Cleaning a Bird Box
If possible, bird boxes should be cleaned every autumn. Always wear a pair of rubber gloves as the nests can harbour parasites and sometimes fleas.
If there are any unhatched eggs these can only legally be removed between October and January.
To clean a traditional birdbox, the box should be taken off the tree, the lid lifted and any nesting material removed. It can be tempting to leave nesting material in place, but this is a mistake as it can harbour desease. Most birds prefer to make their own nest out of fresh material that they find locally.
For a birdball, you will need to make a hook out of a coat hanger or tent peg. Use the hook to pull the nesting material through the entrance hole.
Finally rinse the birdball thoroughly with hot water and return to its hanging position. Do not clean with bleach or detergent as this can be harmful to the young birds.
All bird boxes are best left in place throughout the winter even though they are not usually used until the spring. This is so that the birds can familiarise themselves with the boxes for when the time comes to start nest building.