Suet and Nectar Feeders
Suet Feeders come in various shapes and sizes. These bird feeders are usually made of a wire mesh or coated wire which is open either on the side or top. They can also resemble decorative cages with plastic windows. However, the most popular way of presenting suet is on homemade suet logs.
Suet is a hard fat around the kidneys and loins of sheep and cattle which may either be placed out for the birds in blocks or may be melted and poured into holes in trees, pinecones or unto other suitable containers. Suet cake is put inside hung suet bird feeders. This is best used in winter because the food can go bad quickly in warm temperatures.
Suet is a high protein food that is loved and eaten by many species of birds. Woodpeckers, Flickers, Sapsuckers, Mockingbirds, Chickadees, Juncos, Brown Creepers, Sparrows, Robins, Wrens, Kinglets, Nuthatches, Titmice, Catbirds, Bluebirds and even Warblers are attracted to suet feeders. Suet provides lots of calories due to its high fat content. These calories are needed by the birds to keep them warm in winter. It also serves as a soft easy food for fast growing young birds and their harried parents. Suet can be mixed with fruits or seeds, or combined with peanut butter and meals or grains to make a paste, smear or doughy mixture.
Perches are not necessary for suet feeders as they will only attract Grackles and Starlings. Woodpeckers and small clinging birds can get a grip on the rough wood. If the suet feeder is especially meant to attract Woodpeckers, the feeder should be attached initially to a tree trunk. The bird feeder can be moved to other spots once the Woodpeckers find it as they will easily follow. Standing dead trees can be drilled and filled like giant suet logs. These trees once stuffed with suet will ensure regular visitors especially Woodpeckers.
Nectar feeders are liquid feeders that hold a sugar water mixture. These are usually red in color to attract birds. Hummingbirds, Orioles and Tanagers are species that can be very hard to attract but these specially designed feeders would help.
Birds that are searching for red and deep orange-red flowers will be convinced to take a closer look when they see the nectar feeders. Bird species that have a sweet tooth would satisfy their craving with real nectar from flowers or a sip of sugary tree sap or fruit juice placed in this bird feeder. The sugar boost gives those quick calories and the energy needed to chase bugs, although it is only intended as a supplement to the birdís natural diet.
It is important to find a nectar feeder that is easy to fill and clean. The base should be removable to facilitate cleaning of the feeding holes. Bee guards or griddled plastic over the bird feeder opening are necessary to avoid constant battles between wasps and birds. Ownership of a nectar feeder brings a certain amount of responsibility for the well being of fragile and trusting animals. Therefore, bird enthusiasts who decide to provide a nectar feeder should be ready for it.
Hummingbirds would rather starve than consume spoiled feeder syrup. Although a dirty feeder isnít likely to cause harm, this might mean being deprived of the company of these birds. They are more likely to abandon a bird feeder that is not properly maintained and look for more reliable food sources elsewhere.
The nectar feeder should be flushed with hot tap water before every filling. The entire feeder is to be inspected for mold and a bleach soak is used to remove it. Any unconsumed sugar water should be discarded. Partial refilling is recommended when the birds are not able to empty the bird feeder between cleanings.
Be the first to add a comment