Newest Review: ... at a good height away from any ground predators. The unit at the top has 4 hooks for feeders, you also get one further hook to hang lowe... more
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Gardman Deluxe Feeding Station
Member Name: SpiderDreams
Gardman Deluxe Feeding Station
Advantages: holds different feeders, easy to clean and assemble, great product
Our last house had a very small garden, overwhelmed with hedges. With not much space to play with, when it came to feeding the birds I needed something that could deal with everything I wanted kin one spot - hangers / bird bath etc.
This bird feeding station was perfect!
It stands at approximately 226 cm, a black, stainless steel pole (25.5mm dia) that crowns at the top with four inwardly curved hooks. Down the length of the pole are additional hooks and holes to allow other hangers to be added.
It comes with a round metal ring that slots into a metal "pocket". This ring is the support for a 'round plastic bird bath. Additionally there is also a wire mesh tray (apprx 22.5 cm dia) that also slots into a metal "pocket" and is good for things like mealworms where if it rains the tray doesn't fill up with water.
At the end of this feeder, the pole tapers to a point for driving into the ground. Once the feeder is pushed into the ground, the height above ground is approximately 185 cm.
Not too difficult, the poles slot together and the joins are covered with a special rubber "sock" that hides the joins and stops water etc getting into it that could cause rust.
It is best to leave the pointed ended unattached when assembling. Instead decide where you want your feeder to be (away from walls and areas that cats can climb on and thus fling themselves at the birds!) and then place the pointy bottom on the ground, use a piece of work on top and wallop it with a rubber mallet.
(Believe me doing it that way is a LOT either than putting the whole thing together then trying to drive it deep enough into the earth)
When it's in deep enough, put the fully assembled pole into it, making sure it's not skewed. Depending on how many birds you get (eg lots of heavy wood pigeons you might want to add some bricks around the bottom for security). We did this, after several crows and pigeons ventured onto the feeder and all sat on the same side!
You can get a stand for it, where there is a large round metal "foot" that means it can be stood on a patio or stone area - anywhere you couldn't pierce the ground with the point. However this can mean you have a lot of bird "mess" on your patio. So be warned.
The feeder station can take hanging feeders on the top hooks, I like that there are four as it gives you an option for different ones such as suet ball holders, domed holders, caged holders that only allow small birds in etc
Further down is a single hook. This can be used for a number of things but I think was designed for holding the barley twist fat snax hanger hook. This is a long metal pole with several small hooks coming from it which netted suet balls can be individually hooked on. I personally do not use this as I have found birds can get their little feet caught in the netting. Instead I strip any netting off and hang them in a designated cage feeder at the top.
Instead we use the single hook to hang wire spirals full of "bedding" during nesting season or sometimes a feeder full of peanuts.
The bird bath is a white plastic dish, stepped and not too deep. It can be good, however with feeders just above it gets dirty VERY quickly and often has seed/mealworms cast into it from above. If can be used as a seed tray instead, if you decide that a birdbath is getting too grubby.
[Cleaning / Weathering]
The pole itself never really gets that messy. However be aware that wherever you stand it, there will be a lot of cast off and bird mess on the floor around it, so in a lawn is best where it can fertilise the grass. The bird bath and mesh tray can be easily removed and cleaned (hot soapy water / special bird cleaner - after all disease in birds is often spread via dirty feeders) The pole can be rubbed down with a rag and hot water though you are not likely to need to do that very often.
We have had ours for over 6 years, and have moved house (always taken it). At the present location it stands in the centre of our very open garden so is often hit by winds. It barely moves (though the feeders will sometimes unhook themselves in very strong winds) and it weathers fine, have not even seen any rust on it and it has been out in all weathers!
Since getting it, this station has fed a variety of birds large and small from tits and sparrows to jackdaws, woodpeckers and rooks.
With the exception of the slight shift due to excessive pigeon weight all on one side, this feeder station has stood up against an array of birds in huge flocks (32 starlings on at once!) It allows us to cater to large and small birds and to make sure everyone is fed fairly (hanger hooks allow for our dome feeder than can be adjusted so only little birds can get in).
This feeder station has been a real boon when doing the RSPB's January Big Garden Bird Watch as they all use it and are easily drawn to it with all the different foods we supply.
The prices I have seen are from £16.99 (Amazon) up to £29.99 (possibly even higher). However unless you are getting a lot of extras, you really don't have to spend too much. We got ours from a Gardening catalogue at £18.99 and it's been going strong for 6 years.
An excellent purchase and if our garden was bigger I'd have another. Highly recommended to those who like watching/feeding garden birds
Summary: Excellent bird feeding station, great for encouraging birds to your garden
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