Updated at: 28-07-2022 - By: Jane Brody

In order for wild birds to get their beaks into the food on a wire-style bird feeder, the food must press against the inside of the mesh surround.

Although the size of the holes in a wire bird feeder might change, peanuts and dried mealworms are typically what you’ll find inside. Suet nuggets are very recent, and despite their size, birds can easily pick at them. Among the many different kinds of bird seed, sunflower seeds are the largest and hence the best choice for a wire bird feeder.

Most typical backyard birds will enjoy whatever you choose to place in a wire bird feeder.

Seed-eating birds continue to choose peanuts, and they are plentiful. Put out some nuts in a wire feeder, because you know they’ll get along great. Moreover, sunflower seeds are the only type of seed that can be used in a wire bird feeder.

Soft and hard suet nuggets are the latest craze, with the balls of suet being placed in a wire feeder so that birds can peck at them without stealing the whole thing.

Dry mealworms can be hit or miss in this regard; while mealworms can be placed in a wire bird feeder, the size of the openings in the wire vary, making it either easy or difficult for birds to pull dried mealworms out.

A wire bird feeder can hold all of these things, and a good strategy is to include a little bit of everything.

Birds will perch on the wire itself to reach the food, and they won’t care which way is up.

Wire feeder used for peanuts


While I now know better, I still think of peanuts as the sole appropriate food for the wire-style bird feeders of my youth. Thankfully, this sturdy steel mesh feeder will accommodate nuts just fine.

Birds will approach a peanut feeder with a small hole wire mesh exterior in any direction to feed, including an upside-down position, which is typical of Chickadees and Woodpeckers.

If you know what kind of wild bird peanuts to use and put them in a wire bird feeder, the nuts will be safe behind the wire but still easily available to the birds.

The same holds true for peanuts and a wire bird feeder; you won’t have any problems with them.

Bird feeders made of wire can be advertised as suitable for feeding a variety of other foods to birds, such as seed, suet nuggets, or mealworms, but in reality, they are just peanut feeders with a new coat of paint.

The weight of a full peanut load can significantly increase the already substantial size and weight of a wire bird feeder. To a certain extent, it is permissible for peanuts to protrude through the wire mesh, as long as the mesh is allowed to extend as much as the wire allows.

Can add Dried Mealworms

In my opinion, a hanging bird feeder with or without a dome cover is the greatest place to provide mealworms for wild birds.

With any modification, a wire bird feeder can be used with dried mealworms, as the worms can be easily extracted by the birds through the spacing between the wires.

Dried mealworms can get lodged in this wire bird feeder, making them inaccessible to the birds. A flat stainless steel ‘hole type’ bird feeder is preferable.

In any case, you can keep using a wire bird feeder to attract insects-eating birds, and if that doesn’t work, you can always switch to peanuts or a suet nugget.

If you notice that fewer birds are eating from your wire bird feeder, try using less dry mealworms. For example, a wire bird feeder hung from the ceiling can be out of reach for birds that consume insects since they prefer to forage on the ground.

On the plus side, reducing the amount of dry mealworms used in the wire bird feeder will help reduce waste.

Suet nuggets are optional


Additional items that can be placed in a relatively new type of bird feeder made of wire are various suet nuggets, either round or square in shape.

The idea behind a wire bird feeder is that birds can consume suet balls through the open wire gaps because the nuggets cannot be pushed through the feeder. Since birds can only nibble off a tiny piece at a time, the suet ball will never be completely removed.

In my experience, suet nuggets in a wire bird feeder go bad much more quickly than any other sort of bird food. Additionally, suet has the potential to become oily, making the feeder more of a mess than other types of feeders.

Suet nuggets, balls, or whatever you want to call them have a tendency to get messy when placed in a wire feeder, therefore regular cleaning and restocking with new balls is recommended.

Wire mesh cage bird feeders can take it, but you’ll have to soak the mesh to get rid of the oily coating.

A wire bird feeder made for peanuts is all that’s needed; there’s no need to buy a separate feeder for suet balls or nuggets.

Sunflower seeds, only seed


Surprisingly, the clear window, plastic tube seed feeder is the most common container for storing bird seed.

These seed feeders are one-of-a-kind because the seeds are compressed so that perching birds may easily grab a single seed through the port holes, which are often located near the bottom.

These seed feeders can be stocked with sunflower seeds, with a wire bird feeder providing easier access for native avian species.

Because of their size, sunflower seeds can clog up a standard seed feeder.

Put sunflower seeds in a wire bird feeder so that the birds can eat them while getting the nutrition they need without breaking the wire. Birds may easily get to the seeds behind the wire, and the wire bird feeder will continue to be effective.

Those hanging wire bird feeders with trays attached to the bottom are ideal for feeding birds sunflower seeds since the tray captures both the seeds and the husks that the birds discard after chewing them.

To summarize

When I was younger, the only thing I ever saw in a wire bird feeder was peanuts, but now I can put at least four different kinds of wild bird feed in there.

Stainless steel mesh bird feeders are becoming increasingly popular, and peanuts continue to be a favorite addition.

The form of nuts makes them ideal for hiding behind wire, and the birds will glean what they need throughout the day.

Mealworms that have been dried and placed in a wire feeder are another option. While some experimentation is expected, it’s best not to use too many mealworms so as to minimize waste.

Suet nuggets are a relatively new form of bird food that are more of a time-saver than a revolutionary development. Suet nuggets can be hard or soft and are only suitable for use in a wire-style bird feeder.

Also, while most seeds may simply be placed in a clear plastic tube seed feeder, sunflower seeds can be more of a challenge, thus a wire bird feeder has been adapted to accommodate them.

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