"I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven."
Emily Dickinson

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Clean your bird feeders!

This EcoClean feeder features a antimicrobial agent that inhibits surface the growth bacteria and mold. Photo by J.J. Meyer
Someone mentioned to me that he never cleans his feeders. His comment was: "They're lucky I feed them."  I tried to resist going homicidal and tired to explain that birds transfer diseases from feeder to feeder.  My feeling is: If you're not going to clean your feeders, do the birds a favor and DON'T feed them!! 

To help keep backyard birds healthy and help reduce the spread of diseases to humans, the California Department of Fish and Game recommends:

•Sanitize feeders and birdbaths WEEKLY using a 10 percent bleach solution and water, rise and allow to completely dry before refilling.
•Clean up old food around feeders regularly to prevent disease and reduce the attraction for mice and rats
•Clean bird droppings off patios and decks
•Replace wooden feeders with plastic which can be cleaned and sanitized
•Use gloves when handling feeders and wash your hands when finished
•Keep wild birds away from pet food and water
•Do not place feeders where humans eat, drink or prepare food

Maintaining bird feeders and birdbaths requires a commitment. A simple alternative is to add native plants and shrubs to your yard, which will attract a wide variety of beautiful wild birds.
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Happy Birding!

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