Fall is the perfect time to encourage bird enthusiasts to add a backyard bird sanctuary. According to the Wild Bird Feeding Industry (WBFI), one of the biggest problems facing birds is loss of habitat. Establishing and maintaining a backyard bird sanctuary can be fun, safe and helpful to the conservation movement, especially during the winter months.
For customers already enjoying wild bird care, fall is also a good time to complete wild bird maintenance and winter preparation chores like the ones listed below:
To Do List:
Keeping feeders clean prevents the spread of diseases. Experts recommend soaking feeders in a 10-percent bleach solution. Newer plastic feeders can also be cleaned and sterilized in the dishwasher. Some hardware stores have had positive results by offering to power-wash customers’ bird feeders in the fall for a small fee.
Rake or sweep ground under feeders
Any fall cleanup list should include raking or sweeping uneaten seeds and hulls that have fallen to the ground under feeders. The waste materials are messy and can promote disease.
Feeders should be moved around the yard to prevent the buildup of waste materials on the ground. Customers should be certain new locations are safe from cats. If customers have multiple feeders, advise them to spread them out to avoid overcrowding, which can also lead to disease. For more details, visit www.backyardbirdcare.org.
Fill Feeders with Fresh Seed
To promote healthy birds, customers should fill feeders with high-quality bird feed, preferably brands carrying the WBFI seal of approval (see www.wbfi.org for more information).
How Retailers Can Help:
Retailers can help customers with wild bird winter preparations by displaying cleaning brushes, replacement feeders and quality bird feed in prominent locations in the store.
Some retailers with successful wild bird feeding departments also recommend enlisting the help of bird enthusiasts. Local experts can not only keep retailers educated on the latest bird issues but can also make helpful recommendations for stock.