Bird Feeders

Use bird feeders to draw birds into your yard

Bird feeders are an excellent way to entice birds to visit and return to your yard, especially during the cold winter months when food is hard to come by. They also attract avian visitors during the spring and fall migratory periods.

If you want to attract a particular species of bird, you'll have to do your homework and learn what bird supplies to get. Many bird species have specific diets and feeding habits, which you'll have to understand if you want them to visit your home.

Types of Bird Feeders

Numerous styles of wild bird feeders are readily available. These include:

  • Platform bird feeders. One of the most popular options is the platform bird feeder. At their simplest, these are flat trays with raised edges, giving birds a place to perch as they feed on the seeds in the center.
  • Window bird feeders. If you like looking at birds up close, window bird feeders may be the best option for you. These feeders are usually long, narrow tubes that attach to your window, allowing you an up-close-and-personal view of the birds as they nibble on the seeds.
  • Tubular feeders. Most plastic and glass bird feeders are fashioned in tubular shapes, allowing you to see when the seed supply is getting low. Tubular feeders also make it easy for the birds to reach the food inside.
  • Hopper feeders. While these are more elaborate and typically more expensive, hopper feeders serve as mini bird houses. These wooden bird feeders are capable of holding a large supply of seeds, which are effectively protected from sun, rain and snow.

You can also make homemade bird feeders quickly, easily and inexpensively. Old plastic bottles, milk cartons and potato chip cans serve as makeshift tubular feeders when suspended from sturdy tree branches and filled with bird seeds.

Choosing a Bird Feeder

If you want to attract hummingbirds and orioles, for example, you may need to make a little extra effort. In such a case, a nectar feeder might be your best choice; nectar feeders combine seeds with sweetened water to entice birds with pickier palates.

Many companies make squirrel-proof bird feeders, which are a must if squirrels frequent your yard. Squirrels will steal bird seed and stash it in their homes, so it's essential that you protect the food from them. Squirrel-proof bird feeders make the seeds accessible to birds while preventing squirrels from stealing them; to do this, they use obstacles that make it impossible for squirrels to climb the feeder pole. In the end, trial and error may be the best way to go; stick with the feeder that attracts the most birds while keeping pests at bay.

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