How To: Bird Feeder Maintenance
Keeping your feeders clean and fresh is one of the most important factors in attracting birds to your yard. A dirty feeder is not only unappealing to you, but also to your birds.
Don't worry, there are 3 simple steps to keep your feeder clean and fresh for the birds!
Step 1: Rotate Old Seed to the Top of Your Feeder
Most birds will instinctively eat from the top perches of a feeder first, leaving the bottom alone. An easy remedy to keeping your seed fresh is to rotate the old seed to the top of your feeder before refilling it. Simply take a small bucket or cup to empty the old seed into, fill your feeder halfway full and then put the older seed on top. This will keep the bottom of your feeder from becoming compacted with old seed and possibly molding.
This is especially true of Thistle (Nyjer) feeders for your finches. Since Thistle (Nyjer) seed can dry out so quickly, moving it to the top of your feeder guarantees it will be eaten in time. Your feeder will be cleaner and no seed will be wasted.
Step 2: Regular Maintenance of Your Feeder
Every 1-2 months we recommend taking your feeder down and washing it out with warm, soapy water and a stiff bristled brush. This will prevent any mold or bacteria build up in your feeders, as well as keep them looking new for much longer. If you have an especially tough time getting your feeder clean try soaking it in a 10% bleach solution for 15 minutes. Just make sure to wash the feeder off thoroughly and let it dry in the sun to break up any remaining bleach residue.
Cleaning your feeder regularly will keep it looking good for longer and encourage birds to visit it more often.
Step 3: Keep Your Feeder Dry
Wet seed can quickly clog your feeder, or even begin to mold. Birds don't want to eat moldy food any more than we do. Using a weather guard over your feeder or Feeder Fresh™ inside it can help prevent wet and moldy seed. If the feeder is only a little damp, a simple shake can get enough air into it to allow the seed to dry. Also make sure the feeder is dry every time you fill it. A dry feeder means less often maintenance to keep your seed fresh!
A few simple products can keep your feeder looking fresh and appealing to the birds.
24" Feeder Brush
A long handled brush can easily get down into any tube feeder to make cleaning a snap!
Feeder Fresh™ will wick any excess moisture out of your tube feeder and keep it dry after heavy rains. It is safe for the birds and will help prevent moldy build up from wet seed.
WBU Weather Guard
Keep your feeder dry with a Wild Birds Unlimited Weather Guard. Prevent rain and snow from getting to the seed while allowing your birds to feed in harsh weather conditions. Having dry seed in your feeder will require far less maintenance than a feeder full of wet seed!