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November 26, 2012


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Susan Weaver

I have never had luck with the stocking finch feeders. I do much better with the tube feeders. suan

Sybil from Ohio

I have bean feeding on porch as I said and enjoy watching from the kitchen. I sweep the seed and any droppings I can. Since they perch on the banisters, it seems that I will have to change the setup or pour the hot water and bleach on porch too.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Sybil, birds can become ill naturally and their droppings can pass along disease to other birds. Also, other birds feeding in close proximity to the ill bird can also become ill. Unfortunately, finches like redpolls and Siskins are particularly susceptible. Keep feeders clean and the feeding area clean to minimize the risk. Thanks for your question and stop by again soon.

Sybil from Ohio

Just moved to the country and began birdfeeding. Redpolls have just begun to come to my feeder that sits on my front porch banister. It has common songbird feed that I found in bulk at the hardware store. I had no idea they (and other like birds) were at risk for disease at feeder. Is this due to exposure to fecal matter? Or is it spread through the mouth by leftover seed? What a great site by the way.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Lenore, congratulations on your new yard bird!

Lenore Brown

Yes, over the past week, we have had a flock of turkeys, as well as a flock of about 50-100 red polls at our two feeders! This is the first time for the red polls ever appearing at our feeders.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Peggy, salmonella is seen fairly often amongst the big flocks of winter finches like siskins and redpolls. We recommend cleaning all your feeders and the feeding area and taking down the feeders for a short time to let the birds disperse. Here's a post I did awhile back on healthy birdfeeding: http://wildbirdsunlimited.typepad.com/the_zen_birdfeeder/2010/09/top-5-tips-for-a-clean-healthy-birdfeeding-station.html
Good luck!


We have a small patio but back onto a large forest and therefore have a large concentration of birds in a small yard. We have 7 feeders, all from WBU, and our yard is a very busy place year round. I have noticed that over the past month there always seem to be one or two sick birds at the feeders and found a dead pine siskin a few weeks ago. Today, I saw a fluffed up redpoll hanging around the nyger feeder most of the day and noticed that it had burrowed into a snowdrift after dark. I got rid of our bird bath a few weeks ago and our feeders are kept clean. I was hoping that the recent bout of cold weather and snow would stop the spread of disease, but I guess not. I'm at a loss as to what to do. I'd hate to remove the feeders as so many other species of seemingly unaffected birds use them, but I hate to see these sick birds on a regular basis. Do you have any suggestions?

The Zen Birdfeeder

SRB, it's not just you! In some areas, natural food supplies are very low so birds have been busy at feeders. Thanks for your question and for feeding the birds!


Not a comment but a question: Is it me or have the birds been really gorging themselves this week? Seems we can't refill the feeders fast enough!

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  • Our eyes and ears should be open and alert to the natural wonders that surround us every day. Take time to look out our windows to see the birds that visit us and open our windows to hear them. Walk around whatever space we have to enjoy the birds in nature. Every day, work on improving our powers of observation.


  • Nature happens. We cannot MAKE natural things happen (or NOT happen). We can create habitats to encourage natural things to happen around us, but there are no guarantees.


  • Birdfeeding comes with responsibilities to the birds and the environment we share with them. If you are unwilling to accept these responsibilities, you shouldn’t feed the birds. We also have a responsibility to share these natural wonders with the next generation.