One of My Florida's Backyard favorite Christmas gifts is finally up and ready for visitors... our new bird feeder!
We've been on the quest for the perfect feeder for a long time. We've tried a variety of options, and found that a platform feeder filled with safflower seed seemed to draw lots of birds without squirrel interference (squirrels don't like safflower, for some reason). However, there was a problem... the open feeder was an invitation for muscovy ducks to perch and hoover up all the seed in one sitting. We needed a fly-through feeder, which is essentially a platform feeder with a roof, but it needed to be well-designed - the ducks are very persistent.
The male and female cardinals have been our most frequent visitors so far. It takes birds a little time to get used to a new feeder, sort of like when a new restaurant opens. Our feeder is in the same place as the old one, so the birds know its there. They just need to build up a little trust so they know they're safe when they feed there.
This feeder has so many great features - the roof protects both the seed and visiting birds from the weather. The screen bottom is designed to slide out for easy cleaning. The arch supports allow easy access for smaller birds, but keep out larger birds that often feed in flocks, like mourning doves. It's built of cedar, so it will withstand the weather while turning a nice silvery-grey color. And best of all... it's definitely duck-proof!
The roof is high enough that perching ducks can't get to the seed, no matter how much they stretch their necks, but it slopes down so it's low enough at the sides that the ducks can't get inside to feed that way. Our seed is safe from duck invasions! (I can't help feeling like the cardinals are laughing...)
So My Florida Backyard is sending out a big "THANK YOU!" to Father Christmas (and we mean that very literally - thanks, Dad!) for designing and building us the perfect feeder. We're looking forward to seeing what kind of winged visitors will drop by the feeder this winter!