Keeping your bird feeders clean is important to make sure your birds do not get sick. It's much the same as keeping your own eating utensils clean - you wouldn't want to eat from dirty cutlery, would you?
Keeping your bird feeders clean is important for avoiding fungal growth, such as Aspergillus Fumigatus. These fungi can lead to respiratory infection in birds. Some feeders should be cleaned more often than others. For example, it's recommended that hummingbird feeders are cleaned every 3 to 4 days.
If you have pet birds in cages, their feeders should be cleaned weekly to avoid infection and sickness.
If you have more than one bird feeder, the easiest way to stay on top of cleaning them is to set a schedule and then stick to it. Rather than having to clean them all at once, which may lead to procrastination because of the amount of work, do them one or two at a time over the course of several days.
To clean your bird feeder, put it inside a larger tub of warm water with some soap or detergent and use a scrub brush to clean it off. It's also a good idea to sterilize the feeder by using distilled vinegar. After you finish cleaning it, soak it in the vinegar for a couple of hours to sterilize it.
It's a good idea to wear rubber gloves while cleaning the feeder to avoid any bacteria that could be on the bird feeder.
Finally, rinse the feeder with water from the garden hose, dry it off and put it back out for your birds. They will appreciate the food and you can feel good about the fact that they aren't likely to sick from eating it.
Ronnie Booth compares different styles of cheap bird feeders on The Birding Guide website. For more helpful information visit www.thebirdingguide.com and sign up for our free newsletter.