how often to refill bird feeder

One of the best ways to enjoy wildlife in the comfort of your home is by watching the birds who visit your backyard. You’ll be amazed at the variety of birds you’ll see throughout the year—especially if you offer native plants that feed not only the birds, but also the insects that make up a crucial part of their diets.

Plenty of people choose to augment plants with birdseed, too. Yet experts disagree about whether this kind of backyard bird feeding will significantly help bird populations, and research indicates that it can even disrupt migration patterns or unbalance population sizes. On the other hand, supplemental feeding can help individual birds in your neighborhood, especially if plentiful native plants aren’t available.

The general rule for feeding any wild animal is not to offer food when it might cause harm (such as when there’s a local outbreak of avian disease that could spread through feeders). If you do choose to use a bird feeder, these answers to common questions will help you get started.

What if I have to leave town?

Dont worry if you must stop feeding briefly. When you’re not around, wild birds will find other food sources in all but the worst weather, especially in suburban areas where there are other bird feeders nearby. However, if you reside in a remote or rural area, make arrangements for a neighbor to watch over the feeders while you are away for the winter.

It’s likely that you have heard others advise against ever leaving feeders empty. This not only drives birds away, but it also eliminates a vital food source that the birds in your backyard rely on. First of all, birds won’t go hungry if feeders are left empty for a few days before being refilled. Birds usually use feeders to supplement their diet, unless it’s the dead of winter and food becomes scarce. Some people who are unable to consistently afford to feed birds find this method appealing. Although it can be very expensive, feeding birds is enjoyable and rewarding. There is no shame in not refilling feeders constantly. Because there are no seeds inside, cleaning is also made easier.

Come to Old Ben’s free class, “Making bird feeding simple,” on March 24 at 9 a.m. to learn more about feeding wild birds. Like nature does!”.

Refilling is also a matter of preference. You can refill your feeders frequently or sporadically. Refilling feeders is something that many people do once a week, others do it once a month, and some people do it multiple times a day (especially during the nesting season).

The duration of time it takes for a feeder to empty depends on a number of factors, including

Filling feeders before they run empty gives your birds a consistent supply of food. This implies that birds won’t ever go elsewhere in search of food. It also means that food will almost always be fresh. You can make sure that old seed doesn’t remain in the feeder for too long by waiting until it is almost empty.

Should I feed birds year-round?

Its not necessary. When birds need energy the most, such as during temperature extremes, migration, and in late winter or early spring when natural seed sources are exhausted, bird feeding is most beneficial.

Most birds don’t need your help in the summer. Many birds concentrate on eating insects while they are nesting and raising their young, so feeding is not as important. Avoid filling feeders during the summer as it is crucial for young birds to learn where to find naturally occurring food.

Two exceptions to this rule are hummingbirds and goldfinches. Your goldfinches, who nest later than other birds, can receive nyjer seed until thistles go to seed, and you can provide nectar in feeders for your summer hummers to help fuel their high metabolism.


Should I fill my bird feeder every day?

Refilling is also a matter of preference. You can refill your feeders frequently or sporadically. Some people refill their feeders multiple times a day (especially during the nesting season) , many do it once a week, and others refill them once a month.

How often do you change the seeds in a bird feeder?

If there is any moisture from rain or snow, feeders should be cleaned more often. Clean feeders with 9 parts water to 1 part bleach weekly outdoors. Change the seed in a dry seed feeder every 5-7 days to avoid mold, bacteria, or bugs in the feeders and always wash your hands after handling bird supplies and feeders.

How long can bird seed stay in feeder?

During the cooler winter weather, store only the amount of seed your birds can consume over a four-week period. Keep your bird feeders filled with a one- or two-day supply of seed to ensure it is eaten quickly and stays fresh. Discard moldy, rancid or foul-smelling seed, because it can be a health hazard to birds.