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Q: When should I start and stop feeding wild birds?

Wild bird that are seed-eating get their food from a variety of sources throughout a day. The feed that people provide in an outdoor feeder is a easy source of food, but not necessary to help the species of birds that come to feeders. This means that starting or stopping your feeding at any particular time of year won’t have much of an impact on those birds. The only exception is if there is bad weather (particularly a bad snow/ice storm) and natural food is buried for a period of time. In that case, the wild bird seed you put out could be life-saving for some birds.

Q: Is peanut butter or uncooked rice harmful to wild birds?

Peanut butter is not harmful to birds. Some people dilute it with birdseed or cornmeal to reduce its stickiness, but that is not necessary. Uncooked rice is also not harmful. Uncooked grains are a staple for the diet of species of many birds, so throwing rice at weddings is not going to harm any birds.

Q: How do I attract specific wild birds to my feeder?

To attract a specific bird species, it is best to know their preferred food in the preferred type of feeder. A great resource for this information by species is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s guide. Search for a specific species and read the Backyard Tips overview where you can find exactly what each bird prefers, seasonal range maps, birdsong recordings, ID tips and more.

Q: What is the ideal temperature for my bird?

The ideal temperature for a domestic bird is between 65- 80° F. Birds cannot handle sudden drops or increases in temperature. It is important to gradually acclimate your bird over several months. A good common sense approach for inside birds would be if you are hot, your bird is too. Put on a fan that is not directly pointing at the bird. If you are cold and need a sweater, your bird is probably also cold. Turn on the heater.

Q: How do I disinfect the cages?
  • Papers should be changed daily. Newspapers are the best and can be pre-cut and slipped in the bottom.
  • Droppings on the grate should be cleaned with a mixture of 50% water and 50% vinegar.
  • Food and water dishes should be washed daily in hot soapy water. It is a good idea to have two sets of dishes and change them out daily. The dirty ones can go in the dish washer.
  • Cages should be washed every two weeks with soap and water. You should disinfect the cage by purchasing an avian disinfectant from your local pet store.
Q: In what family do ostriches belong?

Ostriches are of the ratite family which means flightless bird.

Q: How long do ostriches live?

An ostrich will live to be 50-75 years old.

Q: How long does it take for an ostrich egg to hatch?

Ostrich eggs take about 42 days to hatch.

Q: How fast can ostriches run?

An ostrich can run up to 40 MPH.

Q: How do you tell a male from a female ostrich?

Male ostriches (roosters) are black with white wing tips and tail plumes. Females (hens) are light brown with grey plumage. Hens are smaller than roosters. When in season, the hens turn a silvery grey and the males will have red beaks, shins and neck.

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