Whether hanging or pole-mounted, there’s a solution with bird seed trays. This one is adjustable and accommodates almost any style feeder out there! Although the Seed Hoops hang, they’ll slide nicely right over a pole as well. It’s as simple as cutting a small slit in the center of the tray.
A few other measures to avoid ground mess or at least reduce its presence, is using a no-waste seed. Because there are no fillers, birds are less likely to sort through and pick out the good stuff! Fillers are what ends up on the ground anyway, millet, milo and corn being most common. Sunflower hearts are always a great choice, and you can bet anything that does land on the ground gets scarfed up quickly.
Suet is another alternative for clean feeding. Many birds will partake and there’s no waste. Thistle’s also a good choice as these seeds will not germinate. You won’t see as many species with thistle alone (mostly finches), but when offered along with suet, there should be a good variety. Chickadees, nuthatches, warblers, woodpeckers, and even bluebirds in winter will go for suet.
So if the feeding mess has you down, don’t give up the ship yet… try using a bird seed tray and offering cleaner seed. The birds are worth it 🙂
Spilled seed is a major attractant of rats and other unwanted guests, in rural and especially in urban areas. The first reaction is usually: “Oh no, I have to stop feeding the birds now.” Not true!
There are some fairly simple methods to stopping the madness. One is to use seed catchers or seed trays which prevent spilled seed in the first place. The large platform area of some seed trays will attract new birds who have never used the feeder.
Another way to avoid these unwanted guests while still feeding your birds is to feed a high quality seed. Less expensive seed mixes contain fillers like millet, and finely cracked corn. Birds will continually toss these seeds out in search of the good stuff. So why not just feed the good stuff to start with? Black Oil Sunflower is a great basic seed preferred by many species. An even better choice is the Sunflower Hearts or Meats. There’s absolutely no waste, no shells, no mess. It does cost more, but again… there’s no waste, so it’s almost a wash. Nothing wasted on the ground for scouring rats, opossums, or raccoons, because all of the seed is consumed by your avian amigos!
Suet is another good choice because there’s no waste, no mess. Specialty mixes (doughs) are even meant for summer feeding. Some of the more common, or fat-based suet formulas may sour and turn rancid in summer’s extreme temperatures. But the heat will not affect suet doughs…. and both resident and migratory birds devour this stuff!
Below is a real note from one of our repeat customers, just yesterday. She phoned with some questions and had planned to purchase two seed trays. After speaking with her, the plans changed: (proof positive the above content holds some weight)
“thanks for chatting with me yesterday about seed catchers for my bird feeders. I am going to hold off on buying and change the birdseed instead to shelled sunflower nuts. I did go look outside and indeed there is a lot of millet on the ground, along with sunflower shells. I’m hoping this will work, if not I will order the seed catchers!
By the way, the seed catcher shown above is adjustable. It fits just about any feeder and comes in two diameters; 16 and 30-inch. The larger “SeedHoop” may even be pole mounted by creating a slit in the center of the tray. They’re versatile, durable, and best of all… they work!