You should be aware that a bird feeder’s ability to attract a wide variety of birds comes at the cost of exposure to the elements, with the food in a more easily accessible feeder going bad more quickly.
Most birds will flock to a platform feeder with a flat top because it is easy to obtain. Wood is an option, and a mesh dish made of plastic or metal will do the trick. A platform bird feeder mounted to a pole is suitable for use by both tree-dwelling and ground-feeding birds.
Since there are so many types of birds with varying dietary needs, there is a wide variety of bird feeders from which to pick; some feeders can even attract more birds if they are made larger.
An open-topped, pole-mounted platform bird feeder that can store all popular wild bird feed, in addition to so many other foods, including waste, is the best type of bird feeder there is.
Common choices for the top of a platform feeder include peanuts and seeds, while dried or live mealworms are great for drawing in birds that forage on the ground. Once you install a platform feeder, you’ll no longer see ground-feeding birds solely on the grass.
A pole positioned 3–4 feet off the ground with a flat feeding area maintained to prevent movement is the most effective bird feeder for attracting typical backyard birds.
Having a roof over the bird feeder can be difficult for smaller birds, but a platform without a roof will be no problem for the majority of backyard birds.
For the best results with various species of birds, I recommend pole-mounted platform feeders.
There are a variety of platform bird feeders available, including those that may be placed on the ground or hung from the ceiling. Birds that don’t use bird feeders may not be able to reach a feeder that’s hung from the ceiling or from a pole.
Similarly, many birds that would otherwise visit a ground platform bird feeder won’t bother because it may only attract ground-feeding birds.
Most birds can be attracted to your yard using a platform bird feeder, but only if you provide all of their preferred bird food.
Open to all platform bird feeders
It would be dishonest of me to try to persuade you to purchase a high-priced seed or peanut feeder — such as a fully enclosed, hanging one — when I know you are capable of making an even better one yourself.
In my opinion, a platform bird feeder, which is open to all and requires very little effort from the user, is the best choice for attracting the most popular backyard birds.
Now, I would add that when I think of a platform bird feeder, I picture something made of wood, set on top of a pole, and secured with a wooden surround to keep bird feed in place.
Any open-air platform bird feeder can serve this purpose.
The only real drawback to an open-top platform bird feeder is that the food inside can quickly go bad if it becomes wet, too hot, or even covered with snow.
Placing a platform bird feeder on a pole makes it accessible to a wider variety of birds than one that hangs from chains, which may prevent some species from taking advantage of the feeder’s offerings.
However, an open-top platform bird feeder can be moved to a shadier location, such as under a tree, so that the birds don’t have to endure the elements.
Instead of purchasing multiple feeders, each of which is designed to hold only one type of bird food, you may save money and space by using a single platform feeder that can hold multiple types of bird food.
Even safe kitchen wastes can be used to feed birds perched on top of a platform bird feeder.
Birds that aren’t as adept flyers or foragers will still be able to perch on the edge of a platform feeder since it mimics their natural foraging habit.
Stabilized pole mounted platform
The most frequent backyard birds are naturally drawn to platform bird feeders, as I have shown.
Even though I recommend keeping your platform bird feeder steady at all times, it is worth the effort to witness birds that normally forage up in trees or less able ground eating species using it.
A platform bird feeder will not stay put without a sturdy pole supporting it, and the pole must be buried deeply in the ground.
A bird can now safely fly or hop from a tree to the platform above, or birds can gather from the ground below. Birds may avoid utilizing a platform feeder if it is unstable.
There’s no use in utilizing a platform if it’s going to tip over easily, so don’t bother with an unsteady feeder.
While a heavy-duty wooden platform bird feeder is more solid, this pole-mounted dish can still do the trick as shown above with a Steller’s Jay perched on top of it.
Guaranteed to be used by the most variety of birds in your area, pole-mounted, platform-style feeders are a great investment.
Having chains connected at each corner of a hanging platform bird feeder would make the area available for birds to perch more limited.
Pole-mounted platform bird feeders can have legs added so they can stand on their own anywhere in the yard, or the pole can be buried in the ground for further stability. If I had to choose, I’d go with the legs so that it could move around at all times.
A platform bird feeder on a pole is only 3 to 4 feet tall, yet it attracts all kinds of birds and is easy to get to when you need to add more food or clean it.
Ground platform bird feeder
Most of the birds in your backyard will be able to successfully navigate a dangling, limiting bird feeder filled with seeds, peanuts, or suet.
In the wild, birds that can reach these feeders tend to graze at greater heights, so using a feeder quickly becomes second nature for them.
In contrast, many popular backyard birds are strictly ground feeders, and are never observed flying overhead. With a ground platform bird feeder, you can rest assured that your ground-feeding birds won’t fall off the feeder and starve to death.
Open to the weather, a pole-mounted bird feeder will attract a wider variety of birds than a ground-based feeder, which will only be visited by species that feed on the ground.
An elegant stone ground bird bath like this can serve double duty as a ground platform bird feeder, eliminating the need for a separate wooden or metal structure.
Those birds that prefer to eat on the ground, such Blue Jays, Robins, and Northern Cardinals, will choose a ground platform bird feeder, however they will also use one that is hung from the ceiling or put on a pole.
House finches and other similar species will only use a platform feeder mounted on a pole or a hanging feeder.
Pole-mounted platform feeders allow many kinds of ground-dwelling birds to share the bounty with their feathered friends.
Mounted on pole mesh dish
And that gets me to the last bird feeder that is accessible to all; instead of a platform, this one has a dish into which the feed can be sprinkled gradually.
If I take a moment to explain, you might realize that I’m referring to a mesh dish that is fixed on a pole and used as part of a bird feeding station or a Shepherd’s Hook.
Mesh dishes can be fastened to a pole by tightening a bolt, or they can be hung from a wall bracket they create themselves using chains.
From a bird feeder pole, this dish draws the greatest variety of birds.
It’s made of metal, and it has a mesh bottom so that moisture can drain through and the bird food won’t end up floating.
The fact that it is mounted on a pole increases the likelihood that birds may defecate on it, which is a major drawback. Aside from being a perch for birds using nearby feeders, it is also accessible to pest birds or animals like squirrels.
Well, in actuality, all open platform bird feeders will be accessible to pest birds, squirrels, and other critters that cause problems in backyards.
Keeping the bird feed dry and away from pests is your responsibility when using an open-top bird feeder dish. This may need you to replenish the feed more frequently.
Most birds will visit an open platform bird feeder, provided it is perched on a pole or stand rather than dangling or resting on the ground.
If you want to attract less-capable, less-common bird feeder users, a pole-mounted platform bird feeder will remain stable.
This flat top platform, often constructed from wood, attracts birds by scattering a variety of bird food around its surface. However, the birds’ foraging for their favorites quickly leads to a strewn appearance, so it may not have been dispersed initially.
An open top platform bird feeder is exposed to the weather and requires more maintenance, such as bringing it within before a storm or bringing it inside when it snows.
Pole-mounted bird feeders are free to move around the yard until you find the perfect perch for it. A pole can also be pierced into the ground to increase its stability.
If the birds can’t land on the ground, they won’t use the feeder, and since platform bird feeders don’t have perches, they’re more likely to utilize them.
Therefore, any platform bird feeder can be used by birds of all sizes and abilities.