Attracting birds to the backyard with a feeder gives the perfect opportunity to observe the local species up close. A bird feeder comes in different sizes and styles to help attract the various types of bird species. Feeders are especially helpful in the winter period when snow or other poor conditions can make it difficult for birds to feed. Bird feeders need to be solidly constructed to ensure they are able to withstand intrusion from pests like the squirrels; able to keep the seeds dry, and stand-up to difficult weather conditions.
Here are some of the main types of feeders to include in the backyard:
Platform: A platform bird feeder is ideal if you are looking to attract a variety of bird species to the backyard. Basically, a platform feeder is a sizable tray for accepting the feed with a suitably portioned roof fixed over the tray to give the desired level of protection from the weather. A versatile option, these feeding trays can either attach to a stake for placement on the lawn (at least twelve inches from the ground) or hung from a suitable tree branch. Cardinals, jays, doves, sparrows, and similar ground feeding bird species are likely to be attracted to these feeders.
Tube: A tube feeder is square or cylindrical in shape and features several perches on each side and perfect for the small birds that prefer to avoid the more open feeders that are used by the larger species. They are often filled with sunflower seeds which can easily be collected via the many holes up and down each side. A very versatile choice in relation to placement, these are able to rest on high surface away from potential pests or hung from a tree branch. Chickadees and finches are likely to target those with thistle seeds.
Nectar: A hummingbird nectar feeder is perfect for those looking to attract the hummingbird species to the backyard area. Nectar is placed inside a tubular shaped container which includes multiple small holes to allow the birds to get to the food source. If using a feeder of this type it is important to clean it at regular intervals since the liquid if left to stew could cause fermentation.
Do-it-yourself: Many of the commercial feeders are quite straightforward to replicate by the homeowner with basic skills in DIY. Whether you are looking to create a wooden house feeder or a based plastic platform feeder using a gallon-sized milk jug, you will find many opportunities for self creating a feeder for attracting and nourishing the local bird species.