Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Join the Feeding Frenzy; GARDENING as the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch Begins, Hannah Stephenson Looks at Some of the Best Bird Feeders on the Market

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Join the Feeding Frenzy; GARDENING as the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch Begins, Hannah Stephenson Looks at Some of the Best Bird Feeders on the Market

Article excerpt

Byline: Hannah Stephenson

THERE'S never really an excuse for not having a bird feeder standing in your garden. But with the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch taking place on January 25 and 26, there is no better time to invest in one, or two, to keep our feathered friends happy during the winter and beyond.

There's a plethora of tthem on sale, but the RSPB advises keeping in mind some general rules when buying one.

Hanging feeders should be simple designs so they are easy to clean - look for removable ports which will also make cleaning easier.

Feeders with cages around the feeding area or with squirrel guards are best.

Also, ensure there are no moving parts which could trap birds' feet, make sure the products can drain easily, and avoid using mesh bags to house fat balls, because birds' feet can also become trapped in those.

Henry Corbett, Solus Garden & Leisure's head of gardening brands, says: "One of the most important considerations should be that the bird feeder is suitable for the type of food it's going to hold.

"Robins and blackbirds are ground feeding birds and require surface feeders. Other birds, such as blue tits, cling on hanging feeders.

"Buy multiple feeders and place them in different locations in your garden to avoid overcrowding."

He also advises hanging feeders away from trees and walls to avoid giving cats easy access, preferably on metal poles that the cat can't climb up or jump on to.

And: "If you start feeding the birds in your garden, don't stop - they become reliant on your help."

Here are just a few of the best bird feeders on the market: PRETTY: Protect your bird feed from pests while bringing classic style into the garden, with a ChapelWood antique bird feeder. Made from hardwearing steel, each high capacity feeder features an integral tube, surrounded by an ornate anti-squirrel cage.

Embellished with floral details and a pre-weathered finish, the feeders are available in either dark verdigris or light cream. Each design can be bought as a peanut and sunflower feeder or a seed feeder. (PS29. …

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