Bird Feeder Types Bird Feeder Types
Bird feeders can be categorized by the matarials used to build them and the way they're used.
WHAT THEY'RE MADE OF:
WOOD: Wood looks traditional and rustic. However, wood will weather rapidly and rot, needing replacement every few years. It's not recommended to chemically treat your wood bird feeders. It may leach into the food and harm the birds that peck and other animals that may gnaw at the feeder.
PLASTIC: Plastic bird feeders weather well and last a long time. But they too may fall victim to damage from squirrels. Including a squirrel baffle can alleviate this problem.
METAL: metal birdfeeders will not be damaged by squirrels or other wildlife and also last far longer than wood. Metal can rust, however, and should be inspected early each season. A quick spray paint touch-up may be in order. One big advantage of some metal feeders is a hinged perch that allows small birds access to the seed while closing to heavier birds and squirrels.
WHERE THEY'RE USED
POLE-MOUNTED: Most feeders either come with a pole, or a pole kit can be bought to modify them. A squirrel baffle installed below the feeder will ensure that the birds are the only ones who get the seed. A feeder pole should be securely anchored since the feeder can be topheavy. Make sure the pole is a comfortable height for you to maintain the feeder.
HANGING: Many small-bird feeders are best hung from a branch or hook. Once again, a squirrel baffle, this time above the feeder, protects the food from squirrels. Hummingbird feeders are usually brightly colored, hanging plastic containers for sugar water. Other birds won't bother them, though butterflies might.
TREE OR PLATFORM MOUNTED: Tray-bottom bird feeders can usually be mounted in a tree branch. This looks nice, but it leaves the feeder vulnerable to squirrels – and sometimes aggressive birds like jays.
WINDOW-MOUNTED: Most window feeders are small and plastic. It's fun to watch the birds up close, but movement inside the house may startle them.
You should decide for yourself which of these systems works best for your yard and your birds.