Discount Bird Feeders
Best Bird Feeders
Author: Marc Singleton
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, tens of millions of Americans feed wild birds in their backyards. And they spend several billion dollars each year on bird food and discount bird feeders. Like most products, bird feeders vary in quality and function, and beginners often rely on ads or merchants to make buying decisions.
Drawing on more than 30 years experience feeding backyard birds, I’ve assembled a list of the Best of the Best feeders. All are high-quality feeders with substantial guarantees. And most important, birds use them. I know because I have them all in my backyard.
Best Tube Feeders: Aspects’ Seed Tube Feeders
Tube feeders are popular because they’re simple, easy to use, and birds are easy to see when using them. Aspects’ tubes with the new removable quick-clean base make cleaning a breeze. Just push two buttons and the base pulls right out. A few pulls on a stiff brush, and the tube’s like new.
A birdfeeder, bird feeder, bird table, or tray feeder are devices placed outdoors to supply bird food to birds. The success of a bird feeder in attracting birds depends upon its placement and the kinds of foods offered, as different species have different preferences.
Most bird feeders supply seeds or bird food, such as Millet, Sunflower (Oil and Striped), Safflower, Niger seed, and rapeseed or canola seed to seed-eating birds.
Bird feeders often are used for bird watching and many people keep webcams trained on feeders where birds often congregate.
Types of feeders
Seed feeders are the most common type. These can vary in design from tubes to hoppers and trays. Sunflower seed or mixed seed are popular for use in these feeders and will attract many songbirds such as cardinals, finches, and chickadees. Black Oil Sunflower seed is especially popular with bird enthusiasts. The outer shell of Black Oil Sunflower seeds are thinner and easier to crack than other types of Sunflower seeds. In addition, the kernel is larger than striped or white sunflower seeds. Black Oil Sunflower seeds also contain a large amount of fat; therefore they are especially good to use in the winter. Most bird feeders are designed to dispense sunflower-sized foods, but there are specialty “finch feeders” with smaller openings to dispense the tiny Guizotia abyssinica (Niger seed), which is a favorite of smaller finches.
Hummingbird feeders, rather than dispensing seed, supply liquid nourishment to hummingbirds in the form of a sugar solution. This mixture is often colored red to attract birds. Likewise, some Hummingbird feeders have red accents or red glass to help attract hummingbirds. Yeasts tend to grow in hummingbird feeders and spoil the solution, so they must be refreshed frequently and kept very clean to avoid harm to the birds. See the article on hummingbirds for more details. Ants and other insects are also attracted to hummingbird nectar. Smearing petroleum jelly on the feeder’s may prevent the ants from crawling to the feeder, but the birds cannot clean the petroleum jelly from their feathers, so alternative methods should be found.
About the Author
Dr. Scott Shalaway is a certified wildlife biologist who makes his living as a nature writer. He writes a weekly newspaper column that reaches more than one million readers each week. Read more as Dr. Shalaway talks about the Best Bird Feeders.