Special Seeds Need Special Feeders.
The Finch feeder came along to fit that need the same time Nyjer seed came to America as a wild bird food.
They come as sacks or socks, wire mesh cylinders, tubes in different shapes and sizes.
Some tubes can have as many as 20 feeding ports to small ones with as few as two ports.
The port is a small almost like a slit about a quarter of an inch long and about one sixteenth of an inch wide.
There are tubes that mount to our windows and a special for special birds to feed hanging upside down.
Yes, feeding goldfinches, pine siskins, redpolls and other small birds has become a specialty.
I want a finch feeder that allows these birds to feed with minimum harassment from larger and more aggressive birds.
The thistle sock is a throw away version of the finch feeder.
These socks allow clinging birds to hang on and feed at their leisure.
Feeders made of a wire mesh work like a sock, but can last for years.
Most squirrels don't mess with the little black seeds so socks are quite safe.
House sparrows have a difficult time clinging so they leave it alone as well.
A good sock can last a couple of years, less expensive ones are good for a year.
If you are like me, you will want to hang yours close by so you can watch and be entertained by these special guests.
A unique finch feeder I have, and thoroughly enjoy is Perky Pet's upside down feeder.
There isn't a guarantee with this feeder but it is designed for goldfinches and a few other birds that can hang upside down.
Plus there isn't a tray attached to it.
I love watching these little acrobats as they twirl around on the perches.
Even more comical is watching a juvenile learning or other birds try to flip around only to fly off the perch.
With proper care, the upside down feeder will last me a few years.
Seed does get wet and moldy in the bottom V shape and some care is in order.
As with regular bird feeding tubes, the finch feeder does come with guarantees as long as you find the right one.
Like regular tube feeders, the manufacturer plays a roll in quality and guarantees.
For example, Aspects, Duncraft and Droll Yankees feeders are American made and their medium and higher end products are made in America and come with "Lifetime Guarantees".
You must find these products in specialty stores.
These companies will not sell their products to box stores. I like that!
The well designed finch feeder has no seed tray. The polycarbonate tubes come with UV inhibitors to minimize the sun's damage (yellowing and turning brittle).
With well built products you can add trays, cages and other accessories.
They can hang or pole mount.
Squeeze the tube to see which one is more durable and will last. Yes, some of these feeders can last you a lifetime.
A well designed finch feeder will have proper drain holes.
You would think a little water wouldn't get into these feeders, but it can and does.
Sprinklers and horizontal rain can do seed damage.
Mesh feeders are on the same concept as the sock feeder.
They are designed for clinging birds like the goldfinch.
The mesh on a finch feeder can be an inexpensive plastic or a thick gauge aluminum to prevent critter damage.
Aspects makes a wonderful Mesh feeder.
Whatever you do, stay away from any glass or ceramic feeders.
They may look cute, but they do break in wind storms or from some wayward juvenile with a BB gun.
Besides, cute isn't always functional.
As with all feeders, look for one that is easy to fill and maintain.
I like to clean all of my feeders with oxygen bleach. The hot water and foaming action loosens the crud and sanitizes at the same time.
It is all natural and wont harm plants or wildlife.
If you can manage, look for a feeder that is built to last.
The time spent now will save you aggravation and money later on.
What about the purple finch and house finches? Let them eat the sunflower seeds.
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