Bird watching provides hours of enjoyment for people all over the country. If you’re interested in learning about the different types of birds native to you area, setting up a few different bird feeders can attract different species.
Types of Bird Feeders
A platform bird feeder is the most basic kind. It is a simple tray that can attract all kinds of birds. However, it offers no protection from the outer elements. Without drainage, seeds that become wet may begin to sprout; this can also cause fungi and bacteria to grow as well. Birds can also leave their droppings which can spoil the bird seed.
Make sure that your platform feeder has a screened bottom with plenty of drainage. Even with drainage, bird seed needs to be changed frequently. Put only handfuls of bird seed out a time, so it does not spoil and go to waste.
Platform bird feeders can be placed on decks, stumps and posts. They can be also suspended from the air. When kept close to the ground your feeder can invite more ground feeding birds such as juncos, doves, jays, blackbirds, and sparrows, along with furry animals such as, squirrels, deer, raccoons and other critters.
If you want to get up close and personal with your neighboring feather friends then a window bird feeder is the way to go! These bird feeders can be attached with suction cups directly to your window and attract smaller birds such as sparrows, finches and chickadees.
Suet cakes are bird food in the shape of blocks. They are made from hard animal fat such as the kidneys and loins found in beef and mutton. Other ingredients mixed with the suet can include peanuts, seed, corn meal, fruit and dried insects. Suet attracts many different types of birds including, woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, jays and starlings. You may also get some wrens, creepers, kinglets and even cardinals to your suet bird feeders. The animal fat is easily digestible and can be metabolized by many birds. Making it a high energy foo that is especially valuable in cold weather.
If you have a lot of squirrels in your neighborhood it can be an unending battle keeping them away from your bird feeders. Many tube bird feeders can also be squirrel proof by keeping the furry critters out by letting birds hang off the side of the feeder or perch at specific feeding ports. These bird feeders are great to hang from porches, balconies, posts and more.
Nyjer bird seed also called thistle seed, are popular for attracting finches, pine siskins and common redpolls. Nyjer bird feeders are very similar to tube feeders but the nyjer seeds are smaller, black seeds that are very high in calories and protein. Nyjer bird feeders have smaller feeding posts than other tube bird feeders. Some nyjer bird feeders are called “thistle socks”, fine mesh bags that birds cling to and eat the seed. Nyjer bird feeders are also great for bird watchers because squirrels don’t like nyjer seed and will not be tempted to eat it.