A little guide to bird feeders, bird feed stations and bird tables

The utmost requirement for any animal is eating and drinking to be alive and the same goes for birds of course! There is a lot of variation among different species of bird from size to behaviour and you have to align their cage or nest according to that. The feeding requirements and feeding behaviour of different species are also different for different species of birds.

You can’t install a feeder of a hummingbird for a cockatoo nor you can use a drinker of a lovebird for an owl. You have to get specific things for your bird if you want them to be happy and stress free in their living place. In this blog, we’ll specifically concentrate on bird feeders, bird feeding stations and bird tables and try to elaborate which type of bird feeder and bird table will be the best option for the specific bird.

So, if you’re going to attract wild birds in your backyard, then you have to be specific for the type of bird feeders, bird feeding stations, and bird tables. In short, you should research the type of birds that are common in wild in your area and keep bird feeders, bird feeding stations, and bird tables accordingly.

Bird Tube Feeders

One of the most commonly used bird feeders is a bird tube feeder. There is a lot of variation among these tube feeders. Tube feeders come in different sizes and have different capacities according to the birds, you are going to use for.

There is also variation in the material of the tube feeder. Most of the time it is made up of transparent plastic but it can be of metal or some other material. Tube feeders have holes on sides and perches just below the holes so that bird may get their feed accordingly. You can hang bird tube feeders at the place where it is easily available to the birds. Moreover, it’s very easy to clean a tube feeder because it doesn’t have any type of compartments. The only problem with the tube feeders is the bottom part of the tube feeder that can’t be consumed and it favours bacterial and fungal growth.

Tube feeders are perfect for small birds like finches, wrens, and chickadees. However, birds like crows and ravens can also be attracted for a free treat. You can use metallic mesh enclosing around your tube feeders so that large birds may not have any access to the feeding material. You can put a different type of seeds in the tube feeder according to the bird and the opening of the feeder.

Bird Nectar Feeder

Another feeder to consider is a nectar feeder. It can be like a tray or a tray with a plastic tube on it. It is used for liquid feeding. You can buy nectar from the store or you can prepare it in your own house. You have to add one part of sugar and three parts of water, you can use hot water or boil the mixture so that it may mix thoroughly.

It also has a cleaning benefit as you just have to open the lid and wash it with water. A nectar feeder has openings on the peripheral upper sides with rubber locks to protect it from ants and rainwater. Birds sit on the sides of the feeder and insert beaks inside the feeder to get the nectar.

These types of feeders are commonly used for the birds like hummingbirds as they have long beaks. But these feeders can also attract birds like woodpecker, warbler and oriole. You can check the level of nectar inside the nectar feeder by just watching it from outside, if there is a tube above the feeder then you can easily assess the level of nectar and if it is only a tray, there’ll be a transparent line on the side so that you may get the idea when to refill your nectar feeder.

Hopper Bird Feeders

A hopper feeder is also a feeder that you can use to attract a different type of small birds. Like others, it runs on the same principle of gravity. As the name suggests, it’s like a commercial hopper else it has a small size and it’s hungry for birds so that they may get their feed.

It may have a box-like appearance that can be opened from the upper side to insert feed inside the hopper feeder. Feeding material came down in a small bottom tray and bird feed by sitting on the side parches. It can be round but the most common is the rectangular shape which has two sides to feed and the other two are closed.

One can get difficulty in cleaning as the dust particles can stuck in the bottom tray feeding area. You have to open different parts of the hopper bird feeder to get normal cleaning. Birds that’ll gather around the hooper feeder include jays, sparrows, and finches.

Some large birds can also be attracted so using a mesh guard will be helpful if you don’t want to share feed with these birds. You can add different types of seeds and seed mix to the hopper feeder. The level of feed can also be easily checked from the outside as the feeding sides are usually transparent so that both birds and you can check it. Birds can consume all the feed inside a hopper feeder and there are no chances of feed leftover or feed loss.

Bird Feeding Stations

Bird feeding stations are composed of multiple systems connected to a single pillar. Depending upon the number of birds and type of birds you want to attract you can attach different types of bird feeders with it.

So, you can hang tube feeders, nectar feeders, hopper feeders, tray feeders, mesh feeders, and many others at the same time in a feeding system. As it is composed of so many different types of feeding operations so you have to take care of your feeding stations accordingly.

You should check at least once a day your feeding station to keep it at optimum level. As it is composed of more than one bird feeder so it attracts many different birds and there can be some type of competition for food among the birds. You should keep this thing in mind and attach such types of bird feeders that may attract about the same size of birds so that they may not fight with each other. The other thing you can do to save birds from fighting is by putting different types of feed in different bird feeders so that the same size birds remain near their favourite food.

Cleaning of bird feeding stations can be a real chore for a person because, on some days, you have to clean multiple bird feeders that can be of different types. You should choose such bird feeders that waste little to no feed as there is so much different type of feed that can attract ants and other insects.

Bird Tables

A bird table or bird feeding table is a simple operating system to feed birds. It is composed of a bird feeding tray that is most of the time covered from the upper side so that sun rays can’t harm your feeding material or rainwater can’t deteriorate it.

The main difference between bird tables and bird feeders is that most of the bird feeders are hung by pillars or branches of the tree, while the feeding table is usually a feeding compartment above a pillar. Birds can feed on feeding material by sitting on side perches or they can go in the feeding tray. Wondering of the birds in the feeding tray can contaminate the feeding material with their droppings.

So, you should choose for such tables that don’t have too much space between feeding tray and covering of the table, in this way feeding material will not be contaminated with their fecal material. There is also another benefit for choosing such a table that the large birds will not be able to disturb your cute little friends.

Bird tables can also be used for dual purposes, like feeding and drinking. Moreover, a bird table can also be used in far areas to just provide the birds with a shadow or a place to sit and search for their feed. The cleaning of a bird table is the simplest task as there are not any type of compartment inside of it so you just have to clean the tray.

One thing that you should keep in mind is discarding the leftover feed from the previous lot. Sometimes, the beak of a bird can’t reach the middle portion of the tray and the feed remains there for a long period if you are not taking care of the feeding table on daily basis.

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