In the natural world it’s “survival of the fittest” or “natural selection” which keeps species healthy and flourishing. When we feed wild birds, there is an unnatural gathering that takes place. Mind you, backyard birding is one of the most popular and relaxing hobbies today, and providing food and shelter for birds is a wonderful way to help them thrive.
With our wild bird feeders, most of us don’t take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of diseases. Aside from the regular molds and fungus that can make birds sick, they can develop viral infections as well. These infections are easily spread at high-activity feeders, and carried to other feeders as well. This little sparrow has conjunctivitis, a disease affecting the eye, causing irritation and swelling at first. Blindness usually follows, and soon death as the bird can not venture far to find food. They say if you see a sick bird like this at your feeders, it’s best to stop feeding, as you’ll decrease, or possibly avoid any further spread of the disease. It’s a rare occurrence for a bird to fully recover from a disease like this.
The most effective and practical cleaning solution is bleach! Simply mix 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Scrub with a brush and rinse thoroughly. At the very least, shoot for once a month. Your birds will be healthier and thank you for it!