Choosing Your Bird Feeders
The ideal feeding place is not hard to achieve, and if you consider the safety for the birds as they feed and basic hygiene routines, then you are likely to encounter many appreciative feathered friends.
For example, feeding tables should ideally be positioned at least 2 metres from bushes to avoid predators lurking in wait underneath. Try to hang or mount other feeders away from areas that could be used as predator platforms, such as the tops of fences or main branches of trees as these are more accessible for the likes of cats.
It’s also important to ensure feeding systems are cleaned regularly to avoid risk of bacteria so take this into account how easy this is to do when choosing your feeder. Our unique Apollo feeder range is equipped with a Click & Go system. This ensures that you can easily disassemble the feeder without a screwdriver, making keeping feeders clean, easier than ever!
The style and size of feeder also depends on your personal preference and on the space to hand. Here you will find ideas suitable for every size of garden including patios, courtyards and balconies.
There are so many products available to help care for your garden birds, but it is key to select a feeder that meets the needs of the wildlife using it – we design and test our feeders with our conservation partners to ensure exactly that, so you can be confident they are safe, usable and reliable.
1. Diversity of birds
Blue Tits, Great Tits, Greenfinch and Sparrows are often found using hanging feeders, you may also be lucky to see a Nuthatch enjoying an inverted meal from a peanut feeder. However, there are also birds like the Robin, the Wren, the Chaffinch and the Blackbird that prefer to take food from the ground, a flat surface or a feeding table.
Most species will appreciate food from a feeder so long as they can safely balance long enough to take it, so some of the ‘hopper’ type feeder systems cater for both, as do the multi-feeders which house both table type sections and hanging hooks.
Try a varied menu from different styles of feeder to help you attract the widest possible variety of birds to your garden.
As their name suggests these are for hanging literally anywhere. They are suitable for holding all types of food from seeds to peanuts, fats and suet treats to more specialist Nyjer. Feeder trays are available if you are concerned about mess underneath, but a good quality food is rarely wasted! Our hanging feeders can also be pole mounted thanks to the handy threaded base which gives you more flexibility when finding the perfect feeding spot.
Wall Mounted Feeders
Not just for walls, but anything vertical. Our feeders come with mounting fixing to enable you to position on walls, fences, outbuildings and more. Some feeders even have Velcro strapping to avoid the use of nails, allowing for further versatility, including tree boughs and drainpipes.
Pole Mounted Systems
Handy for either one or multiple feeders if you do not have anywhere to place feeders or if you just want to have a grouped station. A simple pole with a hook is enough to hang a main feeder but our pole feeding systems provide for a selection of feeders to and the ultimate in bird feeding buffets.
Any flat surface can be considered a feeding table, and these can be as low as the ground itself, on a stand or even attached to your window. Larger gardens can accommodate the grandest of feeding tables but don’t be put off by these, ground feeding birds will flock to any flat surface where there is suitable food. Ensure your ground tables are not within easy reach of predators or invest in a ground guard to protect the birds as they eat.
Very practical where space is limited and provides a welcome focus to those who have difficulty with mobility in the garden – but also great fun for all ages. The transparent style of our window feeders doesn’t obscure light and allows greater visibility of the birds. All feeders come complete with extremely sturdy suction cups, but ensure you position the feeder where it can be safely cleaned and refilled.
A varied menu brings a variety of birds but also a balanced diet. A multi-feeder can offer a space-saving way of offering two or more food types in the same feeder. It may also allow for interchangeability of the foods you provide, keeping it more appealing to both the birds and interesting for yourself as to who will show up next.
2. Taste test
By offering different seed mixes and fat products in all kinds of feeders you can test which food and feeder is the most popular with your birds. Or indeed which has been successful in introducing new species to your garden. If you know this, you can make it easy for yourself by purchasing an extra-large feeder or multi-feeder systems and stock up on your favourite foods for extra savings. We regularly have offers on larger quantities and saver packs.
3. Choice of material
With a wide variety of feeders available on the market, there are some important factors to consider when selecting the material. Plastic feeders are a lower cost alternative to metal ones making them ideal for beginners just starting out. However, they have limited durability and are not recommended if you a busy garden or where there are squirrels in the vicinity.
Our metal feeders are powder coated, so will not rust and shall last longer than plastic alternatives. They are far more resilient to squirrel damage so are the preferred choice for many gardens. Our feeder tubes are made from high-quality UV stabilised plastic to ensure they will not discolour in sunlight. If you are to invest in feeding and caring for your birds, then ensure you have a feeder that represents value for money.
4. Ergonomic perching rings
Our unique perching rings allow birds to eat in their natural position, facing forward! The design gives birds a better view of their surrounding area whilst eating so they can feel safer and stay at the feeder longer. This is especially important in the colder months when birds need to spend as much time feeding as possible to consume the calories and energy, they need to survive the long cold nights.
5. Size - is bigger better?
Depending on how busy your feeders are, you may want to consider one of our larger feeders. With increased food capacity and greater number of perching rings, more birds can be served at once and the feeders require less frequent refilling. This is especially helpful if you are not able to get into the garden for extended periods of time. It is also convenient in maintaining food levels in peak seasonal periods when the birds need it most.
6. Help the little ones
Feeding birds is fun - but trying to keep squirrels and large birds from pilfering all the food or damaging feeders when you have a busy wildlife garden can be a challenge. Using feeders with protective guardian cages will minimise the impact large birds and squirrels have and allow the smaller birds to feast in peace. Having protected bird feeders plus the option of a feeder specifically for squirrels’ own food, in the garden will also help keep larger garden visitors off the bird feeders intended for smaller species.
7. Feed peanuts safely
Peanuts are very nutritious and are full of essential proteins and oils. Birds love them! Feed whole peanuts only within a suitable mesh feeder and especially so during the breeding season as young birds can easily choke on a whole peanut. Our peanut feeders are designed in such a way that it is impossible for birds to extract a full peanut. Foods and treats containing peanut flour such as our unique peanut cakes and Peanut Butter for Birds is a welcome alternative.
As mentioned, hygiene around feeding areas is very important to avoid the spread of bacteria and keep your birds healthy. Clean feeders regularly with a biological, disinfectant cleaner, rinse well then leave to air dry before refilling and using again. It is important not to leave uneaten food to rot at the bottom of feeders so gauge how much your birds are eating. Choose feeders that are easy to dismantle and clean with minimal effort, so it is an easy job to do and not a chore – see it as just a regular monthly wash of the dishes!
9. Short on space?
No space is too small to make bird friendly and even patios, courtyards and balconies can fit in a bird feeder of some sort. Simply try a window feeder to see the birds up close and personal. Or use a hanging bracket or patio base pole system to hang various feeders. A multi-feeder is also a great way to add variety in a small area.
10. Bird friendly city garden
The fencing of a city garden is, if sufficiently high, an ideal place to hang nest boxes, feeders or flower boxes with wildlife-friendly plants. It is also essential for wildlife to be able to find these sources of food and shelter in built up areas where the distance between green spaces and woodland are far apart. Use the opportunity to share your space to benefit the wildlife around you and bring you a great amount of pleasure too.