One thing we can be sure of here in the birding community is that we are a tight-knit group of enthusiasts that truly care about our birds and the environment in which they live. As such, we take an awful lot of pride in ensuring their safety and health are always taken into account, at least in situations in which we can do something to help.
Aside from placing window decals to prevent bird strikes, as an example, properly cleaning bird feeders is another way to easily protect our backyard birds. As one can imagine, feeders left outdoors are subject to the harsh elements such as rain, cold, wind, snow and a variety of other conditions.
Just the same as we clean our dishes ahead of our next meal, we must take similar precautions with our bird feeders. While every feeder is different in design, each requires cleaning, although some more than others. Our Aspects hanging feeders, for example, are properly vented to prevent spoilage so they don’t require as much service as something like a fly-through feeder. These flat-based feeders are designed to help both perching and ground feeding birds, allowing many birds to visit and sit directly in the tray. In addition to moisture, seed and feathers, these feeders can become filled with feces and other matter that can ultimately harm our birds. With that in mind, watch below as Bob goes deep on cleaning one of his fly-through feeders:
As far as frequency is concerned, we always recommend four cleanings per calendar year. As most of us do, the spring is a great time to begin cleaning and setting up your bird feeders. Following that, you should aim to spend at least two summer days cleaning your feeders out again to protect against the sun and heat and then once again in the fall after the migration process has begun and our winter arrivals begin to show up.