By Kinsey Lee Clark
Fast Copy News Service
From simple to swanky to state-of-the-art, bird feeders can add decoration to outdoor spaces while attracting all types of flying friends.
Beth Wheeler, owner of TheBirdhouseChick.com, said the outdoor living trend and humans’ organic need to interact with wildlife is fueling sales. She started her online boutique, based in Dallas, in 2008.
“When I started, bird feeders, they were popular, sure, but now it’s just a crazy trend,” she said. “People are just so much more in tune with their outdoor space. I think it’s great that people are becoming more aware of their environment.”
Here are six options for bird feeders, from under $25 to more than $100.
Hoppers: The classic hopper feeder — which hangs from a pole, eave or tree limb — allows many small birds to dine at once. Cardinals, blue jays, finches and sparrows, among others, can share the seed feast. The Wild Wings hopper ($24.98, homedepot.com) is made of cedar, making it naturally resistant to insect damage and rot. The hopper is coated with an all-natural preservative shield that protects it from weather, water and sun damage to keep seeds fresh. It’s also equipped with rust-free hardware metal cages on either side for suet blocks, another type of bird feed that woodpeckers love.
Umbra’s Bird Cafe feeder ($30, wayfair.com) is a plastic hopper with a modern, modular design that deviates from the traditional, house-shaped style. Holes in the bottom allow water drainage, so seeds last longer.
Tubes: Tube feeders guard songbirds’ fare from other hungry critters, like squirrels, and offer protection from larger, more aggressive birds that can’t fit their beaks in the holes. Wild Birds Unlimited’s Eliminator ($115.99, wbu.com) is the ultimate defense against squirrels, pigeons and crows. Special technology makes the perch ring weight-sensitive, so any large diner triggers the seed ports to close. Some parts also are made from a chew-proof material, and all parts are dishwasher safe.
Pike Nurseries’ mealworm feeder ($34.99, pikenursery.com) holds dried mealworms, instead of seeds, in its metal, industrial-style tube. The feeder attracts insect-eating birds, such as bluebirds and mockingbirds.
Trays: A sitting tray feeder can be restocked with seed easily. Birch Lane’s rustic Lovebirds feeder (on sale for $85, birchlane.com) is made of a wooden bowl, resting on cast aluminum tree branches. The weather-resistant feeder can sit on a railing or table.