Are Backyard Bird Feeders Bad For The Birds? (My Experience)

Backyard bird feeding is a great way to spend time outside, be surrounded by nature, and get some exercise. But many people are wondering if backyard bird feeders are bad for the birds or the environment. The answer is no! In fact, there are many benefits to feeding wild birds in your backyard.

The PROS & CONS of Backyard BIRD Feeding
Backyard bird feeders can be a helpful supplement to wild birds’ diets.
However, bird feeders should not become a replacement for a natural, diverse diet.
Bird feeders can contribute to changes in wild birds’ behavior and migration patterns.
It is important to research what type of birdseed is best for the species you are interested in attracting.
Regular cleaning and maintenance of bird feeders is crucial to prevent disease spread.

Are Backyard Bird Feeders Bad For the Birds?

The answer is no, it’s not bad for the birds.

In fact, if you want to attract birds to your yard for feeding, then a bird feeder is an excellent way to do it. However, there are some things that you should know about how bird feeders can affect your backyard visitors and their environment:

Birds need to be fed in winter: While we think of summer as being the time when most people go out with their kids or pets and throw seeds out on the lawn, during winter time most birds have stopped eating anything other than what they find naturally in order to conserve energy and calories. 

This means that if you put out a feeder during this time of year but don’t offer any food scraps on the ground below it (or at least nearby), then those hungry little creatures will simply pass by without taking advantage of your generosity!

Birds need food during nesting season: As mentioned above regarding wintertime eats – many species will only eat from artificial sources when they’re raising young ones who require more nourishment than adults do throughout their lives. If you set up your bird feeder while conditions permit them access

Having your own chickens and using their eggs for cooking can be a great experience. If you’re wondering about the safety of consuming these eggs, check out this vet’s answer on egg safety for more information.

Are Backyard Bird Feeders Bad For the Environment?

There are some people who believe that backyard bird feeders are bad for the environment. It is true that there are some negative effects to feeding birds, but overall, these benefits greatly outweigh the potential negatives of feeding wild birds at home.

One benefit of having a bird feeder in your yard is that it will attract more birds than you would normally find in your neighborhood or park. 

This helps spread seeds throughout the area and helps keep pests from becoming overpopulated because they have plenty of food sources around them instead! If all people knew how important these little creatures were to our ecosystem, we wouldn’t be so quick to try and exterminate them!

The biggest challenge facing wildlife conservationists today isn’t protecting animals from extinction (although this is still an issue), but rather trying to ensure that humans don’t cause irreparable damage by altering their habitat too much–some species may already be gone forever before anyone knows anything about them existed! 

This means we need more people like yourself spreading awareness about what’s happening with our natural resources; if everyone just did their part by helping out where they could then maybe tomorrow wouldn’t seem quite so bleak after all…

Are Backyard Bird Feeders Bad For You?

No. Bird feeders are safe, in fact, they can be very healthy. They provide an opportunity for people to get outdoors, enjoy nature and spend time with the birds in their own backyards.

If you’re considering purchasing from a backyard breeder, it’s important to do your research. Read our expert advice on backyard breeders to make an informed decision.

Do Birds Need To Be Fed In Winter?

Many people wonder if birds need to be fed in winter. The answer is yes and no. It depends on the species, but most birds do need food all year round to survive.

Bird feeders that have a seed mixture are typically available from spring through fall, although some will offer them year-round as well. 

The seeds that are used in these mixes include sunflower seeds and black oil sunflowers which provide lots of protein for birds during breeding season when they’re raising their young ones.

There are also different types of fruit-based feeds that can be added as well such as applesauce or banana slices which can be good for attracting finches and other small songbirds like warblers or thrushes that eat insects along with fruit during different times throughout the year. 

Since many of these birds migrate south each winter while others stay closer to home where they rely heavily on eating insects instead due to colder temperatures not allowing them access

Do Birds Need To Be Fed During Nesting Season?

You should be feeding your birds year-round.

While it’s true that birds need to eat twice as much during the spring and summer months because they’re feeding their young, this doesn’t mean they must starve during the winter months. It’s still important to bring out your bird feeder in the fall and winter so they have something to eat when food sources become scarce.

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Do You Have To Clean Your Bird Feeder Regularly?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors. For example, how many birds are using your feeder at once? If there are only a few birds at once (a few dozen), then you may not need to clean it very often. 

However, if you have hundreds of birds coming to eat from your feeder every day or even every week, then you will probably want to clean it more often than that.

The best way to know when it needs cleaning is by observing what happens when you do not clean it regularly. If it becomes so gross that no one wants any part of eating from that particular location anymore, then obviously something isn’t working right and needs fixing!

Do You Have To Clean Your Bird Feeder On A Schedule?

It’s a good idea to clean your bird feeder once every few weeks with soap and water or a disinfectant. This will prevent mold, mildew, and bacteria from forming on the seeds or in the feeder itself. 

The best way to clean a tube feeder is by using a brush (or toothbrush) that you can attach to an extension pole so you don’t have to touch anything. If there are any parts of the lid that stick out (like ours), take those sections off first so they don’t get in the way while cleaning around them.

For other types of feeders, use an old toothbrush or sponge along with some dish soap and warm water. Make sure everything is thoroughly rinsed off before putting it back together again!

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Do You Have To Use Birdseed Or Can I Just Use Food Scraps?

If your goal is to attract birds to your yard for feeding, you should definitely use birdseed. Yes, you can use food scraps from your kitchen, but it’s not as nutritious and it might be messy or smelly. Some birds will eat seeds, while others prefer insects

So do you have to clean your bird feeder regularly? Do you have to clean it on a schedule? What about when it’s raining? The answer is no! But if there are any crumbs left in the feeder after several days of use or any mold growing on the sides of it then yes! 

You should thoroughly clean out all parts including those hard-to-reach spots like behind where seeds fall down into those little holes near where they slide out onto platforms inside feeders (this can be done with a toothpick).

And while we’re on that subject: don’t forget about drainage holes at the bottom corners because they need cleaning too!

How Do I Attract Birds To My Yard For Feeding?

You can attract birds with a variety of feeders and bird baths. The most important thing is to clean your backyard bird feeder regularly, as the buildup of mold and mildew on the seed tray will deter many birds from visiting. 

Also, try different types of foods so that you have a variety of choices for your backyard guests.

Looking for a new addition to your backyard? Check out our list of animals that can be raised in the backyard for some unique ideas.

Do Backyard Bird Feeders Cause Disease In My Birds?

Feeders can spread disease to your birds, as well as to you. When you use bird feeders, you’re encouraging rodents and other pests that can carry diseases, like salmonella. Salmonella is a bacterial infection that causes fever and diarrhea in humans, but it’s especially dangerous for children younger than 5 years old and the elderly.

If your bird feeder is near an opossum den or other wild animal habitat, it’s likely that these animals will eat from the feeder at some point. If they have fleas or ticks on them (which they probably will), they could give them to your birds when they visit the feeder. 

The same goes for any parasites or diseases carried by mice and rats who are attracted to birdseed left out in open containers these can be easily transferred onto your feathered friends as well!

Pros and Cons of Backyard Bird Feeders and Disease in Wild Birds

Provides additional food source for wild birds during times of scarcityPotential for disease spread among wild bird populations
Can help maintain healthy bird populations in the wildImproper or infrequent cleaning of bird feeders can contribute to disease transmission
Can provide an opportunity for bird enthusiasts to observe and enjoy backyard wildlifeOveruse of bird feeders can contribute to changes in wild bird behavior, migration patterns, and diet
Can provide a sense of contribution to backyard conservation effortsCertain types of bird feeders can unintentionally promote the growth of harmful bacteria or fungi

Can You Put A Backyard Bird Feeder In Your House?

There’s no reason why you can’t put a backyard bird feeder right in your home. You may want to consider placing it somewhere convenient, such as on the window sill or kitchen counter. This way you can easily refill the feeder and keep an eye on it at all times.

If you’re looking for something more permanent, you might consider mounting a bird feeder onto an exterior wall or even putting one right inside your house! Just make sure that whatever method of installation is chosen will prevent children from reaching any harmful areas (like electrical outlets).

Pros and Cons of Using a Backyard Bird Feeder in Your House

Provides opportunity to observe birds up closeCan attract unwanted pests or animals if not used correctly
Can be used in inclement weatherCan lead to changes in wild bird behavior and migration patterns if used improperly
Safe from outdoor hazards such as predators or harsh weather conditionsRisk of injury or damage to property if not used safely
Can provide a source of enjoyment and entertainmentPotential for disease spread if not cleaned and maintained properly

Where Can I Buy Seeds For My Backyard Bird Feeder?

You can buy birdseed at a pet store, garden store, hardware store, grocery store or big box store. You can also order it online through Amazon or other retailers. 

If you prefer to buy your seeds in bulk and have them delivered right to your door this is another great option that comes with the added bonus of saving money on shipping costs.

If you happen to live near a large city like New York City then there is probably no shortage of options for purchasing all sorts of different types of food for your backyard birds as well as supplies for making homemade bird feeders too!


To answer the question of doing backyard bird feeders cause disease in my birds, what we need to know is this: Can it cause any harm? Yes. Is it likely? No, not as long as you are careful about what type of feeder you use and how often you fill them up. 

If possible, choose a metal or plastic one over wood because they’ll last longer and don’t harbor bacteria or mold like wet or damp ones do. In addition, always wash your hands before handling food items like birdseed which could potentially carry germs from other places where people have touched them without cleaning up first!

Further Reading

For more information on backyard bird feeders, check out these resources:

Feeding Birds in Your Backyard: This article from the Humane Society provides a comprehensive guide to feeding and caring for wild birds in your backyard.

Bird Feeders: Good or Bad for Wild Birds and the Environment?: This article discusses both the benefits and potential drawbacks of using bird feeders in your backyard.

Bird Feeders Are Good for Some Species but Possibly Bad for Others: This Scientific American article explores the impact of bird feeders on wild bird populations.


Do backyard bird feeders help wild birds survive?

Bird feeders and birdseed can definitely help wild bird populations survive, providing them with an additional source of food during times of scarcity. However, bird feeders should not replace a natural, diverse diet that wild birds would normally have access to.

Will using a bird feeder change the behavior of wild birds?

Using a bird feeder can change the behavior of wild birds in several ways. They may become more dependent on human-supplied food, alter their migration patterns, or even start to prefer the food provided by bird feeders to their natural diet.

Can bird feeders spread disease among wild birds?

Bird feeders can become hotbeds for disease if they are not cleaned and maintained properly. It is important to regularly clean feeders and bird baths to prevent the spread of disease among wild bird populations.

What type of birdseed is best for backyard bird feeders?

Different species of birds have different dietary needs, so it is important to research what type of birds you are interested in attracting and what they like to eat. Generally, a mix of sunflower seeds, millet, and cracked corn can attract a variety of wild bird species.

Are there any potential dangers or downsides of using backyard bird feeders?

While bird feeders can be beneficial for wild birds, there are also potential downsides. They can attract unwanted predators, such as squirrels or cats, and can even lead to aggressive behavior among bird populations. Additionally, bird feeders require regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent disease spread.