We know that eating from the same plate every night and not washing it for weeks will make us ill. Well, the same goes for bird feeders, so here is what to do:

Cleaning Bird Feeders
Cleaning Bird Feeders

Not cleaning bird feeders and tables can cause bacteria and parasites to spread amongst the wild bird population. This can have very serious consequences; Trichomonosis is a microscopic parasite which can cause serious health problems and is transmitted through dirty bird feeders, old bird food and bird tables. It is believed that the drop in greenfinch numbers is (partly) caused by an outbreak of this disease. So, you see, it is really important to regularly clean the bird feeders and tables and to remove uneaten food.

This is what to do:

  • Clean your bird feeders once a week
    Take apart the bird feeder and use a brush and a disinfectant cleaner for cleaning bird feeders. These are available from most places which also sell bird food. Ring Pull Feeders are very easy to take apart and put back together.
    Put the feeder back together and let it dry before adding fresh food.
  • Clean your bird table once a week
    Remove any uneaten food and scrape off any droppings.
    Again, use a disinfectant cleaner to clean the bird table and leave it to dry before adding fresh food.
  • Once every 2 months, move the bird feeder to a different location, so that any dropped food can decompose and won't be causing harm any longer. Or you can also get trays which catch dropped food.
  • Adjust quantity of food to what birds will eat
    When first starting feeding; only put out a little food and let the birds finish this first before adding more. This way there is no accumulation of food which can go off.
    After a while you'll get a feeling of how much your birds will eat in one day. Personally, I put enough food out for roughly 2 days, but you can stick to one day if you like.