Birds are naturally adept at exploiting any available food source, but making bird food easily accessible will help your local bird population. The best bird feeders are easy to use, distribute food evenly and allow multiple birds to feed at once.
The great advantage of a bird table is its height, which keeps bird food off the wet ground, provides a safe place for birds to feed away from ground-based predators and allows you see clearly when food and water needs replenishing. A table with platforms at different heights also caters for smaller birds like wrens and finches, and larger visitors like doves and pigeons. If you’re able to check your garden daily, a bird table is ideal.
Hanging feeders and tube feeders
Whilst fewer birds can feed at once, a hanging feeder mimics the way birds feed naturally and, if situated on a high branch, keeps birds out of harm’s way. Tube feeders with several small openings are a fantastic way to distribute bird seed slowly – birds must be patient and work a little harder for their meal, but little of the bird food is wasted.
Wall or fence-mounted feeders
These work well in smaller gardens, and can be an extremely attractive garden feature, particularly if you want to encourage birds to feed close to the house or in a patio area. Avoid any feeders that are very intricate, as flourishes like complex roofs and carved wooden cut-outs can be hazardous for birds’ delicate wings and tiny feet. Smooth, simple and robust is what you should be looking for when it comes to any bird feeder.
Finally, hygiene is key. Clean often and replenish regularly, and your bird feeder will bring you joy.