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Window Feeders Years ago, before fancy screens and storm windows, many people simply scattered a handful of crumbs or seeds for birds on their windowsills. You can mount a simple shallow tray feeder on outside of a window, mounting it like a window box (but higher and closer to pane). You can use wooden or metal brackets that attach below sill or on sill. Perfect for kids and indoor cats - many window feeders attach with suction cups. Typically made of clear plastic, models by Aspects, Duncraft and K-Feeders are among those available.
The most popular window feeders are made by Birding Company. A one-way mirror allows feeding activity to be observed while keeping birds from being disturbed. The feeders need to be placed in a sunny spot for one-way mirror to work. The feeder can be cleaned and food replaced from inside house.
Tube Feeders Simple tube feeders are a perfect example of form matching function. They're self-contained, so seed stays dry; they hold a good quantity of seed, so they don't need refilling too often; and they can accommodate several birds at one time. Not all tube feeders are created equal though. You should invest a few extra dollars in more expensive feeders such as Duncraft or Droll Yankees. The tube itself is sturdier, feeding holes are designed better so there's less spillage or feeds as birds eat, and heavier metal used on top and bottom makes feeder much more stable. Being heavier they don't swing as easily in wind scattering seed on ground.
Tube feeders are welcomed by goldfinches, purple finches, pine siskins, chickadees, and house finches, who seem to know they can eat in peace there without being disturbed by bigger birds. The size of hole (port) determines whether you have a feeder that should be filled with Niger, birdseed mix or sunflower seeds.
There are two styles of tube feeders. One is designed with small feeding ports for tiny Niger seeds; other has larger ports for such seeds as black oil sunflower, safflower, or mixed seed.
Not all tube feeders are cylinders. There are tube feeders with three, four, or more sides. It is idea of feeding ports built into elongated seed container that makes a feeder a tube feeder.
The Droll Yankees A6 Tube Feeder is still a top seller. Droll Yankee feeders have a lifetime guarantee. Other variations include Perky Pet's Upside-Down Thistle Feeder. Perches are placed above feeding ports so that seed can be accessed only by finches that can feed upside down, a design that excludes house finches.
Two or three tubes are sometimes ganged together, as Opus TopFlight Triple Tube Feeder. With a total of 12 ports, it can feed more birds than a single tube, and it also has option of being filled with a different seed type in each tube.
Most tube feeders are made of transparent plastic, but Vari-Craft makes particularly attractive tube feeders of white PVC. Ports are made of a hard plastic. A squirrel-proof model is available with stainless steel ports.
Most tube feeders can be fitted with round trays underneath that catch spillage from birds like finches, which are notoriously messy eaters. The tray serves double duty as a small platform feeder for such birds as cardinals and doves, which benefit from slung seed.
Tube feeders are sometimes placed inside a wire-mesh cage for protection from squirrels. Cages also keep large birds like grackles from perching on a tray and reaching up to feeder ports.
Nectar Feeders Sweet sugar water, or nectar, is a huge draw for hummingbirds. Put up a nectar feeder and you're practically guaranteed to get hummers. The birds search for red and deep orange-red flowers, andanything that color will bring them in for a closer look. Your nectar feeder may also attract other birds with a sweet tooth, including orioles, house finches, and woodpeckers. In wild these birds would satisfy that craving with real nectar from flowers, or a sip of sugary tree sap or fruit juice. The sugar boost gives them quick calories and energy needed to live.
As with other bird feeders, look for a nectar feeder that's easy to fill and easy to clean. Make sure you can remove base to clean out feeding holes. Bee guards of gridded plastic over feeder openings are a necessity unless you like to watch constant battles between wasps and hummingbirds.
Suet Feeders Suet feeders are not nearly as complex as some seed feeders. They can be as simple as a mesh sack - kind often used for onions and potatoes. Toss a chunk of raw suet in an empty mesh sack and hang it on a tree trunk or from a branch or pole.
A popular way of presenting suet is in homemade suet logs. Perches are not necessary and if used will attract grackles and starlings. Woodpeckers and small clinging birds can get a grip on rough wood. Stuffed with suet, these logs have woodpeckers as regular visitors. Standing dead trees can be drilled and filled like giant suet logs. If meant to attract woodpeckers, a suet feeder is likely to be found most quickly if it is attached initially to a tree trunk. Once woodpeckers have found it, feeder can be moved to other spots and birds will follow.
Suet cages are sometimes combined with bird feeders. Health Manufacturing makes a beautiful redwood hopper feeder with suet cages at either end, Classic Suet 'n Seed Feeder. Woodlink makes a similar model with a copper roof.
Louise Desmarteau is the Owner of BirdShopper.com, an online e-tailer offering the highest quality wild bird feeders and birdhouses on the market today. BirdShopper's staff is very knowledgeable and can assist you with any questions you might have in selecting the product(s) that are right for you. Visit BirdShopper today.