Platform feeders are often referred to as fly thru feeders, tray feeders, or table feeders. Built in a variety of different designs, colors and shapes. Some are made to be hung, post mounted, sit on the ground or mounted to a deck rail; which is good for people who live in apartments or condos.
Since some platform feeders are open and stable, just about all birds in North America will use a platform feeder, since you can put just about anything on it. But for the majority of people who use platform feeders, the most common foods used are:
Hulled Sunflower Seeds
"Birds of prey" will not use a platform feeder, since most of them do not eat bird seed and prefer to kill other animals to survive. Wild geese, swans and ducks will probably not use your platform feeder either, unless you have enough room for them to land and your platform is near the ground.
Having platform feeders low to the ground may attract towhees, juncos, cardinals, indigo bunting, sparrows, chickadees, finches, mourning doves, brown thrashers, and robins.
For other birds and some of the birds above, mount or hang you platform feeder at a height of 5' or eye level, close to sheltered area. About 10' away from trees should keep squirrels out of your platform feeder. Birds like to have protection while eating, so place your feeder in a protected area, away from open space, but in an area that you are still able to see them for enjoyment. Birds love to perch in the sun, so place your platform feeder where it can get sunlight, on the south side of trees, fences or cosmetic landscaping that you have done in your yard.
ADVANTAGES OF A PLATFORM FEEDER
- Lots of styles, can be pole mounted, hung in different locations or just placed on the ground.
- Clean up is simple, some feeders come with a perforated trays that pullout.
- Attracts a wide variety of birds, more than any other bird feeder
- Attracts bigger birds that find other bird feeders difficult to use or unusable for them.
- Many birds at once can use the feeder. since there is more room.
- Have total view of the birds, while other bird feeders can restrict your view if the bird is on the opposite side of the feeder from where your view is.
- Can use all types of birdseed, peanuts, suet, and fruit, while other bird feeders are restricted to a few options of birdseed or one type of feed.
- Other feeders can have feed drop to the ground while a platform feeders usually do not
- Tip would be to place a platform feeder under other bird feeders that have some seeds falling to the ground. This can provide ground feeding birds a safer place to eat the feed that has fallen out. Rather than have fallen seed on the ground where it can get mixed in with previous feed that has fallen to the ground and has started to become rotten.
- It is a simple design, anyone can make.
DISADVANTAGES OF A PLATFORM FEEDER
- All the feed on platform feeders are exposed to the elements of the weather; such as wind, rain, and snow. Platform feeders that provide roofs offer some protection, but the feed is still exposed.
- Birds you may not want to attract may find a platform feeder to their advantage
- Feed may disappear allot more faster than other feeders, since all the birds can take advantage of a platform feeder
- Predators will find a platform feeders more easy to steal from, than other feeders, unless you use predator guards or place your feeder in a protected area, making it difficult for them.
LIST OF BIRDS THAT PREFER PLATFORM FEEDERS