Bird feeders, especially when heavily used, can be a source of disease transmission for birds. Contamination can occur easily from one bird to another by either coming in contact with one another at a feeder, or coming into contact with another’s bodily fluids left on a feeder. Also old, decomposing or moldy seeds can make birds sick and should be thrown out. Because of this it is important to clean and maintain your feeders on a regular basis.
How can this be done?
Clean your feeder outside, and with gloves use the cleaning brushes we have included with the purchase of your feeder.
Wash the feeder with dish soap, and scrub the feeder with the one of the three brush most appropriately sized to clean the holes, perches, inside and outside of the feeder. Afterwards rinse the feeder well with clean water.
Soak the feeder for 2 to 3 minutes in a bleach water solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water (1:9).
Again, rinse the feeder well with clean water.
Make sure the feeder is completely dry before refilling with seeds.
Clean the ground beneath the feeder with a broom, rake or vacuum. Make sure to remove any moldy seed.
Thoroughly wash your hands.
Repeat this process every two weeks, and every week if you see any ill birds at your feeder.
When choosing a location for your feeder, make sure to place it where squirrels and mice are unable to access it. They can also be a source of disease transmission.
If you see that birds are not emptying your feeder quickly consider reducing the amount of seed you place in the feeder and refill it only when it is empty.