As spring approaches we look forward to seeing all our favorite birds return to our feeders. Something we don’t often think about is our role in keeping them all happy and healthy while we enjoy watching them.
Dirty feeders and bird baths can spread diseases. We can do our best to avoid spreading contagions by cleaning our feeders. Here’s how..
Clean and disinfect feeders regularly. Use one part liquid chlorine household bleach in nine parts of tepid water (a 10% solution) to disinfect. Make enough solution to immerse an empty, cleaned feeder completely for two to three minutes. Allow to air dry. Once or twice a month should do, but weekly cleaning may be needed if you notice sick birds at your feeders.
Bird baths are just as important to keep clean. No one wants to drink polluted water or increase mosquito populations. Here’s how…
- While refilling bird baths, dump out stagnant water rather than just adding more.
- Remove all sticky debris and feces with a scrub brush.
- Position the bath away from feeders so spilled seed will not land in the water.
- Choose a shady spot for the bath to minimize algae growth and slow evaporation.
- Keep the bath a distance away where it can be filled with grass clippings, falling leaves and other debris.
Easy Steps to Clean a Birdbath
Cleaning a bird bath is not difficult. Items that would be found in most houses will do the job.
Water – A nearby hose is best for easy rinsing and filling, but a bucket will work
Scrub Brush – A bit more heavy duty than the one you use to clean dishes.
Rubber Gloves – To protect hands from contamination either from dirty water or cleaners.
Chlorine Bleach – To thoroughly disinfect the bath and kill any algae or bacteria
P. S. A rock in the middle of the bird bath helps the smaller birds safely enjoy a bath as well.