Bird feeding in winter
An automatic food dispenser that cannot be entered by birds is the best choice: it protects the food from saliva and excrement, which are instrumental in spreading diseases. Some disease agents – for example salmonella, which is transmitted by faecal spread – may infect humans and other animals passing by the feeding place. The dispenser should be made of a durable material that is easy to clean.
Please remember to clean the area around the feeding place every once in a while, to prevent the accumulation of seed shells and bird droppings, particularly in wet conditions above freezing.
The more varied and plentiful the food assortment, the more attractive your bird feeder will be. This also means that dozens or even hundreds of birds will be exposed to the excrements of one sick bird visiting the feeding place. Keeping the amount of offered food on a moderate level helps you in controlling the hygiene and disease status of the feeding place. Rather than serving large amounts of food in one place, an enthusiastic bird feeder may consider starting several smaller feeding places.
When choosing a feeding place, make sure that it won't inconvenience your neighbours. A well-kept bird feeder brings joy to birds and people alike.
In spite of one’s best efforts, infections cannot always be avoided, and you may encounter sick or even dead birds at your feeding place. To help prevent the spread of diseases, please send any dead birds you may find to Evira's health investigation unit for production and wild animals, in Oulu. Bird samples from feeding places play an important role in nationwide disease surveillance, and necropsies are free of charge. You will be informed of the result in writing.
Find out what the regulations of the municipal council and the housing corporation say about feeding birds.