A couple of weeks ago I was invited by Haiths (https://www.haiths.com), a family run business selling ‘superclean’ bird food and a wide range of other garden bird products to test their ‘My Favourites Feeder’ (https://www.haiths.com/bird-feeders).
The manufacturers claim that the feeder design will encourage small birds such as finches, tits and sparrows with larger birds unable to grip onto the small base.
I tested the product over a week at two separate locations in my garden which is regularly visited by a wide range of tits and finches as well as larger birds including jackdaws, crows and magpies. The feeder was filled with superclean sunflower hearts throughout the study. In total, I have nine other feeders in my garden filled with different foodstuffs such as mixed bird seed, peanuts, nyger seed and suet balls. All the other feeders remained in use during the trial.
Delivery and Set-up
The feeder arrived well packaged and included a starter bird ID sheet. When filled it held 880g of the ‘superclean’ sunflower hearts (https://www.haiths.com/bird-food/) Filling was simple via the lid which was released/secured by a quarter turn. My grandma who is 84 liked this feature because it was easy for her to open and close.
The only thing I would say but it depends where the feeder is put that the hook on the top for hooking over somewhere is fixed which means it does not flip down or move and is always in an upright position. This means that if the hook you’re putting it on is very curved you need to put the feeder on its side to put it up and seed does fall out at this point. You can stop this by covering the feeding slot. A possible design improvement would be to include a flexible top attachment ring.
Location 1 was in an archway next to a clematis plant where small birds like goldfinches, siskins, blue tits, house sparrows, great tits and coal tits regularly visited. As suggested in the product information the smaller birds were able to easily cling to the feeder because they were small whereas larger birds couldn’t. It was surprisingly good because quite a few small birds could cling to it at a time stopping fighting among the birds over food which regularly happens with lots of other feeders.
Location 2 was next to other feeders with squirrel-proof cages attached to them (also filled with sunflower hearts) where blue tits, great tits, coal tits, chaffinches, robins, goldfinches, and siskins visited. The thing that really surprised me was that the birds definitely preferred the ‘My Favourites Feeder’. I’m not 100% sure why this was, but it was clear that they could land, collect a seed and fly off much faster than with a caged feeder. Sometimes there were up to six birds on the feeder at once.
Whilst the birds were on the feeder no matter what location they did obviously drop bits of seed onto the ground which does provide an opportunity for larger birds to scavenge. However, this is the same for all feeders I have in the garden.
During the trial no squirrels were observed trying to get into the feeder so I’m unable to comment on how squirrel-proof the design is.
This appears to be a feeder which does exactly as claimed: encourage small birds while discouraging larger ones. It will definitely have a permanent place in my garden and I will probably add more of these feeders if it proves to be squirrel-proof.