Bird feeders are very durable ways of feeding and watching your favourite birds. Whether they are Blu Jay’s, Robins, or sparrows, most garden birds love bird feeders, and all bird watchers love their bird feeders. Bird feeders provide us with the chance to watch our favourite birds up close, and they allow us to decorate our homes with one of our many passions.
Like many bird watchers, I have several bird feeders around my home, and when the wind starts blowing and the clouds start to get dark, I get a bit worried about all my bird feeders and how they will manage. Some bird feeders will be fine in the rain, while others won’t.
Sometimes I may not even be at home when the rain starts to fall, and I can only hope that my feeders will be fine when I get home. So, in this article, I decided to answer the question, “Can you leave bird feeders out in the rain?” I’ll be using a lot of my personal experience and some of my research to answer this question.
- Can you Leave Bird Feeders Out in the Rain?
- So here are 5 Ways you Can Protect your Bird Feeders from the Rain
- What Happens to Seeds When They Get Wet?
- Image Gallery – Can you Leave Bird Feeders Out in the Rain?
Related Post: Does Bird Feeders Attract Rats?
Can you Leave Bird Feeders Out in the Rain?
Bird feeders are extremely durable and made of high-quality materials, making them difficult to destroy or break. When it rains, the biggest problem is that the wind blows them away. This is only an issue if you haven’t properly mounted your bird feeder. Several types of bird feeders can withstand heavy rainfall and won’t be damaged.
The window-mounted bird feeders that have strong suction cups will not be affected by the wind and should be fine when the rain pours down on them, but if you have very old window-mounted bird feeders with weak suction cups, you may want to consider removing them from the windows when the rain begins to fall.
However, depending on how much rain may fall on it, if you have one that is hung outside by a chain or clamp, it could be in serious trouble. This is because if they are not properly attached, or the mounting frame is not properly installed, the wind may knock them off their hooks, but if they have been installed correctly, you shouldn’t experience any issues with the rain.
When rain falls, your biggest issue is not the water because water will not damage your bird feeders. Most of them are made of plastic, metal, ceramics, or a mixture of all three. So, water will not have too much of an effect on your feeders.
The most significant damage that water can cause to your bird feeders is caused by the seeds, which clump together and become difficult to break apart when wet. When seeds clump together, they may be harmful to the birds because they could choke the birds as they can’t be broken apart by the bird beaks. The hard clumps also tend to block the passageway for more seeds to pass through.
The main issue you will face with the rain is the wind, and if all your bird feeders are properly installed, the wind shouldn’t blow them away. So, your bird feeders should be fine when the rain starts to fall. However, if your feeders are on poles or stands, they should be placed under a covered porch or patio.
We all know that not all feeders are built the same, and not all of them are built to withstand the rain.
So here are 5 Ways you Can Protect your Bird Feeders from the Rain
1. Move your bird feeders out of the way
The best and most trusted way to protect your bird feeders from the rain is for them not to be there in the first place. Before the rain starts to fall, you could move all your bird feeders that are outside inside. Thus, keeping them safe from the rain and in your home. However, if you happen not to be at home when the rain is falling, then the next option is for you.
2. Install a Rain Guard
A rain guard is set above your feeder, and it essentially acts as a plastic umbrella for the birds. Not only will the rain guard protect your seeds from the rain, but it will also protect the birds from the rain, and it will allow them to feed while it is raining. So, even if you are not home, you should have nothing to fear when the rain starts to fall.
3. Attach a Baffle
Baffles are usually used to protect your bird feeders from squirrels and other rodents, but if they are placed low enough, they should be able to protect your bird feeders from the rain. So they should be able to keep your bird feeders dry when it rains. You can find a baffle at your local hardware, outdoor, and campaign stores.
4. Get an all-weather feeder
If you aren’t going to be home all the time and you don’t want to install a baffle or a rain guard, then you should think about replacing some of your bird feeders with all-weather ones. All weather feeders are designed to withstand the fluctuating elements of nature. You can spot an all-weather bird feeder by checking to see if it has a cover that will protect your seeds from rain. They also prevent the buildup of snow and ice during the winter months.
5. Add drainage to your bird feeder
So, one common feature that most bird feeders lack is adequate drainage at their bases, and this can cause a build-up of water at the base and will spoil the seed that you have even faster. The quickest way to solve this issue would be to expand the existing holes that your bird feeders have or add more holes to your bird feeders to improve drainage. Finally, you could try and add gravel to the bottom of your bird feeders to elevate them away from the rainwater. You could also do this with a small patch of mesh if you prefer.
Hopefully, these tips should help you protect your bird feeders and keep them safe when it rains.
What Happens to Seeds When They Get Wet?
When seeds get wet, there are a few things that happen to them, and they are not good. So, make sure you avoid getting your seeds wet:
Bird seeds usually go bad when they get wet and begin to form clumps, but what you should look out for are the hard clumps that don’t break under your fingers. This is because bird seeds will naturally clump together but will break apart when the seeds are good. So, there is nothing to worry about when they clump together and break apart easily.
The main issue occurs when they clump together and become very hard to break down. When seeds clump together, they may be harmful to the birds. After all, they could choke the birds because they can’t be broken apart by the bird beaks. Once seeds begin to clump together and become hard, the seeds have gone bad and should be thrown away, and the feeder should be cleaned out.
One of the major ways to spot if bird seeds have gone bad is to look out for sprouting and germinating seeds. This usually occurs when they have gotten wet. It is easy to spot because all you are looking for are shoots starting to form from the inside of the feeders.
Wet seeds will quickly rot and mould, which promotes the spread of bacteria that may be fatal to some birds. When seeds are mixed with spoiled ones, birds are less likely to eat them, resulting in waste. When other birds are aware that there are better feeders available without spoiled seed, it will also cause them to avoid your feeders.
Finally, when seeds get wet, they produce a musty and dank smell that makes the bird feeders very unpleasant, and while birds may not mind the smell, people around your home won’t be happy about it. So, it is always good to remove old and wet seeds.
Keeping your bird feeders away from the rain is a very important task, and you should always be careful with your bird feeders when it rains. It is also important to know that when your seeds get wet, a lot of things can happen to them, and nothing good can come from wet seeds. So, make sure you follow these tips that I have listed out for you, and they should keep your seeds and bird feeders dry.