Even though your garden might be covered in snow and our temperatures are still really cold, the birds will soon be getting ready for spring nesting. Today I watched a male Bluebird perched atop my birdhouse as he puffed out his check and sang over and over again. I am convinced he was calling his mate to come and check out the house. I later saw the female flying by the birdhouse and landed on the side of a nearby tree and sang! Makes me wonder if she gave him her approval?
Now is the time to make sure your birdhouses are clean and ready to go. Most birdhouses are built so that you can take either the roof or floor off. Some also have sliding sides and others have a front or side that is on a hinge to provide access.
I always wear disposable vinyl gloves and a face mask while cleaning my birdhouses because your birdhouse will be dirty and can harbor rodents, insects, feather mites, blowflies, fungus and bacteria that can spread disease. Cleaning your birdhouse minimizes these hazards, plus there are many birds that will not use an old nest.
When opening your birdhouse be careful, last year I had a small flying squirrel fly out in my face, scared me to death! Carefully empty out last year’s nests, do not blow into the birdhouse because everything will come back in your face. The last thing you need to do is inhale all that dirt, fungus and bacteria or get it in your eyes. Next, wipe down the inside with a mild bleach solution. Be sure to do a thorough cleaning.
Inspect the birdhouse and make sure all air holes are clear of dirt and nesting. Clearing these areas will insure good air circulation during the summer months. This is also a perfect time to inspect your birdhouse for needed repairs. Be sure to check the roof for leaks!
Do this I hope we all get birds to nest in our birdhouses! 🙂
I sure hope some of you are feeding the birds this winter? Its very hard for the birds to find food this time of year, especially if the ground is covered in snow!