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Clean feeders critical for drawing birds
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FORSYTH — You don't want to eat at restaurants that receive low health department ratings. Now apply that concept to birds visiting your backyard feeders. In summer's heat, birdfeeders can quickly become breeding grounds for bacteria and disease.
You can keep feeders clean, and your backyard "restaurant ratings" up, with these tips from the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division:
• Clean birdfeeders at least once a month with a nonabrasive glass cleaner or bleach.
• Be sure to rinse the feeders thoroughly after each cleaning to get rid of any cleanser residue, which can be harmful to birds. Also dry feeders before refilling them.
• Rotate birdfeeders to different sites to ensure minimal build-up of droppings below. Ground-feeding birds like cardinals and towhees, which feed from seeds around feeders, can contract diseases from fecal matter. Remove damp or moldy seeds.
• During summer, hummingbird feeder solution should be changed two to three times a week because the heat causes sugar solutions to become riddled with bacteria and mold, which can be transferred to hummingbirds.
Visit Wildlife Resources' Web site at and click "Conservation" for more information on Georgia's wildlife.
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