Back in 1994, February was proclaimed as National Bird-Feeding Month and admitted into the Congressional Record. This celebratory month was created to educate the public on the hobbies of both “wild bird feeding” and “bird watching”. The month is an ideal time for promoting and enjoying wild birds as most are migrating back home for the spring and summer. Rare. Migratory birds may also be observed during this month. Building or installing a few bird feeders is a perfect way to see these beautiful birds of flight as they pop in to refuel for their final migratory destination.
Workman’s Friend would like to offer you a few tips to insure your feeders are ready-to-go, as well as safe, for your arriving visitors. Let’s get ready to prep your yard, place out some feeders, and celebrate this month by welcoming in birds after some very long flights. Be sure and have a few products from Workman’s Friend to use before and after your outdoor activities.
Apply a coating of Workman’s Friend Barrier Skin Cream to your exposed skin before you begin work outdoors. The barrier protection will shield off skin irritants such as plant oils. Instead of itching after working outside, your skin will feel healthy and very happy!
CLEAN UP THE YARD AND TRIM THOSE HEDGES
The last thing you want to do is to give predators a good hiding place. This is a great chance as well to get a jump on your neighbors and have the best-looking lawn before everyone else. Some trees and bushes, like crape myrtle trees and rose bushes, need pruning in February. This is a perfect time to trim these back as well to improve their blooming later in the spring. A clean yard is an attractive and safe yard for birds.
LOCATE BIRD FEEDERS AT DIFFERENT LEVELS
Sparrows, juncos, and towhees usually feed on the ground. You will want to incorporate an area for table-like feeders for ground-feeding birds. Finches and cardinals feed in shrubs, and chickadees, titmice, and woodpeckers feed in trees. To avoid crowding and to attract the greatest variety of species, provide hopper or tube feeders for shrub and treetop feeders, and suet feeders well off the ground for woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees.
OFFER A VARIETY OF SEEDS
Use separate feeders to offer diverse mix of seeds to attract the greatest variety of birds. To avoid waste, offer different seeds in different feeders. Black oil sunflower seed appeals to the greatest number of birds. Offer sunflower seeds, thistle seeds, and peanuts in separate feeders. When using blends, choose mixtures containing sunflower seeds, millet, and cracked corn as these are the three most popular types of birdseed. Birds that are sunflower specialists will readily eat the sunflower seed and toss the millet and corn to the ground, to be eaten by ground-feeding birds such as sparrows and juncos. Mixtures of peanuts, nuts, and dried fruit attract woodpeckers, nuthatches, and titmice. A relatively few species prefer milo, wheat, and oats, which are featured in less expensive blends.
DURING COLD WEATHER, OFFER SUET
Suet is beef fat and it attracts insect-eating birds such as woodpeckers, wrens, chickadees, nuthatches, and titmice. Place the suet in special feeders or net onion bags at least five feet from the ground to keep it out of the reach of dogs. Do not put out suet during hot weather as it can turn rancid; also, dripping fat can damage natural waterproofing on bird feathers. You can find these special feeders at your local agricultural feed store.
MIX PEANUT BUTTER AND CORN MEAL
Peanut butter is a good substitute for suet in the summer. Mix one-part peanut butter with five parts corn meal and stuff the mixture into holes drilled in a hanging log or into the crevices of a large pinecone. This all-season mixture attracts woodpeckers, chickadees, titmice, and occasionally warblers.
PROVIDE FRUIT FOR BERRY-EATING BIRDS
Fruit specialists such as robins, waxwings, bluebirds, and mockingbirds rarely eat birdseed. To attract these birds, soak raisins and currants in water overnight, then place them on a table feeder, or purchase blends with a dried fruit mixture. To attract orioles and tanagers, skewer halved oranges onto a spike near other feeders, or supply nectar feeders.
PROVIDE NECTAR FOR HUMMINGBIRDS
Make a sugar solution of one-part white sugar to four parts water. Boil briefly to sterilize and dissolve sugar crystals; no need to add red food coloring. Feeders must be washed every few days with very hot water and kept scrupulously clean to prevent the growth of mold.
STORE SEED IN SECURE METAL CONTAINERS
Store seed in metal garbage cans with secure lids to protect it from squirrels and mice. Keep the cans in a cool, dry location; avoid storing in the heat. Damp seeds may grow mold that can be fatal to birds. Overheating can destroy the nutrition and taste of sunflower seeds. For these reasons, it’s best not to keep seed from one winter to the next.
DISCOURAGE SQUIRRELS FROM CONSUMING FEEDER FOODS
Squirrels are best excluded by placing feeders on a pole in an open area. Pole-mounted feeders should be about five feet off the ground and protected by a cone-shaped baffle (at least 17 inches diameter) or similar obstacle below the feeder. Locate pole-mounted feeders at least 10 feet from the nearest shrub, tree, or other tall structure. Squirrel feeders stocked with blends that are especially attractive to squirrels and chipmunks can reduce competition for high-priced foods offered at bird feeders. Place squirrel feeders far from bird feeders to further reduce competition.
CLEAN FEEDERS AND RAKE UP SPILLED GRAIN AND HULLS
Uneaten seed can become soggy and grow deadly mold. Empty and clean feeders twice a year (spring and fall), or more often if feeders are used during humid summers. Using a long-handled bottlebrush, scrub with dish detergent and rinse with a powerful hose; then soak in a bucket of 10 percent non-chlorine bleach solution, rinse well, and dry in the sun. In early spring, rake up spilled grain and sunflower hulls.
RESTORE THE HEALTH OF YOUR HANDS, LEAVING THEM FEELING AS GENTLE AS A BIRD! Workman’s Friend offers a Super Line-Up of skin care products for active, hard-working hands.
Before you go outdoors and work in your yard, coat your hands with Workman’s Friend Barrier Skin Cream to protect your skin from harmful skin irritants like poison ivy. The barrier protection will also make clean-up quick and easy so you can get right back inside to enjoy some birdwatching from your window and the comfort of your easy chair. Workman’s Friend Barrier Skin Cream holds in your body’s natural moisture as it shields dirt, grime, plant oils and any chemicals you may come into contact with. Workman’s Friend Barrier Skin Cream will keep your hands hydrate. Over time, daily use will heal your hands, making them look younger and healthier.
Maintaining healthy skin after a day’s hard-working activities using Workman’s Friend Healing Hand Cream should be a daily regimen. An application in the morning and again before bedtime will help your skin survive unscathed. Workman’s Friend Healing Hand Cream will moisturize and heal your damaged skin. When used over time, your skin will return to its healthy appearance.
Sometimes you just need a soap with a little extra elbow grease, right? Try Workman’s Friend Hand Cleaner with Activated Charcoal to get rid of that grease or grime. The activated charcoal cleans deep into your skin, detoxing away the bad elements that hard-working hands pick up on an active day.
Try all of our products. We offer a 3-Pack Workman’s Friend Skin Care Bundle. You will receive a 3.38 oz. tube of Workman’s Friend Barrier Skin Cream, a 2.5 oz. jar of Workman’s Friend Healing Hand Cream, and an 8 oz. bottle of our Workman’s Friend Hand Cleaner with Activated Charcoal.