Different types of Bird Feeders
Bird feeders come in all different shapes, materials & sizes all with the same goal of attracting the widest variety of birds as possible to your garden to feed.
What you put in the feeder is the key factor to attracting the birds into your garden. So whether its a seed, peanut or suet feeder its important to try a variety of foods in the feeders to find out which birds like what food. The important factor is ensuring what ever feeder you use that the food can flow easily from it.
Keeping the feeder clean will help ensure any trapped food is removed allowing it to flow freely and at the same time reduce the risk of any bacteria.~
Seed feeders are one of the most popular type of feeders probably because of the wide variety of foods you can get to fill them, and the more feeders you site with a variety of different seeds the wider species of birds you are likely to attract.
Seed feeders come in a variety of designs from tubular feeding stations to hopper type feeders with a trough at the base for the birds to eat from. They all come in many different designs to not only appeal to the birds but also to the bird watchers.
Seed feeders are designed to dispense various types of different seed like wild bird seed blended mixes, sunflowers – black, striped or hearts. Some seed requires a specially designed feeders like Niger/thistle seed feeders. Niger/thistle seed is very light and small and without using a specific feeder the seed can blow away and fall through the holes of standard seed feeders.
Tubular style seed feeders come with a various number of feeding ports where birds can hang or perch to feed. The more ports you have the more birds that can feed at anyone time, and quiet often the more confident the birds feel feeding as there is safety in numbers. Ensure feeders with more than 2 ports are tall enough to enable birds of all sizes to perch or hang utilising all ports at once.
Feeders can be hung from a bird table, post, wall, fence or suitable branch of a tree using a bracket, hook, rope or other secure suitable anchor point. Its important that the fixing is secure at all times as when the feeders are full of food and the birds are feeding the weight and movement can result in them becoming insecure.
It is also important to ensure you place feeders in a suitable location, away from areas that cats can easily reach without being seen.
Peanut feeders are another popular type of feeder. They too come in various shapes, sizes & materials and are essential for dispensing peanuts to the birds in your garden. Its important that peanuts are fed from a specific feeder in order that birds cant get at the peanuts whole as this can cause choking especially with fledgling in the spring.
Peanut feeders are usually a cylindrical tube covered in a steel mesh which birds hang from while they peck
away at the nuts inside. Having to peck away at the nuts through the mesh not only ensure the birds cant eat the nuts whole but also ensures they hang around in your garden longer to feed. Bringing hours of entertainment to those who love watching the birds.
Peanuts attract a wide variety of birds – Blue tits, Great tits, Woodpeckers, Green finches, nuthatch are just a few of the regular visitors that will enjoy feeding on peanuts in your garden.
Another visitor that loves to feed at the peanut feeder will be the squirrel. So if you have problems with the squirrels that visit your garden then use a squirrel proof feeder to deter their unwanted attention.
Tubular and hopper feeders made of plastic are an easy target for squirrels as they gnaw through the plastic fitments to get to the food. Buying feeders made of metal or ceramic fitments helps keep squirrels at bay as they are harder to penetrate while hanging upside down from a fence, tree or bird table. While they are more expensive to buy initially they are well worth it as they are more likely to survive the attention of the squirrels – although determined squirrels may still find a way.
As Squirrels are very partial to seeds and nuts, while it can be very entertaining watching them become acrobat’s as they strip and destroy the feeders to reduce this destruction you can buy specially designed feeder that restrict squirrels.
Squirrel Proof Feeders
These attractive feeders that have the tubular feeder encased by a metal plastic coated cage, which stops squirrels being able to get at the feeder and the food inside. These feeders are designed to allow the smaller birds into the cage through the wire gaps to feed in peace out of the reach of the larger birds and the squirrels that compete for their food.
Squirrel proof feeders are available for dispensing seed or nuts and even ones that can dispense both within the same feeder.
Even if you don’t get a problem from squirrels in your garden using one of these feeders keeps a feeder in your garden that only the smaller birds can feed from encouraging a wider variety of smaller birds into your garden to feed.
Suet feeders are plastic coated wire holders designed to hold fat balls or suet blocks efficiently while birds feed.
The suet block holders are designed for holding suet blocks but are also idea for placing toast or bread and scrap in.
Fat ball feeders are designed to hold fat balls. The plastic netting that fat balls come wrapped in ideally should be removed and the fat ball placed in a suitable feeder to reduce the risk of the birds becoming trapped in the fine netting or choking on the plastic netting as they peck at the suet.
Suet feeders due to the nature of the food that goes in them require regular cleaning to avoid any remains of the food going rancid. They should be cleaned every time before being replenished. Wash in hot soapy water first rinse well and then clean with a suitable disinfectant cleaner disinfectant recommended and safe to use on bird feeders.
Suet is high in fat which is a good source of nourishment and attracts many different birds in particular nuthatches, woodpeckers, Tits and Starlings. Starlings can devour your suet treat in no time at all and to ensure others birds get the chance to feed from them you might want to place the suet in an area of the garden that the larger birds like starling find more difficult to feed from or place the suet feeder inside a metal cage to restrict access to the larger birds & squirrels.