birds and chemicals don't mix.  Many pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are toxic to birds; avoid using these near areas where birds feed, bathe or rest.
5. Keep cats away from birds.  Scientists estimate that cats in the U.S. kill hundreds of millions of birds each year. Keep cats indoors. Place feeders in areas not readily accessible to strays.
6. Reduce window collisions. Collisions with glass windows kill millions of wild birds each year. Windows reflect sky or trees, and birds try to fly through them. Attach decals or decorations to the glass to reduce reflections.

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