Sometimes, some things or certainties of life never really cross our minds.  For example, I just learned that you can actually lift some electric stovetops to clean the inside and around the sides of the oven burners. Who knew?! There are other household and garden items that should be cleaned often including bird feeders.

So why is it so important to clean your bird feeders?  Why can't Mother Nature take care of this chore?  Simply put, birds can carry infectious diseases once they get sick. Birds primarily catch diseases because of dirty bird feeders. If birds become ill, then humans may also be at risk of contracting the same disease.  It's similar to getting any other contagious disease, and nobody wants that...

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All About Birds website explains, "Bird droppings and other contaminants may also spread infectious bird diseases....Clean the ground below your feeders to prevent a build-up of hulls, uneaten seeds, and other waste. Moldy or spoiled food is unhealthy both for birds and for your outside pets."  Yep...pets can even be affected by dirty bird feeders.

In a previous story, there have been numerous reports of an Avian Influenza outbreak in the Midwest. One of those states include South Dakota. Another story previously explains, "Since February, the H5N1 virus has been detected in commercial and backyard flocks in at least 17 states, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, making it the worst bird flu outbreak since 2015, when nearly 50 million birds were slaughtered or died."

The Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls has even taken precautions to protect its birds from this nasty blue flu. You can click here to read about the safety measures the Great Plains Zoo is implementing to keep the animals safe.

In order to avoid an outbreak of dying birds like other Midwestern states, let's properly maintain our bird feeders. Putting forth this all-important extra effort will protect nature and keep wildlife healthy.


Best Hiking Trails Around Sioux Falls

There's nothing like spending a few hours outdoors enjoying all that Mother Nature has to offer. And what better place to explore but right in your own backyard?

The Sioux Falls area has some fantastic hiking trails. Thanks to Experience Sioux Falls and their hiking guide we can start exploring today.

What a great resource, Experience Sioux Falls is really on top of everything our city has to offer and that includes scenic outdoor fun.

You may think that all these places are part of a state park. Well, some are which require a State Park sticker to enter. And some you don't.

LOOK: 10 Reasons to Visit the South Dakota Badlands

Returning from a weekend trip to Rapid City, South Dakota for state basketball tournaments we decided to visit the Badlands National Park.

A quick turn-off I-90 will take you into some of the most awe-inspiring scenery.

It's also fun to note that several big-screen movies were filmed in the Badlands. Dances With Wolves, Starship Troopers, Armageddon, and most recently, Academy Award winner, Nomadland.

It's a spectacular park with tons to do. If you're setting out on a hike, bring lots of water and sign the hikers' logs at the trailheads. It could save your life. It's a tough place to survive.

Here are 10 facts about the Badlands:

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