Anybody who loves to watch birds should have at least one bird feeder in the yard. A bird feeder ensures that birds will flock to your yard throughout the warm summer months. However, bird seeds can be quite a nuisance. Like all other seeds, they will germinate and grow if they fall to the ground. To easily prevent this, sterilize the seeds. The most efficient way is to bake them at a low temperature. With this method, the quality of the seeds remains the same, but there is no risk of them sprouting into unwanted weeds.
Set the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. A low baking temperature is best as it reduces the chance of burning the seeds.
Cover the bottom of a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put the bird seed on the baking sheet in an even layer.
Bake the bird seed for 30 minutes. Remove the seeds from the oven and let them cool before you put them in the bird feeder.
Clean under the bird feeder at least once a day. Birds often knock seeds from the feeder onto the ground or discard seeds that don't interest them. To prevent the seeds from sprouting, rake or sweep them up and discard them. The more often you clean up after the birds, the lower the chances that any seeds produce sprouts.
Notice which seeds you most commonly see on the ground. It may be that the birds that frequent your feeder aren’t interested in a certain seed, so you should simply stop offering it to them.
Sterilize your bird seed to prevent it from being able to grow. Place a gallon of bird seed in a paper bag and put the bag in a microwave. Cook on high for five minutes. You could also pour the seeds onto a baking sheet and cook the seeds in the oven for 30 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat sterilizes the seeds, preventing them from sprouting.
Robins do not like to eat from bird feeders during much of the year. This is because they prefer to eat insects, and there is an abundance of these creatures available during the spring, summer and fall.
Robins that do not migrate south for the winter need to be fed at a bird feeder. Give them meal worms, which you can purchase from a pet store. You can also feed them berries and other soft fruit such as apples or cherries.
Robins generally do not eat birdseed. They may occasionally eat the seeds of some grasses or shrubs if there is no other source of food available.
Robins need to have fresh water not only to drink, but to bathe in as well. Place your bird feeder near a heated birdbath if possible. You can also add a small trough of water to a feeding platform in order to attract these creatures.
Melt ½ pound of beef duet in a saucepan or the microwave. Heat just until melted but not bubbling.
Mix in 1 cup of creamy style peanut butter and 2 cups of cornmeal. Stir until a stiff dough forms then place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Cut a 12-inch length from sturdy wire or cord. Make a 1-inch loop on one end of the wire or tie a large double knot on the end of the cord.
Take 2 handfuls of the suet mixture and form into a ball around the loop or knot. Form it so the loop is in the center of the ball.
Pour the bird seed mixture into a shallow pan. Roll the ball in the seed until it is completely coated.
Create a hook on one end of the wire to hang from a tree branch. Or, tie the other end of the cord around the branch.
Fill a paper grocery bag with one gallon of bird seed.
Fold-over the top of the paper grocery bag to close it.
Microwave the bird seed in the paper grocery bag on high power for two to five minutes to stop the seed from germinating.
Alternatively, bake the bird seed for 30 minutes in a single layer on a baking sheet at 300 degrees Fahrenheit to stop the bird seed from germinating.
Two-Piece Bird Bath
Pull the plug on the bird bath---if it is so equipped---to drain it, or carefully tip the basin to allow it to drain. Dip the water out with a small container if the basin is too heavy to tilt when filled.
Turn the concrete basin over and place it, upside-down, on top of the bird bath pedestal. This will prevent it from filling with water and freezing during the winter.
Leave the basin inverted on the pedestal until all dangers of freezing weather are over for the season.
One-Piece Bird Bath
Drain the bird bath basin by pulling the plug or dipping out the water with a small container.
Fill the basin with burlap bags or blankets to protect it from condensation that may form during the winter season.
Cover the entire basin with a large piece of heavy-duty plastic. Gather the extra plastic around the base and secure it with twine.
Dig up 9 inches of earth in a 5-by-5 area.
Spray water lightly over the area with a misting nozzle.
Shake two handfuls of bird seed over the area, scattering widely.
Water the area with the mister again, until the area is soaked and the seeds are sunken into the dirt.
Shake the 5-lb. bag of potting soil over the top of the seeds.
Water the area with the garden mister twice a week.
Choose food coloring that is made from vegetables rather than chemicals. Vegetable food coloring does not carry the risk of harming the birds in case they digest it.
Fill a large bowl with food coloring and add a few drops of vinegar.
Completely submerge the bird toys in the food coloring.
Leave them in the bowl overnight to allow the food coloring to dye the bird toys effectively.
Hang the bird toys to dry before using.