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Most of the East Coast is underwater these days.  The early days of Spring have brought havoc to many communities.  Streams have become rivers and rivers have become lakes.  You can imagine what lakes have become! 

One of the many situations that this rainfall creates is soggy bird seed.  If you use a no-shell bird seed mix or sunflower hearts, you will notice the difference even more.  When you take the protective shell off any seed, the meat of the seed becomes a very good sponge.  Any moisture in the air will instantly be absorbed by the no-shell meats.  Is it possible to save this soggy mess?

To be honest, the answer is “No.”  Once moisture is absorbed by the meat of bird seed, it becomes spoiled and no amount of drying out will change that.  Even bird seed with shells should not be used for feeding wild birds if it becomes too wet.  Plants, during heavy rains, have a tendency to “bend down”, creating an umbrella effect on the seeds inside each plant.  That’s natures way of protecting its precious weed seeds.

If you’re trying to attract birds to your backyard, the last thing you want to do is to have birds leave your feeders alone due to soggy, moldy seed.  Your best choice is to remove the wet bird seed, clean your bird feeder and refill with dry, fresh bird seed.  Take the old, soggy seed and throw it on the ground near the woods.  Animals have no problem eating these leftovers without any harm.  Wild birds, however, will not take a chance on infection from stale, moldy or rancid bird seed. 

So wait for the weather to change for the better.  Provide fresh bird seed and enjoy your birds!


As you prepare your nest boxes for the upcoming spring season, we all need to think like birds, not humans.  If you make your own birdhouses or plan to purchase one soon, take a look below the entrance hole.  A properly designed nest box that have the safety of birds in mind will not have a perch.  Look at the natural holes birds excavate in trees or fence posts.  Birds do not add perches to these homes and neither should we.

Birds that will use nest boxes are clingers.  They use the edges of the entrance holes to go inside these nest boxes.  Some people believe they are helping wild birds by giving them perches.  Without realizing it, perches only help predators of wild birds.  Squirrels and chipmunks will happily rest on these perches while they spend their time chewing on the openings to enlarge them. 

So, if you wish to help your birds, keep the perches off your nest boxes.  They will appreciate this effort more than you know.  Keep your birdhouses clean, properly attached to posts or trees, and far enough off the ground to avoid leaping cats. 

Enjoy your birds!  Keep your eyes peeled for that first wild bird that chooses your backyard to raise their young.  Let us know which bird has decided to stay at your house.

Around these neck of the woods, many homeowners are rushing spring just a little too much.  Yes, we have already lost most of the little snow cover this winter deposited on our backyards.  Yes, the temperatures are a little warmer than usual this time of year.  If you take a drive, you can’t help but notice the large number of hummingbird feeders that are already out and running, as expectant birders axiously await the first winged jewel to greet them.

Nature, however, has a way of bringing reality back to our busy lives. You see, winter is not over yet.  Sure, the calender says it’s Spring.  But, here in New England, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.  For forecasts for the next week are overnight temperatures in the low 20’s.  That’s freezing weather.  It will easily freeze and crack any water devices such as birdbaths and nectar feeders. 

Take care, folks.  Be sure that if you wish to hang your nectar feeders out this early, be sure to watch those overnight temperatures.  You may want to bring in these water sources until you can be sure that all freezing is completely over.  Let’s see, around here, that could be late April!    I’ve seen it happen………….

Enjoy your birds.  Be the first to let us know when the hummingbirds and orioles arrive in your backyard.  Send us a comment and be sure to include your city and state so that we can let everyone know when theirs will arrive!

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March 2010
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