Friday, July 10, 2009

Protecting our Birds while enjoying them-Cleaning our birdfeeders

Mosaic Birdhouse Birdfeeder
Do you love birds and watching them at your feeders? I do. I also love making my stained glass mosaic birdfeeders for them to feast at like this one to the left. But feeding the birds also involves making sure they're safe. One way to do that is to make sure we keep our birdfeeders and the area around them clean. Here's a few of the things we can do to insure the birds stay healthy while getting a good meal at our feeders.
The first thing to do is to give our feeders a good thorough cleaning and disinfecting. A dirty birdfeeder can harbor bacteria, mold and other diseases that can decimate the bird population in our backyards. Infected birds can spread the illnesses to other backyards and wild bird populations, creating epidemic problems that wipe out whole nesting colonies of birds. But if we conscientiously clean our bird feeders we can minimize the disease potential. And clean feeders will attract more birds, a plus for us. So to attract the most birds and help keep them healthy, follow these guidelines:
1. Clean regularly: All feeders should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a month. Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned each time you refill them. Popular bird feeders may even need to be cleaned more often depending on how many birds you have feeding at them.
2. Use proper cleaning solutions. Feeders can be sanitized with one part bleach to nine parts water. A mild solution of unscented dishsoap can also be used.
3. Clean all feeder parts. For the best sanitation and disease prevention, each feeder should be cleaned inside and out, including all feeder ports, perches, lids, platforms, etc.
4. Use proper equipment. Use rubber gloves to avoid contamination and use stiff brushes to ensure thorough cleaning. You can get specialized brushes at pet supply stores, but regular bottle brushes can be just as effective. And an old toothbrush is great for cleaning small parts, feeding ports and tight areas.
5. Rinse thoroughly. After cleaning, the feeder and all cleaned parts should be rinsed thoroughly for at least 10 seconds to ensure you have all cleaning solution rinsed off well.
6. Dry completely. While this may sound silly, the feeders should be completely dry before refilling. Remaining moisture could lead to mold and mildew that could cause illness and rotten, unhealthy seed, thereby negating everything we've just done.
So be sure to follow these guidelines to ensure you have good clean feeders and enjoy watching all the birds flock to your yard and feeders to enjoy their meal.
If interested in the mosaic feeder pictured, it is available in my shop: KayzKreationz. I also have several other feeders with different themes not listed. You can convo me for more info or post a comment here.


Kathy said...

The feeder is awesome and thanks for the great tips!

KayzKreationz said...

Thanks Kathy.