Bird Feeders: Choosing the Best Types and Maintaining Them

Bird Feeders: Choosing the Best Types and Maintaining Them

Monday, 9th March 2015

Bird feeders come in all shapes and sizes – here’s how to select one in five simple steps…

Selecting the most appropriate bird feeder for your garden birds can be made a simpler task by following these five steps:

1). Decide which food you’d like to feed.

Bird feeders can be purchased to feed peanutsseedssoft foodsmealworms and suets and the ideal bird garden may have one each of these feeders; however, if budget/space is limited, selecting just one of these should be enough to get birds feeding regularly in your garden. One of the best ways to select a food is to consider the birds’ preferences – start with the birds that already frequent your garden.

2). Are you more likely to replace a dirty feeder than clean it?

If you’re more likely to replace a dirty feeder than clean it, you may find a budget feeder will be sufficient; however, if you’re happy to clean a bird feeder, I suggest that the ease in which a bird feeder can be cleaned is taken into consideration. 

3). How will the bird feeder be sited in the garden?

Some gardens are awash with trees and handy natural branches upon which to hang bird feeders – other gardens are not. Just about every bird feeder can be hung from a branch but a treeless garden will require extra planning. The good news, though, is that many bird feeders have a range of accessories and the first accessory to look at would be the feeding station because it helps create an instant zone of attraction and it’s portable, which means it can easily be manoeuvred until the best place to create a feeding area has been found.

4). Are Grey Squirrels in the area?

There’s little point siting a plastic feeder where Grey Squirrels frequent as the grey is more than a match and will quickly chew through feeding ports and even the clear tube! Select a squirrel-resistant bird feeder and you’ll save money in the long run.

5). Do you need a bird feeder?

The answer is yes; however, it’s worth considering that a number of birds won’t feed from a bird feeder (no matter how good the food is). Take, for example, the Blackbird: this iconic member of the thrush family is happy to feed from the ground and may feed from the bird table. The answer to this conundrum is to have a bird feeder and a bird table or ground feeder but, again, budget and space is sometimes prohibitive so if you can only select one style of bird feeding, go with the birds you currently have in your garden.

Follow these five steps and you’ll soon have the birds queuing up for their favourite bird diets.


Written by Simon H. King


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