We believe it is important bird feeding practices. On the top of the list is keeping the bird feeders clean. By doing this on a regular basis, about once a month, it is an easy task. Hoppers, fly-through feeders, nyjer and tube feeders should not need cleaning more than that and our Birds Choice feeders are designed to be easy to clean. Hummingbird and oriole feeders should be cleaned each time they are refilled. Cleaning bird feeders and birdbaths is a crucial practice in preventing the spread of disease between birds. Keep your bird bath/feeder brush separate from any that you use for your own kitchen use.
Audubon recommends paying diligent attention to cleanliness in pursuit of responsible and rewarding bird feeding practices. Birds with disease are more likely to die from starvation, dehydration, predation, and severe weather, so protect them by following these tips.
Disinfect your feeder and birdbath: To keep pathogens at bay, immerse your seed feeder or birdbath in a soap and water solution, rinsing it thoroughly, one to two times per month. In the presence of outbreaks, disinfect twice as often. We do not recommend using bleach, but if you do use bleach, be sure to rinse additional times so no bleach residue is left on the feeders or birdbaths.
Empty water from your birdbath every day. Brush or wipe it clean and rinse, then refill the birdbath with fresh water.
Discard old seed and hulls: When you clean your feeder, get rid of the old seed. Rake or sweep up any uneaten hulls on the ground. The disease-causing Trichomonad protozoan, for example, can live for up to five days in food and several hours in water.
Avoid overcrowding: If possible, provide more than one feeder and spread them out. Crowding only expedites the spread of disease, so give the birds variety and plenty of room.