This is a question we are regularly asked in the summer. Unless you are finding dead birds, then there is really nothing to worry about. In late summer, birds are nearing the end of a period of hectic activity: the breeding season.
Many of them will go through a period of moult to renew worn or juvenile plumage. While they are losing their flight feathers, they are vulnerable, so conceal themselves from predators.
They seldom sing, and no longer need to defend territory, so seem to disappear. Late summer and early autumn is also a time of plenty for birds. The natural food supply is abundant. Birds will move from their breeding areas into farmland, orchards or woodland for instance, to feed on grain, berries and weed seed.
They can be absent from gardens until we get the first autumn frosts so late summer is a good time to clean feeders and bird tables, ready for the birds’ return. A 10% disinfectant solution is suitable but thoroughly rinse any feeders before using them again.
Water containers should be scrubbed out, and wooden tables can be treated with a water-based preservative to protect them. Consider hanging the feeders and placing the bird table in different areas and do ensure that they are cleaned regularly. This will help to reduce the spread of disease amongst the birds visiting your feeding station.