It's not hard to find an ideal feeding place for birds, as long as you remember the birds need to stay safe while they eat, so keep it close to easy escape shrubbery, but not somewhere predators can lurk underneath or pounce from. Plus, keep the area clean and hygienic - we have lots of low maintenance options to keep our wildlife healthy!
As well as being suitable for the types of birds that share your garden, the style and size of feeder also depends on your personal preference and on the space to hand. We have our Top 10 Bird Feeders, but here’s a run-down of things to consider:
1. Who prefers which feeder?
Tits, many finches and sparrows are often found clinging to hanging feeders, and you may also be lucky to see a Nuthatch enjoying an inverted meal from a peanut feeder. However, others such as Robin, Wren, Chaffinch and Blackbird prefer to take food from the ground, a flat surface or a feeding table.
Generally, as long as birds can balance safely long enough to take food from a feeder they will be happy. Our combination and ‘hopper’ type feeders are therefore a good choice if you are unsure.
Hanging Feeders - are suitable for holding all types of food and feeder trays are available if you are concerned about mess underneath, but a good quality food is rarely wasted! Our hanging feeders can also be pole mounted thanks to the handy threaded base which gives you more flexibility.
Wall Mounted Feeders - are not just for walls, but anything vertical such as fences, trees, outbuildings and more.
Pole Mounted Systems - very handy if you want multiple feeders in one place or have a lack of space. We have options to cater for one or many feeders so you can create the ultimate in bird feeding buffets.
Feeding tables - basically any flat surface can be considered a feeding table whether as low as the ground itself, on a stand or even attached to your window. Larger gardens can accommodate the grandest of feeding tables but don’t be put off by these, ground feeding birds will flock to any flat surface where there is suitable food. Ensure your ground tables are not within easy reach of predators or invest in a ground guard to protect the birds as they eat.
Window feeders - really helpful where space is limited and provide a welcome focus to those who have difficulty getting in the garden. Great fun fun for all ages as our window feeders are mostly transparent so you get a wonderful view of the birds.
Multi-feeders - space-saving way of offering two or more food types in the same feeder. Different foods can appeal to different birds so you may double your chances of new visitors.
2. How its made
We know you want value for money, so quality is always key. With a huge variety of feeder styles on the market, here are a few things to consider:
Easy design! - bird feeding should be fun so you don't want to have to spend a long time trying to open and refill your feeder, nor have a complicated time cleaning it. Our innovative Apollo™ range with its Click & Go design is as simple as 1,2,3. Find out more here.
Material - plastic feeders are low cost and ideal for starting out, but are limited in durability and not recommended if you have squirrels lurking around. For better results, choose a metal feeder. Ours are powder coated so last longer and generally resilient to squirrel activity. Don’t forget to check out the beautiful wooden feeders made from FSC® certified wood, and our environmentally-friendly recycled range.
Comfort - naturally bird prefer to eat facing forwards (don’t we all?) so we have designed ‘perching rings’ which gives birds a better view of their surrounding area as they eat. If they feel safer at the feeder, they stay longer to eat, especially important in colder months when they need to eat more - a win-win.
Is bigger better? - really depends on how busy your garden is. A larger feeder with more perching rings serves more birds and doesn't need to be refilled as often. Ideal for when you are away holidaying away from home.
Vivara has a vast range of bird feeders, so there is something suitable for every garden bird and every garden space to make both you and your wildlife happy.
3. Extra tips
Helping the little ones - sometimes you need to take charge over boisterous large birds or pilfering squirrels so the smaller garden birds can get their fair share in peace. A protective cage over your feeder helps with this, we call them Guardians, and we’ve developed ones for many of our most popular feeders including ground tables.
Go nuts, but safely - birds love peanuts and no wonder, they are full of essential proteins and oils. We recommend only offering them in suitable metal mesh peanut feeders as inexperienced young birds could choke on a whole nut. Or you could try a welcome alternative in our unique peanut cakes and Peanut Butter for Birds.
4. Keep it clean, please…
Just with any sharing of mealtime utensils, regular cleaning is very important to avoid the spread of bacteria. Clear out any uneaten food stuck at the bottom, although there shouldn’t be much if you are using a good quality food. Then use a biological, disinfectant cleaner to wash feeders, give them a good rinse and leave to dry in the air before refilling. You wont want to upset your visitors at key mealtimes so avoid doing this at the start or end of the day.