A wild bird feeder can bring great enjoyment! Along with all of the landscape amenities such as plantings, walkways, garden structures, driveway designs, patio designs and so on, there is one other thing that will bring great enjoyment. This is a wild bird feeder....or two...or three...or more!
It is amazing to watch birds as they flutter through the garden. Viewing them while they are at the bird feeders provides an opportunity to examine them while they are still....well relatively still.
You should decide where you would like your wild bird feeder, what type of bird feeder to have and what types of birds you would like to attract.
Think about places that are good viewing areas. This might be from a kitchen window or a patio area. Placement of the wild bird feeder is important since the whole point is to watch the birds!
In addition, decorative bird feeders need to be in a place that is convenient to refill. (If you have to walk far to fill it, you might get lazy...I know I have.)
Birds prefer plants nearby for shelter and refuge. However, try to keep the feeder about ten feet away from the plants so that animals such as cats cannot catch them by surprise.
If you are planning to add a new planting area to your landscape, this is the perfect time to think about birdscaping your property. Include plants that have features that provide food, cover, shelter and nesting sites for the birds. To attract a diversity of birds, add a wide variety of plants.
Some examples of plants that provide berries are Dogwood Trees and Viburnum. Winterberry Holly is another wonderful shrub which produces a huge amount of berries. Birds like evergreen trees to provide cover. Norway Spruce (deer resistant) and White Pine are good choices.
Once I had a Forsythia right outside my kitchen window with a window bird feeder at my kitchen window. The Cardinals love this shrub. I remember one time when there was a group of two males and three females all perched on the shrub. And of course they were taking turns at the bird feeder!
This is a feeder with a flat surface and a raised area around it. It may or may not have a roof. Bird food is spread out on the tray for the birds. The advantage of having a roof over the tray is that it will help keep both the birds and the seed dry.
The following feathered friends will all eat from hopper and tray feeders.
I find Grackles undesirable as they intimidate the smaller birds. You can use safflower seed when they are around as Grackles don't like this type of seed.
This wild bird feeder is similar to the tray feeder. There is always a roof and the sides are solid walls. It is better than the tray feeder in keeping the food dry.
This is a great feature and will keep seed from getting wet and moldy. Hoppers can hold a decent amount of bird seed. This is advantageous since you will have to refill it less often.
I like this particular feeder.
This type of wild bird feeder is normally shaped like a cylinder. Most are made of plastic and are see-through. There are various holes along the cylinder with perches at these areas. Tube bird feeders can accommodate just a few birds or many, depending on how long the feeder is and how many seed openings and perches are available.
Tube feeders can be attached to a pole or they can be hung, for example, on the branch of a tree. I have them both ways in my yard.
Examples of birds that tube bird feeders will attract are:
Others will come to tube feeders also if their preferred wild bird feeder type is not available.
This wild bird feeder is made with very small holes for Nyjer seed. Nyjer seed is favored by finches. It is beautiful to see thistle feeders covered with gold finches in the summer. In the winter the finches turn brown.
Please visit my page on thistle feeders.
Window bird feeders attach to your window by way of plastic suction cups. They allow you to watch the birds from inside while they feed up close.
They can be made of wood or plastic.
Find a window wild bird feeder that is of good quality, otherwise the suctions cups do not work well. These feeders can be open, like a tray feeder or have a top.
I have one that is simply a wooden tray. I like it because it is easy to fill and will hold quite a bit of seed.
Woodpeckers love suet. If you want to attract these lovely birds, consider having a suet feeder in your landscape. They look like a narrow, square cage. A block of suet fits inside. This can be attached to a pole, hung from a tree or used in other ways. Suet comes in many different varieties, such as peanut butter. Be careful putting out suet in the very hot weather as it can get rancid.
These birds likek suet.
These feeders are see-through and usually made from glass or plastic. They are specifically made for Hummingbirds. The feeder is filled with nectar which the hummingbirds get from small holes in the feeder. Humming bird feeders can be difficult to clean so keep that in mind when selecting one.
So...what about the squirrels? Bird feeders are wonderful to have in your garden. However, there are times when squirrels are definitely a problem. They are determined and relentless. I know, since in the past I have experienced them many times myself. No sooner are you enjoying the birds and Mr. Squirrel surfaces....or Mr. Squirrel and his family. They steal the seed, eat it quickly, and they scare the birds away.
In my relentless searching to solve this problem, I have discovered two bird feeders that are completely squirrel proof. I would highly recommend either of them.
Many feeders claim to be squirrel proof, but unfortunately they have been outsmarted by the squirrels and do not work.
These two squirrel proof feeders really work.
This is a tube feeder with 6 feeding stations. When a squirrel climbs onto the feeder, its weight forces a shroud down.
This closes the seed ports, denying the squirrel access to the seed. There is no way for the squirrel to be successful.
This wild bird feeder has some other exceptional features too. The ring on the bottom has been especially designed to attract Cardinals, since Cardinals like to perch on a substantial surface.
The length of the six individual perches can be adjusted so that different types of birds are attracted to the bird feeder. They can be made shorter to attract small birds such as finches and chickadees or they can be lengthened to attract woodpeckers and grosbeaks. The perches can be locked in place.
The feeder is vented at the top so that the birdseed remains fresh, attracting more birds. It holds 3 quarts of seed.
The Brome Squirrel Buster Plus With Cardinal Ring has received the Birdwatch America's Best New Product Award. It has a Lifetime Factory Warranty.
This is the second squirrel proof bird feeder I would suggest. This feeder is similar in concept to the one above. However it has a wire grid over the tube. When the squirrel goes onto this feeder, the grid is forced to move down, closing access to the seed ports.
It has four perches, which can actually be removed so that birds such as grackles are not attracted to it. It has the same excellent ventilation system as Squirrel Buster Plus.
It holds 1.4 quarts of bird seed (which is quite a bit). Although the cardinal ring is not offered, that is not to say that cardinals will not visit this feeder too. It has a Two Year Warranty.
The Brome Squirrel Buster Classic has also received the Birdwatch America's Best New Product Award.
Once again I recommend these feeders if you have a squirrel problem. And you can get back to enjoying the birds!
"Susan, what a pleasure it was to work with you. You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly! Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant. You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes. Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
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