Spilt bird seed is a lawn-maintenance nightmare. It can be aesthetically unpleasing, cause the growth of weeds and attract unwelcome critters such as chipmunks, squirrels and deer. In large enough quantities, seeds also can stunt the growth of grass and cause brown spots on your lawn. Although a lawn or shop vacuum can help pick up fallen seed, the best way to save time, effort and electricity is by preventing the seed from falling in the first place.
Select a bird feeder that has a high wall for catching seeds; birds are messy eaters and feeders will sway as different birds eat. Selecting a feeder with a rim will keep seed from falling out.
Place the feeder inside of a squirrel-proof cage or birdhouse with a solid bottom; this will prevent mammals from hanging onto the feeder and knocking out food, and catch any seeds that fall during normal use.
Place the bird feeding station on a table or level surface rather than hanging it up; this will prevent the feeder from swinging and dropping loose seed.
Use bird suet. Suet cakes are dense and less likely to cause a mess than loose seeds. Freeze your suet before use to help the cake keep its form.