Which bird feeder is the best choice for your garden birds?

A garden bird feeder can be found in types: from silo to feeding tray. What should you know about each feeding station? Which birds can you attract with it?

You can find feeding stations for garden birds in many different forms: from feeding board to silo. What are the pros and cons of each bird feeder? And which birds can you attract with it?

Feeding trays

This is a really simple bird feeder - a flat surface that you hang up, attach to a pole, or just put on the ground. Too basic? No: the inviting shape attracts many (larger) birds, such as pigeons, blackbirds and even jays. You can put everything and anything on a feeding table: seeds, fruit, nuts, mealworms, you name it.

Automatic dispensers

Bird feed dispensers (or gravity feeders) keep seed stored in a compartment that lets out seeds on an as-needed basis. The seeds sink steadily down the column as the garden birds eat from it. The birds can sit on a ledge or a perch while eating at this bird feeder. The advantage of this feeder is that the seed stays fresh and dry, and you can put a variety of seeds in it. However, they are difficult to clean.

Feed silos

Just like a feeding tray, you can also hang or place a silo bird feeder somewhere at a height. But while a feeding board attracts a multitude of garden birds, silos are geared more towards smaller birds. Especially tits, which usually eat in trees and not from the ground. It is best to fill this type of bird feeder with smaller seeds: large seeds can get stuck and block the feeder.

Suet ball feeder

In winter, a little extra fat can make life easier for garden birds. There are ready-to-use suet balls that you simply hang by its accompanying net, or place the fat mixture in a sturdy metal container. With a suet ball in the garden you may get a visit from a woodpecker.

Window feeders

Window feeders, which you attach to your window with suction cups, are ideal if you don't have a garden or balcony. Since this bird feeder is transparent, you can get a very close look at your bird visitors - tits, finches and sometimes sparrows, too.

But you need to know this: If the seed in a bird feeder gets wet or dirty, it can germinate or grow mold and become a breeding ground for bacteria. Not only will the garden birds then look elsewhere for their food, they can also get sick from it. So every feeder, whether it’s a feeding board or a window feeder, needs to be cleaned regularly.

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