Two years ago, the popularity of bird watching reached an all-time high as people stuck inside during COVID lockdown looked for new hobbies to pass the time. And even with lockdowns in the past bird watching remains a popular hobby, helped by the mental health benefits it may provide. According to some research, watching bird feeders for as little as ten minutes at a time can be good for the mind.
Not everyone can devote the time needed to go on regular nature walks, or the space and care needed to keep birds as pets. So for a lot of us, buying bird feeders is the best way to enjoy a little bit of nature in our daily lives.
So, to help you keep your neighborhood flocks happy and coming back for more, here are some basic types of feeders for you to consider.
Types of Bird Feeders on the Market
If you haven’t gone shopping lately, you might underestimate how many types of birdfeeders there are out there. And some are better suited for attracting different types of birds than others. If you’re fond of finches, for example, take a look at some of the best finch bird feeders available.
So, to help you make the right choice, we’ll be focusing more on the style of feeders rather than specific brands or models. Here are the major options to keep in mind.
The basic, cylindrical tube-shaped style of feeder remains the most popular variation. Walk into any hardware store and you should be able to find at least a few examples.
Simple in construction and easy to manufacture, they tend to be one of the more affordable options. They also have multiple feeding stations to you can attract several birds at once, and their design does a decent job of keeping squirrels off of them.
Platform feeders are about as simple as it gets. All they are are trays that can either be hung or mounted on poles.
Because they have a large, open feeding area they can attract a variety of small and large birds alike. And because they’re so simple, they tend to be the cheapest option. Their main downside is that being an open tray full of birdseed, they tend to attract squirrels, mice, and rats.
Hoppers are an excellent choice if you want a feeder that’s decorative as well as functional. They’re often designed to look like gazebos or small houses, so they add an element of charm to your garden even when they don’t have visitors.
Like cylindrical and feeders, they also tend to be quite affordable and do a better job of warding off squirrels than platforms.
What sets this feeder style apart is that they don’t use bulk birdseed like the others. Instead, they use pre-formed bricks of feed called suet, stored in metal gates to keep squirrels and pests from getting to them.
Suet bricks come in standard seed varieties, or they can be made with insect meal to attract bug-eating birds like woodpeckers, blue jays, and chickadees.
Keeping Birds Happy, So They Can Keep You Happy
Investing in bird feeders for your home is a great way to enjoy nature while keeping a respectful distance. With only a modest amount of care and upkeep, you can keep your feathered friends coming by for daily visits for years to come.
Though feeders are only one addition you can make to your outdoor areas. For more ideas on how to turn any yard into a personal springtime sanctuary, be sure to keep up with our latest lifestyle news.