Because ground waste can easily spoil and become moldy, it poses the threat of illness to birds. It may attract less desirable critters as well, causing many to give up on feeding the birds 🙁 But larger bird seed trays like these do so much more than just catch fallen seed!
Not only for hanging feeders, but the big diameter style may be used with a pole mounted feeder as well, imagine that! It offers an extra feeding area for birds who may not even perch at the feeder itself. Simply by cutting a slit in the center of the durable mesh netting, it slides on and off the pole for easy cleaning.
In a pinch, or as an extra option, a small dish may be placed on the platform to offer some variety for birds. We use a small clay saucer to hold mealworms for our bluebirds, phoebes and warblers. Luckily, goldfinches don’t care for worms… or they’d be gone in a flash!
Setting up a small dish-like feeder with worms is most helpful when mom and dad bluebird are teaching their fledglings how to access the goods!
These affordable and innovative seed catchers are a delight to birds and hosts alike! Anything that keeps ground mess to a minimum, offers additional feeding space to see more birds, and even lets you create a new feeder on the platform will absolutely enhance the backyard birding experience. We use them at home too- so validated as pretty cool by our standards!
Add them to a post, add them to a bird feeder pole, or hang them… seed trays greatly reduce ground mess and waste. Spilled seed can lead to other problems, like mold which is unhealthy for ground feeding birds, and may attract some unwanted visitors too. Over the years we’ve heard from many folks (especially in the city) who stop feeding birds altogether due to rats… yuck!
Clean feeding is easy with bird seed trays or seed catchers. Using a no-waste seed mix or sunflower hearts also helps alleviate ground mess. They’re pure with no filers – which is what ends up on the ground anyway. Milo, red millet, cracked corn and oats don’t really serve birds well at all, they’ll toss it right out of the feeder on purpose!
Newer designs in recycled plastic make it possible to add the generous-size trays to a 4×4 post or standard garden pole. The large area is inviting to some birds who may never have visited the feeder before. Adjustable Seed Hoops fit almost any type feeder out there, and come in 16-and 30-inch diameter. The smaller size is ideal for tube styles, while the large tray is best for hopper bird feeders.
Should you happen to be one of the “I don’t feed birds in summer” folks – just know that backyard feeders are hopping with activity now as most birds have nestlings to feed. The show of migratory birds passing through is colorful and quite dazzling to catch… so don’t give up the ship due to ground mess!
*Use seed trays to minimize waste
*Switch to cleaner seed mixes with no fillers
*Try No-Melt Suet Doughs for warm weather feeding
*Offer fruit & jelly for migratory birds- it leaves no waste
*Feed dried mealworms (boil and steep to soften) for a real treat!
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!