The windows are washed, the lawn is raked and the garage is cleaned out. How about your bird feeders?
It is important to provide a safe feeding environment for your backyard birds. Feeders should be dismantled and carefully cleaned once a month or more often if yours is especially busy.
A solution of one part bleach to nine parts warm water is best for killing bacteria. Unscented dish detergent or a solution of vinegar and warm water also work well. Feeders that dismantle easily allow a thorough cleaning. Perches, feeding port and covers should not be overlooked. Also, any surface area that collects bird feces including poles, brackets and hanging hooks need to be cleaned regularly.
Once dismantled, soak all parts, then use small brushes (old toothbrushes work well) for tight spots. Rinse thoroughly, and then allow all parts to air dry. Ensure that your feeder is completely dry before adding seed. Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned every time the nectar is changed.
Make sure that you have enough bird feeders in your backyard setup. Overcrowding can cause stress and spread disease. Spread your feeders out so that they are not placed too closely together and don’t forget to rake up any hulls and waste on the lawn under your feeders.
Be a good host. Keep a clean abode for your backyard friends.