If you are new to the bird feeding community you will benefit from this information. There are lots of different types of bird feeders to choose from and three among the most popular include: hummingbird feeders, platform feeders, and tube bird feeders. Learn of the differences between all three bird feeders, the bird food to use for each, and the birds they can attract.
Hummingbird feeders are nectar feeders and come in several different shapes and sizes. These bird feeders are enclosed, typically made of glass or plastic, and often have 3 to 5 feeding ports. These ports are often surrounded with red plastic flowers and bee guards. The nectar solution can be made at home, using a ratio of 4 parts water to 1 part white cane sugar. Simply boil the water or just use hot water from the faucet, stir in the sugar while hot and making sure it is dissolved, then allow it to cool before filling the feeder. The hummingbird feeder should be washed at least once a week and any remaining nectar discarded. This will prevent your nectar solution from fermenting and keep your hummingbirds returning.
Platform bird feeders, also called tray feeders and tabletop feeders, consist of an open tray upon which the seed is placed. These bird feeders offer little protection against squirrels or the weather but can come with a top to protect the seed from some elements. Some tube bird feeders are equipped to attach a tray feeder to them. You can attach platform bird feeders to some hook stands and hang from poles away from trees and telephone lines (in a better attempt to keep squirrels out). A good quality mix for platform bird feeders is shelled peanuts and lots of black oil sunflower seed. Kitchen scraps such as breads, donuts, crackers or dried fruit work well with platform feeders too. Some birds that are attracted to platform bird feeders include cardinals, chichadees, jays, nuthatches, buntings, titmouse, redpolls, finches, pine siskin, woodpeckers, starlings, blackbirds and most seed eating birds.
Tube bird feeders are constructed with a hollow cylinder which is often made out of some type of plastic. These bird feeders come with multiple feeding ports and perches. Keep in mind that tube bird feeders with short perches can be selective to smaller birds. For example, a tube feeder with small perches can accommodate chickadees, but exclude large birds such as jays. Tube bird feeders generally keep the seed fairly dry. It is best to have one type of wild bird seed and avoid mixed seed. The types of wild birds feeding at this type of bird feeder, will as usual, only eat their favorite seed. The seed which is left will clog the feeding ports leaving their favorite seed out of reach. The types of birds attracted to tube feeders include chickadees, house finch, American goldfinch, nuthatch, titmice, pine siskin, purple finch, lesser goldfinch, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, red bellied woodpecker, and the cardinal.
Invest in a hummingbird feeder, platform bird feeder or tube bird feeder today and start enjoying the wild life entertainment they will bring to your backyard. These three bird feeders are just a few of the most popular types of bird feeders. Make sure to keep any and all bird feeders clean and well maintained for returning birds.