Bird Feeders

Male Cardinal sitting on bird feeder

Male Cardinal sitting on bird feeder

Bird feeders are a wonderful way to enjoy having birds frequent your garden, yard, or any place in which you may live. The type of bird feeder that you choose depends on where you live. There are some basic features to watch for when purchasing or building your bird feeders. You also need to know how to maintain your bird feeder to keep your feathered friend coming back to spend time with you.

Types of Bird Feeders

The type of bird feeder that you purchase or build depends on the type of birds that you want to attract, the type of food needed to attract the birds and the area where the bird feeder will be placed. Hummingbirds for example require a liquid food called, nectar. Hummingbird feeders are usually plastic or glass and bright red or have parts that are bright red. Plastic and glass feeders are easy to clean. Glass feeders usually have a tub that the hummingbirds can drink from. These type of feeders are made to hang. They can be hung from trees, overhangs, windows and other areas. Suet feeders are wire mesh or plastic mesh feeders that hold suet. These feeders hang from a pole or trees. Examples of the type of birds attracted to these feeders are woodpeckers, jays and others. Thistle feeders for small birds such as goldfinch and redpolls have tiny holes that allow these birds to eat the seeds. Thistle feeders may be hung from a tree or a pole. Hopper feeders are great because they can hold a large amount of bird seed that is kept dry and protected. It is recommended to place this type of feeder on a pole approximately five feet from the ground. Hopper feeders provide you with a variety of different birds. You may have large birds such as cardinals eating from the hopper and what is dropped to the ground is then eaten by smaller birds. Sunflower seed tube feeders are hung at least five feet from the ground. This is the type that you see hung close to windows and are easy to see. These maybe used by people who are not able to get out as often. This is one feeder that easily allows them to enjoy watching birds.

Maintenance of Bird Feeders

It is essential that you maintain your bird feeder. Bird feeders that are not kept clean may harbor diseases that can be passed on to other birds. The best way to maintain your bird feeders and prevent the spread of infection is to “immerse the feeder in a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water” (Audubon Society). Cleaning up old seeds and hulls from under and around bird feeders can also help. One other item to consider with feeders is avoiding overcrowding. This will also make the maintenance of your bird feeders easier. Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned with a solution of mild soap and water, rinse them thoroughly and dry. Due to the use of nectar for feeding hummingbird feeders have to be cleaned more frequently

Placing several different types of feeders in the area that you have chosen will bring different types of birds. Enjoy hummingbirds, song birds, finches, chickadees, woodpeckers and many others. Finding out what types of birds there are in the region where you live makes the process of choosing the correct feeders easier. Maintenance of your feeders is not hard when compared with the benefits and enjoyment. This is a fun and exciting project that the whole family can enjoy. Have fun and make new feathered friends!

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