Frequently we hear folks comment: "my thistle feeder attracts birds
only when it's full of seed, when it's half empty the activity declines and when it's a
1/4 full they rarely come to eat!" We have experienced the same thing at our feeders.
What likely is happening is: over time the seed in the tube feeder is absorbing
moisture...and it can happen in all seasons. When we add seed to a half-filled feeder the
fresh seed sits on the top and the older seed continues to absorb moisture and begins to
pack at the bottom. Not only is this seed at the bottom less attractive to the birds, it's
difficult for the birds to get the wet seeds out of the feeder. Eventually a thick cake of
seed and debris builds at the bottom of the feeder and a thorough cleaning is the only
Some people call it "topping off feeders" when adding more seed
on top of older seeds and the effects can be harmful to your feeding equipment. Recently,
a longtime customer and faithful birding enthusiast brought in a thistle feeder (right)
that had been damaged from heavy wet seed deposits. When the moist mass froze during this
cold winter, the pressure literally blew the bottom of the feeder right off!
A solution is easier than you might think and will reduce this from
happening to you. Cleaning a feeder every few months is essential to the health of the
birds, but you may find it's not necessary to clean quite as often if you follow these 3
before filling the feeder, dump the remaining seed back into your fresh
seed (or if it's really wet, trash it). Mix the old and fresh seed;
re-hang & enjoy the birds. Adding a "Tube Top" dome, shown
below right, is another excellent way to keep protect feeders and seed from rain and snow.
Several models are available to fit most all Aspects and Droll Yankee feeders.
[see our tube
feeder page for details] »
Keep it clean, folks. Your birds will thank you.