Encyclopaedia of Birdcare
Siting Of Feeding StationsTo a great extent the size, shape and character of a garden will govern where bird tables, feeders and other equipment are to be positioned, especially if space is limited, but if there is any choice in the matter, the following points should be considered.
- For the birds to be properly observed and enjoyed, they need to be fed in good view of a convenient window.
- The feeding station needs to be relatively near the house, for ease of watching, replenishing and maintenance, but not so close that the more timid birds are discouraged.
- Access to the site should be straightforward, and the ground below the feeders needs to be unencumbered with plants or other things which would make cleaning difficult.
- Positions from which predators such as cats could jump on to bird tables, seed trays or feeders, or pounce on ground-feeding birds, should not be closer than 5m (about l6ft) to the feeding station. Where necessary, squirrels also need to be considered, bearing in mind that as well as trees, buildings, walls and fences, they can make use of wires and lines. On the other hand, some birds like to base themselves on cover or perches, and so bushes, trees or posts in the vicinity, but not too near the feeding place itself, will encourage these species.
- Although hanging feeders can be suspended from trees and fences, to avoid problems with cats and squirrels it is better to hang them from other equipment or from scroll hooks or sky hooks.
- The presence of water near a feeding station is a great advantage, for example a pond or fountain, provided that it is not so close that fouling of the supply by scattered food becomes a problem.
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