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Different Feeders, Different Birds


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Drs. Foster & Smith Backyard Kids - Wild Birds

    Have you ever noticed that some species of birds will always use a particular feeder, but
    others won't? That's because birds have different feeding habits, and there are feeders
    available to match these differences. See some of the types, below:

Ground Feeder ground feeders
As their name suggests, these feeders are close to the ground. Place seeds, nuts, and insects in these feeders to attract birds that look for their meals at or near ground level, including:
robins, mourning doves, sparrows, towhees, grackles, and juncos.
Nectar Feeders nectar feeders
These feeders feature special ports for nectar. Nectar is a sugar-rich liquid produced by plants, which you can mix up on your own with water & sugar. You need to change the nectar often in warm weather, so it does not spoil. Birds that like nectar include: hummingbirds and orioles.

Hopper Feeder hopper feeders
Some people think of a little house when they think of a hopper feeder. These feeders are covered, and they usually have clear sides so you can see the seed level. Seed falls into a small tray at the bottom. The tray or perches are big enough for large birds to land upon. Hopper feeders attract: doves, jays, cardinals, woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, finches, and more.
Suet Feeder suet feeders
Suet feeders are made especially for birds that are used to clinging to tree trunks to feed. They do not have perches, but instead are generally small cages that birds must cling to in order to feed. They hold suet, a high-fat food, or seed cakes, and they attract:
woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, titmice, jays, wrens, and more.

Tube Feeder tube feeders
These feeders are usually cylindrical tubes with built-in seed ports that dispense only a little bit of seed at a time. With several ports, many birds can feed at once. They tend to discourage large birds that cannot land on a small perch. Some tube feeders are specialized for thistle seed, and they have much smaller seed ports. Tube feeders attract:
finches, chickadees, grosbeaks, nuthatches.
Platform Feeder platform feeders
These are open in design so birds can easily keep a sharp eye out for predators or approaching birds. They let larger birds feed, unlike most tube feeders, and more birds can feed at once. Most do not have a roof, so rain and snow can fall into the seed, which means these feeders need more frequent cleaning. Platform feeders attract: jays, cardinals, towhees, sparrows, grosbeaks, purple and house finches, doves, starlings and more.

 
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