by Gene Sumi, Homestead Education Coordinator
No one has to tell you how many types, styles and prices you’ll find when you go shopping for bird feeders. I’m not trendy, but I do like things that are functional. This usually means “simple”.
My first real introduction to bird feeders at home was some years back when my daughters came home from a Girl Scouts meeting with platform bird feeders that they made by gluing Popsicle sticks together. The feeders had square bottoms with short Popsicle stick walls all around. They were just shallow boxes that barely held the seed inside. Their feeders were hung on a couple of low limbs of a young Silver Maple in the backyard and my girls kept watch over them every day. I watched too, and noticed a variety of different birds eating at the feeders. Some birds kicked the birdseed out of the feeder and only fed on the ones that were now on the ground. So many different birds were doing their own thing at the same feeder. Avian democracy in practice!
Platform feeders are really simple in form and function. Easy to fill, easy to clean out and you see a lot of bird activity all at the same time. So if you are thinking about wild bird feeding, start out with a platform feeder and enjoy.