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Generations ago, Grandma threw dinner scraps into the yard for birds to gobble at their leisure. Today, bird feeding has become a beloved pastime for people of all ages. Decorous bird feeders come in many styles to adorn your home or property. You can buy bird feeders online or pick one up at the local department store.
Creative types can learn how to make bird feeders from their uniquely designed plans. Craft stores offer bird feeders DIY for those who like to assemble feeders from a kit. Whatever your preference, there are many unique and fun bird feeder styles that will add a decorative accent to your lawn or patio while attracting songbirds and others for your close-up viewing enjoyment.
Here are five popular bird feeder options to consider.
Ground Feeding Trays
A ground bird feeder may at first seem like a waste. People often wonder, do bird feeders attract rats? Although rodents may be attracted to available bird food, you can get ground feeders that are specially designed to accommodate just birds, especially larger varieties like crows or hawks, that can work a curved cover or simple latch to access food that discourages rats. Add a catcher tray to keep spilled seeds or food from reaching the ground. Also, take the following steps to keep from attracting rats to your property:
- Keep garbage and compost covered and inaccessible to wildlife
- Cover pet waste or keep it inside a closed garage
- Don’t leave pet water dishes sitting out
- Repair leaky outdoor faucets and remove standing water
- Harvest unused fruits and vegetables
- Only feed birds what they can eat in a single day
Steps like these will help to keep rodents away and protect your outdoor bird feeders.
If you plan on using a ground feeder, make sure it has a latch or cover that is rodent-resistant. You may want to bring it into the garage at night for safe keeping.
Speaking of pests, you’ll find numerous bird feeders that are squirrel-resistant. Protective features include a metal perch that slips under a squirrel’s weight, closing off food access. birds are light enough on the perch to keep food access open. There are also protective cage devices that keep squirrels out while letting birds feed comfortably.
Window Feed Displays
The window design is very popular and easy to manage. Many types come with one or more clear plastic suction cups that readily attach to a glass window surface. Those inside the house can watch birds come and go at close range. Window feeders are available in many themes that will complement your external home décor.
Specific bird food may be offered to attract your favorite species. Hummingbird feeders are very popular, as well as styles that attract finches and other varieties of local birds.
Window Mount Platform
A window mount platform is another type of window bird feeder that can be secured to the window frame by a metal mount. These can be bolted or screwed into the window framework so they will remain fixed in place during rough weather such as snowstorms or high winds. This design works well with a barn, shed, or garage windows.
Window mount feeder styles are available in several styles to accent your home or outbuilding windows. Some designs include plastic hang-over covers to help keep food secure and provide temporary shelter for the feeding birds. They may be elongated, circular, or cube-shaped to attract a variety of neighborhood birds, depending on the food that is offered. Common varieties include commercial birdseed, suet, nuts, and seeds.
A stand-alone feeder serves a dual function by feeding the birds and providing a decorous lawn or patio accent. There are plenty of styles to choose from. Some are a few feet tall, about the height of a standard birdbath, and may include a hook for hanging the separate feeder piece. Others may be nine or ten feet tall and contain several branches for multiple feeders.
Designs vary by theme. Some are rustic with a log-type pole while others offer a contemporary design made of steel, concrete, or other materials. A ground tray should be placed beneath each feeder to catch food spills to avoid attracting rodents and other predators.
Freestanding feeders are sometimes coupled with bird baths or birdhouses to provide a nesting or respite area for the local flocks. People love watching a variety of birds eat, bathe, and nest until migration season, except for non-migratory area bird species.
The most common type of birdfeeders are the hanging styles.
These can be attached to porch roofs, patio or gazebo ledges, fences, and tree branches. An amazing array of themes adds excitement to the outdoor area, not only in how the bird feeder is designed but also in the type of birds that it attracts.
Hanging feeders may cater to certain species or attract a favorite bird population. They can be decorated for outdoor seasonal displays at holidays like Halloween and Christmas. Ribbons, bells, chimes, and other accents enliven the feeders and make them even more enjoyable to people and birds alike.
No two birdfeeders are alike. Some bird lovers stick with the same style year-round while others experiment and exchange their feeders for a fresh new look each season. They often change the location as well, although you have to be careful not to suddenly stop feeding birds in one place. They get used to specific feeding spots, and if you abruptly withdraw food, those that have become dependent on the feeding station could die.
Watching birds eat your provided food instills a sense of wonder and appreciation for nature. Bird feeders are a great teaching tool for kids and a source of entertainment for people of all ages. Wash removable parts or containers every few weeks to keep them bacteria-free and less attractive to unwanted outdoor pests. Stock the feeder with fresh food daily, and then sit back to watch the birds dine.
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