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How to Choose the Right Bird Feeder

Choosing the right bird feeder for your back yard may not seem like rocket science – and it’s not – but there’s a little more to it than picking the first thing you see, filling it with seed and then waiting patiently with your binoculars for the flapping magic to happen.<br><br>So, what’s the trick to finding the perfect bird feeder?<br><br><strong>Location, Location, Location … and Migration</strong><br><br>Different kinds of birds live in different kinds of places and knowing what may come swooping through your yard – and at what times – will help you pick out the right feeder.<br><br>Of course, it’s not all about migration. Shifting migratory patterns may mix up your backyard menagerie, but you may see more differentiation due to seasons, temperature and what kind of foliage you have in your yard or in the surrounding area.<br><br><strong>Fine Dining for Feathered Friends</strong><br><br>Birds probably care more about ambience than you do when you go out to eat<strong>. </strong>They need everything to be just right if they’re going to be able to relax.<br><br>Bird feeders come in varying styles to accommodate different types of bird species – and keep other types of birds at bay. <a title="Tube Bird Feeders" href="http://www.atgstores.com/search/default.aspx?q=Bird%20Feeders&amp;atb=attr_style=%7cTube%7c&amp;tid=1156" target="_blank">Tube feeders</a>, for example, have small holes and/or wraparound cages that prevent bigger birds from stealing all the seed. <a title="Platform &amp; Tray Bird Feeders" href="http://www.atgstores.com/search/default.aspx?q=Bird%20Feeders&amp;atb=attr_style=%7cPlatform+%2f+Tray%7c&amp;tid=1156" target="_blank">Platform and tray feeders</a>, on the other hand, cater to bigger birds like jays, cardinals and robins.<br><br><strong>Birdies Are Foodies, Too</strong><br><br>You’d think that beggars wouldn’t be choosers in the bird world, but your feed mix will often determine what kinds of flappers flock to your feast. And, once you see how many feed options there are, you’ll notice that it may also determine what kind of feeder you use.<br><br>Hummingbirds need <a title="Hummingbird Feeders" href="http://www.atgstores.com/search/default.aspx?q=Bird%20Feeders&amp;atb=attr_type=%7cHummingbird%7c&amp;tid=1156" target="_blank">feeders that dispense liquid</a>, which is an obvious difference, but some seed mixes include large seeds that won’t work well in thistle feeders or other types of tube feeders. For these, platform feeders or other <a title="Mounted Bird Feeders" href="http://www.atgstores.com/search/default.aspx?q=Bird%20Feeders&amp;atb=attr_type=%7cMounted%7c&amp;tid=1156" target="_blank">mounted feeder designs</a> work well.<br><br><strong>Printable Bird Feed Table</strong><br><br>Below we’ve provided a table to help you know your common birds and their diets. “G” stands for ground feeders that will eat seed from the ground as well as tray feeders, while “P” stands for pest birds that should not be fed because they are overpopulated and will crowd out other birds. NOTE: Sunflower seeds are the most popular among common North American (N.A.) bird types.<br><table class="putabirdontable" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><tbody><tr><td valign="top" width="100"></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">Sunflower (black oil)</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">Sunflower (striped)</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"><br><p align="center">Corn</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="71"><br><p align="center">Milo / Sorghum</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="56"><br><p align="center">Millet (white proso)</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"><br><p align="center">Rapeseed</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="63"><br><p align="center">Peanuts</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"><br><p align="center">Safflower</p><br></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Cardinals (G)</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Chickadees</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Cowbirds (P)</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"></td><td valign="top" width="71"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="56"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Crows (P)</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Doves</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Ducks</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Finches</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"></td><td valign="top" width="73"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Grosbeaks</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Grouse (G)</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Jays</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="71"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="56"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Juncos (G)</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">House Sparrows (P)</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"></td><td valign="top" width="46"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">N.A. Sparrows (G)</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Pigeons (P)</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Quail (G)</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"></td><td valign="top" width="71"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="56"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Ravens</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Starlings (P)</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"></td><td valign="top" width="46"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Thrashers</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"></td><td valign="top" width="71"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="56"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Titmice</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Towhees (G)</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" width="100">Woodpeckers</td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="78"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="46"></td><td valign="top" width="71"></td><td valign="top" width="56"></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td><td valign="top" width="63"><br><p align="center">X</p><br></td><td valign="top" width="73"></td></tr></tbody></table><br>We hope&nbsp;this chart will help you choose the right feeder for your backyard aviary.
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