By Peter Stangel, Backyard Birding, Volume 1, published by BowTie Magazines, publisher of BIRD TALK Magazine and BirdChannel.com
Cleaning bird feeders regularly reduces the chance of diseases spreading.
Wild bird feeding is enjoyed by millions of people in North America. It’s a great way to introduce newcomers to the pleasures of birding, and it provides superb opportunities to watch wild birds up close and learn about their lives. Bird feeding also may benefit wild birds in terms of providing sustenance during periods of stress.
In return for the pleasure of their company, it’s our obligation to keep wild birds’ feeding places clean. Cleaning bird feeders and feeding areas, as well as changing bird food regularly, can help reduce the possibility of disease transmission.
The first step is to buy a wild bird feeder that is easy to clean. Many manufacturers now highlight special features on bird feeders that make cleaning a breeze. Be sure that you can quickly disassemble a bird feeder to clean away bird seed residue.
Many plastic wild bird feeders can be put right into the dishwasher for easy care. Wood bird feeders can be more challenging, so be sure that the style you purchase has easy access for cleaning.
Cleaning wild bird feeders twice a month is good practice, as is raking the ground under the feeders to remove bird seed hulls and bird droppings.