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Friday, 16 March 2018

Reducing the risk of disease at garden feeders

Reducing the risk of disease at garden feeders
Feeding garden birds can be really beneficial, particularly during the harsher winter months, but we should be aware that garden feeding can also promote the transmission of some diseases. A collaborative study between BTO and Zoological Society of London has analysed over 25 years’ worth of data to produce a comprehensive review of health risks to wild birds. Simple steps to prevent the spread of disease include offering a variety of food from accredited sources; feeding in moderation, so that feeders are typically emptied every 1–2 days; regularly cleaning bird feeders; and rotating feeding sites to avoid accumulation of waste food or bird droppings. You can also help by reporting sick or dead garden birds to the Garden Wildlife Health initiative.
Greenfinch at feeder by Jill Pakenham
A collaborative 25-year BTO/ZSL study stresses the importance of feeding while investigating evolving threats to wild birds.