SHOULD I FEED BIRDS ONLY DURING THE WINTER?
A. No. You
can feed birds year-round and, during the summer, may attract birds
such as orioles and grosbeaks.
LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR BIRDS TO FIND MY FEEDER?
A. It can take
a while, maybe even a couple of weeks, to get bird activity. But birds
are excellent communicators and as soon as one finds it, others won't
be far behind.
FEEDER IS FULL OF SEEDS AND I HAVEN'T HAD BIRDS FOR DAYS. WHAT'S WRONG?
A. During the
summer months, activity may slow because birds are finding natural food
sources or are busy attending nests or young. You may also want to check
your seed to make sure it is not wet or moldy. Winter sends many of
our summer residents south, thus you will see a decrease in activity
at your feeders. If winter residents do not show up at your feeder,
it could be because of one of two reasons. If the winter is extremely
harsh, year-round residents like chickadees and nuthatches may migrate
south. If the winter is mild, such as during an El Niño year, many
winter residents will find food in the wild.
SPARROWS HAVE OVERRUN MY FEEDER. HOW CAN I GET RID OF THEM?
A. If you are
feeding bread, millet, or basic mix, STOP! House sparrows will flock
to feeders that offer any of these types of food. Empty your feeder
and wait about three or four days until filling again with recommended
seed such as black oil sunflower. If this does not help, there are house
sparrow traps that are commercially made. Contact the North Dakota Game
and Fish Department for information.
HOUSE FINCHES AT MY FEEDER APPEAR SICK AND THEIR EYES ARE CRUSTED SHUT.
A. House finches
can become inflicted with a bacteria known as Mycoplasma gallisepticum.
To a lesser degree, chickadees, nuthatches, and pine siskins are also
susceptible to the disease. The disease does not affect humans. The
bacteria is spread from bird to bird by contact at feeders. You can
greatly reduce the chance of this bacteria spreading by cleaning your
feeders twice during the winter and once a month during the summer.
Use a solution of 10 parts water to one part bleach. Make sure the feeder
is completely dry before filling with seed.
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Section -- Welcome to Bird Feeding 101