Goldfinch Feeders, World’s Best 5 Design Tips

These brilliant wild canaries in their springtime yellow colors can flock to goldfinch feeders in the hundreds. You can keep these birds in your backyard using simple, lifelong techniques. Goldfinch feeders come in a wide variety of designs and materials.

The first bird feeder made for the retail market was the tube bird feeder. This simple design featured a clear, plastic tube with holes, perches and a hangar. From this beginning came the specialty wild bird feeders. The goldfinch feeders are the result of these upgrades.

For many backyard birders, the seed of choice to attract goldfinches is thistle, or nyjer seed. This high fat content seed is about the size of a wisp of hair. Inside is a meaty treat for your wild birds. Using a standard tube feeder for this rather expensive seed can be extremely wasteful. Birds, by their very nature, are messy eaters. They will spill 10 seeds for every one seed they choose. The regular size holes in a standard tube feeder allow goldfinches to waste an enormous amount of thistle seed as they eat. If other birds use this same feeder, they may shovel out the thistle seed as they look for other seed choices. Thistle tube feeders were designed to help eliminate this wasteful spilling created by wild birds.

There are 5 important design features to look for when choosing your next goldfinch feeder:

1.) Look for a tube style bird feeder with tiny holes, about the size of a pencil point. The world’s best goldfinch feeders will have a tear shape hole instead of a round hole. These special portals force the wild birds to remove one thistle seed at a time, completely eliminating the shoveling habit of some birds. This simple design feature, alone, will save you money from wasted seed.

2.) The portals birds eat from should contain a metal shield around the feeding holes. Birds tend to peck at feeders in search of food. This constant pecking will enlarge the tiny holes on the plastic tubes of standard goldfinch feeders. The metal shields protect the tear shaped holes from enlarging any further. Remember, you’ll save a bundle of money if the seed stays in the feeder and not on the ground.

3.) Look at the bottom of the goldfinch feeder. If it is a tube style, be sure that the last holes are at the very bottom of the feeder. Birds can only obtain seed that is near the holes. Better still, properly designed goldfinch feeders will stop nyjer seed from going below the last portals. Some models have an inside shield that stops seed from going all the way to the bottom. Reason being, any seed below the bottom holes will never be touched and create a moldy mess. This will contaminate the rest of the seed in the goldfinch feeder.

4.) The world’s best goldfinch feeders will allow you to attach a tray to the bottom. Trays are very useful in keeping most seed shells off the ground. Yes, thistle seeds have shells that the finches have to crack open. Seed trays allow more birds to eat at the same time, increasing the attractiveness of your backyard to the large flocks of goldfinches.

5.) Cleaning a goldfinch feeder can be a tricky situation. Over a short period of time, compacted thistle seed turns into a cement-like substance that is impossible to remove. Choose a feeder with a removable bottom for simple cleaning. The best goldfinch feeders allow you to remove the base with a simple twist of the hand, no tools are needed.

In many areas of the country, goldfinches will be happy to entertain humans year round. Clean feeders and fresh thistle seed are the two most important ingredients backyard birders must provide to keep these magnificent wild birds around.

Deer Feeders and Feeding Tips – A Guide to a Safe and Enjoyable Home Hobby

All of us love deer and many people enjoy attracting them to their yards but some do not know how to do it well or at all. I have received many requests in regard to deer feeding and tips to do so properly. To begin with, feeding deer is very simple. Their sense of smell will direct them right to the feeder and your offering. When other food sources are becoming scarce, they will follow the scent of good quality feed over long distances. Once they have found it, they will be more than happy to stay around as long as there is a fairly consistent supply.

There are various aspects of feeding deer that need to be addressed before setting out a feeder. First and foremost. Deer are beautiful creatures and look to be friendly, cuddly and approachable. This is very far from the fact of the matter. Deer can become aggressive, although rarely, for many reasons and I advise to keep your distance and do not approach them for any reason. If you find a wounded deer, or any wild or domestic animal, call your local wildlife control organization and do not approach the animal. Any wounded animal is potentially very dangerous.

In order to feed deer properly and safely, pick a location away from your home with a good viewing area. Do not set a feeder near a doorway or other area that is or may be frequented by people or pets. If someone walks around a corner or through a doorway and comes face to face with a deer, that deer needs to make a decision. It will go into one of two modes, flight or fight. It prefers to flee and usually does but if it feels it cannot, it may decide to fight instead. Keep your feeders away from any area where people may come into close contact.

With that said, feeding deer is a wonderful hobby and one that can be done safely and enjoyably. Once you have picked a safe location for your feeder, it’s time to feed. We highly recommend whole shelled corn as the staple food. Whole shelled corn is the dried corn kernels that have been stripped from the cob as a whole seed. It is a high protein feed, readily available at any feed supply store and is the least expensive to buy. Most importantly, it remains edible for many days under high moisture conditions. When you start looking for suitable deer feed, you’ll find many types of deer feed on the market. Some are excellent and some are not. We’re often asked about commercial deer chows.

Deer Chow is a manufactured, pelletized product utilizing a mix of various feed types and may contain animal remnant by-products from slaughterhouses or the like. If these by-products are not processed correctly they may contain various diseases that can be introduced to the deer population through a feeding activity. Please do not use deer chows unless you are positive they are tested safe.

Another issue with deer chow, and my personal dislike for them, is their inability to remain palatable to your wildlife once it gathers moisture. Deer chow has no resistance to water and even humidity will render it worthless. Any rain, melting snow or high humidity will “puff” the chow into a mass of sloop. Think of a bowl of bran type cereal. By the time you have reached the bottom of the bowl, the cereal is mush. This is deer chow when it gets wet and your deer WILL NOT eat it. You have now wasted money on an expensive product and it must be discarded. Whole shelled corn is by far a superior food type. The encased kernel of corn protects itself from moisture and will remain edible for many days, wet or dry. Some people use cracked corn in hopes of feeding their turkeys or other large birds such as crows, blue jay and cardinals. Cardinals love my own deer feeder and use it all day long. This is a great idea as long as the feed is consumed quickly, within a day or so. Since the kernel, or pericarp or outer shell of the seed, of corn is “cracked” open, it losses its capability to protect itself from moisture. When exposed to wetness, it too will absorb water and my not be eaten by your deer. Turkeys and other birds have no issue with it though and if you have a good population of turkeys, they will readily consume your offering.

The MOST important rule of feeding deer is to offer one type of feed consistently. Deer are ruminants, like cows, and to properly digest their foods they develop a bacterium in their stomachs to start the process. Many unaware people start feeding their deer when the weather gets very cold or after other food sources are gone. This is a nice gesture but it takes many days for deer to produce the bacteria. Hence, your offering fills their bellies but they are getting little if any actual nutritional value. No matter when you start feeding, keep the same base food type available throughout the year or season. Once your deer have built up the appropriate bacteria, corn will become a premium food source. Its high levels of protein and complex sugars will do wonders in sustaining them through the hard months or helping them grow to their full potential.

Why feed deer? Besides the obvious reasons of our own enjoyment, Doe Deer that receive good nutrition throughout winter will produce the healthiest fawns in late spring. Most Does carry two fawns and it takes a lot of energy to grow them in a healthy manner. Feeding deer throughout the year will help hold them in your area which means they will bring their babies in late spring. Believe me, this is a treat you will not want to miss. Watching a pair or groups of baby deer feeding and frolicking around your yard will warm your heart like few other experiences. It is one of my most awaited wildlife moments of the whole year, I guarantee it will become one of yours too.

I highly recommend adding this new level of wildlife feeding to your home. It is easy and when done correctly, is perfectly safe and extremely rewarding. For more information regarding deer feeders and deer feeding tips, visit the web link below to read the full version of this article which includes some excellent information regarding white-tailed deer and their abilities to survive.