Bird feeders are containers resembling lanterns into which solicitous humans place seeds or other types of bird feed, to attract and feed the birds in the surrounding area. If placed in a spot easily viewed from inside the home, bird feeders can provide hours of entertainment for both children and adults. Family members can watch as birds flutter at the feeder to inspect it, then ultimately enjoy a bird-sized feast. Many birds will come back again and again, using the bird feeder as their main food source. It can even become a territorial object. Sometimes birds will become possessive, trying to frighten away interlopers that come to partake.
There are many different types of bird feeders available. Hanging bird feeders are usually hung in trees or below the eaves of a porch or patio. Hanging bird feeders are convenient because they are easy to place almost anywhere. Stationary bird feeders are available in two types: those that can be attached to a tree, and those that are perched atop a pole. If a yard, park or nature area has plenty of trees, a stationary bird feeder can easily be nailed to a trunk. If few or only small trees are available, the pole style is handy.
Of the three types of bird feeders, there are many varieties; wooden, plastic, glass, metal, and stone. Wooden bird feeders are by far the most popular, as they blend in with a woodland scenery. Many bird feeders claim to be protected from squirrels. Squirrels may visit the bird feeder and hoard all the seeds, not to mention, scare away all the birds; but very few bird feeders are truly squirrel proof.
When a bird feeder begins to attract many birds--especially the same birds over and over--you can assume they are using it as their primary feed source. In this situation, it is imperative that the bird feeder be kept full of feed at all times. This might mean replenishing the feeder more than once a day, depending on how many birds are using it. Note that the ground beneath the feeder will become littered with seeds and droppings, so choose the spot for your bird feeder wisely.
For safety precautions, make sure your bird feeders are secure. Hanging bird feeders may swing on windy days and should be checked regularly for integrity. If a hanging bird feeder were to fall, birds could be injured or killed, and anyone standing beneath the feeder could also be injured. Stationary bird feeders should be checked, as well. A safe, sturdy, well-filled bird feeder can be a joy for years to come.