In the company of feathers

Hopper style bird feeders are not my favorite and here's why... July 02 2015, 0 Comments

This is a tray feeder. This is a mesh cylinder feeder. .'


This is a hopper feeder .

Notice how much more of a surrounding view the birds have at the first two feeders compared to the hopper? When songbirds feed at a hopper feeder, they are being pinned up against a wall, of sorts, and have no view of the opposite side of the feeder. Cardinals, especially, are very skittish and want to see any potential predator danger. Cardinals will feed at these feeders, but I believe, they would prefer the other two styles pictured above.

Platform tray feeders and our mesh cylinder seed feeders are the best type of bird feeders, in my opinion, because they offer birds more of a view of potential predator attacks, plus you get to see more of the birds feeding at your feeders, too!

The advantage of Hopper bird feeders, is they offer great weather protection of the seed, and hold a large amount of seed so you don't have to fill as often. I find that our 5 quart metal mesh cylinder feeders also hold plenty of seed. And the mesh allows great cross ventilation to dry out the seed after rain. Just do not fill these type of feeders with feed that has tiny seed like millet. Feed that has tiny seed like this will cake up much more than non-millet or small seed type feeds.

On a side note, please position your feeders within 15 feet of dense protection such as tall shrubs or trees. I think it is unethical to make your feeder birds "sitting ducks" for predator attacks,by putting feeders in a wide clearing with no trees or tall shrubs for them to escape into from hawks hunting at yard bird feeders.

I think the ideal feeder station set up is to have an ornamental size tree, like fruit trees, or arborvitae like, tall, shrubs between 10 and 15 feet from the feeders. Having both of those type of landscaping plantings would be even better! Any closer than 10 feet and you may have squirrel-jumping issues when you put a baffle on the pole as a squirrel deterrent.



Cardinals like protective coverage near feeding stations October 05 2014, 0 Comments

Cardinals are starting to flock together for the Fall and Winter. Keep them coming with additional flat and open viewing feeding options spread out, with plenty of protective habitat nearby. They do not like to be crowded with other Cardinals at the feeders.

Fall is a great time to add more protective and varying heights of inviting habitat to your yards. I say that ornamental size trees, like crab-apples, lilacs, pear, and other similar sized trees, serve as "stepping", err..."perching" stones into our yards, and then to our feeders. Cardinals especially like to have that protective coverage near feeding stations, so they can quickly duck out of danger when hawks come hunting.

Positioning your feeder station February 09 2014, 0 Comments

I recommend people position their feeder station keeping the following in mind ....

  • a spot that provides a good viewing vantage point for you to watch the entertainment
  • use a feeder pole (not a plant hanger pole) that keeps the bottom of the feeders higher than 4 feet from the ground
  • within 11-15 feet of a full sized ornamental, fruit, or similar type tree
  • further than 10 feet from a tree, fence, birdbath, bench, or other squirrel launching point
  • use a squirrel baffle on the pole between 3 and 4 feet from the ground to keep squirrels from climbing the pole or jumping from the ground 

The ornamental type tree will serve as a "staging area" for the birds to land in just prior to flying to the feeder. I believe these type of trees serve as "stepping stones" from tall, mature trees to the feeder pole area. In other words having lower height trees that lead the birds from the tall, older mature trees to safe places to be prior to landing at your feeder pole. These are the stepping stones and the safe invitation to your feeder. I think by offering this type of set up you make it easier and more inviting for the birds to use your feeder station.