One ongoing problem with maintaining a bird feeder is wet bird seed. Whether it’s a sudden thaw in the winter, a late-season tropical storm, typical spring rain or a summer downpour, it’s important to keep bird seed dry. Doing so helps keep your backyard friends healthy and happy.
1. CLEAN YOUR BIRD FEEDERS FREQUENTLY
Since bird seeds are, well, seeds, remember that with enough moisture they can begin to sprout. If there’s too much moisture, bird seed also can spoil if not properly attended to. If your backyard buddies are feasting on moldy seeds, it will only be a matter of time until they’re overcome with an avian disease, fungus or bacterial infection. We recommend that you clean your seed feeders at a minimum of once every two weeks; increase cleaning as the weather gets warmer.
To clean your seed feeders, use a mild soap and water solution and a cleaning mop to clean all of the crevices. Rinse thoroughly and dry completely before refilling the feeder with your wild bird’s favorite seed.
Bonus Tip: For bird feeders that need a little more TLC, use one part vinegar to four parts water. Rinse thoroughly and dry before re-filling.
2. MONITOR SEED WASTE ON THE GROUND AND ACCESSORIZE
You’re looking at your bird feeders each day enjoying the sight of wild birds feasting away, but do you ever notice the ground below your bird feeders? It’s an absolute mess!
These discarded seeds can lead to big trouble with your visiting birds. First, the seeds can attract unwanted pests and predators. When the “grounded: bird seed gets wet, it can create even more trouble for the animals that consume it. Your best bet is to remove discarded seed on a regular basis, and definitely get that wet bird seed after a rain or snow melt.
Keeping your bird seed dry while it’s still in the bird feeder is another matter. If you can’t pick a feeder with a wide lid, add a squirrel baffle to the top of your seed bird feeder. This will keep the moisture of rain, or snow, out of the seed supply. As an added benefit, most baffles are also designed to combat seed-stealing squirrels. They’ll just tumble off of the feeder.
Yet another option to limit the wet bird seed in your feeder is to purchase feeders that are built to drain moisture. These feeders will have drain holes in their seed trays.
3. STORE EXCESS SEED SMARTLY AND SAFELY
In order to keep up with the traffic to your seed feeders, it’s necessary for you to buy bird seed in bulk. Store your excess seed in air tight containers that can be placed in a cool, dry location. When deciding on the perfect storage location for your bird seed, make sure that the container is out of the reach of household pets, constructed of plastic, and cannot be spilled or tipped over.
If you keep your bird seed outside, you’ll need to also keep your feeder protected from squirrels and other pests. That means you shouldn’t use a plastic container. Instead, purchase a galvanized can for seed storage. Not only will stay completely dry, but there’s no chance that a squirrel or mouse can chew through it!
Do you have other bird feeding tips to keep the seed in your seed feeders dry? Tell us about them on your next visit to our Facebook page; we love learning from our bird feeding friends! For more deals and tips on bird feeding, subscribe to our e-newsletter.