Which Wild Bird Feeder Should I Use?

Posted on by Pagosa Feed and Nursery

Well, that depends.  I will review a few styles of wild bird seed feeders and share why they are a great feeder and some of their shortcomings.

For the first time bird feeder a general, all purpose, not expensive feeder like a tube feeder would be a good place to start.  These feeders will take a wide range of bird seed mixes attracting a larg number of bird species. The feeder shown here has both American Goldfinch and Pine Siskins on the feeder.  These type of tube feeders are easy to fill and clean.

Prairie style tube feederLarge birds will dominate this type of feeder but there will be plenty of spilled seed on the ground for the little birds.

Birds are one of nature’s best seed dispersers.  Birds spread seed throughout the forest helping those plants to spread. Their messy form of eating will leave a lot of seed on the ground below your feeders.

Every week let your feeders remain empty for a couple of days so the birds will clean up what has fallen on the ground.  This will help deter skunks from spending a time under your feeder and keep your yard looking nice.

Hopper feeder

Another fun and easy feeder to start with is a hopper style feeder.  These feeders hold a lot of seed and several birds can eat at one time. This feeder is from recycled materials and should last.

High quality, more expensive feeders are a good, long term investment. They last longer. Feeders over time take a beating.  High winds will whip the feeder off it’s post; raccoon and bears can destroy them and just being out in the weather will, over time leave them broken and unusble.  Paying more for a better quality feeder will help. Metal and wood feeders are stronger in most cases than plastic. I have feeders that I have owned for 20 years.  All have had a little TLC and repair work done to them but they still work.

Droll Yankee feeder


The Droll Yankee on the right has all the great features: cover over the seed bin, easy to srew off top for filling. large base to catch the loose seed and stop squirrels and other animals from getting to the seed.

Squirrel proof feeders like the one below are also great to use so only small birds can get to the seed and the cage around the feeder makes it stronger and last longer.  This allows the small birds time to eat and the dropped seed below can be eaten by the bigger birds.

Caged feeder

Clean your feeders with soap and water to keep the mold at bay and to not spread disease. Buy a regional bird identification book like the Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America and start figuring out which birds are at your feeders.  Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a great website for seeing photos of birds and reading about their life history http://www.birds.cornell.edu/

House feeder with suet





This entry was posted in Feed Store, Wild Bird.