Jan 30, 2019 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, February 2018

Ask Birdsquatch: Winter Feeder Cleaning?

A chickadee visits a backyard peanut feeder during winter. Photo by J. Hurst.
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Dear Birdsquatch:

Is it really necessary to clean my feeders during winter? Doesn't Minnesota cold weather kill off microbes or bacteria that might cause a problem?

—Lucy H., Elbow Lake, Minnesota

Dear Lucy:

Yes, it's necessary. Those of us who feed birds have a responsibility to do so in a way that does not compromise the birds' health. Not cleaning your feeders because it's a hassle or because you don't have the time isn't good for the birds. It would be better to stop feeding birds than to leave your feeders up for months without cleaning them at least once or twice. Also consider where birds poop while visiting feeders. So please clean your feeders or take them down. Perhaps you can harvest some elbow grease from Elbow Lake to make your work a little easier.



About Birdsquatch

Birdsquatch is WBB's tall, hairy, and slightly stinky columnist. He is a bigfoot who has watched birds all his life. His home range is unknown.

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