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Get enough bird food in your garden, and you’ll have plenty of beaks happily pecking away. But the more that do, the greater the risk of diseases spreading. Birds such as greenfinches and house sparrows are particularly vulnerable as they feed in flocks. So what can you do to help?
It may seem a bit silly to suggest that you only feed birds from a feeder, after all they’re a wild animal, and would probably do quite well without us. But many birds now rely on our help with some birds, just like Darwin’s finches, evolving longer beaks to access feeders.
By feeding birds off the floor, or off surfaces such as a wall or tabletop, you not only give yourself more work in terms of cleaning, but the uneaten food can quickly become a veritable feast for vermin such as mice and rats. And with those pests, comes disease.
Here are five really important things to remember when it comes to bird feeding hygiene.
Keep an eye on how much food is left after you’ve put it out. If there’s loads left, cut down on how much you’re giving them. Leftover food can be a harbinger for disease.