Spring Cleaning

Yes, Spring will eventually return to Crane Lake! The change of seasons has been pretty slow up until now, Winter refuses to loosen its icey grip.

In the next few days it is supposed to warm up and all that pesky snow at Crane Lake will be melting. That’s when many objects show up in the yard that have been buried under the snow all winter.

Redpolls mob feeder

Redpolls mob feeder

Now is a good time to take all those feeders and give them a good cleaning. You may have noticed some sick birds in your backyard under your birdfeeders. The sick birds have been a problem all over Minnesota this year with the big irruption of winter finches. Some Redpolls and Pine Siskins have been suffering from salmonella. It’s a naturally occuring disease that affects birds, and can also affect animals and people. Follow this link for more information. http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/March98/songbird_salmonella.hrs.html

The bacterial disease usually attacks the weak birds first and then it can spread through the bird population when they roost together. Using a 10% bleach solution to clean birdfeeders will kill the bacteria. Spray the solution or use a bucket to throughly clean feeders with the bleach solution. Rake the ground under feeders and dispose of the refuse. It seems easier to rake up the debris when the ground is frozen. I’ve been raking under the feeders recently as the temps have warmed up. It’s easiest when there is a layer of frozen snow where the seed hulls have fallen. They can be scraped off the packed snow quite easily. That doesn’t get all the seed and I have to rake and clean several times throughout the Spring as the snow melts. I  guess I go through quite a lot of seeds in a winter season. I don’t care to admit how much I spend on birdfood, but it is a lot!

It sure helps in the clean up process when the sun is out and spring is in the air! It’s almost kind of fun…and we might even hear a Robin singing!

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