Know All You Can About Bird Feeders

By Alice Nance

Bird- table or bird feeder is a platform on which food for birds is placed, usually in a garden. Bird feeders offer the best way to turn your own backyard into a mini oasis for the wild birds in your area. The grains placed in them are often of different varieties, to accommodate the taste of different species of birds. Most birds like a mix of millet, safflower, sunflower and thistle.

Aside from offering a food treat to the birds, bird feeders offer a visual treat to humans. They allow you to attract more rare species in your own yard than you would find in a bird sanctuary. To capture the essence of bird behavior, modern bird feeders are fitted with web cams. Bird feeders come in different varieties and design depending upon the species of bird they cater to. Some varieties include ground feeders, seed tube feeders, humming bird feeders, suet feeders and oriole feeders.

Some of the most popular feeders are seed feeders with either tubes or hoppers. Mainly these feeders are laden with sunflower seeds to attract birds like chickadees, nuthatches, siskins and finches. They usually have a partition to segregate the different types of seeds. A suet feeder comprises of a cage like structure made of metal, coated with plastic. The plastic contains the suet, also known as "cake." Suet is a type of bird feed which contains fat. They are often hung outside of windows or from tree tops. These bird feeders attract birds like woodpeckers and flickers.

Humming bird feeders contain liquid food. Humming birds just love the bright, colorful solution. They are highly attracted by the bold, bright color of the food. But care should be taken while choosing the coloring material, for often birds fall ill to harmful coloring agents.

Oriole feeders come in a bright orange color. They also provide liquid food. They are customized for new world orioles which have an extremely sharp and long beak and tongue. Apart from the quality of the feed provided in a feeder, the success of a feeder largely depends on the strategic location on which it is placed, its remote proximity from intruders like squirrels and cats. Squirrels are also notorious for stealing bird food. This can be remedied by having feeding stations that can sustain the small weight of a bird but not anything heavier.

There are some disadvantages to having feeding stations for birds. Should the feed or water become contaminated, disease can easily spread from one bird to another. It can also lead to the growth of certain dominant species leading to an ecological imbalance. Getting a bird feeder will give you hours of peace and fun.

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