To reduce the spread of avian diseases, its a good idea to regularly clean feeders and the surrounding area.
Here are three tips to keep your feeders, and backyard birds, healthy:
1. Scrub feeders and birdbaths bi-weekly with 10% household chlorine bleach and 90% water solution. Rinse the feeders and make sure they’re completely dry before refilling them with seed.
2. Avoid overcrowded conditions. Your backyard food court for birds should have enough feeders for the number of birds that frequent them. It’s a good idea to use as much space as possible for your feeders, spreading them out a bit so the birds are spread out as well.
3. Clean up discarded seeds and hulls. Clean under your feeders on a regular basis. Consider adding a seed-catching tray to reduce below-feeder mess. Remember: one seed per feeder will result in less waste, since birds won’t be as likely to drop on seed in favor of another type it sees in a seed mix. Some people prefer to use sunflower chips, or a seed mix with no hulls, to further reduce the amount of hulls that might be left behind under a feeder.