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Garden bird feeders – How to choose the right one

So what is the key to choosing the right garden bird feeder? What do you need to do first, and is your choice truly that important? I guess in the beginning, it’s not as important as it might be later on. It’s perfectly OK to choose a basic garden bird feeder as your first one, even one with a low price tag. To start with, you won’t need anything too fancy, at least until you work out what you really want from your bird feeder.

But, if you’ve been doing this birding lark for a while, you probably know exactly what kind of garden bird feeders you should be looking at, and you can probably teach me something too! If you are new to this, then you might also be wondering how you can find the right garden bird feeder to suit your back yard. There are a few things to consider and I’ll go through them so as to make the options clear and easier for you to work through.

But just before I do that, if you don’t really want to go through all the fuss, or if you’d rather have the pleasure of discovering as you go along, then go ahead and get yourself one of the basic platform garden bird feeders. It’s a great one to begin with and will get you off to a great start.

But if you’d rather be as prepared as possible before you make your choice of which garden bird feeder to buy, then keep reading. What I will do is make a list of all the things you should consider – the most important points at least. You will need to think about;

  • What types of birds are you hoping to attract to your garden
  • How long-lasting is your bird feeder
  • Is it easy-maintenance
  • How much seed should it hold
  • Do you live in the colder climes or the more warmer ones
  • Are you on the bird migration paths
  • Do you want a squirrel proof bird feeder
  • How much will you be willing to spend

Just to clarify the first item in the list, one of the most important questions you can ask of yourself when buying a bird feeder is what type of bird do you want to bring to your garden? This is important because your choice of feeder will always be influenced by the type of bird you want to attract.

Suppose you’re hoping to attract hummingbirds, then buying a platform garden bird feeder isn’t going to get you very far. Hummingbirds require nectar so you’ll need to buy a hummingbird feeder for them to feed from. The same applies to orioles. Then again, if it’s northern cardinals you want to attract then you’ll should look into buying garden bird feeders that sit on the ground, or you might go for suet bird feeders for woodpeckers and similar birds.

You probably get the general idea, but don’t worry of you’re still wondering how on earth you’ll be able to find out which birds are in your area. That can be a fairly simple problem to overcome as any field guide for your area will almost certainly provide it, or failing that I’ve always found the Internet to be a great source of information. If that doesn’t help, you could always look for information at your library or maybe even from a bird society in your area.

Now you’ve got the information you need it’s just a matter of narrowing it down to which particular birds you’re aiming to attract. After that you can go back to any of these sources to get the skinny on which garden bird feeders your birds will want, and don’t forget there’s always the friendly sales person from your local pet store.

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