Updated at: 08-08-2022 - By: Jane Brody

The visual characteristics, construction, and method of dispensing bird seed are what set hopper-style bird feeders apart from those of other types.

Hopper bird feeders are typically constructed out of wood and have two panels of transparent perspex windows separated by a gap near the bottom to facilitate the gradual downward descent of the seeds. The seeds then fall through the openings into a tray for the birds. Several birds perch above the rim of the platform’s slanted ceiling seeking shelter.

Hopper Bird Feeder

This isn’t your ordinary hopper-style hanging seed feeder; instead, it’s a miniature bird house complete with a roof and two panes of glass.

Birds can perch on the rim or on a specially designed outside perch, therefore the transparent windows are placed on opposite sides.

The hopper bird feeder is operated only by gravity; as the seeds are consumed during the following days, the seed level will fall out of the apertures on opposing sides, and the platform feeding tray will be automatically refilled.

Indeed, seeds are a necessity for hopper bird feeders, as this type of feeder is typically utilized in the backyard where a lot more seed feed is consumed.

Birds of all sizes, from tiny chickadees to massive blue jays, can take use of a hopper bird feeder’s spillover platform.

The best hopper bird feeders are designed to be taken apart in parts, making it easy to clean the inside.

Also, if you have some fundamental carpentry abilities, constructing your own hopper feeder is not that challenging.

Simply described, a hopper bird feeder is a rectangular wooden bird house feeder with clear windows where seeds are stored and a feeding tray for seeds to stream onto through openings in the bottom.

Feeder allows seeds to drop

Hopper bird feeders are constructed so that when the birds eat from the feeder, the food level in the glass perspex window below will decrease.

The seeds are stored in the bottom feeding tray of a hopper style bird feeder.

Wild birds perch on either side of the see-through windows, eating the seeds on the base as they gently fall, one by one, so that you don’t even notice.

The hopper bird feeder gets its name from the hoppers or silos used in agriculture, where the grain is dumped out at the bottom.

The seeds in a hopper bird feeder fall to the bottom of the feeder without needing an on/off switch.

Seeds drop downwards with use

Hopper Bird Feeder-2

For the most part, wild bird seed mixtures are what are kept in hopper bird feeders, and the seeds can only fall gradually to the bottom, where there is a hole.

This slit should be no more than an inch wide, and should be constructed in such a way that only a small number of seeds can pass through at once.

There is no hard and fast rule about how many bird seeds should be used, but the structure on the inside does help.

This unique take on the traditional hopper bird feeder features an angled core instead of a flat box with see-through openings.

This prevents seeds from being caught in the middle, out of reach of birds, and instead allows them to trickle out to the sides exclusively.

This is a crucial component of any hopper feeder, as unattended feeders may quickly become breeding grounds for mold and fungus if the seeds aren’t checked on regularly.

Discharges feed onto base

A hopper bird feeder’s essential feature is a sizable food tray that doubles as a perch for the birds.

In addition to supporting the weight of the hopper’s two walls and two windows, this base also needs to accommodate the additional trays required to protect the seeds from the outdoors.

The feeding platforms are placed just below transparent windows and can project outward by up to three inches on either side.

This can attract a wide variety of typical backyard birds, and the tray is usually surrounded by a lip to keep the seeds in the tray rather than on the ground, where the birds might step if they fall.

If not, a separate perch for the birds can be constructed away from the seeds in a hopper-style feeder, which is preferable for sanitary reasons.

Due to the enclosed nature of the structure, water and moisture would generally drain via holes in the base.

Clear window feeder style

Hopper Bird Feeder-3

A hopper bird feeder is often crafted from wood, however it is essential that it be outfitted with two sheets of transparent plastic, one on each side.

This thin, clear plastic sheet (also known as perspex, plexiglas, or just plastic) is used to conceal the seeds behind it so that you can monitor the seed supply at all times.

These see-through panels are typically set at an incline to promote a downward seed spiral, but they can also be used to provide more tray space for feeding purposes.

Because of the extra room it provides, a bigger hopper isn’t necessary, and angling the perspex can keep the seeds under the shelter of the roof.

Manufacturers of hopper bird feeders ensure that the bird feeder may be easily cleaned without damaging the structure.

Both panels of transparent plastic are designed to be readily removed from and reinserted into their respective holes.

In addition to a hinged roof providing the clearance required to remove the plastic transparent panes, this feature will make it simple to clean the hopper feeder’s interior.

Protection against the weather

A bluebird, a rather rare sight, approaches a snow-covered hopper bird feeder, where the seeds are still available.

A hopper-style feeder can protect the seeds from the rain better than the more usual caged suet, mesh peanut, or tube seed feeders.

The slanted roof of a hopper gives it the appearance of a house and helps direct water away from the structure.

The hopper feeder’s roof is particularly capacious, so even if the form of the roof itself varies, the seeds laid out below it will be protected from the elements to a large extent.

But that can be affected by the amount of overhang on the roof’s opposite sides.

Keep in mind that it is impossible to completely avoid rain or snow coming in at an angle [as in the image above], but you can count on at least 90% protection at all times.

This is ideal, since it will provide ample shade to preserve the bird seed for a longer period of time.

It’s cfeeder that hangs from the ceiling, ensure sure the rope or chain is on the outside.rucial that there not be any leaks in the hinged roof at this seam where water could get in.

In a similar vein, if you have a hopper-style bird 

Hoppers hang or mounted

The hopper bird feeder is comparable to what you may term a hanging or mounting bird feeding platform.

To hang a hopper feeder, you’ll need a strong limb from a sturdy tree in your yard to support the feeder and its contents.

However, you may not have a suitable tree in your backyard if you intend to use a post-mounted hopper feeder.

One’s own preference is the most important factor to consider, as there is no “best” choice regardless of whether one has access to a tree or not.

Among other smaller feeders, I think a permanently huge hopper bird feeder would stick out as odd.

Moving a post- or stand-mounted hopper bird feeder about the yard to attract more birds and to find the exact position to match the decor of your garden is a major perk of having one.

A tree branch is your only other choice when using a hanging hopper bird feeder.

Typically made in wood

It seems that no matter where I go, hopper bird feeders are always made of wood, either cedar or oak.

In this case, the material of choice for a hopper bird feeder would be wood.

Wooden bird feeders require more upkeep than their metal or plastic counterparts because of the sticky residue that can harden on them.

A wooden hopper bird feeder can be cleaned carefully with soapy hot water and no wiping required if it has been painted or stained.

Larger and more elaborate hopper bird feeders made of wood are more aesthetically pleasing than their metal or plastic counterparts in most backyards. These feeders attract a wider variety of birds than their smaller counterparts, which can be used to hold seed, peanuts, or suet.

Since a hopper feeder is typically hung from a tree, its natural wood construction can enhance its surroundings.

Built in rectangular shape

You probably weren’t aware of one crucial aspect of a hopper bird feeder, but you probably will be from here on out.

To be more specific, hopper bird feeders nearly often take on a rectangular form.

There are square hopper bird feeders, but the longer version is far more visually pleasing and can accommodate a greater number of birds at once.

Considering that a traditional hopper feeder has just two “feeder sides,” switching to a rectangle design would allow for a far greater variety of birds to enjoy the food.

If it were square, it would be lumped in with other wooden bird feeders, but since it’s rectangular, it’s clearly a hopper-style feeder, which is easily identifiable.

A hopper bird feeder, which is typically much longer, can still look nice in a yard, even if it has to be hung or affixed to a post, in my opinion.

To summarize

Simply put, a hopper bird feeder is a type of bird feeder made of wood that has a transparent, two-paned window at the bottom to store seeds.

As the seeds are eaten over the coming days and weeks, they will naturally fall to the bottom of the feeder.

The hopper’s house is set on a feeding platform, and seeds fall through openings on the bottom of each panel of clear plastic windows to land outside the feeder.

The term “hopper” refers to a feeding device in which food is slanted downwards into an opening, which then spills out onto a tray upon which birds can sit as they eat.

Hopper bird feeders have merely a hinged roof, and can be hung from a rope or post for portability.

The bird seed is protected from the elements by the slanted roof, and the birds are able to dine in the open without getting wet.

Take note that hopper bird feeders are almost often constructed wholly of wood and take the form of a long rectangle.

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