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A scarlet tanager takes advantage of a suet feeder. These birds are a rare sight in Red Wing backyards. The red male and greenish yellow female spend most of their time high among the wide leaves of deciduous trees in the northeastern forest canopy, according to the Cornelle Lab of Ornithology. (Photo by Bruce Ause)

Clean feeders, healthy birds

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Birds sing for their supper in many a neighborhood. People put out feeders to attract song birds that provide visual enjoyment and eat some bugs, too.

Those feeders, however, pose a health risk because moldy birdseed and dirty feeders can make birds sick.

"Generally speaking, the warmer the weather, the more frequent the cleaning should take place," Red Wing naturalist Bruce Ause said.

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Anne Jacobson
Anne Jacobson has been editor of the Republican Eagle since December 2003. 
(651) 301-7870
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