Feeding Gone Wild – A Backyard Birder’s Secrets

December 2011

This month, our Marketing Coordinator, Kate Peikin, had the good fortune to be in touch with a longtime Droll Yankees customer – Edgar D. of Far Hills, NJ. Edgar has a unique perspective on Droll Yankees bird feeders and accessories, because he has been using our products since the company was founded in 1969! So we are happy to share his thoughts and tips on feeding birds below. Enjoy!

Kate: You asked about a number of Droll Yankees’ classic models, and referred to your “collection” of bird feeders. So I get the impression that you own quite a few feeders! How many feeders do you have in your yard, and how did it become a collection?

Edgar: My backyard birding adventure began with a Droll Yankees A-6F tube feeder and TH-3 thistle feeder hanging outside the family room window.  The enjoyment of bringing a variety of birds never seen before right to my window became an addictive experience.  Creating a habitat and feeding stations for birds became one of my garden priorities and as it turned out, a never-ending process of trail and error.

That humble offering eventually grew to a numerous collection of bird feeders (30 total) at four feeding stations in my backyard.

Kate: What is the biggest challenge when buying new bird feeding products, and what do you look for before purchasing anything for your yard?

Edgar: The biggest challenge when buying new bird feeding products is deciding what to buy from a numerous selection in stores and online shopping [outlets].  Before I buy anything I like to read customer reviews and check out manufacturer websites to learn more about the product.

Kate: How would you describe Droll Yankees’ products?

Edgar: “When form follows function.” Peter Kilham’s revolutionary design of the A-6 tube feeder in 1969 is carried on by the unique combination of design features in the A-6F Classic Bird Feeder that I admire so much: quality construction using die-cast metal parts and a thick clear polycarbonate feeder tube makes this bird feeder extremely durable.  Squirrels chew on it.  Black bears have taken it down off a tree, chewed on it, dragged and rolled it around on the ground.  Fortunately I can feed birds all year-round: a pair of Black and Chocolate Labradors are happily on “bear busters” duty.  My preference is the “Classic” tube feeder for the attractive retro look. Other Droll Yankees feeders such as the Onyx Clever Clean and Yankee Tipper are great examples of form follows function in a superior product using good design, excellent craftsmanship and durable materials.  Add the Lifetime Warranty and “Made in the USA” and it is worth every penny of the cost, so one cannot go wrong.

Kate: You mentioned that the Jagunda was your favorite hopper feeder. What do you like about it? How long have you owned your Jagunda?

Edgar: The Jagunda is my favorite hopper feeder.  I have owned this bird feeder for eight years and it has never been breached by squirrels. The seed tray is a simple design that doubles as the squirrel baffle. In the right location this feeder is absolutely squirrel proof. The hopper holds a large quantity of seed with ports that adjust to control the flow. This bird feeder is very easy to clean and add seed without a mess. To attract a variety of birds, I add a Droll Yankees TH Mini Thistle Feeder above the Jagunda with a Threaded Pole Adapter. The auger system allows easy movement to obtain the best location.

Kate: Do you own Droll Yankees feeders only, or have you tried any items from our Ultimate Pole System?

Edgar: Station four stated above is my mobile feeder group. Depending on the season and the blooms of the flower garden it can be located in the backyard or the front yard depending on which garden view I would like to enjoy with birds.  For variety I can set up the pole system with a Water Dish, a Single Arm Mount and Hanger, and a Tipper in the rose garden at the front yard.  The Tipper is a simple feeding station with an easy setup and no fuss.

Kate: What made you decide to turn your yard into a Certified Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation? What items have you provided for wildlife to make it inviting?

Edgar: I love nature and to have a Wildlife Habitat in my backyard certified through the National Wildlife Federation is my small contribution to protect wildlife for our children’s future. To make my backyard inviting to wildlife, bird food is certainly in abundance all year round.  A birdbath and dripper in the summer and water heater in the winter are sources of water located adjacent to the bird feeding stations. To raise their young, my backyard provides a dovecote-style birdhouse with eight compartments. In addition, four bluebird houses are at the edge of the woods.

Kate: What Droll Yankees feeder would you recommend for someone who is just starting out feeding birds? For someone who is a more seasoned bird feeder?

Edgar: For someone starting out with backyard bird feeding I would recommend the large Droll Yankees New Generation Sunflower Tube Feeder. Seeds stay dry and it is easy to clean.  It is the best all-round feeder to attract great birds.  You can add on an Omni Seed Tray to attract larger birds such as Cardinals. The difference in quality between the Droll Yankees bird feeders and the “flimsy” feeders you find in the box stores is well worth the investment. For the seasoned bird feeder, what are the secrets?  In a nutshell, bringing birds to a backyard involves a combination of feeders and natural food, a source of water, and the native trees, shrubs and or flowers to create a safe environment for the birds that live in the area. I suggest adding the companion Droll Yankees New Generation Thistle Feeder and a New Generation Peanut Feeder and you’re all set to sit back and enjoy your feathered friends.