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Hummingbird feeder cleaning

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Old Saturday 14th May 2016, 23:29   #1
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Hummingbird feeder cleaning

How often do hummingbird feeders need to be cleaned & how pls?
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Old Sunday 15th May 2016, 00:35   #2
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Well, I usually change my feeders out every 2 - 3 days depending on how hot it is and when I replace them with clean ones, I wash those. I use hot water and some dish detergent and then rinse them well.

If you find any traces of black mold in the feeder ports or anywhere in the feeder it would be a good idea to really scrub them hard. I usually use the Mr. Clean white scrubbing sponges. Some people use a wee bit of bleach but I'm a bit hesitant on using that although I haven't seen anything to indicate it would cause a problem as long as you rinse them well.
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Old Monday 16th May 2016, 02:19   #3
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Understood. Tks
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Old Thursday 19th May 2016, 20:56   #4
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A toothbrush works well too.
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Old Sunday 22nd May 2016, 23:38   #5
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Here is an excellent article on hummingbird feeding from expert Sheri Williamson's blog:

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Old Tuesday 14th June 2016, 15:52   #6
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Report of laboratory-diagnosed avian poxvirus infection in a hummingbird.

I know this is an unpopular topic but it is truly sad to see sick birds.

Humans who feed hummingbirds can be one of the first steps where pathogen transmission can be decreased by instituting proper preventive measures such as diligent hummingbird feeder cleaning. It is recommended to use a 50/50 vinegar/ water ratio to eliminate molds and bacteria. Detergents and soaps are not suggested at they leave a residue.

Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Loreto A. Godoy, Lisa S. Dalbeck, Lisa A. Tell, Leslie W. Woods, Rita R. Colwell, Barbara Robinson, Susan M. Wethington, Anneke Moresco, Peter R. Woolcock, and Holly B. Ernest (2013)

Characterization of avian poxvirus in Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna) in California, USA Journal of Wildlife Diseases: October 2013, Vol. 49, No. 4, pp. 978-985.

Avian poxvirus (genus Avipoxvirus, family Poxviridae) is an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus that may be transmitted to birds by arthropod vectors or mucosal membrane contact with infectious particles. We characterized the infection in Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna; n = 5 birds, n = 9 lesions) by conducting diagnostic tests on skin lesions that were visually similar to avian poxvirus lesions in other bird species. Skin lesions were single or multiple, dry and firm, pink to yellow, with scabs on the surface, and located at the base of the bill, wings, or legs. Microscopically, the lesions were characterized by epidermal hyperplasia and necrosis with ballooning degeneration, and intracytoplasmic inclusions (Bollinger bodies) in keratinocytes. The 4b core gene sequence of avian poxvirus was detected by PCR in samples prepared from lesions. Nucleotide sequences were 7594% similar to the sequences of other published avian poxvirus sequences. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the Anna's Hummingbird poxvirus sequence was distinguished as a unique subclade showing similarities with sequences isolated from Ostrich (Struthio camelus), Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), falcons (Falco spp.), Black-browed Albatross (Diomedea melanophris), Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) and White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla).

To our knowledge this is the first published report of definitive laboratory diagnosis of avian poxvirus in a hummingbird. Our results advance the science of disease ecology in hummingbirds, providing management information for banders, wildlife rehabilitators, and avian biologists.

Under natural conditions, most hummingbirds are typically territorial birds living primarily solitary lives (Buskirk, 1976; Hilton and Miller, 2003). They depend on flowering resources that are unlikely to act as a source of avian poxvirus infection. Urbanization and the resulting increase in exotic flowers and bird feeding stations have been correlated with higher density and diversity of hummingbirds in urban and suburban areas (Arizmendi et al., 2007; Clark and Russell, 2012). Increased hummingbird density might enhance the transmission of avian poxviruses, as has been suggested for other bird species (van Riper and Forrester, 2007). The presence of cultivated exotic flowers and hummingbird feeders has been associated with changes in Anna's Hummingbird geographic distribution in North America (Clark and Russell, 2012). Bird feeders could increase the fomite risk of pathogen transmission, as has been shown for other bird species (Hartup et al., 1998; Robb et al., 2008).

Report of laboratory-diagnosed avian poxvirus infection in a hummingbird.

Douglas y Cynthia
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