The Tube Feeder is My Personal Favorite

What is a tube feeder?

Simply put, a tube feeder is a bird feeder that

holds bird seed in a tube.

There are many types of bird feeders to choose from, but these are my favorite because:

  • They hold a lot of wild bird seed.
  • They are easy to fill.
  • They have multiple feeding stations.
  • They will attract a variety of wild bird species by using a variety of bird seeds in the same feeder.

They can be made with one or several tubes. Each compartment can hold a different type of birdseed.

This is great if you want to attract more than one species of wild bird.

Another feature is multiple feeding locations, each with its own perch. This allows many birds to feed at the same time.

What kinds of birds can you attract?

That depends, in part, on the type of bird seed you use.

We attract a wide variety of perching birds including Titmice, Chickadees, Woodpeckers, Finches and Nuthatches.

If you want to attract Goldfinches you will need to put out nyjer seed, which finches prefer. The size of this seed is very small and requires a special kind of feeder. It is sold as a thistle feeder. If you put nyjer thistle in a regular feeder, many seeds will fall out before being eaten.

Is there any special care required for a tube feeder?

As with any bird feeder, it will need to be cleaned.

I use a large cone shaped brush for my feeder. I think it was designed to clean refrigerator coils. 

Tube feeders' design exposes the seed to rain. If there is a bad stretch of weather it is best to store the feeder in a dry location. This will reduce the chance of the seed getting moldy.

If the birdseed is in the bird feeder too long it may become moldy. Since the birdseed in the bottom will be there the longest, be sure and empty the feeder before refilling.

I use a small cup for refilling to reduce spilling seeds.

These feeders can hold several pounds of food. It is best to use cable or chain when hanging.

Is it squirrel proof?

I am not sure if any bird feeder is truly squirrel proof. However, many feeders are designed to deter squirrels. There are styles that have a metal cage surrounding the feeder (these work very well).

One design has a dome over the top. Unfortunately some of these also include a wide tray on the bottom. I guess the theory is that the squirrel will fall off when they try to crawl down from the top.

My squirrels must be super squirrels because they jump. They will jump from the tree trunk to the feeder and hang on the tray while they eat away. I prefer a feeder designed without a bottom tray and made with metal and plastic.

If you put out a variety of bird seeds you will attract a wider variety of wild birds.

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