Birdhouse or feeding column: which is better?

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If you want to observe birds in the garden or from the house in autumn and winter or even throughout the year, you can achieve this with targeted feed - and thus do something good for the birds at the same time. Whether a bird house or rather a feeding column is the right choice is not easy to answer, because it depends on many variables in the garden and in the environment. We will show you the respective advantages and disadvantages of the two feeding stations and how to lure birds into the garden or to the house.

The perfect location for aviary and feeding column

The first question you have to ask yourself is where to place the feeding site. For birds, it is important to have good visibility to feel safe. Only then do they accept a feeding place. So make sure that the location does not offer robbers such as cats immediate cover from which to attack the birds. An elevated location - for example, a birdhouse on a pole or a feeding column directly in the tree - are particularly suitable here. A free area around the feeding area also gives you the opportunity to observe the birds well.
In addition to the safety factor, the individual bird species also have different eating habits. These are mostly adapted to their natural foraging. For example, titmice love a hanging food supply, as they fly in well and can eat there - even without horizontal seating. Medium-sized species such as thrushes and blackbirds like to eat directly on the ground, whereas nuthatches or woodpeckers prefer natural surfaces such as bark. Starlings, sparrows and chaffinches are the main things that feed them: they only care that they can eat safely.

Cat in the birdhouse

Cats should not be able to make themselves comfortable in a bird house. That's why site selection is especially important

Bird species and feed choice

Whether it's the birdhouse or the feeding column, it makes the decision easier if you know which birds to expect in your garden or on your balcony. So keep your eyes open in advance, then you can offer the right food right from the start. Small birds such as finches, sparrows and bullfinches prefer grains that can be offered well in a bird feeder. Bluebells, blackbirds and robins love fruit, oatmeal or animal proteins (mealworms and Co.), which can be placed well in bowls directly on the ground or on the balcony railing. Tits have a penchant for ground peanuts, fats and sunflower seeds. Especially as a fat food, these ingredients can be well brought into a solid form, which you can then hang directly or fill in a feeding column.
So, if you are a small grain eater, a medium-sized fruit lover or a fat food gourmet, you know what kind of food you can offer your birds in the different feeding areas. If you have several species in the garden, use different feeding places and different food. This will prevent the birds from sorting out and throwing down unloved food.

Bird food and mountain finch

It's all in the mix: with the right feed you can even attract rare visitors like this mountain finch

Advantages and disadvantages of the feeding column

Feeding columns are usually easy to attach to trees, to wall or roof projections. You hardly need any manual skills. Due to the simple attachment mechanism, it is also no problem to implement them if necessary. For example, in order to hang them up in a predatory, higher-visibility place. Depending on the design, they can be filled well with grains or fat feed and almost never need to be cleaned. This is probably also the biggest advantage of the feed column. The feed can not be contaminated by debris in it, so that the likelihood that the birds get infected with diseases, is very low. If the feed columns are equipped with little or no horizontal landing surfaces, they are preferably served by tits, which have little competition to expect there. For larger birds, such as blackbirds, such a feeding place is difficult to access - so it is a selective feeding site.

A disadvantage is the elongated shape itself. As a rule, it does not provide a proper roof for protection against snow and rain. That is why feeding columns unfortunately have the possibility that the food gets wet.


Feeding columns with glass or plastic wall provide a lot of feed volume and do not need to be cleaned or only rarely

Advantages and disadvantages of birdhouses

Birdhouses can be designed quite individually and are thus - even without birds - a decorative element for the eye and jewelry for the garden. With larger landing and seating options for small to medium sized garden birds such as the blackbird, they provide ample space and are readily accepted.A roof overhanging the forage area reliably protects the food from snow and rain. The horizontal feeding site is well suited for soft foods such as oatmeal or fruit, which can be poorly accommodated in feed columns. With the choice of location, however, the birdhouse is a bit more limited. If you want to mount it on a pole, you also need some manual skills.
When making a purchase, make sure that the actual feeding area is enclosed by a bar that prevents food from being thrown out. The biggest drawback to a birdhouse is hygiene. Ideally, you should do a little cleaning every day and remove feces, as well as leftovers to prevent disease. When choosing a location, you should pay attention to a sufficient height, about 150 centimeters are ideal. On the one hand, this ensures that the birds feel safe with the given all-round view, and on the other hand, they prevent the birds from becoming prey for cats. In order to prevent further uninvited guests (for example, rats) from also using birdseed, we recommend securing the pole on which the bird feeder sits with a cuff or the like at the bottom.

Birdhouse with blackbird

Birdhouses also offer slightly larger species of birds such as the blackbird or the thrush seating

Our conclusion

Since feed columns and birdhouses are quite selective to use and are used as feeders of different species of birds, a clear result, which is now "better", hard to hit. The decisive factor is what conditions you have in your garden or at your house and which bird species you want to feed. For large plots of land, even choosing a birdhouse and feeding column is advisable: with both together you can reach the majority of birds. However, those who would rather have less work with the feeding point, but clearly attacks the feed column. For hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers who like to lend a hand, the birdhouse as a craft project is the more rewarding option. Either way, the birds will thank you!

Video Board: Americana Lighted Birdhouse SKU# 59E88 - Plow & Hearth.

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