Pure Flight Chronicles: A Guide on How to Clean Your Bird Feeders
About Pure Flight: Pure Flight is Chow Hound’s own brand of wild bird products featuring feeders and suet. Made for bird lovers by bird lovers.
From the playful bluebird with its pretty songs to the elusive hummingbird with its amazing speed, wild birds are such a joy to attract to your backyard. At Chow Hound, there is no shortage of wild bird feeders, foods, and nectar mixes to keep these wild birds visiting your property throughout the seasons. However, when you feed the wild population of birds in your area, you don’t want to do anything to encourage illness or disease.
In 2021, researchers noted that many wild bird populations were being affected by a mystery illness in several states, so wildlife protection agencies did make recommendations to clean feeders periodically. Let’s take a look at how to clean different types of bird feeders you may have in your backyard.
Seed feeders are available in so many different forms, from platforms to tubes to novelty structures. Most of these feeders are crafted of wood, plastic, or glass, which makes them relatively easy to clean. A good rule of thumb is to clean your seed feeders about every two weeks or every time you have to refill to remove bird droppings and microbes. To clean these feeders:
- Take it apart
- Wash with boiling hot water and bleach (1 part bleach to nine parts water)
- Allow the feeder parts to air dry
- Reassemble, filled the feeder, and place it back outside
Nectar feeders are popular in areas that attract either orioles or hummingbirds, but these, too, can accumulate microbes and encourage the spread of illness among bird populations. It is recommended that you change the nectar every three to five days to prevent the solution from developing mold spores or fermenting. When it is really hot, you may even need to change the nectar and clean the feeder every few days. To clean nectar feeders:
- Disassemble the feeder fully
- Clean all parts, inside and out, with hot water and the aforementioned diluted bleach/water solution
- Rinse thoroughly
- Air dry
For these feeders, you may need to use a bottle brush to really get down into the container and scrub away any contaminants.
Suet feeders are unique in the way they are made and how they function. These feeders are designed in a cage-like form—like this Hanging Suet Basket—so birds simply perch on the wired enclosure. Just the same, these feeders should be cleaned periodically to remove old food particles and bird droppings. To clean a suet feeder:
- Disassemble any removable parts
- Soak the parts in a diluted bleach solution
- Scrub all areas thoroughly
- Rinse well
- Air dry
Wild Birds Are a Joy – Let’s Help Protect Them!
The world without birds would be pretty empty. As much as we love having these interesting animals stop in for a visit, we do have to be responsible about keeping them healthy. Regular cleaning is a big part of that. If you are looking for wild bird food, be sure to check out our collection at Chow Hound.