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How to Keep Bird Feeders Dry When It’s Raining

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With winter quickly approaching, expect things to get a little wet out there. For some parts of the country, like the West, rain provides a much needed reprieve from the arid conditions, but there are also a lot of downsides to rain: mudslides, car accidents, flooding, etc.

Like us, birds face their own challenges during the wet weather. It becomes more difficult to fly in the rain and hummingbirds face even bigger obstacles when drops fall from the sky. While birds often seek shelter when rain’s falling, that doesn’t mean they don’t need a little help with the bird feeders.

When it’s raining or there’s a lot of moisture in the area, the birdseed in your feeders becomes susceptible to bacteria and sprouting. As we all know, the most important thing we can do is offer birds food that’s healthy and safe. When birdseed gets soaked, it quickly becomes unsuitable for birds to eat.

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to keep bird feeders dry when it’s raining.

Move the feeders underneath a patio

415077The first option is very simple and doesn’t require much work: move it! If you have a bird feeder pole out in the middle of your yard without any shelter, relocate the feeder underneath an awning or patio. Make sure not to put it all the way under a patio or birds won’t find it. As long as it’s not getting wet, the feeder should be placed as far out in the open as possible.

Add a rain guard

If you live in a rainy locale like Seattle, it’s a good investment to buy a rain guard to put above the feeder. This is essentially a clear dome you place over the feeder that acts as an umbrella. Droll Yankees makes a fantastic rain guard that protects the birds and seed from rain.

Or add a baffle

Building on the last recommendation, you could also buy a baffle for your feeder. These are typically designed to keep squirrels away, but if they’re placed just low enough, they also act as rain guards. Here’s a great Woodlink baffle that is intended for squirrels but can also be used for the weather.

101_2585Bring in feeders that don’t have drainage

Not all bird feeders are maximized for rainy weather. Some feeders have no proper drainage system to remove water from inside the feeder. If water continually collects inside the feeder when it’s raining, it’s better to take down the feeder than let the seed fester in the water and allow birds to eat seed potentially plagued by bacteria and mold.

You can also modify your existing feeders if there’s poor drainage. Patty from over at Birds and Blooms modified one of her feeders so that the seed did not rest at the bottom of the feeder since it drained very slowly.

Buy an all-weather feeder

If you’re in the market for a new feeder, then you might as well get an all-weather feeder that stands up to the elements of nature. The All-Weather Feeder from Songbirds Essentials is storm-proof with a cover the prevents a buildup of snow and rain.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.

19 Comments

  1. Hi

    I wanna no how to keep the fungus away from the seeds in rain.

  2. The best thing to do would be to keep the seeds try by using some of the things I suggested.

  3. Is there anything I can do to prevent condensation from accumulating inside my birdfeeder? I live on the coast of South Carolina where humidity is often high, my back yard backs up to a river that also contributes to moisture in the air. I’m not sure if I should keep my feeder full at all times so there is no surface area for the water to cling, or if the moisture would still be there just not seen.

  4. Unfortunately, there’s not too much you can do about it. Be mindful of placement. Make sure there’s a rough. I hear adding mesh to the feeding will keep some moisture out and help with evaporation.

  5. Put a plastic trash bag over the feeders when its raining outside

  6. If I put an umberela will the birds still come ?

  7. I’m going to try an umbrella or something similar like a tarp and see if it doesn’t scare the birds away. I live in south Florida and we have a rainy season in the summer with torrential storms nearly every afternoon. Tired of sopping wet & moldy seed. I’ll post my outcome.

  8. My feeders are empty & it is raining all day if i put more food out in rain is that
    ok?

  9. Can you put the soaked seed in the oven to dry it out?

  10. Michele, how did the umbrella work out? I was thinking of rolling my patio umbrella over to the area I have several shepherd hooks to keep everything from getting so wet! Wondering how the umbrella worked for you? I don’t have a sheltered patio. And even the feeders with domes are getting a 1/2 inch of water in them!

  11. Learn how to spell! It’s “ I want to KNOW “, stupid!

  12. That was an extremely rude response which make s you an idiot at best and probably worse.

  13. And don’t put a lot of seed in the feeder at one time.

  14. Yes the will if you leave enough room for them to fly under the dome/umbrella.

  15. A small amount and only if it has protection over such as a plastic dome with enough space for the birds to fly in under it.

  16. Sorry if correcting someone who doesn’t know how to spell yet decides to write comments offends morons like yourself. An insult from a stupid idiot like you is a compliment. Don’t waste time responding to this comment as well, not reading it. Have a good life!

  17. I think it only offended you…

  18. It may be someone for whom English isn’t their first language, so have a heart.

  19. She may have problems with her spelling, but your calling her “stupid” shows that you have a much more serious problem…..you are a “dick”.

Comments are closed.