For the first time since I’ve been bird feeding there are bird droppings under the bush where I put the bird food. The garden birds must be staying longer on this bush and not flitting away into the larger hedge like they used to do. This means I have got to move the bird food a little way away from all this mess.
A lot of the diseases are spread by droppings. If any contaminated droppings are in among the food the healthy birds will run a risk of getting the infection.
I realise that when birds congregate in an area to feed there is an increase risk of disease, but the area has up until now been clean and clear all the time.
Have just been cleaning the bird tables again and thought I’d make some notes.
Here are some things I’ve learnt -
- Don’t bring any bird feeders into the house.
- Wear gloves when cleaning the bird feeders and birds tables. I keep a separate brush and other items just for this job.
- Keep bird tables and the area surrounding them clean and free from droppings and mouldy food. Both droppings and mouldy food can be a breeding ground for parasites and bacteria. Occasionally moving bird tables and bird feeders (even if only a short distance) will help prevent droppings building up near the feeders.
- If the bird food you put out takes more than two days to clear then reduce the amount you put out.
- If you put food on the ground make sure it’s eaten before night. Rats are attracted to leftover food. Using a birdtable or hanging feeders or a ground feeding tray is a good way to put bird food out instead of putting it on the ground.
- Water – Bird Bath – check there aren’t any droppings in the water. Water containers – clean water containers regularly.
- Clean birdtables and hanging feeders. I think this is one of the most important things.
For the birdtables I use very hot water, a scrubbing bruch and a cloth. It gets rid of any old food and cleans the bird tale.
- Hanging feeders can get clogged up in this wet weather and need cleaning out. I keep a spare hanging feeder so if one feeder is drying I have a clean one to use.
Looking at this list it seems a long list – but it does not take long to do. Keeping an eye on how much bird food is being eaten, checking if any droppings are near the feeders. A bird table only has a small area so it does not take long to clean it.
Wet weather can clog the feeders and make extra work. It is when the weather is bad that birds benefit from the food we put out so it is worthwhile keeping the feeders clean and free flowing. Lets keep feeding these garden birds.
Have you any bird hygiene tips?