Feeding birds in the garden is great fun, but it can be expensive and sometimes frustrating.
Feeding the birds in the garden is a big part of my wildlife concern and and integral part of the garden. One thing that I have noticed is how many poorly designed feeders are sold, particularly in DIY supermarkets. To often they are constructed so the seeds don't flow well and they leak rain-water into the seed holder. This has been for various reasons, badly designed lids or handles and in one case because the main holding tube was two halves just clipped together. Normally a bit of glue or filler can improve things but this can hinder the other important feature, the ease of cleaning. I did a search on the Internet and came across these: Gardman Heavy Duty Seed Feeder. They have a lot to recommend them. They flow well, they are well made and seem pretty water tight, even in the weather we've had, and they come apart very easily to clean. They aren't too large, and this means that seed doesn't stay in too long, even if the weather is damp it has little time to start to rot or sprout. They were £10 each and, provided the plastic tube lasts well ,I think they are a good investment. Mind you,when you fill them and put them back up make sure the lid is on straight and down properly (just noticed it is not so in the photo). I got mine through a well known Internet shopping outlet and received them in a couple of days. They've been in use for two moths and so far seem the be the best that I've tried. I think that with peanut feeders quality makes little difference as they are open to the elements any way. Durability rather than hygiene or accessibility is the issue here, so if a £2 feeder lasts 20% of the life of a £10 feeder it really doesn't matter. I notice that there are adverts for water dispensers now. I believe that these are a waste of money, an old pan or dustbin lid will do just as well, However if you want a decorative bird bath they can be both garden feature and a very useful amenity for your birds.