For those of us who love our backyard birds, filling the birdfeeders can easily become habitual. Our biggest concern on a cold day, or when we just catch a glimpse of activity, is if the feeder is empty. Next time please consider cleaning and disinfecting your feeder prior to filling…for the health and well being of your feathered friends. Diseased birds can quickly and easily spread diseases to healthy birds by visiting your wild bird feeders.
This house sparrow has conjunctivitis, a disease of the eye that most times leads to blindness, and probable death. The most common cause is dirty bird feeders. It’s a tough call, but some say to take down the feeder if an infected bird is seen, as the infection will spread rapidly to other birds. But this is where death to the sick bird will likely occur as it is unable to venture far for food and starves.
By keeping feeders clean, you’ll minimize risk by removing harmful bacteria that builds up over time, and causes infections in birds. Simply use a 9:1 water-bleach solution (9 cups water to 1 cup bleach) to soak and/or scrub feeders, then rinse thoroughly. Cleaning bird feeders just once a month would be a good idea, for the health of your feathered friends.