With spring not on many people’s minds, maybe now is the time to clean those bird feeders.
Why clean your bird feeder? Well, here is part of the reason, according to University of Maine veterinarian Anne Lichtenwalner, posted in an article by backyardchirper.com:
Bacteria such as salmonella are normally present in very small amounts in wild birds. Once they congregate — and especially if the feeder allows droppings to fall into the food source — it’s easy for bacteria to start spreading and making birds sick. Even last year, some wild bird deaths in Maine were documented to be caused by salmonella infection. “It’s more important than ever for the backyard birders to help avoid the spread of this disease,” said Lichtenwalner.
If you don’t live in a place that gets many birds–still clean your feeder. It is important because, apparently, migratory birds can carry diseases while they are passing through to their “final destination”. This is not good for other bird populations.
Lichtenwalner suggests people clean their bird feeders regularly and picking up old seed around the feeder on the ground and understand that replacing the seed in the feeder with fresh seed can make a difference in itself. It helps to decrease the spread of bacteria.
Another suggestion is to soak your entire feeder in a non-toxic cleaning solution to wipe the slate clean, so to speak. Think about plates….a plate with old food on it will breed bacteria–same goes for bird feeders. Oh, and don’t forget to dry the bird feeder thoroughly to ensure no mold or mildew forms, which is “very unhealthy for birds”. Which also includes making sure your bird baths have clear, clean water and are cleaned regularly, also.
So, there you have it. Whether you think you have birds visiting your feeder(s) or not, keep the feeders clean–just in case. You just never know when you’ll get a visitor and what they’ll leave behind.