If you are an avid birdwatcher but do not have enough free time to hike through the woods. However, there is a way to continue bird watching even when you are at home, and that is by using bird feeders.
There are many different bird feeder types, and they do not quite work the same way. Depending on what kind of bird feeder you use, you will be attracting different bird species. This means if you do not choose the right one, you might attract birds that you are not particularly fond of.
Do not fret. This article will be teaching you about the most common bird feeders that are available, so you can choose which one you should place in your yard.
What are the Different Types of Bird Feeders?
So what are your different options in terms of a bird feeder? Here are the most popular types:
Platform feeders, also called tray feeders, are among the most commonly used types of bird feeders. As the name suggests, this bird feeder type features a flat platform where you will put the bird seed. Because of its simple design, birds can easily perch on it and feed quite easily.
The reason why platform feeders are so popular is that they are the most versatile. Since this feeder is just an open platform, a wide range of bird species can feed on it. However, if you are thinking of attracting just certain kinds of birds, this is not the feeder for you.
The main feature of this kind of bird feeder is that it is usually shaped like a small house. The way this works is that when a bird perches on the hopper, its weight will cause it to open and dispense a bit of birdseed.
One benefit of using hopper feeders is that they have large bird seed storage compartments, providing more than enough space. They are also kept sealed to make sure the seeds stay fresh longer.
In addition, the hopper usually only works when small birds perch on them. Bigger birds will be too heavy to open the hopper. This is great if you are just interested in attracting small songbirds.
These feeders are essentially short tubes sealed at the bottom and open at the top for refilling. The way you use this is that you fill the tube with your choice of birdseed and then hang it up on a tree branch. There are lots of port holes at the sides of the tube where the birds can peck at the seeds inside the tube.
You can choose tube feeders with port holes that are only big enough for whatever kind of birdseed you want to fill them with. Since certain bird species will only eat a certain kind of bird seed, you can then use these feeders to attract only the kind of birds that you want.
Some tube feeders have small perches so that only small birds can feed on them while others just allow small birds to grab along the side of the tubes.
Suet refers to blocks containing animal fat, grains, and seeds. Typically, these suet blocks are hung on their own but to ensure that you are not wasting birdseed, you can place the blocks inside suet feeders. Suet blocks are great for providing birds with a quick boost of energy.
These feeders usually have wire mesh covering the suet. This is to prevent bigger birds from completely devouring the block quickly. These bird feeders are typically used to attract insect-eating birds like woodpeckers, chickadees, and the like.
If you just hang the suet by their string, you can expect that larger birds, raccoons, squirrels, and other little creatures can just chomp at the blocks.
Nyjer feeders, also called thistle feeders, are specifically designed for dispensing Nyjer seeds. These are small, black seeds that finches particularly love to eat. These seeds are also the favorite of siskins and goldfinches.
Nyjer feeders are just smaller tube feeders, with port holes that are just big enough to allow the small Nyjer seeds through. Sometimes, these feeders come with an enclosure so that only small birds can feed. This is great when you just want to attract the smaller bird species.
What to Consider When Choosing a Bird Feeder?
Aside from just thinking about what type of bird feeder should I use, there are other factors that you need to consider, including the following:
Birdseed storage – Having a large bird seed storage means that you do not have to refill the feeder all that often. For instance, there are hopper bird feeders that can hold enough birdseed for an entire week.
Durability – The bird feeder should be quite durable. Keep in mind that dozens of birds will be pecking at it every day. The bird feeder should at least be made of hard plastic or acrylic. This will also prevent the plastic from chipping and getting into the birdseed.
Weatherproof – You will be hanging the feeder outside obviously, so it needs to be able to resist all kinds of weather. More importantly, there should be features in the feeder that prevents the contents from getting wet from the rain.
If rainwater gets into the birdseed storage the moisture will cause mold to grow, and this will be dangerous for the birds.
There are different bird feeder types and each of them caters to different bird species. If you are only planning to attract just one kind of bird, make sure that you get a bird feeder specifically designed for it. On the other hand, if you want to attract a wide variety of bird species, you can just get the old-fashioned platform bird feeder.
When you are shopping for a bird feeder, you should determine what kind of bird you want to visit frequently. By doing that, you can choose a feeder that is truly appropriate for them.