A friend of mine gave me a call to ask me a question about birds. This friend lives about a mile from me. She has only one feeder in her backyard, she loves birds and has been feeding them for years.
She told me the following:
“What’s going on? I found 7 Northern Cardinals laying dead near the feeder! I’ve been feeding them the same brand of feed for long time and never had any problems before.”
I was kind of taken by surprise because I’ve been feeding my birds for 8 years and I haven’t had any casualties that I can tell about.
First, I reassured her that all my birds were looking healthy and were in fact very active with building larger families.
Second, I asked her a series of questions
- Have you change in any way the mode of feeding?
- Do the seeds look the same as always?
- What about their water? Does it have any rare color?
- Have you sprayed any insecticides closed to the feeder?
She said that everything looked normal…
I set a plan to follow:
- Throw away the leftover seeds and wash thoroughly the feeder.
- Buy a new brand of seeds, different type from the previous and refill the feeder.
- Ask other neighbors if they had seen any dead birds in their backyards.
- Observe daily of any changes of color, type or any foreign matter mixed with the seeds.
- If anything rare raises a flag, bag it and call the Animal Protection Dept. and explain that someone has tainted the bird feed.
She’s going to do what I suggested and will call me if there is anything new.
My backyard is more frequented by birds and they seem to be always hungry. My stock of seeds is being finished in less days that usual. I fill the feeders 2 times or sometimes 3 times a day. Depends of how many birds are there trying to feed. If they finish the food in a short time They make me feel bad by perching all around the deck and staring at my windows!… No kidding!