Backyard Birding Supplies
Due to all the developments happening around, we care very little about the other organisms. Due to the massive cutting of trees and plants, we have brought many birds and other small bodies that were dependent on trees to build their shelters.
Not just cutting but also land excavating, water pollution, all these actions have bought a dis-balance to our ecosystem. Now we should only focus on how can we bring the balance back to our ecosystem. Just like how your pet gets fish food and cat food, birds too should get food and water and bird feeder does exactly that.
What are the bird feeder and bird bath?
Bird feeders are specially designed product in which we can store the bird food, and as soon as the birds start eating them, the amount gets reduced, and it quickly gets refilled. In this way, there are no extra efforts to get them refilled every time and it would also to distract the birds away from them.
A bird bath is a product in which we store water, and the birds are free to dip themselves inside it and also be able to drink water whenever they need. During the scorching heat and a bright sunny day, birds may eventually feel hot and would not be able to fly further until they get their body cool.
Here in this article, you will find about the different types of bird feeders and bath, types of bird food, mistake to avoid while feeding birds, advantages of having the birding supplies and much more. You will also get a list of 10 best bird supplies for your home along with a few FAQs.
Top 10 Backyard Birding Supplies
Combo Set of 2
Along with stand
Earthen Pot Terracotta
Wall Mount Metal
Water Fountain with Pump
Types of Bird Feeders
Ground or Platform Feeders: These are screen-bottomed trays that sit close to the ground. They are designed in such a way that the bird droppings and seeds never touch each other. The wire meshes are also available with some of these which help you to hang them on a raised height which prevents organisms such as squirrels and rodents from stealing their food. These feeders would be set away from shrubs and trees to prevent the birds from predators or hawks which would hurt the birds.
Hopper Feeders: It contains a variety of seeds together. Those birds who wish to have them have to hop on the feeder trigger so that each seed is released one by one. These feeders are recommended to be hanged on the branches of trees or a pole which is about 5m off the ground.
Hummingbird Feeders: Hummingbird feeders are mounted in the shade to prevent them from spoiling. As the name suggests, it is mostly used for feeding hummingbirds. For better protection, it should be hanged near your house but away from the windows to prevent injuries caused by the imbalance of birds.
Nyjer Feeders: These feeders are specially designed to provide Nyjer(thistle) seeds. It contains small holes in which the small-beaked birds would be able to feed on them easily. It can be placed on a pole and to protect it from squirrels, use a baffle.
Tube Feeders: It is a hanging type feeder in which birds feed through screens or ports. Small perches attract perching birds. These feeders give the little birds a fair chance to feed themselves. They are also available in models which help birds which are handing upside down such as goldfinches to feed themselves. It keeps squirrels and other rodents away from it.
Suet Feeders: It is that type of feeder in which high fat and protein items such as peanut butter or rendered fat is mixed along with seeds. It allows the birds to feed through the wire mesh.
One of the major things that must be noted is that suet can be spoiled if it is stored for a long time in the sun. Make sure you keep checking them to ensure that they are not spoilt.
Types of Bird Bath
Hanging: It is somewhat a shallow basin which is swung through a cord or chain from the top(tree branch or a garden hook). These birdbaths have a smaller capacity and usually come in a few designs only.
Wall-Mounted: It is one of the best options for users who are looking for a birdbath and do not have a bigger yard to get your product hanged or fixed. Usually, the bowl is mounted on the wall using a hook which remains set on it, and you can enjoy watching the birds freshening themselves.
Always make sure that it is mounted perfectly so that it does not get knocked off. It is one of the oldest ways of birdbaths, and that is why there are just a few designs available.
One-piece standing: It is usually the option for those who have a big yard at the back of their house and would be able to place them anywhere over there. It consists of a bowl which stands on the pedestal. This keeps the bowl away from the ground so that the birds can usually bathe themselves without fearing from the predators. These are available in different colors and sizes.
Two-Piece Standing: It is the same as the above, but the only difference is that it contains two bowls to store water.
Usually, these are designed as a concentric bowl in which the larger one is below, the smaller one. The capacity of this birdbath is more and costs more than the rest of the birdbath types.
Over the Railing: For those people who do not have a big yard behind their house and living in flats, the preferable option for them would be this type. The bowl is mounted on the railing using a hook and fitting which lets it take the support and allows the user to store water.
Now, you can easily look at all the birds coming towards it in your balcony itself.
Mistakes to avoid while feeding birds
- Keep away the unwanted leftovers which fall on the ground when birds feed the seeds. These leftovers can attract many rodents and squirrels and can even be a breeding ground for bacterias and insects.
- The bird feeder’s location is critical while you are placing them. If your feeder is located somewhere near a crowded area, birds would not stop there and feed upon the seeds.
- Low-quality seeds contain low levels of chemicals which are toxic to the birds even at low levels. You should be very careful while buying the seeds.
- Always keep the surrounding of the feeder clean because it can become a breeding ground for allergens and bacterias that can harm the birds.
- Do not overfill the feeder. If there is a lot of seed that is leftover at the end of the day, all of it becomes a waste because the seeds often get spoilt after a day or two.
Pros and Cons of Bird Feeders/ Birdbath.
Bird watching has always been one of the activities that soothe our mind and freshens it. It has many prime advantages, such as:
- Appreciation of Nature: We are in a way uniting with our nature harmoniously during bird watching sessions. Spending time in the outdoor helps us to fetch sunlight which is the primary source of vitamin D, breathe fresh air and able to communicate to the animals.
- Quick Reflexes: Bird watching is an activity which requires rapid reflexes. After a long time of inactivity, the event can take place in just a blink of your eyes. Birds can appear out from anywhere and leave very soon. You must be ready with your binoculars to have a gaze on them.
- Patience: It is not at all apt for those who need instant gratification because it requires a lot of patience. It may take a very long time to have a gaze upon a single bird. It is not something that everyone could make. To experience the beauty, it is necessary that you should have the right amount of patience.
- Acceptance: After long hours of gazing and watching, it is not necessary that you would get to see what you were expecting. It happens that your luck does not go right and you end up not being able to see a single bird. During that time, a great amount of acceptance needs to be there that these things are common and are bound to happen.
- Mental Alertness: Bird watchers should focus on a lot of things together. The birds would appear in just a blink of eyes and would disappear soon. During the small course of time, you must focus on aiming your binoculars and as well as be ready to take a snap. All these activities together in very less time needs a lot of mental alertness during that time.
For people who live in flats and bungalows have started feeding the birds and setting up a birdbath to watch them and also it helps to maintain a balance between the ecosystem. But has this activity done well to the birds? Yes of course it has, but at the same time, it has also produced an adverse effect on them. Let us have a look at the pros and cons of this activity.
Pros of Bird Feeders and Baths.
- Attract birds to your yards: For those people who have an excellent taste towards watching the birds, this activity has done a good deal to them. This attracts so many birds which you may not have seen anywhere in your normal life. The diversity developed is great and the birds singing all the time may also soothe and freshen your mind.
- Helps them to survive when food is scarce: Birds may also develop a shortage of food and water scarcity for drinking. It helps them to survive as they would not be easily able to find food, for those birds who migrate during the winters and summers, would not be easily able to find food for them. Bird feeders help them to feed on food easily.
- Helps during migration: Many birds migrate during the spring and fall. During their journey, it would be difficult for them to find food. In that case, setting up a feeder gives them a chance to survive through their journey and also helps them to increase their reproductive process.
- Create a tourist industry that helps protect bird habitat: Some of the communities have set up a tourist spot by putting feeders for birds to feed. A birdbath/feeder is set up at a distance and tourists are allowed to gaze upon them through their binoculars. This will help to protect our bird habitat.
- Gain Knowledge: During the time of feeding the birds, it happens that you get to see a lot of new species of birds that you have never seen in your age. This would help you to gain knowledge about them, their activities and their movement.
- Helps them to maintain a cool temperature: For those birds who are flying during a bright sunny day may need something to cool their body. In that case, setting up a birdbath helps them to maintain their body temperature.
Cons of Bird feeders/bath.
Along with all these pros of setting up bird feeders and bath, there are many disadvantages to set them up.
- Fall prey to Hawks and cats: When we set up these bird feeders, these birds are susceptible to hawks and cats who make these birds their prey. They keep on gazing these bird feeders, and as soon as any bird comes near to it looking for food, they immediately kill them.
- Attracts rats, squirrel, and pests: During the feeding, we cannot ask them to maintain proper decorum. They litter the ground below the feeder and also spill seeds on the ground. This proves to be a tasty meal for rodents, squirrels, and pests.
- Leads to window casualties: For those people who set up their feeders near to their windows and glasses are setting up danger for the birds. Due to their positioning, birds get imbalanced and often hit themselves on the window and immediately kill them.
- Suffer more disease: The seeds which we put on the feeder may have been grown through adding of insecticides and pesticides during their growth. Birds are unaware of this fact, and they often get themselves prone to diseases that may eventually get them killed.
- Needs extra maintenance: During bird feeding, a lot of litter is created on the ground below the feeder. The birds may also spill the seeds on the ground. All these things need extra care and maintenance.
Different types of bird food.
There are a lot of varieties of bird seeds that are available in the market. This usually includes:
Sunflower: These are of two types, black oil and striped. The black oil seeds have a fragile shell which is very easy to crack open, and the kernels inside it have a very high fat content which is good for birds during the winter season. The striped seeds have much harder shells to crack open.
Safflower: These seeds have harder shells to crack open, but it is a favorite among the Cardinals. House Sparrows, European Starlings, and squirrels do not seem to like these seeds according to some sources.
Nyjer Or Thistle: Have a high nutrient value and mostly liked by small finches. These seeds are very easy to be fed and are black needle-like seeds.
Golden Millet, Red Millet, Flax, And Others: These seeds are often used as fillers in birdseed packages. The main problem with these seeds is that the waste seeds become a breeding ground for bacterias and other small insects.
Peanuts: These are most popular among the jays, crows, chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers, and many other species. But these seeds are also favored by raccoons, squirrels, and other rodents and should not be subsidized. If peanut is fed through tube feeders, make sure that you get it replaced every day because it gets spoilt in sunlight as well as rainy season.
Corn: Corn is most popular among the grouse, pheasants, turkeys, quails, cardinals, grosbeaks, crows, ravens, jays, doves, ducks, cranes, and other species. The main problem associated with corn is that it is usually contaminated with aflatoxins and this chemical even at low levels can be very toxic.
White Proso Millet: Millet is favorite among the ground-feeding birds including quails, native American sparrows, doves, towhees, juncos, and cardinals.
- Selecting the best type: To get the best results, you should know the best kind of feeders. Know what all birds come near your place and choose a feeder accordingly.
- Material: If you are selecting a wooden feeder, it should be made up of weather-resistant cedar that would protect them from moisture.
- Sturdy and durability: The product must be fixed in such a way that if two or three birds come together to feed themselves, it does not get knocked off and let the birds fly away. A product must be durable and should not get ruined because of the open space in which it is mounted.
- Easy to clean: Any feeder that you are buying must be easy to fill, clean and refill them.
- Easy to assemble: Some of the parts of the feeders are removable so that you can easily get them cleaned at once. After washing, the re-assembling must not be a difficult task. You may require gardening tools to install some fancy feeders.
- Size of the feeder: In some of the areas, the number of birds visiting would be high and the other places it would be low. While selecting the product you should keep this thing in mind and choose the correct size for the bird feeder.
- Material – These are the materials in which the feeders are mostly made. Plastic feeders would be a good option, but because the durability of this material is very low, it is not a better option while glass feeders have a high risk of getting broken due to constant swinging and hitting by the beakers. Steel, on the other hand, has no risk and would also not create damage if it is fallen from a height.
- Budget: Always have an idea about what your budget should be. Buy only under your budget and do not go for an over-priced feeder.
- Size: Size plays an important role whenever we wish to buy a birdbath. We should always consider the area which we have where you want to set up the bird bath. If you do not have a big yard behind your house, go for a smaller one such as hanging or wall-mounted. If you have plenty of space, you can go for a free-standing birdbath.
- Appearance and Design: With the growing market, there are a variety of products being released with unique features and design. Presence plays a vital role while buying it. The birds around your house add beauty and aesthetics to your locality, so your birdbath should also stand out in your yard.
- Comfort for birds: The birds should feel comfortable and should have space to be at rest. If your birdbath is set at a place which is not at all comfortable such as near humans or near a place where there are a lot of rodents, no birds will stop at your birdbath. So you should choose a place accordingly.
- Height: Birdbath which is set too low near the ground can be used by other rodents and squirrels which could hurt the birds, it is recommended that you should set up at least 5 feet above the ground.
- Cleanliness: Water becomes dirty after letting it stay outside for some times. Seeing the dirty water, birds wouldn’t stop. Have your water refilled after some time and also keep the bath clean.
- Material: There is a lot of variant in the materials used for building baths and each having their specifications and features. For those people having a big house and a big yard, they should go for concrete/ceramic birdbath which looks the best out of all. Other materials are not as durable as concrete/ceramic. But those who do not have a big space to set it up should go for plastic, glass or metal material.
- Cost: Always have an idea about what your budget should be. Buy only under your budget and do not go for an over-priced feeder.
1. Nature Forever Bird Feeder, (2 Pieces) – Transparent
The set of 2 pieces of the bird feeder is one of the best buys available in the market. Nature Forever Bird Feeder is made up of food grade plastic and is sufficient enough to keep the hunger away. Birds around your locality can easily come around and sit on the tray provided below and easily feed upon the seeds.
- The product is made up of food grade plastic
- The transparent color of the feeder allows you to have a gaze whether the seeds have become empty in the feeder and you can refill it.
- It comes in a set of two pieces.
- Once the birds spot the feeder, they would continuously come to get themselves fed.
- The cost is affordable, and the quality is good as compared to the other products available online.
- It also comes along a foot stand for the birds.
- The tray should be a little bigger.
- A shade to avoid rain from spoiling the seeds would be better
2. Nature Forever Bird Feeder, (2 Pieces) – Eco-friendly
The product has been designed as an extremely eco-friendly product. Not only does it provide a helping hand for hungry birds, but the product has also been designed by keeping nature in mind because it is made up of pure wood. Nature Forever Hut Wooden Feeder is proudly made in India with 100% recycled wood. Now let us have a look at the other features of this product.
- This bird feeder is ideal for parakeets
- It is effortless to install
- It has a tray as well as shade over it which prevents seeds from getting spoiled.
- The quiet area on the feeder allows them to stand upon while eating the seeds easily.
- The seeds do not get spoiled in the rain due to the presence of shades over it.
- Along with the material with which it is made, it is well built and looks good.
- It is too heavy to be hanged, be careful while hanging.
3. Torri Plastic Jumbo Bird and Water Feeder – Combo Set of 2
The product is made in such a way that it is suitable for Budgies, Parakeet, Cockatiel, Finches & other birds. The 2-in-1 product works both as bird feeder as well as water feeder. The combo of 2 pieces allows you to ease your job and makes it comfortable for the birds around your surroundings.
- The product is made up of high-quality plastic material.
- It provides dual hanging support.
- Can work both as a bird feeder and water feeder.
- It can hold up to 400ml water
- Other feeders cause a lot of spilling outside the feeder, but this product has reduced it.
- Due to its material, it can be easily cleaned.
- It is lightweight and easy to handle.
- The opening of the seed dispenser must be opened a little more because the dispensing is not so good.
4. Amijivdaya Large Bird Feeder with Hut Multi Color – Along with stand
- The bird feeder is able to accommodate 1.75 KGs of bird food which is more than enough to suffice a day’s requirement.
- It comes along with a tray as well as a shade over it.
- The product is made up of food grade plastic which is free from toxic material.
- The tray provided at the bottom prevents the seeds from falling on the ground.
- It has foot stands along with it which eases birds to stand upon them while being fed.
- The feeder has a shade over it which is able to prevent the seeds from getting spoiled due to rainfall.
- Due to its large size, it can feed up to six birds at a time
- The quality of the material is not up to the mark.
- It is more suitable for small birds
5. The Himalaya Craft Bird Bath, Earth Brown (9X9-Inch) – Earthen Pot Terracotta
- The Earthen pot is specially handmade using natural clay material. It does not cause harm to the environment and is perfectly recyclable.
- It is large enough to suffice a lot of birds together.
- A good quality product.
- If the pot is full all the times, then it can attract a lot of birds.
- The product is truly authentic and reminds you of nature every time you see it.
- It is nature-friendly and will give a little vintage look to your balcony
- No such cons mentioned
6. JAINSONS PET PRODUCTS Clay and Plastic Bird Feeder Earthenware Bowl 500ml 21x21x80cm – Nylon Hanging
A 2-in-1 product which can be used both as a bird-feeder and a birdbath is something which attracts the user to buy this product. JAINSONS PET PRODUCT Clay and Plastic Bird Feeder Earthenware Bowl is an eco-friendly product which is made up of earthen materials.
- The 2-in-1 product can be used both as a birdbath and a bird feeder. If a product offers this much advantage, then it should be considered.
- It is a hangable product which gives you an option even if you do not have a big yard behind your house. It could be easily hanged in your balconies.
- The product is made up of earthen material which makes it recyclable and an eco-friendly product.
- The material used to hang is made of Nylon which gives it a stronghold and prevents from breaking.
- It is easy to clean product.
- The color attracts the birds to it.
- Special care needs to be taken because the pot is fragile.
7. Ascent Homes Bird Feeding Bath Station (Black, 8×6. 2×20) – Wall Mount Metal
The wall mounted bird feeder allows you to save space and does not even need a large ground to be fitted. Ascent Homes Wall Mount Metal Bird Feeding Bath Station is made up of both metal and plastic and has been given a powder coating for making it look shiny and adds beauty to your surrounding.
- The product is made up of both metal and plastic and has been given a powder coat to add shine to it.
- It is a wall-mounted product which allows it to be easily fixed on the walls of your house.
- The dual tray on the product gives more capacity.
- It is a space-efficient product and can easily be hanged to the wall and railings of your balconies.
- The trays are removable. It becomes easy to clean it up and remove any dirt or debris from it.
- It is not necessary that both these trays have to be used as a feeder. One of the can also be used as a water tray.
- No such cons mentioned.
8. Giantex Pedestal Bird Bath Feeder Outdoor Garden Yard Patio Decor (Green) – Freestanding
For those people who have a big outdoor yard and spacious garden, would need this product to add beauty to your surrounding. Giantex Pedestal Bird Bath Feeder Freestanding Outdoor Garden Yard Patio Decor adds look to your garden and also proves to be a good option for the birds around you to keep them hydrated.
- A sturdy product for bird lovers who need a long-lasting option for their free raider birds.
- The bottom of this birdbath has to be fixed so that it does not move when birds rest upon it or through the blowing winds.
- The cost is reasonable.
- It adds beauty to your backyard.
- A long lasting option for bird lovers.
- It would look good only if you have a big yard behind your house.
9. Om Craft Villa Earthen Pot Terracotta Bird Bath, Earth Brown – Round Shape
The round shape earthen pot gives the birds around your locality to keep themselves away from the heated air and stay hydrated. Om Craft Villa Earthen Pot Terracotta Bird Bath, Earth Brown is one of the choices for the users.
- The product is handmade in India.
- It is made up of earthen material such as clay and terracotta which is 100% recyclable and eco-friendly.
- The edge of the birdbath has a small lip/ridge that makes it easy for birds to perch.
- Perfect quality product.
- The material keeps the water cool even in the heat
- The terracotta material makes it easier to clean and prevent scum formation inside the pot.
- No such cons mentioned.
10. Apontus 3 Tier Fountain Garden Decor Pedestal Outdoor Bird Bath – Water Fountain with Pump
This product is not at all heavy as it looks and also gives a very good look to your backyard. The Apontus 3 Tier Fountain Garden Decor Pedestal Outdoor Bird Bath Water Fountain can be a good choice for those who want to add beauty to your garden. It has a pump along with it which lets water to flow back and forth.
- The product is manufactured in the USA.
- It is made up of plastic material which makes it lightweight and thus, it can be assembled quickly.
- It comes along with a stand which lets it rest on the ground.
- The product comes along with a pump which frees you from refilling it every time.
- As the water continues to flow, you do not have to fear about mosquitoes breeding on it.
- The trickling water sound that it creates is something which gives a soothing effect to your senses and also attracts a lot of birds.
- The plastic used is of cheap quality
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the easiest way to clean a bird feeder?
A dirty feeder creates a lot of problems. It can give way for bacterias, allergens and other insects that can harm the hungry birds. Foul odors that develop due to stink may attract insects and other rodents near to your feeders, so, it is better to keep your feeder clean all the time.
Wooden Feeders would soak up the oil or water which would be used for cleaning. For better cleaning, it is always suggested that you should go for feeders which are made up of plastic, glass, metal materials that are easy to clean.
The use of Proper Cleaning solution should be followed. One part of bleach must be added to 9 parts of water. Preparing a soap solution is also one of the other methods to clean your feeders properly.
Always soak the feeder with these solutions, which will loosen the debris and allow easy scrubbing which will quickly remove the dirt from it.
Clean all the parts correctly, there are a lot of elements in it, and it must be cleaned inside and out, including, feeding ports, perches, lids, platforms, and reservoirs.
Rinse thoroughly, after applying bleach and other soap solutions, each part must be adequately rinsed so that no chemical residue is left behind which may harm the birds. After cleaning is done, let the feeder dry.
2. What is the ideal height for a bird feeder?
Different types of birds find different heights ideal. But the average ideal height for a bird feeder should be around 5 feet. This must be followed because if you keep your feeder too low near the ground, it will make way for rodents and other insects.
Apart from that, it should be 10 feet away from any trees or shrubs to prevent the hungry birds from falling prey to hawker and cats that prepare themselves to feed on them as soon as they approach the feeder.
3. How to protect bird feeders from squirrels?
Your feeder must rest 10 feet away from any trees or shrubs so that it would not make way for rodents and squirrels. If your feeder is hanging on to a pole, it would be easy for them to feed upon the seeds.
Go to the store and buy a squirrel baffle which would restrict the movement of squirrels upon the pole. Ideally, your feeder should be well above the ground around 5 feet.
If you are truly desperate to keep the squirrels away, set up a squirrel feeder on the ground, apart from the bird feeder.
4. Where should I hang my bird feeder?
If you wish to hand your feeder, it must be on the pole or a tree, six feet away from the trunk or the limbs of the tree. Install a squirrel baffle on the cord which will prevent the movement of squirrel downwards. If you wish to hang the bird feeder near your house, prefer a wall in which a hook is attached and let it hang on it.
5. Can we warm the water in Bird Bath?
Not all the bird bath is capable of warming the water. For those bird bath which you need to winterize, contains an additional heater in it which is used to heat the water. For those birds living in cold regions, it would make them comfortable. Proper care must be taken if you are storing warm water because it is an easy source of developing bacteria and algae on it.
6. What to do if the birdbath is too deep?
If your birdbath is too deep, it is recommended that you should place bricks and rocks beneath it which would prevent them from drowning. Any surface which is created should be slightly rough so that they can grip on to it and do not slip. You should also make sure that your bath has a place for birds to stand upon to perch without letting them get wet.
It is a no-doubt thing that bird watching and gazing soothes up your mind and makes it fresh; it is a perfect thing if you feed them as well. Looking at the features and specifications of all the products, we suggest that the best option would be Nature Forever Bird Feeder, Transparent (2 Pieces). The product is made up of food grade plastic which is free from any toxic content. You do not have to be worried about the seeds getting toxic and harming the birds. The transparent color allows you to have a check on whether you have to get the feeder refilled or not. The stands provided on it will enable the bird to stand upon them. Talking about the budget, it is reasonable.
Another product which adds to our list would be Nature Forever Hut Wooden Feeder, Brown mainly considering its make. The 100% recyclable wooden material is a good go product for nature. It has shades over it which prevent the seeds from getting wet. The quiet area allows the birds to stand upon them. Adds beauty to your garden space. The cost is also reasonable.