A platform bird feeder is an excellent starter feeder for the birding enthusiast. It has many benefits for those individuals who want to construct a small feeding station for birds. If you’re considering the purchase of such a feeder, it’s good to know some of the pros and cons before you begin. Let’s review the advantages and a few of the drawbacks of owning this kind of feeder.
The Platform Feeder Comes in a Variety of Styles for Easy Placement
The flat tray or platform feeder can be pole-mounted, window-mounted or hung in a myriad of locations. Usually, a more isolated spot among some evergreen is ideal.
Clean-up is Simple
The bird feeder provides easy cleaning. Simply brush off the debris and spray with a diluted mixture of bleach and water before rinsing.
Integrates Well in a Bird Feeding Station
A platform feeder can be used in a bird feeding station under such feeders as hopper feeders and tube feeders to catch the hulls of seeds, thus providing a cleaner bird feeding area. The feeder also accommodates birds that are not partial to the other feeder styles. Therefore, it works well as a complementary feeder in a bird feeding area.
Attracts a Wide Variety of Birds
Platform feeders can attract a wide assortment of birds to your yard such as doves, painted buntings, chickadees, tufted titmice, sparrows, juncos and cardinals to name a few.
Seeds are Disbursed Easily
Platform or tray feeders hold a large amount of seed so they don’t have to be refilled frequently. However, the seed can blow around on windy days. This problem can be eliminated by using a feeder with a wire screen over the tray. The holes are big enough for the birds to grab the seeds but small enough to prevent the seeds from blowing around. This measure is also effective in preventing squirrels from attacking the feeder.
With a platform feeder, it’s imperative to have good drainage. With the feeder more exposed than other feeders to the wind, snow and rain, a drain is essential to keep seeds as dry as possible in order to prevent mold. Drainage can be a particular drawback in many instances, with this type of feeder. Therefore, finding a platform bird feeder that offers adequate drainage is helpful.
Unlike other feeders, squirrels can present a problem for this feeder. Take the following precautions to deter squirrels from bothering the feeder:
(1) If pole mounted, place the feeder at least 5 or 6 feet from the nearest tree to prevent squirrels or other large wildlife from jumping on the structure;
(2) Install a baffle
(3) Use safflower seeds or red millet as squirrels do not like these kinds of bird feed.
The above measures should help ameliorate any squirrel problems you may have when using this kind of feeder.
As presented, platform or tray feeders are good feeders to use even if you’re not an experienced birder. Knowing some of the pros and cons of owning one can help you make the right choice when considering the welfare of your avian friends.