Hopper Seed Bird Feeders Backyard Bird Watching
A hopper is a good choice for a main bird feeding station. Hoppers will attract a variety of wild birds and songbirds to a backyard habitat. They are designed to accommodate several species. A hopper feeder conveniently opens from the top by lifting the roof, making re-filling and pour seeds in an easy task. Most types of seed you choose can be used in this style, and they add to any garden sanctuary. They are also fairly well protected from the weather, rain and snow, keeping your bird seed drier than other styles of bird feeders such as platform bird feeders which can be more exposed. A large capacity feeder can hold enough seed to keep you from having to do constant re-fills and are most often made with Plexiglas sides, allowing to easily see when the feeder needs more seeds. Hopper bird feeders come in different styles, may be hung, post mounted or pole mount designs.
Hopper Bird Feeders
Designed to accommodate several types of bird species as small birds such as wrens and chickadees or large birds such as doves, jays, grosbeaks, cardinals and woodpeckers can land on them and feed comfortably. Mounting is available in a variety of options - hung, post or pole mount.
Our personal opinion is that you were are a backyard bird watcher who wishes to have only one feeder in your backyard, our recommendation would be the hopper style. They can accommodate a wide variety of birds, are easy to fill, has a good view of the birds for watching and need filling less often. Some larger pole mount models have suet cages mounted to the sides, allowing you to offer suet to wild birds from one station. Smaller birds, ground feeders and also larger birds such as woodpeckers, can all eat from a hopper feeder. Be sure when shopping for a hopper feeder that you find one which is easy to clean. Many hoppers now come with removable screened or wire mesh platforms, helping to cut down on debris piling up where the birds land.
Hopper wild bird feeders may be hung or pole mounted and if they are positioned correctly provide a good watching station. They require squirrel/raccoon guards and may be cleaned with hot water, a stiff brush and soap. If your hopper feeder is not metal, occasionally bleach your hopper feeder with a light bleach solution, taking care to avoid metal parts. Rinse the feeder very well!
Hopper Bird Feeder Buying Guide
A hopper bird feeder is a bird feeder with a seed bin reservoir and a tray which the seed spills onto. Birds can perch on the tray and eat the seeds from there, and I feel it is the best style of feeder to have if you only are going to put up one bird feeder. All of the feeders pictured here are available from: Hopper Bird Feeders
Advantages of a Hopper Style Bird Feeder: and what features to look for when shopping for one. Before you buy a hopper bird feeder, check these features before you bring one home and find out something else would suit your needs better.
They can hold a lot of seed so that you don't have to fill them as often. When you go to buy a hopper, be sure to check the capacity if infrequent filling is something you want. Some can hold six lbs of bird seed. Others are a lot smaller and only hold one or two pounds of food. The smaller ones are great for decks and patios, but think about how often you wish to fill the feeder before buying. Don't go by a photo if ordering online, some of these feeders are quite large in reality but appear small in a picture and vis versa. Check how much a feeder holds.
You can often see the level of seed in most hoppers, so you know when it is time to refill the feeders. This way the birds in a backyard are not likely to run out of food if you aren't aware that the feeder is empty. It saves trips back and forth to feeding stations to check on seed levels. Low maintenance is a good quality! Checking if a feeder needs to be refilled quickly gets old. Now, not all hoppers are great at viewing seed levels. Some have completely clear panels while others have a small window. Models with small clear panel that runs the length of the feeder. If your bird feeder is going to be close to someplace you pass near daily or near a sitting area, this style is fine. You will be able to view the panel. If your feeders are going to be located at any distance from where you pass by, I do not recommend this style. It's hard to see the seed in the window from any distance at all. The seed used will probably be dark like sunflower seeds, and the feeder is dark. Can you see if a feeder needs to be filled? Be sure to take this into consideration when buying a hopper.
Easy to mount. Hopper feeders can usually be pole mounted. This is our personal favorite style of mounting since you can baffle them against squirrels or raccoons and also keeps them stable. If you don't have a good area for post mounting, you can usually hang them. Decide if you want your hopper feeder hung or post pole mounted, and make sure the model you pick can be mounted that way.
They hold different types of seed. Hopper feeders are great for offering bird seed blends or mixes. I always recommend black oil sunflower seed as the primary food to offer wild birds, and to use this by itself in a hopper, but if you like to use a mix, a hooper will work for this. The exception to seed mixes is anything with tiny seeds in it such as millet. Do not use a blend with millet, nyjer thistle, or any such small seed. Small seed will just fall out. Another thing to consider is how many of your backyard birds prefer a particular seed. They may just dig through a blend and toss out the stuff they don't like to get to what they do want, such as that tasty peanut. Your feeder will empty out quickly and a lot of food end up on the ground.
Many bird species can use them. Because hopper feeders have trays on them, most species of birds can land on and feed from them. This includes larger cardinals to small chickadees and makes them perfect as primary feeding stations. You can attract a lot of different species with one feeder type. Unlike a tube feeder, which has perches and seed ports, a hopper will always have seed in the tray until the entire feeder is empty. On a tube feeder, as the tube empties, the less feeding ports are available to the birds. Hoppers can also come with suet cages attached to the sides, making them great all in one bird feeders. The wooden hopper pictured is a great style with suet cages, good view of the birds and seed level, and can be hung or post mounted.
Different materials and designs. There is a lot of choice in hopper designs and what materials they are made of. Cedar, mesh, decorative ceramic, you name it. Whatever suits your personal taste and outdoor decorating style.
Protects Bird Seed A hopper often has the bird food enclosed in a reservoir container, giving it some protection from weather and elements. This keeps bird seed from spoiling too quickly and means you have to clean the feeder less frequently than other styles such as tray feeders.
Easy to clean, easy to fill. When shopping for a hopper, one important thing to check is that it is easy to clean and easy to fill. Most offer a top opening and a large enough space where the seed is stored to get inside to clean out with a sponge. Some are smaller and require brushes, but keep it simple! Bird feeders must be cleaned regularly or they are not safe for the birds.