Hanging bird feeders around your yard is a surefire way to bring some colorful wildlife into your garden, but choosing the right one can be tricky — there are just so many different models to choose from! Plus, if your yard is already frequented by hungry squirrels, sometimes a poorly-designed bird feeder won’t keep those greedy guys out, and the birds won’t get a chance to enjoy the food you’ve laid out for them. Here’s a basic rundown of what to look for in a bird feeder, plus some specially designed feeder options for attracting specific kinds of birds.
Choosing Bird Feeders For Your Yard
We carry a range of different bird feeders in St. John and Frankfort. When choosing your bird feeder, there are a few different questions you should ask yourself before making your purchase:
- Are there any specific species I’d like to attract?
- Are there a lot of squirrels or deer in my neighborhood?
- Do I want a bird feeder that’s all function, or one that’s more aesthetically in-line with my outdoor design?
Once you’ve got your basic criteria nailed down, you can make a more informed decision on what kind to buy. From simple, no-frills models, to deluxe models that have it all, we’ve got a pretty impressive selection at our garden center locations. Here are some of our most popular models.
Pest-Proof Bird Feeders
Sure, squirrels are cute and all, but they don’t have very good table manners. They love hogging all the food and aren’t big on sharing. If you’re looking for an anti-squirrel bird feeder with a large capacity, our products from More Birds are fantastic! The X-1 and X-2 models hold a whopping 4 pounds of birdseed, and they have a sleek, modern design that looks like a metallic patio lantern. If you want something a little smaller, opt for the Brome Squirrel Buster Mini, which is equipped with a special mechanism that closes up the seed tray when a squirrel hops on, but stays open for our feathered friends, since they weigh much less.
If you’ve already got a hanging feeder that you love, but the squirrels are taking over, you can attach a baffle post mount underneath to prevent the squirrels from climbing up. A baffle is essentially a small, clear plastic dome that attaches with three little screws, so it won’t end up looking too clunky or out-of-place.
Bird Feeders For Our Favorite Wild Birds
All wild birds are a beautiful sight to behold, but sometimes we can’t help but pick a favorite. If you’d like to attract specific birds to your yard, here are a few specially designed models you’ll enjoy:
We all love a little bit of heavy comfort food around the holidays, and our local birds agree too! Suet is one of their favorite treats to snack on — it’s essentially a brick of seeds and nuts bound together with fat. That extra calorie boost is much appreciated during the winter when food isn’t in high supply. The fat has a congelation point of 40°, so winter and early spring is the perfect time to put it outside without it making a mess. To place suet outside without the oily fats staining your property, you can purchase a suet feeder. It’s shaped like a cage so the brick remains inside, but the spaces between the bars are large enough for birds to get their beaks inside so they can pick away at the goods.
Hummingbirds aren’t big on seeds like other birds — they prefer sipping on flower nectar, using their long, skinny beaks to sip the sugary liquid from tubular flowers like foxgloves and lupines. If you want to attract them to your yard, you’ll want a special hummingbird feeder that holds liquid, and has little flowers all around the base that release the nectar when the hummingbirds come to dine. Fun fact: hummingbirds have a favorite color! Bright red always catches their eye, so a vibrant red hummingbird feeder will attract them like a magnet. You can even buy red-tinted nectar, so if your feeder is transparent, the color will make it even more attractive to hummingbirds.
Goldfinches are adorable little balls of sunshine. A yard full of these cartoonishly cute creatures will undoubtedly bring a smile to your face. If you’d like to specially attract goldfinches, try our More Birds Radiant Finch Bird Feeder. The gorgeous brushed copper perches can be rotated upside down, making it only accessible to goldfinches, because they’re the only bird that can eat upside-down!
Jam is a much-loved treat for wild orioles! Our jelly/jam oriole feeder attracts them with a bright orange screw-on flower top that can be attached to jam jars, and hung from trees. This model fits most 10-12 oz. jars, comes equipped with a hanging system, and also comes with an empty glass jar that you can fill with jam. Make sure you use a natural jam that isn’t full of synthetic colors, aspartame, or unnecessary fillers.
There are so many more beautiful and high-quality feeder designs available at Alsip Home & Nursery! Take a browse through our online shop, or come visit us in-store to get a closer look. You’ll love the beautiful colors and cheerful songs that fill your yard after setting up a bird feeder, and the birds will certainly appreciate the gesture!