It is important to feed birds, but it is also important to realise the importance of keeping feeding areas clean to stop any chance of diseases being spread near the bird feeders.
Diseases such as trichomoniasis can kill birds and as birds gather and meet at bird tables it is important to keep these areas clean.
The disease trichomoniasis is passed to other birds by
- bird droppings,
- saliva and,
- in the breeding season, birds regurgitating food to give to their young.
Some of the signs of the disease are –
- signs of tiredness and birds do not fly away.
- Plumage is puffed up
- breathing difficulties
It is important to clean bird feeders, bird tables and make sure sites where birds feed are clean.
I pour boiling water on my two bird tables and have a scrubbing brush just for that purpose.
I clean the meshed ground feeder and any other dishes I use.
I slightly vary the places I put the bird food in the garden, so that one area is not used all the time.
I’m lucky in that I have fields and open countryside nearby and birds don’t seem to mess round about the bird feeders much.
I always make sure there isn’t any bird food left laying around.
Birds rely on the bird food we put out and it dosn’t take much to keep the areas clean.
I watched a blue tit, robin, chaffinch, sparrows and blackbirds the other day. All within a few feet of the bird table. How colourful they all looked so close together.