Bird Feeder Buying
Choosing the Best Bird Feeder for Your Backyard
Bird watching and bird feeding are a favorite pastime of many people. But for those who want to start feeding their local birds, it can be hard for them to decide what type of bird feeder is best for them. It is important to know that the type of bird feeder you choose will help to determine the types of birds that you attract. Here we will explore some of the basics of bird feeders and what you should know when choosing the right type of bird feeder for you and your family to enjoy.
The Basics of Bird Feeders
There are only three things that birds need to encourage them to return to your backyard: cover for them to nest in, fresh water to drink and bathe with, and a variety of quality food for them to eat. When looking at bird feeders, there are some basics that all good feeders will have:
- They are easy to fill, empty out and keep clean.
- Any feeders made of plastic should be reinforced with metal around the feeding ring to help keep squirrels away. Additionally, they should have metal perches or ones that can be easily replaced.
- Any wood portions of the bird feeder should be treated with a weather-resistant seal coating to help protect it from moisture damage.
If you really want to bring a large number of birds to your location, consider adding a bird bath and or bird house to fulfill the bird’s two other needs – water to drink and somewhere to nest.
Selecting the Right Bird Feeder
The species of birds you are trying to attract into your backyard will help you to choose the type of feeder you should invest your money in. There are tons of different feeders on the market with all different kinds of options, and when they are paired with a high quality bird seed you can have the bird watching experience you have hoped for. Here are some of the most popular bird feeder types and even one that can help keep those pesky squirrels and chipmunks from stealing your bird food!
Platform Feeders – Platform or Ground Feeders are screen-bottomed and sit closer to the ground than most other feeders. These feeders are ideal for keeping bird seed and bird droppings separate. Some styles feature an additional mesh to keep rodents and squirrels from stealing the food and should be place in open areas 10 feet or more away from trees or shrubs to protect the birds from predators. These types of feeders are best liked by cardinals, doves, sparrows, and goldfinches.
Hummingbird Feeders – Hummingbird feeders should be mounted in the shade to prevent the food from spoiling quickly. Additionally, they should be installed three feet away from windows for the best viewing. Another benefit of installing this type of feeder closer to your home is that it will help to prevent the hummingbird’s from injuring themselves – since they will be slightly more apprehensive, they will not be flying fast enough to hurt themselves if they hit a window due to the reflection.
Hopper Feeders – Hopper feeders hold a large amount of bird seed and are able to keep the seed dry and ready for the birds. The birds simply land on the feeder trigger which will release the seed for them. Hopper feeders should be hung from tree branches or a hanging pole around five feet off the ground. Hopper feeders are best for attracting chickadees, grackles, purple and house finches, jays and red winged blackbirds, among many others.
Squirrel Feeders – Many bird enthusiasts have a hard time keeping squirrels away from their feeders and way from the birds. One way to satisfy them is to install a squirrel feeder to keep them occupied. Keeping these feeders stocked with seed blends that are appealing to chipmunks and squirrels will help to keep them away from bird food and reduce the competition that may be present right in your backyard. Make sure to install your squirrel feeder far away from the bird feeders in order to keep the animals separated from one another, peaceful, and happy.