Bird watching is a popular hobby with many benefits to the environment and the bird population. Placing a bird feeder in your yard will allow you to sit quietly and enjoy watching the birds from the comfort of your own home.
In this article, we’ll share the most common types of seed birdfeeders and how to choose the right one (Read more about Hummingbird feeders and non-seed feeders).
A feeder for every bird
Birdfeeders are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. Just like different types of birds prefer different nesting boxes, different types of birds prefer different feeders. Most seed feeders fall into three categories: hopper, platform or tube feeders.
Hopper Bird Feeders
A hopper feeder is a gravity-fed container. This means that the base is designed as a platform with walls and roof emerging from its top, allowing the feed to drop down as birds eat. Hopper feeders protect birdseed from weather, squirrels and wind. Both large and small birds will be attracted to this feeder. The higher-end hopper feeders are sometimes weight sensitive which helps narrow the type of birds it feeds.
The advantage of a hopper feeder is that it will hold a lot of seed in a fairly protected environment which means it needs changing less often. However, you will want to be careful that your feeder seals properly, otherwise it can become moldy from rain or snow.
Platform Bird Feeders
Platform feeders, which are sometimes called tray feeders, have a tray to place the food that is open to the air. These feeders hold virtually any type of feed and vary in size and capacity. They are usually free-hanging, but can also be placed below a tube feeder or attached to a post.
These feeders do not offer any protection from squirrels or the weather, so you’ll be refilling and cleaning the feeder often. The advantage of this platform feeder is its versatility. Almost every type of bird will stop here for a bite.
Tube Bird Feeders
A tube feeder is a good way to attract small birds that might be put off by other feeders and their larger guests. This type of feeder is made up of a hollow cylinder that has many different feeding ports with perches along its body.
These feeders protect seed from the elements, but unlike hopper feeders, tend to attract a specific type of bird depending on the size of the perches. For instance, a feeder with small perches is a good bet for attracting chickadees, but will keep bluebirds from feeding.
Whichever feeder you choose, be sure to follow our guidelines for placing your new birdfeeder in the right location to enjoy bird watching in your own yard!