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Rick

OutdoorMN News - Clean bird feeders to keep birds healthy

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Rick

Moldy birdseed and unclean bird feeders can make birds sick. Homeowners who enjoy feeding birds can takes steps now to help birds stay healthy, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 

In spring and especially in warm, humid weather, it is common for mold to form on wet birdseed. The mold can cause an avian disease called aspergillosis, which affects the birds’ respiratory systems. Salmonella is another disease that affects birds and is associated with unclean feeders. Both diseases can be fatal to birds.

To clean a feeder, use a solution of one part bleach and nine parts water, and scrub the entire surface. Always allow the cleaned feeder to dry out in the sun, as the sunlight will help kill bacteria on the feeder. Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned about every week to 10 days during the summer, to keep the sugar water from producing mold.

Staff from the DNR Nongame Wildlife Program urges bird enthusiasts to also rake or sweep up any fallen seeds and seed hulls under their feeder to prevent moldy conditions from occurring on the ground. Seeds left on the ground can also attract meadow voles, house mice, other rodents, raccoons, deer and even bears.

Keep the feed dry by using a hopper-type feeder or a fly-through feeder, and always scrape out old seed that accumulates in the corners. Tray feeders with a screen bottom will allow seeds to dry out from above and below after a rain shower, but thick layers of seed could still trap moisture, so consider more frequent fillings with less seed.

More information about bird feeding is available at mndnr.gov/birdfeeding. Books about attracting and feeding birds include, “Wild about Birds: The DNR Bird Feeding Guide” and “Landscaping for Wildlife.” These books were made possible by donations to the Nongame Wildlife Fund.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • fins_n'_feathers
      Fished for a few hours this afternoon after the rain went through and the wind died down a bit. Tried a good dozen places in between black bay and the Brule and only got around 10 fish for the effort. The water was still pretty much ice cold at a cool 65 degrees in the main lake. We checked a few off shore reefs and saw zero signs of life on the ones we checked. The places we did get a few fish was were there was a rock to mud transition near shore on points. All in all another tough outing for us and on a side note, on the way in we pulled cranks in shallow water and the May flys were thick on the surface on the wind blown side. 
    • rkhinrichs
      I fished at the Forbes canoe access below the dam one day. And caught a 16 inch on a fly. I will give it a float and report back after the fourth
    • going4it
      Any tips on smallies up there? First time coming up. 
    • srj
      Nice report as usual, Hoey. We are fishing Wed and Thurs. Sounds like it will be ugly hot coming up. Hopefully, the fish will finally get into their summer patterns.
    • JBMasterAngler
      Definitely hit up some trails. My kids love to hike and explore. They surprise me with their willingness to keep trekking along. 
    • JBMasterAngler
      As long as there are bugs to eat, the trout will always hit the surface. As summer progresses, there will be less and less trout to catch.
    • rayguy
      Does it ever quit blowing?  Tough conditions this week. Fish scattered all over the place.  Bass hitting the best, panfish the least. Walleyes in the middle.  Best for us has been late afternoon on lindys and leeches. Nothing great but with the warmup coming I think things will improve. Did see a 7-8 lber caught ,  on a Daredevil of all things.  Keep the beer cold.  Go get em.  Rayguy
    • NorthBound&Down
      Thanks for the information!
    • OutdoorLife4Life
      Hey guys! We were up last weekend but only got to fish for a few hours. We caught a bunch of pike anywhere from mid teens in length to the low 20” range. We also caught a few bass and a few walleyes. Biggest eye was 19. We contacted all our fish from 16-20 feet. Most of our bites came on a jig and minnow. My wife and brother and law were trolling spinners but only managed pike. We did try crawlers without any success but again we were only out for a few hours. We fished on whitefish and targeted bars and a couple of wind blown underwater points. Good luck this weekend! Maybe we’ll see ya out there!
    • Chill62