This past week I turned another year older. Forty-one years to be exact. Each year seems to go by faster than the last. I remember when older adults used to tell me to slow down and enjoy your youth because it will pass by before you know it. I definitely understand that now - not that being in your forties is that old... Oh well, I guess we're never to old to received birthday gifts, right? I look at them as a way to help ease the pain of growing older.
My wife and daughter gave me a wonderful gift from one of my favorite stores: Wild Bird Unlimited (WBU). It was a new hopper bird feeder; but not like any other feeder, it's the EcoTough Classic Feeder. The Eco feeders are a line of feeders sold by WBU that are environmentally friendly and made of recycled plastic. It's a wood-free feeder that actually looks like real wood. These feeders won't crack, fade or rot and carries with it a lifetime guarantee. As with any good quality product, the price is a bit high but it's hard to beat the lifetime guarantee.
Hopper bird feeders look similar in shape to a bird house but offer feeding areas on either side of them while food storage is contained in the center housing. It attracts a wide range of birds. I've gone through several of these feeders in my "short" lifetime that were made of various wood materials, and some were good quality ones, but over time the wood ones just don't hold up in the weather.
While this probably wont be the last bird feeder I purchase it hopefully will be the last hopper feeder that I have to buy.
After taking down the old and putting up the new I decided to dust off my Wingscapes BirdCam to see which birds would be the first to visit the new feeder.
As I expected, the house finches were the first to arrive. Lots of these birds in my backyard this time of year.
Here are a couple of female house finches posing for the camera.
Here's a neat photo. The male house finch just left his perch and looks like he is just floating in air.
It wasn't long before the Northern Cardinals found their way to the new feeder.
If you're thinking about feeding birds in your yard the best feeder to start with, in my opinion, would be a hopper feeder filled with black-oiled sunflower seed. Black-oil sunflower seed is the most popular choice of seed eating birds and will attract the largest variety of birds. I normally alternate my feeders with sunflower and safflower seed, sometimes mixing the two.