There is nothing more frustrating to an avian enthusiast than coming outside after a wind storm to find his or her bird feeder toppled on the ground. Wind gusts can ruin a feeding habitat. With careful preventive measures, and some possible modifications to your existing bird feeders, you can beat this invisible foe on behalf of feathered flocks who frequent your feeding site.
Change your point of view
If strong winds are a problem in your area and conventional feeders topple out of trees or off hanging poles, why not try to attract a different kind of bird with a ground or tray feeder? A ground feeder is a tray suspended several inches from the ground, and the Audubon Society suggests placing it 10 feet away from bushes where predators may lurk in wait for unsuspecting feeders. Goldfinches, cardinals and doves, among others, will love the down-to-earth treatment, and wind shouldn't be a problem down there.
Instead of hanging your bird feeder from a tree that has swaying branches made to dance in wind, try using a metal-rod bird feeder pole as your base. Some models can hold several feeders at a time. One bird feeder pole by Droll Yankee, Inc. has a no-tilt ground auger, which screws the base into the soil, and 3/16-inch legs that stabilise the unit. You can now enjoy birdwatching from anywhere on your lawn, and wind gusts should not disrupt your guests.
Love the one you're with
If you already have bird feeders that aren't making the grade, try upgrading them with tips from John Sankey, a field naturalist who lives in the Ottawa Valley of Eastern Ontario, Canada. Sankey field-tested a silo-model feeder and found that against the wind, the rotunda roof top of the feeder would fly off, leaving the seeds to become wet and mouldy. Sankey's clever modification using a piece of wire coat hanger solves this problem. Just cut to length, glue the wire on the inside of the feeder roof in place of the current wire, and kink the end with just enough wire to allow lifting of the roof to add seed. Now when the wind blows, the roof will gently lift and set back down on its own. A wood-frame feeder may experience similar roof fly-off issues. Sankey suggests that you insert a nail with a bent head into a drilled hole that passes from the roof piece through the frame side, then tie a string from the nail to the feeder. Saving an old model rather than shopping for a new one may save you money and trouble.