The dirt, or rather the “poo” that comes with bird feeding.
I have to bring it up.
NObody wants to talk about it, but we have to face it: when
it comes to bathroom habits, birds do NOT follow the same hygiene
protocol as people.
In fact, I think we can all agree that when it comes to
personal and communal sanitation, wildlife conduct, in general, is abysmal. But
in this blog we’re only talking about Birds and specifically about their
indiscriminate depositing of their poo.
I apologize for using the word “poo”. It seems there is no universally acceptable term for this particular natural function and it’s almost guaranteed that any term I use will offend someone. After a lot of consideration and consultation, ‘Poo’ seems like the least intolerable of the choices (even though it sounds idiotic).
Back to the topic.
Believe it or not, there are people who studybird
feeder hygiene. For real. I met one.
And it turns out there’s a really good reason for that kind of study: unhygienic feeding conditions adversely affect bird health. To be more direct, dirty feeders become a Petri dish for disease that can infect the entire population of the feeding area. Just as with humans, good hygiene and good health go hand-in-hand for birds, but unfortunately their tiny bird brains don’t seem able to connect those dots. That’s why humans have to step in and offer some sanitation expertise, or in other words, we have to clean our bird feeders.
If you’re thinking “I didn’t know that,” you wouldn’t be the
only one. According to their study, the Hygiene Experts found that 20% of people
who describe themselves as “avid” birders don’t even clean their feeders; no
wonder the rest of us don’t know.
But as Oprah says, “when you know better, you DO
better.” And since now we do know better, we should all take steps to
keep feeding areas safe for the birds who, despite their poor understanding of civilized
sanitation, bring a lot of good into our lives.
There are many websites that will offer step-by-step
instructions for cleaning bird feeders and most of them are pretty similar.
However, every so often you’ll run across one that tells you to just put your
feeders in the dishwasher. My personal response to that suggestion is…EEEUWW!
WHOever thought that cleaning
poo in the same machine we clean our dishes seemed like a good idea?!
Okay, admittedly, I’m a mere layperson in this field. But the
Hygiene Experts ALSO agree. They say bird feeders should NEVER be put in
home dishwashers because residential machines are not designed to sanitize that
sort of ‘debris,’ aka, poo.
Thorough cleaning is important, though, and it involves some time and a few specific steps. You can follow these easy instructions in the video demonstration below that would require 20-30 minutes of your time every couple of weeks.
Or, you could use a Bird & Breakfast feeder which utilizes a TV dinner-style feeding system that offers fresh seed and a clean feeding surface with every refill, which means NO cleaning necessary.
Either option is a win for the birds at your feeder; however, one option is a win for you, too. If you’re still not convinced, visit Mr. Canary’s website to see how it makes bird feeding easy for everybody.
Author: Nathan Odell
Published: May 21, 2019
Mr. Canary Company Acquired By The Arc of Greater Boone County!
October 25th, 2023 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Company behind “Cool-ish” Bird Feeding Acquired by Their Production Partners. Bird Feeding Suddenly Even Cool-er. Carmel, Indiana – The Mr. Canary Company, a trailblazing private enterprise known for its unique business model and catchy tagline “the company that made bird feeding cool-ish,” is thrilled to announce its acquisition […]
Problem Solved! Kinda.
We’re dog-people around here. No surprise, I’ve mentioned before the relationship between people who feed birds and those who have dogs. Well, we fit the demographic. This video of my grandson, Luke, with his new puppy, Sunny, made me laugh and, ironically, got me thinking about decision making. It’s a challenge to discover the best […]
September 2020 Mr. Canary ‘Employee of the Month’
So you might have heard- COVID-19 has derailed a lot of things since spring. One of them was our “Employee of the Month” spotlight. In the early days of COVID, as we were all learning proper disease prevention protocols, we decided it was best to avoid unnecessary in-person contact- like these Employee of the Month […]
As a woman-owned business, it’s no surprise our company is a big supporter of women in all endeavors. It’s why we’re celebrating this cultural milestone. Today, in New York City’s Central Park, the FIRST EVER statue of real-life women was unveiled. Move over Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose, and Juliet Capulet – REAL women are […]
3 Tips for Reconnecting With Your Kids & With Nature This Fall
Now that the “back-to-school” madness happens in late summer, fall seems to offer more equilibrium to our lives in ways that go way beyond just temperature.
2020 has been filled with jarring transitions for you & your kids, but the change into fall doesn’t have to be jarring. In fact, it might be the perfect time to indulge in some ‘natural’ destressors! We have 3 tips to help you reconnect with your kiddos (and with nature) this fall!
Now Taking Pumpkin Spice Bird Seed Pre-Orders!
Maybe, the world needs the innocent, eye-roll-inducing smirk that would come from seeing “Pumpkin Spice Espresso Con Birdè” En-Trays come across Amazon.
2020: It Doesn’t Care WHAT You Think Comes Next.
This was in my Inbox a couple of days ago, I keep thinking about it. If this year had a tagline, I think it might be a variation of the idea, like, “2020: It Doesn’t Care WHAT You Think Comes Next.” It started well enough, a new year, a new decade, nothing but POTENTIAL! […]
ADA is 30!
“The Congress finds that physical or mental disabilities in no way diminish a person’s right to fully participate in all aspects of society…” Those are the first few words of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the signing of that legislation. Around here, it’s kind of a big deal. […]
Birds Do It
Midsummer. It’s when male American Goldfinch are at their most beautiful because, well, they’re dating. Take this guy. I think his demeanor is the Goldfinch equivalent of a dude hanging at the bar, remaining ever-cool, as he ‘prospects.’ In another month, of course, Mr. Debonair will be sprawled across the ‘La-Z-Bird’ and chasing down pre-game […]
Father of the Year
In 1965 I was in 4th grade. My teacher, Miss Troyer, announced an annual county-wide competition and encouraged us all to enter it by writing an essay on this topic: “Why My Father Should Be Chosen Father of the Year.” I was wildly enthusiastic about the idea because I had the perfect father to submit. […]
Worth the Effort
My cousin Gavin is like a little brother to me. He is twelve years my minor, so I have clear memories spanning from his first birthday to now, when he is on the cusp of earning his driver’s license. The time has gone fast, and we’ve both experienced a lot of change. For more than […]
Re-opening is causing a great deal of apprehension, from all life’s stakeholders. Businesses large and small have SO many things to consider in attempting to balance conscientiousness with courage. The logistics, alone, can make the whole process seem overwhelming. OR…it can propel us. A book I read recently put forward this simple mantra to consider […]
COVID Date Night
This image made me think of my husband, whom I adore. About a month into Covid Hibernation, I lost my mind. In a moment of clarity, I snapped out of my spandex-haze and noticed that the only difference between our daytime clothes and pajamas was that one wardrobe may have had slightly less elastic. Maybe. […]
Layers of Gratitude
The past couple of months have honestly felt like a couple of years. Between the pandemic outside of my home and the chaos inside of it, days have become pretty long. Add together the pent-up toddler, the teething infant, numerous loved ones who are “high-risk," 10 extra quarantine-pounds, and mounting cabin fever…
-it can quickly become A LOT.
Mom, Mom, MOMMM!
Time to celebrate her. Sunday, May 10th, 2020, is an ordinary Mother’s Day in an EXTRAordinary year. ‘Traditional’ is out the window, which means you might need an idea for a great gift. So… The Bird & Breakfast bird feeder is the perfect gift for a lot of reasons but here are three GREAT ones: […]
“Wake Up Time” HACK!
If there is such as thing as “time moving too quickly” in this era of quarantine, it would have to apply to SLEEP time. Especially for parents of young children! In the Pre-COVID days, my 3 year old started having trouble sleeping through the night. As her old routine went out the window, it was […]
World Autism Awareness Day
Every year on April 2nd, the world recognizes “World Autism Awareness Day!” Thanks to expanded research, understanding, diagnosis, and education of Autism Spectrum Disorder, many people are now aware of this condition and the way it effects people who have it. The organization ‘Autism Speaks’ has done more than perhaps any other group to educate […]
What IS This?
“Success” in the time of COVID-19 Look closely, you may have to enlarge the image. It’s a blue, battery-powered kids car stuck between two real cars. Sideways. In a garage. (with a 5 yr-old boy in a spikey bike helmet in the background). The Story: Pre-‘Lockdown,’ some families gathered in a neighborhood park. At a […]
The Cure for Kiddie Cabin Fever
I love the idea of winter as much as the next basic, skinny vanilla latte-loving, oversized sweater-wearing Midwest girl. However, just like my Pinterest attempts, the white winter of my dreams is often much more beautiful in my mind than it is in reality. When you throw kids in the wintry mix, things get […]
A few days ago, I received an email encouraging me to consider a rejuvenating retreat this winter, in Cancun, Mexico. During the Mid-west PermaCloud Season, January usually feels like TEN weeks, not four; so a retreat anywhere piqued my interest. But the lure of a few days on a beach with Drunk Yoga AND Astrology? […]
Squirrel Talk with Jan, Vol 1.
Squirrel Appreciation Day 2020 In my job I get a lot of questions about bird feeders, our company’s social mission and the occasional one about bird species or habitat (which, I’m not going to lie, I rarely know the answer to; so, heads up if you’re thinking of asking me, I’ll just be a disappointment) […]
Mr. Canary’s “Very Important Peeps” (VIPs) for January
So, we missed something in the holiday shuffle- assigning a December “Employee of the Month”! We had a scheduling issue, and before we knew it December came and went without a winner. We genuinely feel awful, so please accept our mea culpa! In an effort to make things right, we have not one, but TWO […]
An Experience to Remember
Let Mr. Canary help you create a lasting impression by feeding birds When I think of Christmas, fond memories flood through me. Some of my best memories of Christmas are times spent with family. I think of my dad playing for me, over and over again, Alvin and the Chipmunks, All I want […]
The Joy of Disrupting the Bird Feeding Industry with Humor and a Social Mission
Mr. Canary Gives Thanks to Those Who Believe Bird Feeding is More than just Feeding Birds As we close in on the Official Kickoff to The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, this week feels like the perfect time to share this hilariously inspiring video. The star of this video is my new hero, a […]
A Bird Feeder Favorite
The Cardinal, a Holiday Standout [Sigh] You know Winter is near when you can easily spot a cardinal on the leafless tree branches of November. Did you know it’s common for people to find symbolism in different bird species? At Mr. Canary, we see it as another one of the many benefits of […]
Mr. Canary’s Very Important Peep for November
Everyone at Mr. Canary® and MainStreet Enterprises at The Arc of Greater Boone County would like to congratulate Lizzy on her recognition as Mr. Canary’s Very Important Peep (VIP) for the month of November! We recently interviewed Lizzy to learn more about her tweet life, so be sure to check out the video of our […]
Mr. Canary’s Very Important Peep for September
Everyone at Mr. Canary® and MainStreet Enterprises at The Arc of Greater Boone County would like to congratulate Terry on being awarded with Mr. Canary’s Very Important Peep (VIP) for the month of September! Our Peeps are Instrumental to the Creation of our Bird Feeders Mr. Canary’s COO, Nathaniel, set out to learn all about […]
Love Birds: Nathaniel and Kelsey
On Wife Appreciation Day, Mr. Canary Emphasizes the Importance of Self-care Every third-Sunday of September is set aside for husbands to dote on their wives. Could this celebration be more ironic!? Because, just like every day married life in which we husbands forget to show our gratitude until those “pre-defined moments,” here again we have […]
Be the Change – Be the Bird
Mr. Canary Supports Self-Care “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” While certainly an inspirational thought, what does it really mean…what does it look like? Here at Mr. Canary, we just say “Be the Bird.” Now you’re thinking, “Swell, what does THAT mean?” Don’t worry, this isn’t an ethics discussion; it’s simply […]
Mr. Canary’s Very Important Peep for August
Everyone at Mr. Canary® and MainStreet Enterprises at The Arc of Greater Boone County would like to congratulate Jai on being awarded with Mr. Canary’s Very Important Peep (VIP) for the month of August! We recently interviewed Jai to learn more about what makes her life tweet, so be sure to check out the video […]
The Squirrel Wars: An Academic Investigation
Squirrels have become something of the “Anti-Bird” in the minds of many people with backyard bird feeders. And why not?! I mean HOW DARE those ravenous wild animals eat “BIRD seed”. It clearly states on the package “Bird Seed.” Many people are waging backyard wars against squirrels, seeking justice for those birds harmed by squirrels’ […]
Making a House a Home
A Millennial’s Perspective on Flying the Coup As a twenty-four-year-old, who just nested into my own house, I will say that it isn’t easy making a house into a home, especially on a budget. I’m sure I’m not the only person who thought that it can’t be that hard to make their house look like […]
Are Bird Feeders Making Birds Lazy?
Mr. Canary Sheds New Light on Bird Feeding I love days like today. You know the kind, you set out to do a specific task that you pre-suppose will turn out one way…and then it turns into something better. That’s how this blog post began. I started out to write about this […]
Mr. Canary Celebrates the Fourth of July by Donating to the Semper Fi Fund
Happy Bird Day America You may wonder how in the world I can link a bird feeder company to The 4th of July. Admittedly, on face value, it seems like a ploy. But, if there’s one thing Mr. Canary has an indisputable connection to, it’s the United States Marine Corps, and nothing is more connected […]
Did you know that those who live near lakes are more likely to feed birds?
Mr. Canary’s CEO and lake lover, Jan Long, shares her summer memories of birds at the lake Ah, Summer. The end of June, to me, is the epicenter of summer celebrations. We’ve passed the Unofficial First Day of Summer (Memorial Day), the Official First Day of Summer (Summer Solstice) and are lurching headlong into the […]
Bird & Wine Pairings: A Beginners Guide
Perfect Pairings When it comes to a warm summer evening on your backyard deck, if you’re like me, you want to know “Which wine goes best with watching birds at my feeder?” Well, Spoiler Alert: They ALL do. But because of my expertise in both areas I’m going to offer some suggestions…You’re welcome. You know, […]
Birds & Brides
What’s a Wedding Without Birds? You know, as months go, there are so many good things associated with June it’s hard to list them all. Some highlights: June opens summer, it kicks off outdoor concert series, it busts kids outta school and June gets a LOT of people married. I was a June bride, so […]
How to Keep Your Children Engaged with “Cheep” Entertainment
Parenting Hack, Courtesy of a Nerdy Dad I am a Millennial dad, and I can tell you that mealtimes with a little one can be a little squirrelly (pun fully-intended). My daughter Lily is almost 3 years old and as any toddler-parent will tell you, and as some of you surely remember, getting a child […]
On World Environment Day, Mr. Canary emphasizes the importance of sustainably-sourced and recyclable products
Mr. Canary’s Bird & Breakfast is “green”, but what does that really mean or why should you care? Today, Wednesday, June 5th is World Environment Day. Created in 1974, it’s the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. This year the theme is around air pollution. “We’ve got to […]
6 Reasons Why Bird Feeders Make a Great Mother’s Day Gift
Full disclosure, I’ve owned a bird feeding company for 24 years. I, also, had a mother, am a mother, and gave birth to a mother. Not to mention the other Mothers I’m variously related to, friends with, and fans of who have influenced and changed my life in miraculous ways. In other words, I know […]
Why Mr. Canary Isn’t Just for the Birds
In 1995 my sister, Chrissy, and I started a business. Well, truthfully that statement is taking a lot of ‘poetic license’ with the term business. We incorporated, for sure; but we had a long way to go to be able to call it a business. What happened was we inadvertently sold a whole bunch of […]
Steph’s Mom– A Mother’s Thank-You
Mr. Canary Company’s founder, Jan Long, shares a special “Thank You” she received from “Steph’s Mom” in this episode of In My Nature! Enjoy the video, and click here to learn more about Mr. Canary Company’s social mission!
Social Enterprise- We Were Doing It Before It Was Even a Thing!
In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), we are proudly debuting the second installation of our “In My Nature” Vlog. In this video, Jan Long explains how Mr. Canary stumbled into becoming a “social enterprise” long before that phrase was even a part of the lexicon. We would like to give a special shout-out to […]
“In My Nature” Vlog Debut!
Mr. Canary Company co-founder Jan Long shares her debut video of her “In My Nature” vlog-series in which she answers a long-standing controversy surrounding her company!
Don’t Stop Believing!
Great song title, right! There is something inspiring about belting out those lyrics which makes you feel like, “I’ve got this.” Hearing things like, “You can accomplish anything you set your mind to.” is great, but actually SEEING that kind of success inspires in a completely different way. Let me introduce nature’s “never say die” […]
Leaves are Dying, Birds are Flying
Fall is moving by FAST! We are losing that time when beautiful, multi-colored leaves cling to their branches, as we march closer and closer to bare trees and cold breezes. As you’ve been looking up at leaves falling, you might have noticed the huge clouds of birds gliding through the air. This time of year […]
Dishwashers Aren’t for Bird Feeders
Fact: Cleaning bird feeders is a pain in the tail-feathers. NOBODY enjoys cleaning up after their birds any more than they enjoy cleaning up after their dogs. I’m guessing that you have more pressing (and less disgusting) things to do with your time than clean up bird droppings. If you’re nodding your head “yes” right […]
Incoming Call: Birds to Your Feeder
Anyone who feeds birds knows that sometimes, your “regulars” leave town and your once-bustling birdfeeder sits vacant. This especially happens at finch feeders, designed to accommodate only the smallest songbirds. Goldfinches can be found in most places in the US year ‘round, but many migrate short distances. This means that YOUR finches may have flown […]
It’s the Bird FEEDER, Not the Birdfeeder
It isn’t about the birds. It’s a secret even avid bird lovers aren’t conscious of and it took me awhile to understand, too: birds don’t need us. Oh sure, if you walk down the aisle of any store that carries bird supplies you could easily believe that every birdfeeder and bag of seed is sold for the […]
The Early Bird?
We are all familiar with the phrase, “The early bird catches the worm.” While that’s often the case, frankly, the American Goldfinch couldn’t care less. For one, goldfinches are committed vegetarians. They’d much rather have Nyjer seed than overrated worms. Being too late to catch the worm (or not caring to) makes the goldfinch late […]
Urban Find: Making the Case for Backyard Birding
There’s nothing new under the sun right? Wrong. Kind of. All too often we fail to recognize what’s been in front of us all along. While we like to think birders are more observant than the average Joe, even birders were asleep at the binoculars in Cambodia. The Atlantic’s John Metcalfe brought the birding world […]
Finch, Finch, Cowbird?
I found an interesting fact on the Holden Arboretum’s (one of the nation’s leading arboretums and one of the Audubon Society’s Important Bird Areas) webpage about the American Goldfinch. We know that the American Goldfinch works hard for days, building its nest just-so with the best materials and instincts. You can’t just lay your eggs anywhere right? Unless […]
Top Ten Birdfeeding Tips
Use these ten simple steps to enhance your wild bird feeding experience. 1. Bird feeding is for people who love watching birds – Always place your bird feeders in places where you can readily and frequently see the birds you are feeding. 2. Start with the basics – Black-oil sunflower in a tubular feeder is […]
High-Tech Reordering Reminder
If we know anything about goldfinches, it’s that they have appetites! It’s sometimes hard to remember to check your bird feeders to ensure a constant supply for your feathered friends. Sometimes, when you finally realize that it’s empty you truly wonder how long it’s been that way. One day? A few days? A week? More?! […]
Do the Math! Repurposing Saves!
After the neighborhood birds had extracted every last seed of thistle possible from my bird feeder, I took it down. Instead of recycling it, I cleaned it up and set it on the counter as a piggy bank. In all honesty, a friend had gifted me a piggy bank for Christmas a couple of years […]
Mr. Canary® Repurposed Dog Food Container
We at the Mr. Canary® Company are invested in many different things. Like most birders, we care about nature and sustainability. We are even ‘pet-people’, dogs specifically. That’s why we want to share this idea with you! How can you take care of nature, our natural resources and your pet all at the same time? […]
Photobombing Sparks Birding-Bash in NM
For those who may not know, photobombing has become a favorite pastime. Simply put, it’s the action of sneaking into a photo that you’re not supposed to be in. This light-hearted activity is no longer confined to the ornery and attention-seeking among us. Birds are getting in on the act! The culprit at the heart […]