Clayton, North Carolina

Types of Bird Feeders

Feeders generally fall into one of three categories (1) hopper, (2) platform and (3) tube. Hopper feeders can be hung or mounted on a free-standing pole; platform feeders can be hung or mounted; and tube feeders are always hung. Each of these feeders is designed to hold different types of food and attract different types of birds.

Hoppper: A hopper feeder has four walls and a top to protect food from the elements. Larger hopper feeders hold a greater amount of seed and, therefore, require less refilling. They attract birds such as Blue Jays, Nuthatches and Woodpeckers and other feeder-birds.

Platform: A platform or tray feeder is a flat feeder in which food can be spread across an open surface. Platform feeders may have a roof to help keep food dry. Look for one that has drain holes to keep rainwater from accumulating. This is the easiest feeder to fill and attracts Cardinals, Black-Capped Chickadees and Tufted Titmice. If placed close to the ground it will also attract ground-feeding birds.

Tube: A tube feeder is cylindrical feeder featuring several ports with perches. The size of the ports and the perches determines the type of food and the birds that will visit. Also known as a silo feeder, the tube feeder attracts birds such as Goldfinches, House Finches and Purple Finches. To attract a greater variety of birds, choose a larger perch tube feeder.

Where to locate a bird feeder

Placing different types of feeders in several locations throughout your yard will attract the widest variety of wild birds. It takes time for birds to recognize something new in their environment so don't get discouraged if birds don't flock to your feeders right away.

Here are some tips for locating feeders so birds can eat and you can enjoy watching them. Place feeders where birds can easily see them since most birds find food by sight, rather than smell. Put feeders in quiet areas, but make sure they're located where you can see them, such as a kitchen, dining or living room window. Choose a convenient location so it's easy for you to refill no matter what the weather.