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Responsible Birdfeeding

Filling the feeder is just the first step.

A clean feeder is a life-and-death matter to some birds. To protect the birds at your feeder, clean it at least once a week, more often if necessary. Rake the ground underneath, too. Pine Siskins are especially prone to salmonellosis, a bacterial disease. You can learn more about feeding backyard birds at Cornell's AllAboutBirds. California Partners in Flight has more suggestions about feeding birds safely!

Full Transcript

Responsible Birdfeeding
Written by Ellen Blackstone

This is BirdNote!

[Pine Siskins chattering and bickering] 

Hear that? It’s the chatter of hungry Pine Siskins at a thistle feeder. [More chatter]

Putting out a feeder is easy. The next step may be a challenge, but it’s the most important part — keeping it clean and free of disease. [Ambient, Black-capped Chickadees]

A clean feeder is a life-and-death matter to some birds. Pine Siskins, in particular, are prone to salmonellosis [sal-mun-uh-LO-sis], a deadly bacterial disease easily transmitted from bird to bird. For this reason, a thistle feeder shouldn’t have a tray.

Clean your feeder at least once a week, more often if you have lots of birds eating from it. You may want to have an extra feeder – one feeds the birds, while the other is being cleaned and dried. Also, take time to rake up and dispose of seeds underneath the feeder every few days. [More chatter of Pine Siskins]

Birds are fussy. This bird wants sunflower seeds, and another wants millet. [More chatter of Pine Siskins] They’ll simply toss any seed they don’t like – what a waste! You can attract specific birds — and minimize the waste — by choosing the right food and the right feeder.

Learn what foods attract what birds, and especially how to protect those birds when they visit — at our website, I’m Mary McCann. [Chatter of Pine Siskins]


Call of the Pine Siskin provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by G.A. Keller. Black-capped Chickadee by S.R. Pantle.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to      September 2013/2016/2019     Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#102605PISIKPLU    feeder-01b

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