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Bird Bath and Bird Feeder Maintenance

Here is some additional information prepared by the National Audubon Science – Audubon At Home staff.

Feeder/Birdbath Maintenance

Clean your birdfeeders
With regular care, even an old birdfeeder can be safe to keep attracting birds to your yard.

Cleaning birdfeeders and birdbaths is a crucial practice in preventing the spread of disease between birds. You may have a disease problem at your feeders if you notice that some birds are less alert or active, they feed less or cower on a feeder. They may also be reluctant to fly, and their feathers may appear disheveled. Birds afflicted with Trichomoniasis typically develop sores in their mouths and throats. Unable to swallow, they drop food or water contaminated with Trichomonads (which can live for up to five days in food and several hours in water) that other birds then consume, thus spreading the disease.

With the concern over this and other diseases, including Salmonellosis, Aspergillosis, and Avian Pox, which are easily transmitted at birdfeeders and birdbaths, the National Audubon Society recommends paying diligent attention to cleanliness in pursuit of responsible and rewarding bird feeding practices.

Disinfect your feeder and birdbath: 

To keep pathogens at bay, use products like Birdbath Cleanse or a combination house and feeder cleanser in conjunction with a scrub brush designed for the job. Brush or wipe it clean and rinse, then refill the birdbath with fresh water. Another great practise is to empty water from your birdbath every day:

Discard old seed and hulls:

When you clean your feeder, get rid of the old seed. Use a product like Ground Cleanse that is an all natural way to easily clean up: moldy bird seed, bird drippings, organic contaminants. It also helps prevent seed germination and decompose fallen seed faster. You could also manually rake or sweep up any uneaten hulls on the ground. In winter, scraping off a few inches of snow will suffice. For busier stations, seed trays may be used to catch jettisoned hulls and seed.

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.

Clean Hummingbird & Oriole feeders: 

Use a nectar feeder cleanser to rinse your feeders containing nectar or sugary jams. Make sure to rinse well with warm water three times before refilling with sugar solution.

Above information from: http://www.backyardbirdcare.org/step3.html