The Best Type of Bird Feeder To Buy The Best Type of Bird Feeder To Buy
by Ken Lawless

What is the best way to ensure that your garden is populated and enlivened by the presence of beautiful birds?

If you want to attract birds to your garden and keep them coming back, bird feeders are one of the best ways to go about it.

If you are a beginner birder, finding the "right" birdhouse can be a challenge because there are thousands of bird houses available in the marketplace. However, if you're just starting out, a hopper feeder is probably your best choice. They're one of the most versatile feeders around.

Hopper feeders come in many styles but the main characteristic that they have in common is they are easy to fill. To fill a hopper feeder you simply open the top and pour the seed or millet. Hopper feeders come in various sizes, but even the smaller sizes are able to hold quite a bit of seed. The larger the feeder, the fewer trips you'll have to make to refill it. Another nice feature of hopper feeders is that the well make ones can be easily taken apart for cleaning.

A common and constant problem with bird feeders is that they are very attractive to squirrels. Squirrels will often raid bird feeders as an easy source of food. Unfortunately for squirrels and other critters, however, bird feeder manufacturers are finally getting up to speed. You can now find hopper feeders with built-in squirrel defenses to keep squirrels at bay.

Another advantage of hopper feeders is their size. Many feeders have small feeding platforms that are too dainty or precarious for larger birds. Hopper feeders, however, accommodate birds of all sizes. And, if you purchase one with a generous feeding platform, it will allow many birds to feed at a time. This gives you the possibility of having many different bird species sharing your garden space.

On the other hand, if you're afraid of the feeder being taken over by larger birds you may decide that you don't want larger birds in your garden. In that case, one nice feature you should look for in a hopper feeder is weight sensitive perches. This lets you calibrate the feeder so that only birds of the size you desire will can the feeder.

Avoid buying a hopper feeder made out of plastic or cheap wood. Plastic feeders have a tendency to discolor, especially when exposed to the bright sun all day. They also tend to cloud up and become "grungy looking" over time. A well made wood feeder can be a beautiful addition to your yard and last for years. Feeders made of cheap wood will likely crack or split and need replacing within a couple of year.

A hopper feeder is one of the simplest and maintenance free feeders you can buy. The only simpler type of feeder is the platform feeder which, while inexpensive, leaves the bird seeds totally exposed to the weather and other critters.

Where to place your feeder? A hopper feeder can be placed almost anywhere in your garden. You can hang it from a tree in your yard or you can fix it on a pole. If you have multiple trees, you can hang your hopper feeder from a wire stretched between them. Wherever you place it, you can count on your bird feeder giving you many years of enjoyment

Ken Lawless writes articles on bird house kits, camping, and the outdoors. Visit his site at  for more information on bird houses.


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