Responsible Bird Feeding
If you enjoy feeding and watching your backyard birds, then you probably want to do as much as you can to practice your hobby safely and ensure the birds’ overall health and well-being. While the incidence of birds falling ill from feeders is small compared to other natural hazards birds face, there are things you can do to help your birds stay healthy.
- Provide seed from a bird feeder rather than scattering it on the ground.
- Keep areas clean under and around your feeders.
- Keep fresh seed in the feeder and be sure it doesn’t get moldy.
- Clean and sanitize your bird feeders and bird baths regularly with a 10% bleach solution (one part bleach and nine parts water). Rinse thoroughly and allow to completely dry before refilling feeders.
- If feeder birds are exhibiting disease symptoms, then temporarily remove all feeders so local birds can disperse and utilize natural food sources.
Other actions you may take to ensure the safety of your back yard birds include:
- Regularly rake up and discard seed debris and bird droppings from the ground below and around feeders.
- Give the birds more space. If using multiple feeders, place the feeders farther apart from one another. This will reduce crowding, lower stress and lessen the potential for disease transmission between sick and healthy birds.
- Only use feeders that can be easily cleaned. Replace wooden feeders with ones made of plastic or recycled materials for easier cleaning.
- Bird feeders with crevices are difficult to sanitize and should not be used.
- Use antimicrobial bird feeders such as Wild Birds Unlimited EcoClean® Feeders. These feeders have built-in antimicrobial product protection on the treated surfaces.
- Store all bird seed in rodent- and insect-proof containers to avoid contamination.
- Always discard any seed that has become wet, moldy or foul smelling.
For other tips or questions, stop by our store and talk to one of our Certified Bird Feeding Specialists.