These two groups of bird feeders are very similar. They both feed very clean (with little or no mess on the ground), both have minimal work to keep the birds fed and both attract the same variety of birds like woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches.
No Mess, No Fuss Cylinder Feeders
Everyone is always looking for the best way to feed the birds. And usually that means an easy (easy to take care of) and clean (little mess on the ground to attract rodents) feeder. That is why using cylinders and stackables are such a great idea.
Cylinders and stackables are a far cry from the bird bells we all used at some point in time. About the only similarity is that they are both held together with gelatin and are hung in a tree. But that is where it ends.
Cylinders are available in different types - from suet doughs to seed - and flavours, like Woodpecker, Supreme or Cranberry Fare. You can also offer Nutty for Nuts cylinders (are a great favourite of woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches and bushtits) or a No Mess Cylinder that leaves no shells behind and is the a hit with all the birds . You can purchase most in two sizes; small (up to 2 lbs) and large (4-4.5 lbs).
Stackables are just small cylinders but their small size (10-13 oz) means that you can easily mix or match flavours in a single feeder. Most cylinder feeders allow you to use up to 3 stackables at one time, letting you feed the birds all their favourite foods (like nuts, seed or suet) at the same time.
There are several ways you can feed cylinders and stackables. The simplest feeder is simply a "stick" that holds the food. But the best ones offer a cover as well as a tray such as the Aspects Dinner Bell. Squirrels will also appreciate these foods so you may need to protect your feeder from their voracious appetites. You can either baffle your pole, use a Holscher cage to place around your feeders or try a large dome. But whatever feeder you choose, your birds will love them all!
Click on the link below to watch birds enjoying a cylinder feeder.
Here are some other cylinder feeders that we have found to be successful.
Like any new feeder or food, it may take a little time for the birds to discover it. But don't worry, if you have birds in your yard they will love your stackables. Stackables are now all we feed in our front yard (no mess for my flower beds!) and we have more birds there than in our many feeders in the backyard. So give cylinders and stackables a try - our chickadees can't be wrong!
Suet feeders come in many shapes and sizes. Some are made specifically for a special type of suet, like suet plugs or Bark Butter while others may be made for a specific type of bird. They also come in different sizes to fit any size yard or bird.
The most basic suet feeder is just a wire box. They hold either one or two suet cakes (depending on the size) but usually do not have a roof to help protect suet from the elements. If you do want it to be protected from the elements, a weather dome with a small hook will work well.
One of the more popular suet feeders is the tail prop. This is a wire cage that has a longer piece hanging down, making a perfect feeder for woodpeckers. This "prop" gives the woodpeckers a tail brace so they can hang onto the feeder easier - just like they would hang off a tree while feeding. We carry several styles in recycled plastic. You can also buy a tail hook that can hold two suet cakes with an even longer tail brace - perfect for pileated woodpeckers.
Single Recycled Tail Hook
Double Wood Suet
Pileated Double Tail Hook
Click on the link below for a video of the birds enjoying one of these feeders.
Birds on a Tail Hook Feeder
Unfortunately, songbirds are not the only ones who love suet. Squirrels, Jays and Starlings are the three creatures that can devour your suet at one sitting, leaving none for your chickadees, woodpeckers or bushtits. And while we don't mind sharing our bird food with all, sometimes these "problem critters" just take advantage of our kindness! Thankfully, there are ways to stop them in their tracks simply by using either a cage or an upside down suet feeder. You can either purchase a suet feeder that is inside a covered cage (great for keeping rain out as well as squirrels) or different size cages that can hold your existing suet cage. The wire screening of the cages is 1"x 1", allowing the smaller birds to fly in while preventing the larger birds and squirrels from gaining access. Larger woodpeckers, due to their flexible necks and long bills, are able to reach through the cage to eat at the suet while the smaller downy simply climbs right in.
Holscher Starling Proof
Erva Caged Double Suet
Suet Palace Feeder
An upside down feeder lets our suet eating birds, who have no problem hanging upside down, feed easily while keeping ones who don't like that position, like starlings and squirrels, away.
The most important thing to remember about these suet feeders is that you must be patient. Birds, just like people, like simple devices where they don't have to think or work at and they sometimes take a little time to figure out this type of feeder. Sometimes hanging your suet feeder at an angle is helpful in letting the birds know that there is food inside the feeder. If you just keep it up, filled with yummy suet, they will accept it.
Starlings can often be a problem with suet. Several birds can devour a whole cake of suet in 1 day! If this happens to you, the Suet Saver feeder may be helpful. The suet is kept inside a plastic cover and only a small portion of the bottom of the cake is exposed. Starlings are unable to cling to the feeder or perch on the top and reach over.
Here are some other ways to feed suet, both using recycled plastic or in a cylinder feeder.
You can also feed suet by using logs! This is a very natural way for woodpeckers to feed. Simply fill the holes with Jim's Birdacious Bark Butter and watch them go! The logs we carry are from either pine or poplar trees from the interior of BC.