Bird feeders–also sometimes called bird tables–are structures or devices designed to provide food for birds. They are typically installed outside the house in the yard, although they may also be installed in a porch or a tree.
The effectiveness of a particular bird feeder in attracting large numbers of birds is due to a number of different factors, among them: the location, the actual presence of birds in the area and the type of feed that they provide. This last factor is particularly important, given that different species of birds will have different preferences when it comes to food.
Bird feeders can be an effective enticement for birds of many types, and the presence of one in the home provides owners with an ideal opportunity for bird watching that they would not normally be able to enjoy otherwise. A fairly recent trend today is the installation of webcams focused on bird feeders, which broadcast 24 hours a day and allow bird enthusiasts all over the world a glimpse into their activities.
As simple as the design of bird feeders may seem, there are actually a few different types commonly used. The most popular of these by far is the seed feeder, which can vary in complexity from the simplest trays to the more complicated hoppers and feeding tubes. The most common types of seeds used in these designs are sunflower seeds, with some owners favoring mixed varieties. These feeds tend to attract songbirds such as finches, cardinals, and chickadees.
Hummingbird feeders, as you may have guessed from the name, are designed primarily to attract hummingbirds. It does this by providing hummingbirds with a sugar solution through a feeding tube. Some bird feeder owners have taken to infusing some red dye in the sugar solution in an attempt to entice hummingbirds. This practice is totally unnecessary however, as many hummingbirds will typically find the feeder if you leave it out long enough. Furthermore, the dye can actually be harmful to hummingbirds, so if you must resort to color, it would be better to choose a colored feeder in the first place.
Oriole feeders are another type of bird feeder designed to attract a specific type of bird. These are most often colored orange and are designed to attract New World orioles with either an artificial nectar solution or bits of fruit…or even grape jelly!
Finally a suet feeder is designed to provide insect eating birds such as woodpeckers, nuthatches and flickers with a block of suet from a metal cage like structure.
The Elegant Simplicity Of Platform Bird Feeders
Bird feeders come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, from the simple to the complex, from the strictly functional to the somewhat whimsical. One type that has stood the test of time however, is the platform bird feeder. This particular design is a marvel in simplicity, and in truth not many people really need any more than that. It is a design that has worked–very well, we might add–for a countless number of years, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
One of the reasons why platform bird feeders are so effective is that they provide an ideal feeding set up for the greatest variety of birds. Large birds will obviously not be comfortable in feeders with perches designed for smaller birds, and many other birds will have very specific preferences when it comes to feeders. A platform bird feeder however, by virtue of its simple design, provides a wide open and flat feeding surface that virtually all types of birds will be comfortable in. From small perching birds to bigger birds that are accustomed to feeding off the ground, you can say that one size of platform bird feeder fits all!
Platform bird feeders can also be used to serve up a greater variety of food than other bird feeder designs. From birdseeds to fruit, from nuts to suet–even bakery goods–there is nothing that a platform bird feeder can’t handle.
So you see, it is not only the ability to handle a wide variety of foods but the ability to accommodate a wide range of birds that makes platform bird feeders the most versatile type of bird feeder around.
As simple as the basic design of a platform bird feeder is, there are actually slightly different versions available. There is the basic platform bird feeder, which is simply a platform suspended off a hanging cord, then there is the fly through platform bird feeder, which follows the same design as the basic platform bird feeder but incorporates a roof on top. This design provides any visiting birds some temporary respite from the sun or slight rain showers.
As your interest in feeding birds grows, so too will your needs when it comes to bird feeders. You may eventually find yourself exploring more complex types of bird feeders in the future. One thing is certain though, no matter where this hobby takes you, you will always have a place for a platform bird feeder in your yard.