Mistake #1: Not Cleaning Your Feeders and Baths
Birds congregating at a feeder are near each other and if one bird is sick, then you can bet others will get sick too. An infected bird could visit other feeders and quickly pass the infection around.
Before you know it, you could have an epidemic on your hands.The responsible thing to do and the best way to prevent disease is to
keep your feeders and baths clean
Mistake #2: Not Providing Water
Many new birders and a surprising number of more experienced ones don’t know that all birds need water year-round.
They also don’t know the hazards natural water sources can present:
- Stagnant or standing water can harbor disease.
- Pollution is finding its way into more lakes and streams.
- Oil from cars, trucks, and tar contaminate rainwater that collects into puddles.
And water evaporates and becomes scarce during summer and freezes in the winter.
Additionally, providing water will attract more birds to your garden than feeders, since only certain species visit feeders. Offer water and you’ll get birds you might not otherwise see.
Mistake #3: Using Cheap Seed
It’s tempting to buy the economy brand seed you find at big box and discount stores.
Don’t do it. You’re wasting your money.
Cheap seed and suet are less expensive because the ingredients used in them cost pennies. But most birds toss these “filler ingredients” aside. They don’t eat it.
Cheap seed can contain as much as
filler. That means for every dollar you spend, 73 cents go into the trash. That’s no bargain.
Read the ingredients on the bag or packaging and avoid the ones with the most frequently used fillers:
- red milo
- wheat, oats, buckwheat
- cracked corn
- golden and red millet (white millet is fine)