A recent study undertaken by British scientists has discovered that there have been dramatic change in some bird populations across Britain, probably due to birds catching illnesses from unhygienic garden bird feeders. Scientists have warned that previously rare illnesses are becoming epidemics in some species, which is a cause of concern.
Poor garden feeder hygiene, droppings accumulations and stale food are promoting the transmission of illnesses between garden birds as the animals repeatedly congregate in the same location, coming into contact with species they would not usually interact with in the wild.
“We’re calling on everyone who feeds wild birds to be aware of their responsibilities for preventing disease. Simple steps we’d recommend include offering a variety of food from accredited sources; feeding in moderation, so that feeders are typically emptied every one to two days; the regular cleaning of bird feeders; and rotation of feeding sites to avoid accumulation of waste food or bird droppings,” said Kate Risely, from British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).