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Waterproof bird feeders

Afternoon everyone! Hope all is ok in your gardens after the storms!

Does anyone know if there is such a thing as a waterproof bird feeder?  I purchased a lovely new suet pellet feeder earlier this week - it's got little holes in a cage to allow smaller birds in to the feeder (Starlings are keeping me very poor ????) After the rain last night, the pellets had turned into a gloopy mess and the seed on the ground feeder ended up resembling porridge!!  

Other than running out and getting the feeders in if it rains  I'm at a loss what to do - any ideas you clever lot?? 

Posts

  • Pete FPete F Posts: 8

    Hi Allyblueeyes

    As a avid garden bid feeder myself i have come across this problem with a good few of my feeder's my self .

    The way i solved these problem's was to look at the size of the feeder it's location and the hight of the ground of the feeder .

    The ground feeder is the easiest problem to solve and need's minimal D.I.Y skill's to cure this problem , I you can find a piece of 3 ply wood or some thing like that ( avoid chip board or fibre board ) that is around 3/4 inches wider all the way round than your ground feeding tray you can attach either 1/2 inch or 1 inch wooden dowels or even better metal rod's similar to pole feeder stem's to each corner then this will shelter your ground feeder from any rainfall it will also give a elevated platform to place a water dish on top for bird's to drink from .

    The mesh type feeder's are a different protection method and will need a bit of patient's and adjustment to solve your problem i have used plant pot stand's top and bottom with a hole in the top stand in the centre and holes around the outside outside on both the top and bottom pot stand once you have these connect the top stand to the bottom stand with stiff garden wire ensuring these wires are taught if you have a 2 inch wide feeder use 2 x 4/6 inch plant pot stands will work ok the hole n the top is to attach to the hanger for you feeder with garden wire . 

    The added bonus of this method of keep your suet pellet's dry is that if you weave 2/3 wires around the wires supporting the plant pot stand's you will stop the starling's getting all the pellet's and give the smaller bird's Blue , Great , Coal and long tailed tit's a chance to get there share if you are lucky you may also get visit's from other bird's like nuthatch's and other smaller bird's that like suet pellet's .

    Let me no how you get on and if you have any more problem's with bird feeder's .

    Pete .

  • AllyblueeyesAllyblueeyes Posts: 283

    Pete, thank you so much! What a wonderful and comprehensively brilliant answer!!! I, personally, am no DIYer but my dad is - I'm going to get him on the case - thank you. I'll let you know how we get on! ?

  • Pete FPete F Posts: 8

    Hi Allyblueeyes

    No problems if you have any other problem's or question's regarding feeding wild bird's in your garden get in touch also if you wish to have a go at making your own specie's specific bird food let me know as i have made and used several mixes and food supplement's  for year's now with good result's up here in South Yorkshire .

    Pete .

    Last edited: 30 July 2017 15:32:39

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,054

    If you hang the feeder(s) in the shelter of other shrubs/trees it'll help. 

    If you don't have those, it's easy enough to make a lid out of a plastic plant saucer. Make a hole in the middle and thread wire through to fix it on to the top of the feeder. You can adapt it depending on the feeder and how you hang it. 

    The easiest way to avoid suet blocks/balls melting is not to use them in summer. Even here, where it doesn't get that hot, they would dissolve. I only use them from Sept/Oct till spring. At this time of year, I only use a seed feeder which I put a small amount in, and replenish when that's done. Birds have other sources of  food at this time of year, so it's really just a small supplement for them.  

    Suet blocks tend to attract starlings anyway, who annihilate them, so that's another reason I wouldn't use them at this time of year. My feeders are inside a purpose built cage which they can't get into. In winter, all the ground feeding birds get food on the ground, and all the small birds use the cage. There's an additional feeder for starlings etc under a tree.  Everyone's a winner image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,434

    The RSPB sells suet blocks which don't melt even in hot sun.  Don't ask me how they do this, but I've used them and they really don't melt.  I had to stop feeding suet blocks hanging from a tree, because they attracted large numbers of jackdaws.  While waiting their turn at the feeder, they would queue up on my neighbours' washing line and poop on their clean laundry! 

  • AllyblueeyesAllyblueeyes Posts: 283

    Thank you all for your replies - very, very useful information which I will take on board. Looks like it's sunny all day today so I'll get out in the garden and put some of these ideas to the test  - or get dad on the case anyway!! ? Thanks again to one and all.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,703

    I use droll yankee feeders with a dome over the top. It keeps the contents  dry even in heavy rain.

    https://www.gardenbird.co.uk/droll-yankees-seattle-rain-guard.html

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • Pete FPete F Posts: 8

    The feeders in my garden are about a 50/50 split between bought and home made feeder's .

    The bought feeder's are now getting so expensive i find it is a good idea and a enjoyable pastime to experiment with different idea's not to mention the saving's on home made feeder's can be used to buy bird seed etc .

    My cheapest by far and most enjoyable to watch small bird's on is my block suet feeder's .

    To make these get a off cut of 4inx4in / 4inx2in  post or spa's any length will do drill a pilot hole of around 1/8 or 1/4in part way or all the way through the wood on either side then get a 1in spade bit and drill all the way through or as deep as you wish into the wood using the piolt hole as a guide make sure these holes are around 2/3in from the top of the block next drill a 1/4in hole about 1in or so underneath the main hole push in a length of 1/4in dowel that stick's out by around 1in/2in as a perch and you have a port in a suet feeder with a perch .

    To attach the feeder to a feeding station , tree branch or even a washing line attach 2 small screw in hook's or screw in rings either side secure with garden wire fill the large hole's up with any seed , nut's meal worm's or any combination of these sit back and watch the bird's feed at little or no cost to yourself .

    The larger bird's , Starling's for example cannot feed on this feeder as they cannot reach the feeding hole from the perch plus they cannot balance as they are to heavy and the feeder swing's to much .

    The feed in the hole's should be mixed up with a little beef suet for extra taste and to hold in place swap and change your feed about and you will find the right mix for your garden visitor's .

    The number of feeding port's can be decided by the length of wood or how many you want to put in also put the port's on alternate side's as you work your way down leaving around 2/3in between perch and the top of the next port a totally waterproof way of feeding small bird's at low cost .

    The DIY for this sound's complicated but if you see this done for the first time by someone who is used to DIY you will realise how easy these feeder's are to make and put up .

    Last edited: 31 July 2017 11:35:25

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