Winter feeders

tube feeders

I took some time out from work on my secret project yesterday to get the yard cleaned up for winter: raked, mowed, put things away that needed it. And I washed the feeders to prepare them to be put up. Today I finished the process, putting out and filling them all. In the back yard we have two smallish tube feeders, seen above, hanging from metal wire, and protected from squirrels by baffles. (They still get plenty that falls to the ground.) I bought these last year to replace older ones that were falling apart, and chose these because they’re easy to clean. The tops flip to the side, the bottoms unclip, and you have easy acces to the tubes. One has black oil sunflower seed that nearly all our preferred birds like, the other has thistle for the goldfinches and house finches, and mourning doves enjoy what falls to the ground.

pole feeder

Out front is this larger pole-mounted hopper feeder, also full of black oil sunflower. I used to have an open platform feeder on this pole years ago, but found feeding mixed birdseed just encouraged feeders we don’t like, such as starlings and grackles, so I had the pole feeder down for some years, and just bought this one last year as well. Its large reservoir will last for about a week, covering any holiday trips we might take.

suet feeder

On a tree next to my studio is this double-caged suet feeder for the woodpeckers and others who enjoy suet. The double cage is supposed to prevent the squirrels from getting to it, but of course they’ve learned they can just reach through the bottom, and will sit there gnawing tiny bits off, to my great annoyance. But they don’t eat enough to be financially significant, so I put up with it.

window feeder

Finally there’s this small plastic tray feeder attached to my studio window with suction cups, and the one where I see most of the birds I get to see during the winter. I’m usually too busy to spend much time watching the others, but this one is right in my line of view from either the computer or the drawing board, and also entertains the cats, who like to sit under it (inside) and pretend they can grab the birds. I’ll try to get pictures of that at some point this year.

Feeders are filled, waiting for customers. Now, it’s back to work on my project, which today involves painting the apples red.

2 thoughts on “Winter feeders

  1. Shawn

    Looks great, but it seems like you must have a large-ish yard to have so many feeders out. Is there a rule of thumb for how many to put out, or is it driven by one’s level of (personal and financial) interest?

  2. Todd Post author

    Actually, our yard is pretty small, but surrounded by woods, which harbor a lot of birds. Sure, it’s based on what you want to spend on both feeders and seed. Adding more variety of feeders and food brings in a wider variety of birds, too. I spent about $180 to buy three new feeders last fall, and probably spend about $120 over the course of a winter on seed and suet. If you’re starting out, one tube feeder holding black oil sunflower seeds is a good way to go. Stay away from cheap mixed seed, as a lot of it goes uneaten by birds and attracts squirrels and other rodents instead.

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