By now, you’ve probably cleaned and sterilized your bird houses and feeders. The best time to clean bird houses is after the birds have fledged. If, like me, you’ve had a busy season, you may not have completed this task. Using gloves, take down the houses and feeders, and remove any nesting material or debris with a stiff brush. Put the houses/feeders in a container containing a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. A plastic bucket works well. Keep them in the solution for a few minutes. Then remove them, rinse well with clean water, let dry.

Bird flu can be deadly. Although it primarily affects commercial birds in confined situations, wild birds can also be affected, and it’s important not to expose yourself to any possible pathogen.

If you have some extra time, consider building a few bee houses ( or bat houses next season. The added benefit is that well-designed bat houses don’t need to be cleaned (although bee houses do, annually) (