Do you want to keep your feathered friends fed and happy outside of your home? While birds are more than capable of finding their own food, there’s something charming about looking into your yard and seeing some wildlife snacking on seeds.
It’s time to get a bird feeder.
Bird feeders are more complicated than they used to be. Gone are the days of rolling an apple in peanut butter and covering it with bird seeds to hang from a tree. Now there are so many feeders in every home and garden store that picking the right type of bird feeder is a racket.
We’re here to offer you some advice so you can pick the right bird feeder for your home. Keep reading to learn more.
Tray feeders are the simplest and most common forms of bird feeders. They’re also called platform feeders, depending on where and how you place them in your yard.
Tray feeders look (as the name implies) like trays. This makes them easy to use for almost every type of seed-eating bird. They can group together because the trays hold many birds at a time and they don’t have to work to reach any hidden seeds.
That said, there are a few complications here.
The primary one is placement. When you’re considering whether or not this type of feeder is for you, consider the other types of wildlife that are abundant in your area.
Do you have a lot of ground-dwelling creatures nearby? Seeds aren’t only tasty snacks for birds. They may attract larger animals like deer, or smaller creatures like mice and bugs. You also run the risk of a larger predatory animal deciding that your tray feeder is a great place to pick up a feathered snack.
If you raise the feeder, you still need to be aware of squirrels. If your yard is squirrel-prone, this isn’t the right feeder for you. Pick something that’s harder to access or more enclosed.
Tube feeders are great if you’re worried about squirrels (though squirrels will still try to access them and may damage them in the process).
These feeders are best for small birds. Larger birds may not be able to fit their beaks into them and they might be too large to perch. If you want to attract anything much larger than a robin, it’s best to use something else.
These are good for birds who like to perch and eat upside-down. You can get tube feeders that are clear plastic tubes with small perches, or feeders that look more like mesh tubes that the birds can pull seeds through.
Make sure that you replace the seed often and that you check the bottom of the tube for mold or moisture every few days.
Peanut feeders are less well-known than many of the more popular types of bird feeders, but they’re no less effective. You can make one of these on your own if you’re feeling crafty, but you can also buy them in fun shapes to make your life easier.
They’re metal or plastic tubes that have large spaces. You fill the tube with peanuts (in their shells) and watch the birds extract them.
Larger birds love peanut feeders. You can see jays and woodpeckers at the feeders, which are often less prevalent around the more standard types.
Unfortunately, these feeders are also popular for squirrels. If you don’t mind having squirrels in your feeder, it’s fun to watch them work to extract peanuts and carry them off to their homes.
Want to get closer to nature? We love window feeders.
While all feeders can be placed close to your windows, window feeders are made for this purpose.
You can use a modified platform feeder for this if you’re not concerned about squirrels. Prop it up against your window and make sure that it’s secure enough to hold the weight of birds.
You can also buy a feeder made for this purpose. They come equipped with suction cups to place against any glass window.
Window feeders are great for homes with children. Your kids can learn about different species of birds from the comfort of your living room. They’re also great for homes with indoor cats who need extra enrichment. This keeps the birds safe while keeping the cats entertained.
The downside to window feeders is that they get dirty. Make sure that you change the seed every few days and every time it rains.
While all of these listed feeders are great for most birds, there is one bird that gets left out of the conversation — the tiny hummingbird.
Hummingbirds are popular amongst all gardeners, but they’re difficult to see. They move quickly and they’re fewer than 5 inches long. Unlike other birds, they don’t eat seeds. Instead, they take nectar from flowers.
If you have a large and luscious garden, you might see hummingbirds even without a feeder. If not, you’re going to need a hummingbird nectar or a sugar-water feeder.
These feeders are tiny, so consider buying several.
Some resemble flowers and they have a small hole in the center where the bird can extract its food. You can buy those at https://nature-niche.com/. Others are tube feeders.
Make sure that you clean these feeders often. Sugar water harbors bacteria, and you don’t want the birds to get sick. If you’re going to keep the feeders close to where you or your family may be outside, consider the feeders with the small hole as they’re more bee-resistant.
If not, keep in mind that bees need food too!
Which Type of Bird Feeder Is Right for You?
There are so many types of bird feeders. If you’re feeling undecided, why not get one of each to see which kinds of birds you attract?
Pick the right type of bird feeder for your local birds and your outdoor environment and watch your new feathered friends congregate for dinner.
For more helpful posts about animals and more, visit the rest of our site!