I get alot of questions about this setup, so here’s all the info. I assembled the station myself using a 4×4 cedar post, which is secured to the ground with a ground spike I got at Home Depot. The spike goes 3′ into the ground and the post bolts in. The advantage of this approach is that I can move it if I have to. The post is about 7’6″ tall and I do need a stepladder to reach the topmost feeder. Occasionally you’ll see me out there on the ladder.
In this setup there are several feeders. I change the configuration around depending on the season and what species I want to encourage/discourage. Starting from the top:
- A Woodlink copper top gazebo feeder that I ordered from bestnest.com. It mounts directly on top of the 4×4 post and can hold 10lbs of bird seed. Regular visitors include cardinals, nuthatches, rose-breasted grosbeaks, blackbirds, and blue jays. I have tried various strategies of constructing a dome on top to prevent the squirrels from jumping down off the bur oak tree right next to the feeders. It’s about 99% effective.
- Next level down, these are all feeders I got at my local Wild bird store (also where I get most of my seed/suet and mealworms.) I can reach them without the stepladder. These feeders may be rearranged and switched out on occasion, but here’s what you might see here:
- Suet logs. These are very popular with all the woodpeckers (I get 6 species from downy to pileated), nuthatches and chickadees. I use Attractor no-melt peanut butter suet plugs. It’s fairly expensive, but I’ve tried other brands. My woodpeckers love this stuff and turn their beak up at anything else. I feed suet all year round and it’s fun to watch the fledglings come to the feeder in spring. I hang the logs either vertically or horizontally depending on who’s showing up. If there are starlings or house sparrows I hang them horizontally so the only access is from below.
- Peanut feeder (I have both feeders for both shelled and unshelled peanuts.) The nuthatches and chickadees love this, and the woodpeckers use it when suet runs out.
- Thistle feeder. Goldfinches love thistle and I’ve had pine siskins and redpolls as well.
- Seed tray. This is up about 5 feet off the ground to keep the squirrels from jumping. Mourning doves like to hang out here, and cardinals use it too. Sometimes a woodpecker will even hop around there.
Below the seed tray, is a squirrel baffle, and then below that is 5″ sheet metal ducting that I got at Home Depot in the plumbing department. This covers the pole all the way to the ground.
In the spring/summer I usually add a separate pole next to the main feeders, with nectar and orange/jelly feeders for the hummingbirds and orioles. Elsewhere in the yard, I have a mealworm dish, and another thistle feeder hanging off the deck. In the front yard I have a Mandarin Sky Cafe feeder hanging from a tree. It’s a seed feeder that is squirrel proof, and probably the one feeder I’d recommend if you had to choose just one.
If you have any further questions about the setup, or want advice on setting up your own station, feel free to email me. I’m always glad to answer questions. The multiple feeder station was inspired by the Blue Spruce Rd Feeders in Sax Zim Bog.