Although there are a number of bird feeders available in the market there are basically only five different types and seven ways in total to feed wild birds - the other two being a bird table and simply using the ground. Here's a brief outline of each of the seven ways to feed birds:
Bird seed feeder
This type of bird feeder is suitable for Bird Seed - Black Sunflower Seeds, Sunflower Hearts, Huskfree Advance, Original Wild Bird Food, Premium Wild Bird Food, Feeder Seed, Native Finch and High Energy Extra.
The design of this type of bird feeder ensures that all of the above products will flow through the bird feeder (so the level will drop down as the birds take the food). Sizes in our range go from two port right up to the 12 port. If it can be afforded, it really is better to go for a larger bird feeder and the reason for this is that finches in particular prefer to feed in flocks (so from perhaps 6 birds up to 20 or more) and therefore a very small feeder will not be able to cope with the number of garden birds trying to get onto it. For many people, the 6 port feeder is ideal and having several of these positioned at different points of the garden is a good approach
Lots of garden birds use a bird seed feeder
Many species of garden bird will use bird seed feeders and these include Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Siskin, House sparrow, Tree sparrow, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Coal Tit. Finches will typically stay on a bird feeder perch while feeding, whereas tits will usually take away individual seeds (e.g. Black Sunflower Seeds) to eat them elsewhere (they'll return time and time again to do this)
A critical aspect of having a tube bird seed feeder in your garden is keeping it clean.
Niger seed bird feeder
The principle of this bird feeder is similar to the bird seed feeder in that the seed flows down the tube as the birds take the bird food. However, and as the name suggests, this feeder is for Niger seed (and also our Goldfinch & Siskin Mix). The reason that Niger seed needs a special Niger seed feeder is that its tiny size and tendency to flow very easily means that it would pour out of the ports on a normal bird seed feeder. So the holes in the tube are very small but certainly big enough for the main species which eats Niger - the Goldfinch - to take the seeds out.
Although Goldfinches will be the main species to use this bird feeder, Siskins also will do so and the connection here is the shape of the bill - both have relatively pointed bills (certainly for a finch) and have evolved these to eat their normal foods in the wild (in the case of the Goldfinch, this includes the seeds from thistles). So other birds such as Greenfinches will eat Niger, but the shape of their bill makes it difficult for them to get the bird seed out of the small holes in the bird feeder (and if the holes were larger, the seed would simply flow out).
Although Niger seed is sometimes referred to as 'thistle seed' (at least by one supplier of it...) it is in fact related to the sunflower family and comes from a plant called the Ramtil which is native to Ethiopia.
We have a very large range of Niger Seed Feeders available on this site.
Peanut bird feeder
Whole Peanuts should always be fed from a mesh bird feeder like this one. The reason is that the relatively large size of a whole peanut is difficult for many species to eat (though they'll often try) and there's also the danger of young birds choking on the nut if they were given it by a parent.
The species of bird that will feed on a peanut bird feeder are fairly mixed, but will generally be any of the tits, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Siskin and Great Spotted Woodpecker. The latter are far more common that many people think and attracting them to most gardens - certainly in more rural areas or on the edges of towns and cities - is relatively easy.
Soft Food™ Robin bird feeder and window bird feeder
These types of bird feeder can be used for bird seed mixes, but are really intended for our Soft Foods™ such as Prosecto Insectivorous™ and Mealworm Crumble™. These bird feeders are also ideal for Live Mealworms and Dried Mealworms. A key reason for the suitability is that for the Soft Foods™, these need to be kept dry (they'll go into a bit of sludge if they get wet) and the 'roof' on each type of feeder will keep the rain off them. The other reason that this type of bird feeder is needed for soft foods, is that they can't be fed form a tube feeder - they'd simply clog the bird feeder up and won't drop down as the food is taken.
Click to see our X1 Robin Feeder and window feeder
Bird feeding cages for suet feasts and fat balls
Suet Feasts ideally need a bird feeder cage so they can be hung from a branch or hook, and for the birds that feed on them to hold on to. The same applies to Fat Balls, though these are supplied in a thin plastic net which can itself be hung from a branch or hook. It's mainly the different species of tit which feed on Suet Feasts and Fat Balls - Long Tailed Tits are particularly attracted - but other birds, including Robins, will feed on them if they're able to stand on the cage.
We have a very large range of Suet Feasts, Fat Balls and cage feeders.
Bird tables and just using the ground
Birds such as the Dunnock, Song Thrush and Blackbird won't use any of the feeders already detailed - they're just not adapted to feed in this way. For these sorts of species, they'll usually feed from a bird table or simply from the ground.
We offer a range of bird tables, on this site.
As for bird foods, many of our range can be fed from a bird table or the ground, but those that leave less waste are the best to use - so Huskfree Advance is ideal.
As with feeders, it's essential that bird tables are kept clean - see The Importance of keeping feeders and feeding areas clean.
High quality bird feeders at fair prices
We source our bird feeders to be high quality and good value – which includes Haith’s own range, Bill Oddie’s bird seed feeders, Droll Yankee bird feeders and a selection of bird feeders that work well in our trials where every bird feeder goes through rigorous testing, which includes an evaluation on how easy it is to clean and how resistant it is to squirrels.
We work with wildlife expert, Bill Oddie: he’s our resident bird expert and has been for more than ten years. He enjoys working with the bird food experts at Haith’s so much that he now has his own range – Bill Oddie’s Bird Food Recipes®, which is available from ASDA, Sainsbury’s, Wilkinson & Waitrose.
We've been encouraging customers to buy in bulk for many years, but we've never really gone into detail as to how this works. Do you know how much cheaper it is per kg when purchasing a bigger weight? Well we would like to bring to your attention a little exercise which does, indeed, show you how to feed more birds for less when you buy in bulk from Haith's.
Click here for more information
Buying bird food direct from the manufacturer makes sense because
- Our prices are typically lower
- We manufacture virtually all our own bird foods under one roof
- Unlike many others, we don’t have a secondary distribution centre
- We specialize in bird food – we don’t sell tea towels, books or videos. Just bird food.
- We supply direct to your door
- We have complete control over our product
We invest in the future of bird food and Britain’s birds
The Haith’s BirdCare Centre is where we research and develop the UK’s most comprehensive range of seeds and foods for birds. Our purpose built factory, with integrated offices, has created quality research space, and allowed us to modernize our machinery so that we now have a market-leading hygienic bird food plant. Whilst Haith’s have always had a reputation for supplying superclean seed the new premises and necessary investment has guaranteed that birds are safe with Haith’s for future generations of bird keeping professionals.
This is good news, because…
- Seeds are cleaner
- Mixes are more consistent
- Foods are fresher
- Order processing is faster
- Delivery is quicker
Thank you for taking time to read about Haith’s bird food.