Blog / Feeding Tips
The Handle-it bag clip is the all-in-one solution for using and storing big bulky bags of lawn fertilizer, bird seed, pet food, and more. It’s simple to install, reduces spills and makes it so much easier to lift and carry big, bulky bags using the built-in handle! Make your outdoor and indoor chores less of a hassle with these benefits:
- Built-in handle makes lifting and carrying bags easier
- Built-in funnel and pour spout enable easy precision pouring to reduce mess
- Two-point latching system and screw cap ensure a tight closure
- All-in-one storage solution eliminates the need for additional storage bins
- Fits bags up to 16" wide
- Holds up to 40 pounds
- Dimensions: 5" H x 15.25" W x 3.5" D
For those with a seemingly endless to-do list, here are a few ways that Handle-it can help save you time and energy while keeping you organized.
From house plants and patio containers to vegetable gardens and landscapes, the Handle-it bag clip can help you transport heavy bags of soil amendments and plant food to different areas of your house and yard with ease. You don’t need to worry about the bags spilling on the way with the two-point latching system and screw cap. Since Handle-it lets you store the contents right inside the bag, you can keep your garage or shed clean and organized.
Handle-it can help you with:
- Soil amendments
- Plant fertilizer
Yardwork can be hard work but using the Handle-it bag clip can help you easily move around the yard with heavy bags of lawn care products. Lifting bags of fertilizer and grass seed to pour into a spreader takes less effort with the help of a bag clip. Plus, you don’t have to worry about missing the mark and making a mess since the built-in funnel and pour spout let you pour with precision. And at the end of long day of outdoor chores, the Handle-it bag clip lets you confidently seal and store your bags of lawn maintenance products without worry of them spilling or spoiling.
Handle-it can help you with:
- Grass seed
- Ice melt
Keeping your furry, finned, or equine friends fed is a daily task that can become difficult if you buy pet food or litter in bulk. Large bags of food or litter can be tough to lift and challenging to pour, but the Handle-it bag clip can make it easier with the durable built-in handle, funnel and pour spout. Keep your pet food fresher longer by keeping it tightly sealed right in the bag, eliminating the need for extra storage bins and avoiding the extra time transferring food from the bag to the bin. The Handle-it bag clip has a two-point latching system and screw cap that ensures a tight closure with no risk of spilling.
Handle-it can help you with:
- Dog kibble
- Cat chow
- Clumping cat litter
- Litter pellets
- Horse feed
- Fish food
- Bird seed
The Handle-it bag clip was designed with backyard birders in mind to help you carry, pour and store large bags of bird seed. When you use Handle-it, you can transport bulky seed and feed bags to multiple bird feeders in just one trip. With the built-in funnel and pour spout, you pour out the exact amount you need in the precise direction you want it, getting more seed in the bird feeder and less on the ground. The seed can be stored inside the bag with the secure latching system and screw cap so you don’t have to worry about it going bad or making a mess.
Handle-it can help you with:
- Bird seed
More ways to use Handle-it
The uses for Handle-it are seemingly endless! There are surely more solutions that aren’t listed here, but here are a few additional ways the Handle-it bag clip can help you with your chores and hobbies:
- Wood smoker pellets
- Bath salts
- Deer corn
- Crafting supplies like beads, sand, and soy wax pellets
Learn more about how to use and install the Handle-it bag clip.
You found the perfect bird feeder. You picked a great spot in your yard. You filled it with seed. And now you wait patiently (or impatiently) for your first visitor! But what if you’re not getting many – or any – birds at your new feeder?
First things first – why aren’t the birds coming to my feeder? There are many factors that could be causing a bird to choose a different source of food. One thing to keep in mind is that birds are creatures of habit. They may be hesitant to try out a new feeder, especially if you have been offering seed in other feeders – a tried and true food source. It may also take some time for the birds to get used to a new landing pattern or learn the mechanics of getting out the seed.
Here are some tips and tricks to try to attract birds to a new bird feeder!
Choose the right location
If you already own and are having success with other bird feeders, try placing the new feeder near the existing feeders. Place your feeder roughly 10 feet from a natural shelter such as trees or shrubs to offer a resting place for birds between feedings and quick refuge from any predators. Be careful not to put feeders much closer than 10 feet from trees or shrubs since it can increase the likelihood of squirrels. Remember, feeders should be hung or mounted closer than 3 feet from a window or farther than 15 feet from a window to help prevent fatal window collisions.
Try a new seed type
Offer a universally popular type of seed in your feeder, even if the feeder will eventually be filled with a different type of seed. Try using black oil sunflower seed or a blend with a high concentration of black oil sunflower seeds as this feed attracts the widest variety of birds and is the healthiest option for them. Be aware that certain seed types, like thistle/Nyger, can spoil quickly. It’s important to regularly inspect and change out seed to keep it fresh. Once the birds are accustomed to using the new feeder you can gradually mix in a different type of seed to attract new birds. Here is a list of seed types that attract specific types of birds.
Take down other feeders
Birds may prefer to feed from dependable food sources like existing feeders. If you have other bird feeders in your yard, try temporarily taking them down until the birds find and use the new feeder. Once they are regularly using the new feeder, existing feeders can go back up.
Keep it clean
Even if your feeder hasn’t had many visitors yet, changes in weather or heat can cause dirt or bacteria to form on a new feeder after a few weeks. Feeders should be cleaned at least once a month. Clean bird feeders and feeding areas will attract more birds and keep all backyard birds healthier for you to enjoy!
Timing is key
There is no “wrong” time to put up a new feeder, but there are a few factors that may cause the birds a delay in using a new feeder at certain times throughout the year.
- Nesting: When nesting and caring for their hatchlings, many birds focus on eating other food sources, like insects, for additional nutrition and protein. Feeders can naturally experience a lull in visitors at these times.
- Dietary requirements: Almost all birds have different dietary needs depending on the time of year due to their breeding, nesting and migration patterns, so they may move to or away from feeders seasonally.
- Food availability: There are typically fewer birds frequenting feeders during the late summer and early fall months. This is because there are usually lots of alternative natural food sources available. Birds eat insects, spiders, seeds, nuts, berries, fruit, worms, and more. When these are easy to find and abundant, most birds prefer them.
It may take several weeks before the birds find and begin feeding regularly from a new feeder. Before making any changes, try waiting at least two weeks to give the birds enough time to discover your feeder. As you try new locations, seed types or other changes, be sure to give the birds enough time in between to acclimate to the new modifications.
It can require some patience as the birds adjust to using a new feeder, but with persistence and perseverance it will be worth the wait when you start to receive regular visitors at your feeder!
As the days grow longer and the temperatures start to rise, you should begin seeing more and more signs that Spring has arrived - and with it, the hummingbirds! You may live in an area where you find yourself lucky enough to host hummingbirds year-round, but for the rest of us, we reluctantly say goodbye to these little beauties each fall and impatiently await their return in the spring. If you're like us, you find yourself checking the hummingbird migration map daily for sightings in your area. As we watch those little hummingbird icons inch ever closer, below are some quick hummingbird feeder tips to make sure you're ready.
The tried and true formula for hummingbird food is simple: about one part white granulated sugar to four parts water. This 20% sugar concentration best mirrors the sugar concentration naturally found in flowers preferred by hummingbirds. Also, the natural sugars found in flower nectar are primarily sucrose, like that of white granulated sugar.
Boil the water for approximately 2 minutes, add the sugar, and stir to dissolve thoroughly. Cover and allow to cool before using or pouring into a clean storage bottle. A large batch of nectar can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. This makes refilling the feeder easy so you won't mind doing it every few days.
- We do NOT recommend adding red food dye or any artificial coloring to the nectar.
- Make sure to thoroughly clean your feeders before the first use of the season and before each subsequent refill (see below for more on cleaning).
- We only recommend using regular white granulated sugar in nectar preparation.
- Do NOT use honey. Honey is comprised primarily of fructose and glucose and therefore hummingbirds digest this much less efficiently. Also, fermentation and mold growth occurs much more rapidly in nectar solutions using honey than those from granulated sugar.
- Do NOT use artificial sweeteners! Remember, these sweeteners contain no calories, which means they provide no energy to the hummingbirds.
- Higher concentrations of nectar can be used. In fact, offering nectar with higher sugar concentrations early in the season and again in the late summer can help hummingbirds recover from and prepare for migration. (Don't go too overboard though! Studies show that hummingbird nectar concentration preference caps off at about 50% or 2 parts water to 1 part sugar.)
Cleaning Your Hummingbird Feeder
In order to be a responsible host, you must keep your feeder clean and full of fresh nectar. Every four or five days take down your feeder and discard any unconsumed sugar water. Be aware, in periods of extreme heat (or if you hang your feeder in direct sunlight) the nectar may need to be changed more frequently as the fermentation process can happen quicker. If you notice that the nectar is turning milky, or that white strings or black spots are growing in it, pour the nectar out and clean your feeder immediately.
Take apart your feeder and flush with hot tap water – a little vinegar can be added to the water to help prevent mold from becoming established. Visually inspect the feeder for black mold. If mold is present, place all parts in dishwasher for a thorough cleaning for a glass feeder. For a thorough cleaning on plastic feeders, use a pipe cleaner or small brush when washing the feeder parts by hand with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts hot water, or with a mild solution of unscented dish detergent and warm water. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with water and let dry completely before refilling.
This is where selecting your hummingbird feeders carefully becomes important! Always look for a hummingbird feeder with removable parts to make a thorough cleaning more feasible. Check out our selection of Easy Fill & Clean™ Nectar Feeders here!
Keeping Your Hummingbird Feeder Full
The need to change the nectar depends on the temperatures, where the feeder is hung, and number and frequency of hummingbirds feeding at your feeder. If the birds are not emptying your feeder between cleanings, it's unnecessary and wasteful to fill it completely. Fill only with the amount of nectar they will consume in a few days. Remember, hummingbirds to not use their beaks as straws for drinking nectar. Rather, they stick their beaks into the feeding port and then extend their tongue into the nectar. A hummingbird's tongue is quite long and has a very different structure than you might think, allowing them to reach rather deep for a drink. Depending on the species of hummingbird (and the individual bird) they will be able to reach pretty far down in a feeder to drink the nectar.
Over time you will get a feel for how much nectar to put in the feeder.
Happy Hummingbird Viewing!
Feel free to share your hummingbird stories with us in the comment section below - or find us on social media!