How to Choose a Bird Feeder
Did you know that different garden birds like to feed in different ways? Having a variety of bird feeders in your garden is a great idea if you want to attract a variety of species.
Here’s a full lowdown on bird feeders and how to choose one:
Tray or Table Feeders
Some bird species prefer to peck their food from the ground. Robins, dunnocks, chaffinches, thrushes and blackbirds like to be on steady ground when they’re tucking into their grub. These species are most likely to make use of raised bird tables or tray feeders placed on the ground.
What features should a bird table have?
- A small bird table can lead to fighting. Birds need to have enough space to feed alongside each other.
- A smooth, straight post makes it more difficult for predators like cats and squirrels to climb up to the bird table. A metal post is perfect.
- Some bird tables have rooves. Whilst these aren’t essential, the height of the roof will determine which birds can fit onto the table. If you want to reserve food for smaller bird species, choose a bird table with a lower roof.
Lots of birds like seeds and nuts. Hanging feeders are most likely to attract birds from the tit family who are able to cling to the mesh. Greenfinches and sparrows will also make use of a hanging feeder if there is a perch for them to use. If the perch is circular you may also see some robins flying up to feed.
What features should a hanging feeder have?
- A standard hanging feeder is great if you’re just planning to use standard bird seed. But niger seeds are tiny and require a dedicated niger seed feeder. And a peanut feeder features a tighter mesh which helps to prevent whole peanuts choking younger birds.
- If squirrels, jackdaws and rooks pose a threat to your garden birds, you can find hanging feeders with a surrounding cage.
A Few More Bird Feeder Essentials
Whichever bird feeders you choose, there are a few essential features they need to have. Firstly, they should allow rainwater to drain away from the food. Secondly, they should be easy to clean.
Bird feeders can help to spread disease amongst our bird populations. So cleaning bird feeders is something we should do on a regular basis.
By choosing a selection of bird feeders and providing a variety of food, you’re sure to attract a number of different bird species to your garden. Just try to place feeders clear of predators and only provide food that is safe for birds to eat.
- Nikki Boxwild