Platform Bird Feeders
Continuing Wild Bird Habitat Store’s series on the “7 Basic Backyard Bird Feeders” to attract the largest variety of birds to your yard, our third bird feeder of the series is one of my favorites, the platform bird feeder.
Platform bird feeders, also called tray feeders, are excellent for attracting a large variety of birds. Platform bird feeders are non-exclusive meaning this feeder will attract both large and smaller birds.
Today’s platform bird feeders are primarily made from red cedar or post-consumer recycled plastic. Recycled plastic feeders come with a lifetime warranty against fading, peeling, or cracking and clean up like brand new even after years of use. Droll Yankees has a line of poly-carbonate platform bird feeders also with a lifetime warranty. There are some powder coated metal platform bird feeders on the market as well. The most innovative concept of today’s cedar and recycled plastic platform bird feeders are the metal perforated bottoms. Rain or melting snow passes through the bottom allowing the wild bird feed to dry out. Birds Choice has removable screens for easy cleaning.
Platform bird feeders can be easily hung from a tree branch, wall bracket, or shepherd’s hook. They can also be mounted on a 4 X 4 wooden post or a 1” steel post using the appropriate flanges. Most platform bird feeders are open while others have the option of a roof or cover for added protection from rain or snow. If squirrels are a problem in your area you may want to incorporate a squirrel baffle to keep those daylight robbers off the feeder.
Platform bird feeders are very versatile as to what wild bird feeds you can use to attract birds. Birds coming to elevated bird feeders are after the nutmeats such as: black oil sunflower seed, hulled sunflower seed, shelled and un-shelled peanuts, NutraSaff safflower and white safflower seed or a mixture of these products. That’s why Wild Bird Habitat highly recommends using these wild bird feeds on a platform bird feeder to attract the largest variety of bird species. But this is one bird feeder that works well if you wish to use a quality general wild bird mix that combines many of the seeds listed above with white Proso millet and cracked corn. Birds on a platform bird feeder can select which seed they want without sweeping through the mix scattering it to the ground.
One benefit of a platform bird feeder is very little waste is ejected on the ground. It is quick to dump out any shells and debris in the trash and these feeders are simple to replenish with wild bird feed. NOTE: do not fill a platform bird feeder to the top of the side rails. It is best to add several cups to a quart of wild bird feed depending on the size of the platform feeder.
As mentioned platform bird feeders are very versatile as far as what you can offer birds. You can even feed such products as grapes, diced apples, blueberries, orange halves, and other fruits on a platform bird feeder. It’s a great feeder to set a bowl of live mealworms on that many birds thoroughly enjoy. NOTE: It is strongly recommended not to feed popcorn, cereals, bread, or other pastry products as it will surely attract unwanted birds such as European Starlings and House Sparrows.
If you use the wild bird feeds we recommend you will attract the largest variety of backyard birds to an elevated platform bird feeder. Add more peanuts and attract more Blue Jays and woodpeckers. Hulled sunflower seeds attract the most birds from Northern Cardinals to American Goldfinch and everything in-between. The trick is in using the right wild bird feeds. You’ll attract nuthatches, house and winter finches along with Chickadees. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Orioles, even Mourning Doves. Robins will feed on shelled peanuts and NutraSaff safflower. This is why platform bird feeders are my favorite and busiest of all my backyard bird feeders.
One thing to note: In the summer on my platform bird feeders I only put NutraSaff safflower and/or white safflower on them. That way I still attract most of my favorite birds but it keeps the Common Grackles away. Then once those pesky grackles migrate south for the winter I switch back to the preferred nuts meats. And on platform bird feeders that are accessible to squirrels I use the safflower seeds year round to deter them.
So if you haven’t already added a platform bird feeder to your backyard bird feeding program you might want to consider it. Use the wild bird feeds we recommend and you’ll be delighted at all your avian visitors. It’s best to have several platform bird feeders in your yard to increase the variety of wild bird feeds you can offer and avoid over-crowding at the feeder or the feeder being taken over by a dominant bird such as the Northern Flicker.
View PLATFORM BIRD FEEDERS available at the Wild Bird Habitat Stores