Ask Zach?

Here your chance to ask our Wildlife Specialist anything you want to know.
Zach Stienhauser

“My goal is to instill the idea of community-based conservation by providing the education and resources to effectively cohabitate with wildlife. It’s more than birds…it’s being here to answer questions; it’s about helping our customers combine their love of plants while supporting local ecology. I like to say …Wingard’s is going greener!” Zach Steinhauser

Backyard Birding and Wildlife FAQ’s

Backyard bird watching and wildlife enjoyment is the fastest growing hobby in America! Whether you are just getting started or an experienced watcher you are bound to have questions and we are here to help.

  • How often should I clean my bird feeder?
    • It is best to clean your feeder about once every 2 weeks. A dirty feeder can cause disease for birds and can potentially kill them. To clean your feeder you can wash it with soap and water or throw it in your dishwasher.
  • I just put a feeder out, but birds are not eating from it. Where are they?
    • It is normal for birds to not immediately start using on a newly installed feeder. It can take a few days to a couple of weeks for the birds to find it. Be patient. Birds are more attracted to water than they are to food so to potentially speed up the process, install a birdbath close by.
  • Are birds affected by the “Spicy,” pepper-flavored birdseed?
    • No, birds do not have taste-buds therefore they can eat all the spicy food they’d like.
  • How do I keep Raccoons and Squirrels out of my feeders?
    • You can install Baffles around the pole your feeder is on. If they continue to get into your feeders, implement our “Spicy” birdseed products in your feeders to give the critters a bad taste in their mouths.
  • My Cat keeps scaring the birds off of my feeder. How can I make that stop?
    • You can prevent your cat from scaring birds off of your feeder by:
      • Placing your feeder in the open, away from shrubs or low-hanging limbs. Birds will be able to see your cat coming.
      • Fencing off or encaging your feeder. This will create a barrier between your feeder and your cat stopping or slowing it down from getting to the birds.
      • Spraying a scent deterrent around the area where your bird feeder. This will cause your cat to find that area unattractive and won’t venture towards your bird feeder.
  • What do I do to keep ants off my Hummingbird feeder?
    • We do sell Nectar Protectors here at Wings & Things. They prevent ants that climb up polls and onto feeders
  • I see a Praying Mantis on my Hummingbird feeder. Why is it there?
    • Praying Mantises have been known to hunt Hummingbirds. If you have one on your feeder it is probably there to catch a bite. You can easily move the insect off of your feeder and back to your garden.
  • How often do I need to clean my Nest Box out?
    • After every time a bird family is done using it. Clean out all the debris and wash the box out using a diluted bleach mixture and make sure to rinse it out with water.
  • Where should I place my Nest Box?
    • That depends on the species of bird. For more information, make sure to visit Cornell’s NestWatch guide to birdhouses.
  • It looks like something has chewed around the hole of my Nest Box. What’s going on?
    • It’s probable that Gray Squirrels or Flying Squirrels have made their home in you Nest Box. To deter them, purchasing a portal protector that goes around the entry hole of the Nest Box and prevents animals from widening the hole.
  • I see an animal in my yard that I think is hurt. What should I do?
    • Leave the animal where it is. Call your local wildlife center or Department of Natural Resources for further instruction.

Carolina Wildlife Center


Proud to be a Conservation Partner for Carolina Wildlife Center.