Hopper, or box, feeders are essentially variations on traditional large capacity, seed-holding chambers with an opening that permits seed to flow into a small shelf or tray. Round or rectangular, they may be constructed of wood, plexiglass, plastic, PVC, metal and even cement or ceramic. Some have counterbalanced perches that respond to the weight of the customer, closing off the seed tray if a very large bird or squirrel bellies up to the bar.
Typically suspended from tree branches, wires and hangers or mounted on poles, hopper-type feeders accommodate small and medium sized seed-eaters such as chickadees, sparrows, finches, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, jays and others. Examples of hopper type feeders are: globe_bird_feeders and satellite_feeders for smaller birds, redwood_bird_feeders and cantilevered_bird_feeders.
See the Hopper Feeders in Yardener’s Tool Shed by Click Here
Most tube_bird_feeders are narrow cylindrical clear plastic or PVC seed reservoirs featuring openings with perches on several sides along their length where the birds eat. Some tube feeders are specifically designed with very narrow openings that deliver only tiny, fine thistle seeds, favored by finches. Others have larger openings that will serve larger seeds such as sunflower seeds and peanut kernels and mixtures of seeds of various sizes. While they typically do not hold a substantial amount of food, it is easy to see when tube feeders need refilling.
Some tube feeders are enclosed by a column of wide wire mesh such as the haven_bird_feeder. It assures that only small birds which can fit through the mesh have access to the food within and are protected from predators while they eat. The wire guard also protects the food from squirrels that manage to climb on the feeder. Another tube feeder model is the thistle stocking. It is essentially a columnar bag of nylon mesh with a drawstring tie hanger. It holds thistle seed available to finches who cling to its sides as they pluck the seeds through the mesh fabric.
For examples of Tube Feeders see the file Tube Feeders in Yardener’s Tool Shed
Platform and Window Feeders
Some common songbirds are ground feeders, foraging beneath hanging feeders for seeds that have dropped or been spilled by raiding squirrels. Rather than scatter seed and fruits for them directly on the soil where they are more likely to spoil or germinate and develop into weeds, provide ground feeding visitors with a simple platform_bird_feeder . They are typically designed as a flat, wooden tray with raised edges with holes or screen flooring to permit drainage and small legs to keep it off the ground a few inches,
Place this type of feeder for the “buffet table” crowd in an open area far from shrubbery that would provide cover for cats or other predators. To facilitate cleanup set it on a paved area or lay a piece of white, polyspun floating row cover on the ground beneath it to catch seed debris. Put out eat fresh and dried fruits and stale baked goods as well as seeds. Expect cardinals, juncoes, certain sparrows, catbirds, mourning doves and others.
Look at a number of platform feeders in Yardener’s Tool Shed. Click Here
Some songbirds do not eat only seeds in traditional feeders. Woodpeckers, nuthatches, wrens, starlings and others love suet, or animal fat, which substitutes for insects, grubs and caterpillars, that normally provide them the animal protein they require. Suet products are made from beef fat, often combined with seeds and/or fruits and molded into firm blocks. Suet_cakes and wild_bird_blocks are typically suspended in some kind of plastic or nylon mesh holder or wire suet_cage that allows birds to hang on it and pluck at the suet with their long beaks.
Another suet feeder model that is easily made at home is a narrow log with hollowed out chambers that can be filled with suet or peanut butter and hung vertically to resemble a tree trunk. Most suet feeders can hang independently or be attached to the side of a regular feeder, a building, or a tree trunk. To discourage starlings and squirrels, hang suet cages horizontally so that the food is only accessible from underneath.
Check out the suet feeders in Yardener’s Tool Shed. Click Here