how to clean up bird seed

Now that the snow has finally melted, I’ve noticed a large pile of sunflower shells under my feeder. Should l just leave them there to help nourish the soil or should I rake them up?

Upon the eventual melting of the snow, I’ve observed a substantial heap of sunflower shells beneath my bird feeder. Shall I rake them up or just leave them there to aid in nutrient-rich soil?

Does this imply that your grass will turn greener if you rake up the shells beneath your feeder? I doubt it. Birdfeeders and grass don’t really get along. It is inevitable that birds will drop some seeds, and the ground crew (towhees, sparrows, and doves) will dig up the grass to find them. The majority of feeders that I have ever seen have a brown patch underneath them. You should still rake beneath your feeder, though, and then get rid of the shells in the neighborhood dump or in the area designated for yard waste on your property. However, you will be raking up the shells for the benefit of the birds rather than your lawn. Old, wet shell piles will eventually start to mold, and birds shouldn’t eat mold. And you have something so disgusting that even a vegetarian wouldn’t eat it when you combine moldy shells with all of those bird droppings that have been falling on them throughout the winter. It could be a good idea to bring in your feeders and remove the bad seed while you are out raking up the shells. I usually fill a big bucket with hot, soapy water and let my feeders soak in it for about an hour to clean them. My wife has to be away from home for me to soak my feeders in the kitchen sink if I can’t find a bucket or am too lazy to look for one.

The snow is gone in my yard, too. My home space has suddenly increased by a thousand percent. It’s like discovering a lost continent. A rake that had been left out since last fall, a birdfeeder that had blown down sometime in January, a billion broken twigs and tree branches, and several shingles that had blown off my neighbor’s roof (I hope) were among the things I discovered when I went for a walk outside today. Like you, I also discovered a massive pile of sunflower shells on the ground. I’m usually the last person to recommend doing extra work, but raking up those shells will benefit the soil and the birds. Sunflower shells aren’t very nourishing. The only things that aren’t as nutritious are the shingles that, hopefully, came off my neighbor’s house.

And don’t forget about your birdhouses. Normally, I advise people to check their boxes in early March, but due to the extreme weather this past March, it was impossible and occasionally even dangerous to perform any type of outdoor work. Now that it’s safe to go outside, check your boxes to make sure they are still fastened to the tree or post and that the roofs haven’t blown off. (You would be devastated if the old birdhouse’s rusty nail finally gave way just as the young bluebirds were ready to hatch.) Additionally, now is a good time to empty out any outdated nests from your boxes. But because the season is ending so soon, you must ensure that any nests you find are actually quite old. What distinguishes a new nest from an old one? A new nest is typically cup-shaped and composed of dry, fresh material. The nests from the previous year are typically damp from months of rainy weather and flat (squashed down by the baby birds). However, my best advice is to do nothing if you’re unsure of what to do.

In conclusion, Carol, you really should rake up and dispose of the shells beneath your feeder. They won’t improve your lawn or help your garden grow. After you’re done raking, stop by my house and begin to mow my lawn. Even though I might not be home, you can count on the rake to be waiting for you. It’s been out there waiting for someone since last fall.

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FAQ

What is the best way to clean bird feeders?

To clean your feeder, take it apart and use a dishwasher on a hot setting or hand wash either with soap and boiling water or with a dilute bleach solution (no more than 1 part bleach to 9 parts water). Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry before refilling.

How do you remove bird seed hulls?

Go outside where there is a light breeze and pour the seed from one bowl to another. The empty hulls will drift away on the air and the heavier seed will fall into the bottom bowl. Just keep repeating it till the seed is clean.