It is nice to encourage birds into the garden, although listening to the serenade we get every morning at 4am can be quite frustrating! We have a couple of feeders, one of which we hang off a tree in the bottom of the garden and this is the one I have. I bought it under the impression that most birds will eat the nuts, however the smaller ones just eat the crumbs at the bottom as the big peanuts are too big.
==Price and availability==
The feeder is the largest of the range and it costs £9.99. You can buy it from good garden centres or you can buy it online. Amazon are currently stocking it and you get free delivery.
The wire cage is large enough for a peanut to be slipped though and the good thing about the design is that as crumbs drop from the birds, they land in the little dish at the bottom. This means that smaller birds can eat the little bits at the bottom. I have since learnt that the birds I was trying to encourage such as blue tits prefer fat balls so I buy the hanging fat balls for these birds. The larger peanut feeder is perfect for the bigger birds. We have two lovely wood pigeons that come and feed here. The feeder has a large plastic head that covers the wire frame and base so this stops the nuts getting really wet in the bad weather. The feeder comes with a fastener so you can hang it and it sways nicely in the wind but once it is full it is quite heavy so it does not go flapping about wildly in the wind.
Occasionally the nuts do work loose and during windy days the lawn can be littered with peanuts but it is not a lot and they also help feed the larger pigeons who do a much better job of 'waddling' around rather than flying.
I buy cheap peanuts but they still include all the following vital vitamins and minerals such as: 45 percent fat, 24 percent protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Zinc, Iron, Potassium and Phosphorus. I have not seen a squirrel yet and this is certainly not squirrel proof but I am hoping one might come over and have a feed! I like this feeder, it is quite classic looking and in fact has quite a pleasant acorn shape design to it which is good as it fits in with the woodland theme. I have to fill this up once every two weeks as the fat pigeons seem to be living in my garden but that is not a problem as they are really cheap to buy. The feeder is supposed to be anti-bacterial to protect the birds so this is good but I am not sure how exactly they do this. I am pleased with the fastener, I have not had to pick it up off the floor and it is easy to fill as all you need to do is unscrew it.
Our new bird feeding station still needed additional feeders and the most popular in our garden, at least, with the tits that is, is the peanut feeder. We had a "squirrel-proof" feeder which hung from the old bird table, a mesh nut holder encapsulated in a wire ball, with gaps just big enough to enable small birds to enter but too small for squirrels (but not mice), but that was showing it's age.
In Focus DIY they had a peanut feeder which matched the bird seed feeder that I had bought. It was priced also at just under £10. Like the bird seed feeder it has a wide, solid metal "roof", wide enough to prevent rain dripping into the bottom tray. The cylinder though, is wire mesh rather than clear plastic. As with the bird seed feeder the three parts lock together with a twist.
The mesh peanut container is quite wide and holds a lot of nuts. The old one I could fill with 1½ scoops but the new one requires around three, so won't have to be filled so often.
This new feeder is, once again, hugely popular with our tits. We have predominantly Great Tits but also a number of Blue Tits. I have seen as many as four at a time clinging to the sides and pecking away. I have even seen a Greater Spotted Woodpecker visit a couple of times; he has visited every now and then in the past and I'm hoping that we will now see him more often; beautiful bird!
One thing I have noticed is that although there is a certain amount of nut fragments which drop off as the birds are feeding, these do tend to fall into the bottom tray, which has a number of drainage holes to let water escape, rather than onto the ground, where it only encourages the local vermin. In this it is far better than the bird seed feeder, to which I have had to attach an additional tray, to prevent seed being scattered on the ground.
The peanut feeder does seem to be somewhat more successful that the bird seed feeder and, certainly, in our garden, it has attracted a lot of very welcome attention.