Shopping Cart


bird feeders, tube feeders, thistle feeders, wooden feeders, suet feeders, hummingbird feeders, peanut feeders, squirrel proof feeders
squirrel baffles, bird feeder poles, bird feeder hooks, bird bath heaters, bird feeder brushes, bird feeder seed trays, window decals
bird houses, woodlink, wood country, heartwood
bird baths, heated bird baths, bird bath heaters, bird bath cleaner, wiggler
wild bird gifts, nature gifts, flameless candles, identiflyer, songcards, illuminator flashlight, bird mugs, bird clocks, bird thermometers, bird socks, bird garden flags, bird house flags, bird puzzles, bird games, bird bingo, birdopoly, mailbox wraps
bird field guides, tekiela state field guides, peterson field guide, sibley field guide, audubon field guide, birding audio




How to Choose a Bird Feeder
and Attract More birds!

This article describes the different types of feeders available and the kinds of birds they attract:

Tube Feeders. This is usually a plastic cylinder with 4 or more perches and with holes large enough to accommodate sunflower seeds. We recommend feeders with holes surrounded by metal so squirrels don’t chew through them (it can take only a day for them to destroy a cheap one!) This type of feeder is generally for smaller birds like chickadees, titmice, sparrows and finches. Often large birds attempt to feed and some can do it with little difficulty (as many people who have grackles can attest!). A good quality feeder will last you many years. There are many variations in size and most can have a seed tray added that allows cardinals and larger birds to feed. A good mix for this feeder is sunflower and peanuts, like the Lyric Chickadee mix although any mix with a good amount of sunflower will work. 

Hopper Feeders. A hopper feeder is usually a wooden “box” with plexi-glass sides and room for large birds to perch on either side. The ones we carry have a metal screen bottom for better drainage which makes them last much longer. We recommend using these on a pole with a squirrel baffle because squirrels often chew the wood and ruin these feeders long before they would normally need to be replaced. Good ones are made of cedar and are screwed together with screws that won’t rust (no staples). One of the benefits of these is that many can hold a very large amount of seed and some people like the looks of the wood more than plastic. These are a favorite for cardinals, mourning doves and grosbeaks but small birds use them as well. A good mix for this feeder is sunflower, white millet, safflower seed and peanuts, such as what is in Lyric Supreme or New England Sanctuary blend. As in the above paragraph, a good mix with lots of sunflower works as well.

Thistle (Nyjer) Seed Feeders. These are for the most part plastic tubes with very tiny holes used with either Nyjer seed or a finch mix. There are also thistle sacks (a nylon mesh that the birds hang on and pull seeds out of), and also wire or plastic mesh feeders that are similar to the sacks but much longer lived. Thistle is the common name for these feeders and feed but the correct term is “Nyjer” and is unrelated to thistle plants found along roadsides in the US. The seed comes from outside the US (such as Nigeria, Morocco and India) and is heat treated before entering our country to keep the seed from germinating. Birds attracted include goldfinch, house finch and sometimes chickadees. If you choose to use a finch mix such as Lyric Finch mix, you should squirrel-proof you feeder or buy one that has metal around the openings since these mixes have sunflower seed and the squirrels will be attracted to it; they usually leave feeders filled with Nyjer seed alone. 

Suet Feeders. These feeders are usually a small wire cage with holes approximately ½ inch to 1 inch in diameter. They are used to attract woodpeckers but many other birds eat suet as well. There are an endless variety of flavored suets available and woodpeckers seem to like just about all of them although I do notice some go faster than others such as the Lyric Supreme suet. There are suets that won’t melt in the summer, ones that squirrels don’t like (really, there are, such as pure suet and hot pepper suet) and some that can attract birds such as orioles and catbirds. In the winter you can buy suet at the grocery store, this however, can go rancid so be careful about using it in warmer months. Suet has a very high fat content and is great for year-round feeding.

Peanut Feeders. These feeders are usually a tube type with a metal mesh. There is also one made of wood with metal reinforced holes (usually just one hole on either side) and is for either peanuts or Lyric Woodpecker mix. These should be squirrel-proofed as they will often chew the wood. Peanuts are loved by many birds including woodpeckers, blue-jays, chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches. 
Nectar & Fruit Feeders. The one most people are familiar with is the hummingbird feeder. These come in a wide variety of styles but all are used with a sugar water solution. We prefer the saucer style ones because they don’t leak and are pretty much bee and ant proof. Hummingbirds are here from late April to mid-September and are wonderful to see! There are also Oriole Feeders which are used during the same months as the hummingbird feeders but they do best from late April to early June, after that the orioles generally stop feeding from them although they may still be in the area. You can also put out fruit such as oranges, apples and raisins. Oranges do best for me (with orioles, catbirds and red-bellied woodpeckers coming) but I have had luck with mockingbirds at raisins and have heard of people offering apples to robins with great success. Fruit feeders can be just a nail off a tree, a platform feeder or specially designed feeders.
Meal Worms. These are very popular with people who are lucky enough to have bluebirds nesting in their yard or nearby but just about all birds love meal worms. There are many ways to give your birds meal worms from placing a few on a railing, to an enclosed wooden feeder that the birds go into to feed. 

Squirrel Feeders

And please don't forget our friendly squirrels!!!!!!

Water, cover, nesting places and natural plantings are also important things to consider when trying to attract more birds to your yard. Do the birds have places to raise young and keep warm in the winter? Is there sufficient water for them year-round? What is so nice about all these things is you can do as much or as little of it as you like. Some people are happy with just one feeder, others want a feeder that can be seen from every room in the house! I haven’t gotten into the part about squirrel-proofing your feeder, I will save that for another issue!



Home * Online Store * Ordering * Site Map * Contact Us * Back * Policies

Copyright 2006 The Fat Robin 3000 Whitney Ave. Hamden, CT 06518