If you enjoy the sights and sounds of birds around your home and garden,
one of the easiest ways to attract them is to put up a bird feeder.
For anyone who works from home or is housebound, watching birds can be a
happy occupation. Children also enjoy watching and identifying birds
from a nearby window. It is interesting to observe the various bird
species and their plumage colors, and to watch the birds' activities and
interactions. Some birds, like starlings and blue jays, tend to
monopolize the feeders and chase other birds away, while other birds hop
around and eat seed dropped on the ground. Some birds, such as
hummingbirds and warblers, appear in certain seasons, which may affect the
feeder and food that you use.
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There are several basic styles of feeders available for different types
and sizes of birds; therefore, it is important to research the bird
species that you will be trying to attract. In the end, you may
decide to install several different bird feeders to attract a variety of
birds to your yard.
A tray or platform feeder is a basic form of feeder that is a flat
raised surface. It is easily accessible and attracts many types
of birds. However, because it offers no protection from the
environment, it also may attract
chipmunks, as well as roaming pets. It is a good idea to provide
some sort of roof when using a tray feeder, and remember to change the
seed often, as it gets soiled from the birds standing directly on it to
A hopper or house feeder is like a platform feeder with walls and
a roof, forming an enclosure. It keeps the seeds cleaner than a
platform feeder and protects better against the elements. However,
it is still attractive to squirrels and must be cleaned out often to
prevent seeds from growing musty. House feeders can be pole mounted
A window feeder is perfect for attracting small birds for close-up
viewing. Window feeders are usually suction-cupped to a window and
attract finches, sparrows, chickadees, and titmice. Again, the
birds stand in this kind of feeder, so the food must be changed often.
Tube feeders are hollow cylinders with multiple feeding ports
and perches. They are relatively inexpensive and tend to attract
many types of birds. Usually made of plastic, they are a bit more
squirrel resistant. A plastic dome can be added to the tube feeder,
allowing smaller birds access and barring squirrels and larger birds.
A suet feeder is a wire-mesh cage or plastic mesh bag that holds
suet or suet mixture. It can be nailed or tied to a tree,
suspended, or smeared into knotholes in the trunk.
A hummingbird feeder is a special kind of feeder that contains
artificial nectar or a sugar solution. The feeder is usually red
in color, to attract the birds. It is made of plastic or glass,
with a saucer and plastic flowers with bee-guards, which keep bees and
other insects away from the sugar solution.
Ornithologists and others who appreciate birds will often attract birds by
planting a garden or landscaping the area around their bird feeder.
A spotting scope or pair of binoculars may be used to watch birds enjoy
the idyllic bird feeder setting. On Birdfeeders.us, we feature easy
access to a selection of bird feeders and backyard birdwatching resources.