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 study bird 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.
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 […]
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 […]
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!
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.
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! […]
“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. […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
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. […]
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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: […]
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 […]
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 […]
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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 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) […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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’ […]
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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 […]
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 […]
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!
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 […]
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!
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” […]
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 […]
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 […]
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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 […]
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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 […]