There are several types of birdfeeders available
to feed your birds. Feeders can be as simple as a tray with seed in
it, or very fancy with seating for a dozen or more. Your choice of
feeders plays almost as big a role as your choice of food when it
comes to what birds you’ll attract.
The most basic form of feeders is a platform,
usually a simple tray with raised edges fashioned from plywood. Try
a platform not more than one foot off the ground. Sweep with a
broom. Check the seed frequently for mold. The best models of
platform feeders have removable screened trays that allow moisture
to pass through. Platform feeders can be great landscaping
additions, and the birds seem to enjoy landing on a pile of seed.
Many backyard bird watchers
rely on tube feeders. Tubular feeders usually consist of a plastic
tube, perhaps enclosed in a wire cage. A series of portals allows
the seed to come out, and there are perches where the birds can
land. Tubular feeders are easy to fill, they permit the birds to see
the seeds easily and there is minimal spillage. When buying a tube
feeder consider what seeds it can hold, how many birds can feed at
once and if there is a good way to hang it or mount it on a post.
A hopper feeder, often styled
like a little house, provides a storage system for seeds that
automatically replenishes until the hopper is empty. A large amount
of seed can be used, so the feeder doesn’t need to be refilled so
often. Plus the seed is protected from the elements until it is
ready to be eaten. They also allow substantial spillage, which is a
plus for ground feeders.
window feeder is just that; one that fastens to the outside of your
windowpane and allows you to bring birds up close. If the location
allows, they can be built out of wood. If not, they can be found at
most specialty or gardening stores.
Suet is an important part of any feeding program. It
attracts a wide variety of birds all year. The simplest way to serve
it is in plastic-coated wire cages that flip open on one end, and
also are the right size for commercially prepared suet cakes. Hang
them from a tree branch or beneath a seed feeder. Some suets should
only be used as a winter food, because they can quickly turn rancid
in warm weather.
take a little extra effort to attract. There are more specialized
feeders available to attract Humming Birds and Orioles, for example.
These birds drink a sugar water mixture from a liquid feeder. Nectar
feeders come in two types: vacuum feeders, an inverted bottle that
empties into a lower reservoir with feeding holes; and saucer
feeders, a container with a cover that has holes thoroughout which
the hummingbird can drink the liquid. Feeders for orioles
essentially are the same design but larger, with longer
Basics | Seed
Preferences | Feeder