how to buy a bird feeder

So you think you’re ready to invest in the long-term health and well-being of mother nature’s beloved wild birds? The bird feeder market is saturated with product features, designs, and promotions for varying types of birds and utility purposes, so it can become overwhelming. Just remember the bird feeding basics.

Tray or Platform Feeders

how to buy a bird feeder

The greatest variety of seed-eating feeder birds, such as native sparrows, grosbeaks, and pigeons, as well as House Sparrows, are drawn to trays. Rain and snow do not provide protection for tray feeders; in addition, poor drainage can cause seeds to become sufficiently wet for sprouting, as well as promote the growth of bacteria and fungi. Bird droppings can quickly soil the seed in tray feeders. In order to facilitate full drainage, the best tray feeders have a screened bottom as opposed to a solid one; at the absolute least, tray feeders should have multiple drainage holes. The bottom should be detachable for reasonably frequent hosing even with drainage. Give birds in tray feeders just as much seed as they can consume in a day or two, and shake out the bottom each time you add more seeds.

If tray feeders aren’t built with a squirrel baffle on the pole or suspension chain, squirrels and chipmunks are welcome to visit.

The majority of ground-feeding birds, including juncos, doves, jays, blackbirds, and sparrows, as well as squirrels, deer, raccoons, and other wildlife, are likely to be drawn to tray feeders situated close to the ground. Additionally, tray feeders can be suspended or fixed to posts, stumps, or deck railings. Certain models feature a roof to offer some weather protection.

1. Feed long term

For convenience’s sake, don’t choose the less expensive feeder because you’ll probably have to replace it eventually. Feeding birds is a long-term investment rather than merely a pastime. Additionally, your bird feeders will probably withstand freezing temperatures, sun, rain, and a variety of backyard pests, including feral cats, raccoons, and squirrels. Investing a little more up front on a feeder that comes with a product guarantee is your best option.

This is where convenience is on your side. We don’t think it’s ideal to have to go outside all the time to refill your bird feeder during the harsh winter months. Birds typically eat half their weight in seeds per day. Invest in a feeder that can hold at least two pounds of seed. With so much stock, you could observe the endless cycle of untamed birds coming to your house for food while staying warm!

3. Use common sense

Select feeders without points or sharp edges so that birds can perch away from the food and prevent it from getting dirty. To prevent crowding, set up multiple feeders and leave plenty of space between them.


How do I choose a bird feeder?

The ideal bird feeder is sturdy enough to withstand winter weather and squirrels, tight enough to keep seeds dry, easy to assemble and, most important of all, easy to keep clean. To attract the greatest variety of birds to your yard, provide several different feeder types offering a variety of foods.

What are the requirements for a bird feeder?

Choose feeders with no sharp edges or points; the design should allow birds to perch away from the food to keep it from becoming soiled. Set up more than one feeder and allow ample space between them to avoid crowding. Choose a feeder with drainage holes and add a plastic dome to keep seed dry.

What kind of bird feeder attracts the most birds?

Hopper or “House” Feeders Hopper feeders are attractive to most feeder birds including: finches, jays, cardinals, buntings, grosbeaks, sparrows, chickadees, and titmice. They can hold enough seeds to last for several days and protect seeds against inclement weather and bird droppings.

Should bird feeders be in the sun or shade?

Move Feeders to the Shade It also keeps seed and other bird foods from spoiling as quickly from the seasonal mixture of sun and humidity. Plus, a shaded spot also provides birds shelter from predators. Consider hanging feeders in a tree, near a shrub, or on a garden hook placed next to vegetation.