Responsible Bird Feeding
We know you care about your 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 multiple feeding stations in different areas of your yard to disperse bird activity
- 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 your bird feeders and bird baths regularly with a solution of one part bleach and nine parts water
The following strategies will help improve the health and safety of birds when the spread of avian diseases is a concern.
- If feeder birds are exhibiting disease symptoms remove all feeders so birds can disperse and utilize natural food sources
- Clean and sanitize all bird feeders, bird baths and hardware with a 10% bleach (one part bleach to nine parts water) solution. Rinse thoroughly and allow to completely dry before refilling feeders. Continue to sanitize feeders every few days
- 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
- Remove open tray and platform feeders that allow fecal material and food to come into contact with each other
- Limit the amount of seed you provide. Offer only as much food as the birds will eat in one or two days
Store all bird seed in rodent- and insect-proof containers
Discard any seed that has become wet, moldy or foul smelling
Avoid handling sick birds and always wash your hands with soap and water after filling bird feeders
It can seem like a lot of work, but with a good playlist and a favorite beverage it moves along pretty quickly!