Know Your Bird Feeders part 1

I've been feeding and caring for birds for 40 years now. I started as a 10 year old boy with a simple platform feeder. Today, feeders come in many shapes, sizes and colors. The most common feeder today is the tube feeder. Tube feeders come in a variety of sizes and colors, Their price range and use also varies greatly. Knowing what to look for in any bird feeder will say you headaches and money in the long and short run. There are tube feeders made to stick on windows. Tube feeders just for goldfinches and still others for small birds in general. Not to mention tube feeders that claim to be squirrel proof. Manufacturers want to get your dollar by putting feeders in colorful packages and making the feeders for our eye appeal. You want a feeder that is functional and durable. One that is easy to fill and clean and a feeder that will last more then a year or two. Feeders that are easy to fill can be filled in a matter of seconds. Tops lift up easily and secure quickly. No screw off tops or gizmos to remove first. The last thing you need is to be messing with feeder tops in a snow storm or rainy day. Look for a tube feeder that has drainage holes on the bottom. Rain or water soaked feed can spoil quickly. Birds can get sick if they even try to eat moldy and sprouting feed. A quality tube feeder has an inverted V shape on the bottom for even feed distribution and to minimize spoilage from old feed that may sit at the bottom of you feeder. Stay away from all plastic that squirrels and raccoons can destroy. Look for metal wire and chains to hang from. ropes and cords rot with time and can be chewed off. Your new feeders should have metal tops and bottoms as well as metal perches and feeding ports. Does the feeder come apart for easy cleaning? Clean bird feeders are very important on minimizing sickness and disease. I don't like trays on my tube feeders for that very reason. However, a tray can be an option not mandatory. Look for feeders where you can add a tray later if you want, not a tube feeder with a tray attached already. Reputable manufacturers offer quality goods, often with guarantees. Look for guarantees on your new feeder. Go with quality companies that have built a name on quality and service. Now it's your choice. Do you want a feeder with two feeding ports or many as 8 to 12 ports. Choose your colors from silver to antique gold. Polished bronze and copper, or forest green and burgundy. A good tube feeder can last you a lifetime and the only reason to buy another one is to add to your feeding stations. Ask questions and do some research first before you go out and purchase another feeder. When it comes to bird feeders, you do get what you pay for.
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