Feeders can harbor disease, and improper placement may expose birds to predators and other hazards. Prevent these drawbacks by choosing plastic, steel, or glass feeders, which are easy to clean and don't harbor molds and fungus. Clean your feeders at least twice a year by soaking them in a 10 percent bleach solution for three minutes, scrubbing them with a brush, and rinsing with clean water. Keep seed in dry, sealed containers and put out only enough seed to last several hours (or days, if dry weather is expected).
Protect birds from crashing into windows by stretching netting several inches in front of the glass. Also, wild birds aren't as skilled at evading cats as Tweety Bird is, so placing feeders near shelter (hedges, trees, and gardens) is especially important. Cats kill several hundred million (yep, you read that correctly) birds each year. Properly placed bird feeders may deter predation, since they allow birds to spend less time feeding and more time looking out for predators, notes Kress.