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The Best Materials for Bird Feeders

The Best Materials for Bird Feeders

Fish swim about and birds gotta eat. That’s how that song goes, right? Regardless, we’re pretty sure those claims are true. If you’ve got any doubts, installing a bird feeder in your garden is a great way to prove the second part. You’ll also help your local wildlife to flourish, and we really can’t encourage that enough.

It’s essential to provide healthy bird food, but it’s also important to think about what your bird feeder’s made from. There’s a lot of choice with materials, and some options are better than others.

Our idea for a papier-mâché pecking perch never got off the ground. However, we’ve learned a lot more since then. We’re sharing it here so you can find the perfect avian restaurant and dine your feathered friends in style.

Metal bird feeders

If you’re looking for sturdiness and durability, a metal bird feeder can be a great choice. We love them because they also make solid fortresses against assaults from opportunistic squirrels!

These feeders need cleaning just like any other, so it’s important you choose one with easy access to all the places you’ll need to freshen up. (Hint: that’s pretty much everywhere.)

The Eco-Friendly Premium Bird Seed Feeder we stock ticks these boxes. It has a locking lid to keep the squirrels out, and you can release the whole base to make regular cleaning a breeze.

Wooden bird feeders

Wooden bird feeders look great in your garden, but there are a few things to keep in mind when you opt for one.

To start with, they might need weatherproofing if you want them to last. There are plenty of wood treatments to choose from, but it’s essential to check they’ll be safe around wildlife first. (Once everything’s dried, that is. Please don’t start weatherproofing while the birds are still having lunch!)

Also, you’ll want to steer clear of bleach when you’re cleaning your wooden bird feeder. This can leave a permanent smell which isn’t healthy or attractive to your feathered visitors.

Wooden feeding tables and ground feeders can be brilliant for brightening up your garden; you can keep the birds safe while they’re feeding by placing a metal ground guard over the latter. Many of these have holes too small for squirrels but which are the perfect size for species like robins to fit through.

Regardless of the bird feeder’s materials, some wood to hang it from can look fantastic. Check out our Handmade Wooden Bird Feeding Station Camera Mount. This also makes it easy to mount a camera and watch everything without scaring your winged visitors away.

What about plastic bird feeders?

These are still widely used, but sadly they’re part of a worldwide pollution problem. We recommend avoiding them where possible, especially as the theme of Earth Day 2024 is ‘Planet vs Plastics’.

This can be easier said than done, however. Many bird feeders contain plastic parts, even if they’re made primarily from other materials. (We’re proud that the Eco-Friendly Premium Bird Seed Feeder we stock is plastic free!)

Even if you can’t avoid plastic completely, there are still steps you can take to reduce its impact.

  • Look for bird feeders or tables that use recycled materials for any plastic parts
  • Plastic can be sharp when it’s damaged, and small parts can break off and get swallowed by wildlife. Understatement alert: this is less than ideal. Therefore, replace and recycle any broken plastic parts as soon as possible
  • See if you can limit the amount of plastic in what you purchase. A wooden ground feeder with a removable plastic tray for the food is better than one made completely of plastic, for instance

We hope that’s given you plenty of food for thought about bird feeders and their materials. Want to see all the action once you’ve set yours up? Browse our range of bird feeder cameras. You can also ensure you’re enticing them with something nutritious and tasty by checking out our range of bird food.

Caught some footage of a bird enjoying a hearty meal? Share it online and feel free as a birdie to tag us so we can enjoy it too!

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