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Saturday, 10 May 2014 15:06

Higher prices for sunflower seeds this year
Sunflower seed production in 2013 was down by 27% from the previous year, which means that sunflower seeds for bird feeding will be even more expensive this year. Sunflower seed prices have risen in recent years as more and more of them are being used to make sunflower oil for cooking.

Western drought denies birds artificial wetlands
California rice farmers flood their fields in the winter to help decompose the rice straw, and also create an artificial wetland for migrating waterfowl. This year, the drought has prevented the flooding, robbing the waterfowl and shorebirds of foraging grounds for food as well as protection from predators.

Birdbaths need to be cleaned regularly
A birdbath in the yard will attract a wider variety of birds than will a seed feeder. Not all birds eat seeds (robins, for example) but they all need water for drinking as well as for bathing. The birds will entertain you as they splash around in the water, but the birdbath needs to be cleaned on a regular basis, every 2-3 days. Mosquitoes will lay eggs in the standing water and the eggs will hatch and form larvae and eventually new mosquitoes. In addition, warm weather and sunlight will cause algae to grow in the bath, making it a less pleasant experience for the birds. A scrub brush will loosen any algae. Pour off the water, rinse with a hose and refill it and you are back in business.

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