If you've turned your backyard into a welcoming spot for birds with a bird feeder or birdbath, make sure you clean it each week. Doing so keeps the birds happy and healthy, reduces the spread of disease and keeps insects and other pests from finding a place to brood.
Image from Paul Lucas.
Once you empty your feeder of leftover seeds or nectar, soak it in diluted bleach solution for a few minutes. Scrub and thoroughly rinse the feeder and give it time to dry thoroughly before you put it back up. Make sure you also clean up any spilled seeds, shells and bird droppings from the ground around your feeder. If left unchecked, these can spread germs and attract vermin.
If you have a birdbath, you should clean that every week as well. You'll make sure the water doesn't get stagnant and dirty, so it won't contribute to the spread of disease or give insects a place to set up shop. Spending just a few minutes each week cleaning your feeder and bath ensures that feathered visitors to your yard will be healthy and happy.