If you’re thinking about buying a hanging bird feeder, you have three main types to choose from: tube, satellite or hopper. Whatever feeder you decide is right for you, pick one that you can easily take apart to clean. The most beautiful little bird house will quickly become a pet-peeve if you gotta spend an hour trying clean a hundred tiny, hard to reach areas… and that kills the whole enjoyment it’s meant to provide.
Each type of feeder has their own benefits, so let’s take a look at them one by one.
Tube Bird Feeders
Tube feeders are better suited for small bird varieties like chickadees and finches. The perches provided with these bird feeders are rather small and won’t comfortably house larger birds. So you can pretty much forget about attracting larger birds like blackbirds and doves.
If you’re planning on using big seeds like sunflower seeds, make sure to check the feeder holes and see if they’re big enough. Also make sure there’s not a crevice or empty space at the bottom where seeds will fall and get trapped. They can get slimy and moldy if left in there, which isn’t healthy for the birds or fun for you to constantly clean.
You can find hopper feeders in just about any kind of style or color. Normally, most of the ones you’ll find available will resemble an actual little “house”. You can usually put a good amount of seed in them and it’s easy to keep an eye on the amount of seed left since they normally have some clear sides.
One good thing about these bird feeders is that bigger birds and birds who are “shy” will feel right at home since there’s a lot more room to congregate than in a tube bird feeder. With a hopper you have a much better chance at catching glimpse of rarer birds that won’t feel comfortable going to a tube, too.
No matter where you live, you can find a hopper to fit right in. Some are designed to be mounted to a pole, while others you can just as easily hang from a tree limb or overhang.
Satellite Bird Feeders
Sometimes called globe feeders, these feeders attract only tiny birds that are able to “cling” to the bottom of the feeder. They’re suspended in the air in such a way that they spin as birds land on them. If you live in area where squirrels are common, make sure you choose one that has a top that’s designed to keep them out.
When buying a bird feeder, invest in quality. If it has perches, make sure they’re made out of replaceable dowel or metal. If you’re considering a plastic feeder, make sure feeding parts are supported with metal. Otherwise it can be prone to squirrels chewing it up. A wooden bird feeder is an excellent choice as long as it’s crafted with cedar that’s weather-resistant.
Also go for popular brands/products from well known manufacturers if you don’t have previous experience. Look for customers’ reviews and their opinion online as well, as they have already used it and got an experience. For the first time buyers, it is recommended to buy a tube feeder that is easy to handle and clean when empty. Usually it comes with a cleaning brush, but you can use worn-out tooth brushes when cleaning or buy one separately. In the long run, you will end up saving money with a little bit of expensive, but well known products.