Are You A Responsible Bird Feeder?
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. Just as people can catch colds or other illnesses from people who are sick, birds that feed at crowded or dirty feeders have the potential to develop diseases that are harmful to them.
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 multiple feeding stations in different areas of your yard to disperse bird activity.
- Keep fresh seed in the feeder and be sure it doesn’t get moldy.
- Clean your bird feeders regularly with dish soap and rinse with a solution of one part bleach and 10 parts water.
Best Practices For Keeping Things Tidy
- Provide seed from a bird feeder rather than scattering it on the ground
- Keep areas clean under and around your feeders.
- Use Wild Birds Unlimited's No-Mess Bird Seed, No-Mess Specialty Foods or Sunflower Chips for the cleanest feeding experience. (No shells and no filler grains means you'll also attract the best and brightest variety of birds!)
- Avoid general "wild bird seed" mixes which are often full of corn or grains like milo (sorghum). These are appropriate for feeding ducks or chickens, but songbirds don't care for these ingredients and will swipe them out of the feeders to find the rare see that they really want.These grains often go uneaten, pile up on the ground and are then easily accessible to unwelcome nighttime "visitors."
- Attach trays to your feeders to catch any shells and to keep seed from spilling.
- Use the appropriate seed for each feeder. Mismatching seed and feeders can lead to an excess (of even good) seed on the ground.
- Store bird food in metal containers. Critters have a keen sense of smell and will chew through plastic bins to get the food inside.
- Bring feeders in at night if critter access can't be limited. Sometimes this is the best option for people with small yards or patios.
For other tips or questions, stop by our store and talk to one of our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists.