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Learn More About Feeders & Birdhouses
The ideal type of bird feeder is easy to clean and protects seeds from moisture, mold, and bird droppings while withstanding winter conditions and squirrels. Some species prefer different feeders to others, so knowing what type of feeder works best for your environment or favorite species keeps those winged wonders coming back for more:
- Hopper feeders: Hopper feeders usually hold enough food to last several days, so you won’t need to refill or clean them as often. They do well at keeping bird feed clean and dry but become breeding tubes for bacteria and fungi if they do get wet. To keep your hopper feeder from becoming a petri dish, add a roof covering to help seeds stay dry. Consider mounting the feeder on a pole or suspending it to protect it from animals.
- Hummingbird feeders: Attract hummingbirds and other sweets-loving birds like orioles with hummingbird feeders. A simple mixture of sugar and water brings these brightly colored birds buzzing around your garden.
- Blue bird feeders: Blue bird feeders can be filled with dried mealworms, jelly, or suet—a type of saturated fat. Many species of bluebirds prefer these snacks, though you may see the occasional one stop by for a bite of seeds.
- Window bird feeders: Window bird feeders use suction cups or window frame hooks to entice finches, chickadees, and other smaller birds. Placing these outside your kitchen sink window makes washing dishes fly by. Birds usually need to stand on the seeds in a window feeder, so it’s important to clean and change the seed frequently.
- Gourd bird feeders: Gourd bird feeders are made from dried gourds and come in as many stunning colors as the birds that eat from them. They liven up gardens with flower designs, painted birds, creative patterns, and thematic scenes.
- Pole bird feeders: Pole bird feeders are mounted onto a pole, making them relatively inaccessible to ground critters like squirrels, chipmunks, and cats. These animals are incredibly resourceful, so you may be entertained watching them try to find a way up.
- Tube bird feeders: Keep seeds clean and dry with tube bird feeders. Depending on the size of the perches, you may get small titmice and sparrows or larger birds like grackles and jays. Some perches force birds to feed upside down, which is perfect for gold finches and chickadees. Keep a steady eye on the bottom of the tube, as this is the likely spot for mold to grow after the rain.
- Suet bird feeders: Typically made from wire mesh or plastic-coated mesh, suet bird feeders hold the suet in place. Use these against a tree trunk, suspend them, or connect them to another feeder to attract woodpeckers, titmice, jays, and starlings. Suet cages may lessen the rare chance for birds to trap their toes or beaks in the cage, offering a peace-of-mind feeding option.
Place birdhouses and feeders in sunny, open areas with minimal wind. Keep them elevated and away from known predators to make the birdies feel safe. Add a birdbath into the mix and you’ll have a full-blown bird sanctuary in no time.