I was pretty happy to test out this set of bird feeders from Perky-Pet (located in Lititz, PA), as I have just moved into a new apartment. It usually takes a few weeks for birds to really find new bird feeders, so I put the feeders up as soon as I got them. Birds were soon to follow!
Both feeders are identical, but have an adjustable opening where seed or water is dispensed. If you want to use the “water” option, you adjust the opening so that it is just part-way open, and if you want to use the “seed” option, you adjust the opening so that it is fully open. You could easily put seed in both, water in both, or seed in one and water in the other. I used a mixture of millet and sunflower seeds in one, and I filled the other with water (one feeder can hold up to 22 ounces of water or 1 pound of seed!).
The feeders came with a copper hanger that you can use to mount both feeders on a branch, feeder, or pole hook. I didn’t use this when hanging my feeders, but it could be useful.
Both feeders are constructed from a glass tube. Bird feeders made of glass are quite durable and a good option if you have to deal with pesky squirrels! However, the materials that make up the adjustable opening “collar” are plastic, so this could be a weakness of the feeder if you have problem squirrels in your yard. I kept the squirrels off of these feeders by offering a suet cage, which kept them busy and satisfied. If you don’t offer squirrels something else to eat, they would probably be tempted to nibble on your feeder.
The “sip” option….
I really enjoy the option of having a hanging “water” feeder. I travel a lot, and this is much more practical to tote along than an actual bird bath. It is also more easily maintained than a bird bath, in that you can simply carry it inside and wash it out. It works much like a hummingbird feeder, but the tray acts as a pool of water, and birds can perch on the edge of it to drink. I put this feeder up in late July, a time in central Pennsylvania that is marked by almost daily afternoon rainstorms. So, the water feeder didn’t see any use, as water was available almost everywhere. It didn’t help that the neighbors have a nice large bird bath out that local birds already know exists! However, this would be a great water dispenser in parts of the country where water is scarce in early summer, including the desert southwest, the Midwest, and the south east, where just a small puddle or dripping faucet can attract thirsty birds. Water is an essential part of attracting birds to your yard, so this would be an ideal way to provide it. Note that you wouldn’t want to use this “sip” option in freezing temperatures.
The “seed” option….
The downfall of the feeders when used for seed is that seed is only dispensed from the lowest level of the feeder at the tray. You’ve probably noticed when cleaning your tube feeders at home, that the dirtiest part of the feeder is right at the bottom, where moisture can collect. For this reason, this feeder requires a bit more maintenance than other tube feeders. I had to dump it out prematurely a few times to get rid of the sprouting seeds. Because there are no drainage holes in the “tray,” rain water pools and causes the seeds to sprout almost immediately, creating a stinky “clog” right at the bottom of the tube. This could probably be remedied by adding a few drainage holes with a drill bit, but you would not be able to use the “sip” (watering) option on that feeder anymore. Another remedy would be to only hang the feeder under a porch or some structure where rain water cannot reach it.
While the “sip” feeder didn’t receive any visitors due to the abundance of water in the area, the “seed” feeder did, when it wasn’t clogged! On day two, it was visited by a White-breasted Nuthatch. This species visited the feeder repeatedly in the early morning hours almost daily to nab its breakfast, usually grabbing a sunflower seed and cracking it open on a nearby pine tree. American Goldfinch were also attracted to the feeder, as were Black-capped Chickadees. Most recently, a Red-breasted Nuthatch showed a little interest in the feeder, flying by repeatedly, but not landing. Chipping Sparrows often visit the ground below the feeder to snack on dropped seeds, as does a pair of Gray Squirrels who are currently more concerned with suet and pine-cone collecting than the seed.
While using these feeders with seed does require a bit more maintenance than normal, I would still recommend them for use on a porch or other structure with a roof. I was really happy with the option to use these feeders as waterers, and I am sure they would be a great source of water in any backyard habitat.
Nemesis Bird is happy to be offering a set of “Sip & Seed” bird feeders from Perky-Pet as a giveaway for our readers! To be entered into the contest, tell us what your favorite feeder bird has been in your own yard by leaving a comment on this post. All who leave a comment will be entered into a drawing. Entry will be open for 3 days (until Friday, September 7th 2012 at midnight!) and a winner will be announced on September 10, 2012!
Check out the Perky-Pet website to order a set of these feeders for yourself or a friend! Also, check out their clearance page, for hummingbird feeders as low as $5 and seed feeders as low as $10! You can also design your own hummingbird feeder!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary Sip & Seed Feeder from Perky-Pet, located in Lititz, Pennsylvania.