Saturday, December 1, 2018

Our Favorite Bird Feeder and Why it's Our Favorite

We love our birds and over the last 35 years we have figured out what feeders and feed to buy to bring in the birds.  Our favorite feeder is made by Perky-Pet and holds sunflower seeds.
Over our many years of bird feeder buying we now only buy feeders that are metal (like the feeder above) or feeders that have replacement parts like the long Lexan cylinder finch feeders.  Any feeders with plastic parts do not hold up against the squirrels , raccoons, or the weather.  

This feeder is not only sturdy but also has a great design.  If you watch the birds a lot like we do, you will notice that the little birds are sometimes chased off the feeder by bigger birds or they can fall prey to a predator like a hawk or a house cat while they are eating.  This design allows the little birds to perch inside the feeder where they are protected, while they pull the sunflower seed through the wire mesh.  

The design also allows for any feed, that is wet from the rain or snow, to dry out.  This eliminates wasted feed and also protects the birds from eating spoiled feed.  If you wash out your feeders several times a year, then you know how nasty spoiled feed smells.  This feeder doesn't have the problem of spoiled feed because even the bottom of the feeder is wire mesh.  Fresh air surrounds the feed at all times which dries out any feed that might get wet from rain or snow.
The hanging wire on our 8 year old feeder broke.  We are pretty sure it was thanks to a huge raccoon that has been seen swinging from the feeder.  It was an easy and inexpensive fix.  Picture hanging wire can be purchased at the hardware/craft store/home improvement store and who doesn't need or maybe already have the wire.
Another feature of this feeder is that the lid requires you to push a button on the side of the decorative knob on the top before you can lift the lid up to fill.  This helps to keep the lid on so that squirrels and raccoon can't dump out your feed onto the ground. When depressed, the knob can be moved up the wire so the lid can slide to the side to fill the feeder.  When disassembling make sure you don't lose the cylinder shaped button.
We cut off a 24 inch piece of wire and put a cable crimp on one of the ends.  The crimp has 2 holes and you feed the wire through one side and then back up through the other hole.  Now comes the crimping part.  Using your electrical pliers you place the crimp into the jaws of the pliers making sure you place the crimp all the way to the back of the electrical pliers jaws and then squeeze real hard.  The pliers have little bumps on the jaws that compress the crimp and holds the wire in place.
  Now thread the lid onto the wire, then the decorative knob.  You will need to depress the button so that the hole is visible so the wire can go through the decorative knob.  Now you have the feeder back together except for the hanging loop.
We threaded the wire through one side of the crimp and back through the other side just like before except we left a six inch loop or hanging.  This time we crimped the wire crimp using the bench vise.  We could have used the pliers but we wanted to know if the vise would squeeze the crimp closed if someone didn't have electrical pliers but did have a bench vise.  
When using a vise open the jaws just enough for the crimp to sit between the jaws.  Slowly close the jaws and watch your fingers.  It won't take long to squeeze the crimp onto the wire.  Open the jaws and test to make sure the wire doesn't move.
Now fill the feeder with sunflower seeds and rehang.  

Sunflower seeds offer a lot of needed energy for the birds during the winter when there is not a lot of natural food sources for them to eat.  Birds during the winter spends all their time just trying to stay warm so let's give them a hand during the winter and come spring you can reap the reward of hearing their bird song.


Buy feeders that are metal like the Perky-Pet Fly Thru feeder.  Also, buy feeders that allow air flow to dry out any feed that may get wet.  Metal feeders are sturdy and can be fixed with a little elbow grease.  A broken feeder is of no use to the birds or you.  Buy feeders that are used specifically for the birds or feed that you are using.  Use thistle feeders for thistle seed or sunflower seed feeders for sunflower seeds.  Be consistent with filling your feeders.  Don't go long periods without filling your feeder because the birds will go where the food is and if it isn't in your feeder, in your yard, neither will they.  Don't quit feeding in the winter.  Many of your wild song birds stay year round so they need a little help during the winter.  Winter feeding is the most important time to feed the birds.

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