Attracting Birds, Bird Baths, Bird Food and Feeders, Bird Houses and Nesting, Bird Species  |  October 13, 2019

Clean Up Your Act

By: Kevin Alferman

Keeping feeders clean is an ongoing part of feeding the birds and will keep the feeders looking good and minimize the spread of disease. They should be cleaned as needed, but you should plan to clean them at least every two to three months. If you notice sick or diseased birds visiting the feeders, it’s time for a cleaning to stop it from spreading. If the seed gets wet and moldy in your feeder, be sure to disinfect the feeders as the mold can be harmful to birds. The cleaning task is typically an outdoor activity, so your schedule should include cleaning in November before it gets too cold, then again in February when it starts to warm up. A 10% bleach or vinegar solution is best for cleaning because it effectively disinfects the feeders. Be sure the feeders are thoroughly dry before refilling as these solutions are non-toxic once they dry out. Fill up a large container like a trash can, with the solution and submerge your feeders. If you have the time this is a good method to clean all of your feeders at once. Let each feeder soak for a few minutes as the scrubbing will be easier. The Songbird Essentials birdbath and feeder cleaning brushes are specifically designed with long sturdy bristles to clean all of the nooks and crannies. Use one of our many shapes and sizes of bristled bottle brushes to clean tube feeders. While you’re at it, dump out the birdbath and disinfect it too. Be sure and dump as much water out of the feeders and baths as you can and place them in the sun to dry. For stubborn cleaning jobs use a product like Poop-Off that is specially designed to remove bird droppings. Remember to pick up a bottle of Birdbath Protector that helps minimize algae growth and mineral and sludge deposits.

Bird Bath Brush
Poop-Off Bird 32 oz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 oz Birdbath Protector
Best Long Brush

Attracting Birds, Bats  |  October 02, 2019

Going Batty? It’s October!

October is “Bat Appreciation Month” and we sure appreciate our flying mammal friends. Attracting bats to your backyard can be simple with proper bat house placement.

FUN FACTS ABOUT BATS

Did You Know?

Songbird Essentials 5 Chamber OBC Bat House
Songbird Essentials 5 Chamber OBC Bat House
  • Bat houses should be placed on a pole, house, barn, garage, or any other structure that is at least 15’ tall.
  • The higher the bat house is placed, the better your chances of attracting bats.
  • Two bat houses placed back to back on a pole offer the greatest chance of attracting bats.
  • Houses should be positioned so that they face south or southeast, preferably so that they get morning sunlight.
  • Bats eat almost their full body weight nightly, they are the major predators of night-flying insects.
  • The United States has nearly 50 species of bats, most of which consume insects. The bats most commonly found in the Midwest consist of Big Brown Bats, Little Brown Bats, Red Bats, Hoary Bats, and Silver-Haired Bats.
  • Of all the bat species in the United States, only the colony-roosting bats will use bat houses, such as the Big Brown Bats and the Little Brown Bats.
  • If a bat gets caught in your house, open the doors and windows and calmly sit down. The bat will use echolocation to find its way out.
  • Once a colony of bats has found your bat house, they will use that same house every year.
  • Untreated cedar or exterior plywood increases durability and attracts bats.
  • Interior walls are grooved or covered with mesh to help adults and pups cling.

    Songbird Essentials Bat Bungalow
    Songbird Essentials Bat Bungalow

Elements of a Good Bat House

  • Slanted roof for rain run-off.
  • The ceiling inside bat house traps heat.
  • A slot that allows for ventilation.
  • Predator guard (not visible) protects roosting bats.
  • A long, grooved landing platform allows easy access for bats.
  • Long, narrow design provides temperature variation.

 

To learn more about proper bat house placement visit: https://www.batbnb.com/hanging-guide

 

Attracting Birds  |  August 13, 2019

Its Hummingbird Season All Summer Long

01162-12820 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) at Dr. JB’s Hummingbird Feeder, Marion County, IL
Songbird Essentials SE6002

Hummingbirds had a slow start making their grand appearance to central Missouri this year due to the late winter but they have been frequent visitors to our feeders since early May.

Although the summer heat is still lingering we will soon begin to see hummingbirds begin to make their great southern migration.

Now is prime time to put out new feeders, or refresh existing, to ensure our migrating friends have a constant nectar source.

Tips for Attracting Migrating Hummingbirds:

  • Have your feeders out by early August.
  • Hang your feeder in a partially shaded area to ensure nectar stays fresh and lasts longer.
  • Monitor your feeders. Hummers, especially males, can be very territorial and take claim to their favorite feeder. If you notice this happening be sure to hang more feeders for the less dominant.
  • Clean feeders weekly. Be sure to use a port-brush to clean the small, hard to reach, places.
  • Nectar gives Hummingbirds a source of energy but they also need protein. Try hanging a banana peel, this will attract tasty, protein-rich fruit flies that hummers love. Avoid pesticides in your flowerbeds as hummers get their protein from small insects.

Hummingbirds will begin their southern migration in early August and should move out of central Missouri by late October. Send us your photos of Hummingbirds migrating, we may feature it on Facebook!

Attracting Birds  |  March 12, 2019

Attract Nesting Birds to Your Yard

nesting material wreath

Many North American birds nest in “cavities” (holes in trees and fence posts). Although some birds, such as woodpeckers, can chisel their own holes with their heavy, sharp bills, other cavity-nesters must find suitable holes for nesting.

Unfortunately, suitable nest cavities can be hard to find in much of North America.

One way to solve the nest-site shortage is to provide artificial cavities, also known as birdhouses or nest boxes.

More than 50 species of birds (including Bluebirds, Kestrels, Owls, Titmice, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Wrens, Tree Swallows, and Woodpeckers) will use nest boxes.

Nest Boxes have helped boost populations of many cavity-nesting bird species whose numbers were declining. For example, both Wood Ducks and Eastern Bluebirds recently have made dramatic comebacks.

A Nest Box on your property will provide a valuable home for birds and enjoyable bird watching for you. We will help you figure out which birds you can attract to your yard and what’s the best way and place to mount your nesting boxes.

By attracting Nesting birds, you’ll enjoy the sight of parents and young in your yard.

TIP: if you DO add a nest box or two to your yard, offer your feathered friends some nesting material!

We have the only nesting material available that contains a mixture of five natural-colored materials preferred by North American Nesting Birds! Feathers, String, Cotton, Hemp, and Aspen fiber all included.

Because it contains all of the above, Nesting Material attracts many more birds than cotton only mixtures. Birds and consumers love it!