Accessories for Tube Feeders
The most common add-on for the tube feeders is a seed tray. Seems simple enough but there are a few things to consider. Seed trays work well to catch perfectly good seed that the perch-feeding birds discard. Goldfinches are notorious for selectively dumping the seed that does not feel right in their beaks. Trays also work well in providing an easier area to land on when flying in as well as a bigger perching area for larger birds who struggle trying to feed from the small perches. If deciding to use a seed tray, one has to make a commitment to keep them clean. Between wet seed and bird droppings, trays can get rather unhealthy quickly. I have extra trays that I use to switch out and then can clean them when convenient.
Seed trays are sold as an accessory. They are pretty much universal, designed to work with different brands. The main difference is the diameter. For smaller feeders the 8 inch diameter is plenty sufficient. If looking for a little bigger tray that may hold more birds (and make it easier for squirrels to land on), the 10 inch tray is a nice all-around solution.
For mounting on poles, the best tray is the Droll Yankee Universal Tray which can both catch seed as well as serve as a stand alone feeder.
A cool gadget for hanging tube feeders up high is this handy High Reach Hanger.
This invention allows a feeder to be hung in trees branches or home overhangs for better viewing. It also will work for hanging planters or lanterns in trees. It really opens up new areas to site feeders.
Lastly a squirrel dome is needed if hanging feeders in trees. This will prevent squirrels from hanging upside down on tube feeders just gorging away. The only tube feeder I have not seen them eat is a feeder full of nyjer seed - everything else is gold to them.
Bird seed for tube feeders:
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