un-square and un-boring hopper bird feeders
With so many variations of bird feeders out there, how would you ever pick the right kind if you’re new to backyard birding? Aside from offering fresh water in a bath, choosing several feeders which hold different kinds of food is very effective for enticing feathered friends.
There are five basic types of wild bird feeders, although variations abound! Hopper Bird Feeders like this ceramic blue one also add a decorative touch to any garden or landscape.
Tube Feeders dispense seed and allow multiple small birds to feed at once. The ones with very tiny ports are designed for thistle or nyjer seed-which is a favorite of Goldfinches and Pine Siskins.
Hopper Bird Feeders are likely the most popular type of feeder as they attract a wide variety of birds and generally have larger seed capacities. They feature removable or lifting lids for easy filling and cleaning, and a ledge, or perching space to accommodate several birds.
Platform or Fly-Thru Feeders will attract the widest variety of birds, they’re versatile for offering several kinds of treats that you can change with seasons. One drawback to this type of feeder is is that seeds can become contaminated with droppings and may mold quicker with the right weather conditions. A fly-thru feeder’s roof has an advantage to protect seed from weather.
Nectar Feeders are meant for Hummingbirds and Orioles, and may be seasonal according to your location. We use them from mid-March through December in this North Georgia yard. Commercial nectar mixes are widely used, but we think the home-made sugar water solution is preferred.
Suet Feeders are usually a cage-type or bag feeder and should be protected from squirrels (and other pets). They’re great for offering fruit slices in summer, and nesting material in early spring. Many species covet suet for it’s high protein and fat content, especially during cold winter months. No-melt varieties of suet are also made for warm-weather feeding, as migratory birds also enjoy this special treat.
So that’s a basic run-down of wild bird feeders… although some may be more wild than others! This ceramic cupcake is also a variation of the popular hopper feeder.
fighting at wild bird feeders
Some feeders are more popular than others, as are some of the bird treats offered to feathered friends. Outrage and feeding frenzies can be expected from some species, while others like Goldfinches, would rather give up & fly away than fight for a spot at at wild bird feeders.
These grackles are doing battle over tempting suet at this feeder. A great photo, their iridescent color is superb. Certainly not one of my favorite birds, but again a cool photo.
They are so darn smart too! If I sit outside on the deck, the Grackles will circle the perimeter of the yard, hide in the canopy and just wait to swoop down on feeders…and at my split-second departure. Upon my return, just as soon as the screen door opens… off they go. They actually sit and watch me, waiting for me to leave so they can raid the wild bird feeders. Their favorites have got to be the live meal worms (meant for the Bluebirds), Suet and Woodpecker Mix. I’ll admit it is quite the smorgasboard in our yard, and getting the good birds will inevitably attract some not-so-desirable ones too.
Speaking of wild bird feeders, have you ever seen Hilda? She’s a cool stoneware feeder that the birds just love. Filled with sunflower seed, she attracts all kinds, and the innovative design deters larger birds with its small perch. In several fun colors, she’s definitely a very wild bird feeder!
Some Very Wild Bird Feeders
Bird feeders of every make and model imaginable will keep your feathered friends fat and happy! Any wild bird feeders that are easy to fill and clean are the ones that will attract more birds. If it becomes a real pain to clean…you may not tend to do it on a regular basis. And this is of utmost importance to birds’ health, as disease can be spread very easily amongst the immediate population.
Stoneware, ceramics and glass wild bird feeders alleviate the dreaded gnawing of squirrels, and this can be a big plus to many folks who have football teams of the critters in their yard. Another benefit of these materials is they are non-porous, which prevents bacteria and germs from settling into surfaces.
Pictured are just a few fun bird feeders that are guaranteed to attract and entice feathered friends. From ceramic cupcakes, to stoneware cats, these wild bird feeders make awesome gifts for any birding enthusiast or nature lover that might be on your list! Wild bird feeders make very long-lasting gifts, that actually get used everyday…now what could be better than that?