Posted: April 3, 2013, 11:30 a.m. PDT
Excerpted from “Feeder Facts” in “Popular Birding Series: Backyard Birding,” published by BirdChannel.com publisher I-5 Publishing LLC.
To prevent backyard birds from becoming ill, always clean your tube bird feeder thoroughly before refilling with fresh bird food.
Tube bird feeders generally are filled with small bird seeds that attract finches, buntings and sparrows. American and Lesser Goldfinches and Pine Siskins like tube bird feeders filled with thistle seeds, which will blow away if used in another type of bird feeder. Sunflower tube bird feeders will attract larger bird species, such as nuthatches and grosbeaks.
The beauty of tube bird feeders is that you can buy a feeder with more than one tube. This style allows birders to fill each tube with a different bird seed to attract a wider variety of birds to the feeder.
Depending on the design of the bird feeder, it also can attract or discourage various bird species. For example, a tube bird feeder with the feeding holes below the perches will attract American Goldfinches, Lesser Goldfinches and Pine Siskins but discourage House Finches.
Some models of tube bird feeders include a cage around the seed tube to keep squirrels out. Many come with a rain guard, which is essential for a wet climate.
Before refilling the tube with fresh birdfood, always clean the bird feeder thoroughly. You want to remove the potential for bacteria or mold that could make backyard birds ill; that's part of your job as a host. The birds will reward you with their continued visits!
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