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Bird Feeder Basics

Bird feeders can be categorized as platform/tray, hopper or suet. Most of these types are available as either hanging, window mount, wall/tree mount, pole mount or freestanding.


Hopper feeders are one of the most popular choices among bird enthusiasts. These feeders are designed to hold a larger amount of food in the hopper, providing seed automatically to the eating trays as needed and making them very user-friendly for birds.

Platform or tray feeders provide easy access to the seed for a multitude of birds. These feeders are very versatile in that they can hold a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits and suet to attract a wide variety of birds.

Suet feeders are usually made of wire or mesh and keep the suet together while birds feed. Suet feeders are a great way to provide the fat that many birds require during Winter. Mounted as a hanging feeder or on a tree trunk, suet feeders will attract woodpeckers, flickers, nuthatches and sapsuckers.

Thistle is a very fine, thin seed that attracts finches and other small birds. These feeders are usually tubular with small openings appropriate for the tiny seed size.


BLACK OIL SUNFLOWER SEEDS: These seeds are a great source of energy and fat for  birds and result in little waste compared to other seeds. They are the preference of finches, cardinals, bluejays, chickadees, nuthatches, and sparrows.

THISTLE SEEDS (NYJER): A highly nutritious seed rich in protein and fat. Being one of the smallest seeds, they require a special feeder (nyjer feeder). Some of the birds that enjoy this particular seed include goldfinches, house finches, purple finches, redpolls, siskins, and juncos.

SAFFLOWER: Another seed which is high in protein and fat. This seed attracts a variety of birds including cardinals, mourning doves, finches, grosbeaks, jays, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice and song sparrows

SHELLED PEANUTS: Shelled unsalted peanuts aren’t messy and are highly nutritious for the birds that can eat them. Birds such as bluejays, scrub jays, house finches, cardinals, woodpeckers, magpies, chickadees, nuthatches, and titmice all enjoy peanuts.

SUET: Suet (animal fat) and peanut butter, rich in proteins and fat, provide needed energy for wintering birds. Woodpeckers, goldfinches, juncos, cardinals, jays, and chickadees like this type of seed.