Are feeders safe for birds?

Squirrel proof bird feeder is hard to miss. They are designed to attract hummingbirds to visit.
But it’s easy to forget about maintaining your feeders. Sure, you refill the water, but do you wash it out? If not, are you doing the birds more harm than good?
Microbiomes, like pathogen populations, are ubiquitous, and they vary from place to place, from body to body. In this case, the birds themselves, the food we feed them and the flowers they seek out have unique bacterial and fungal microbiomes. Colonies interact as birds migrate from one place to another.
For the study, the researchers drew two different species of hummingbirds, the Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte Anna) and the Black-jawed Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri), to to a private home in California during the winter to determine how different types of water affect microbial growth. They found that deionized water in the feeders led to more fungal growth, while tap and bottled water promoted bacterial growth.
Hummingbirds and flowers tend to retain microbes that are common in their respective species. So hummingbirds have the same bacteria found in other birds in their beaks or in their droppings. Flowers also showed the same species-specific consistency.
According to the researchers, the bacterial and fungal communities the researchers found in the feeders were not the ones that made the little birds sick.
If you have a hummingbird feeder, keep it clean. If you’d rather rely on natural habitat, plant plants that hummingbirds love.


bird feeder