Hopper Bird Feeders
Also Known as Chalet or Gazebo Feeder

1. Introduction to Hopper Bird Feeders

Hopper bird feeders are a “traditional” style of bird feeder. This type of feeder is probably the most common and often the first feeder most people start out with when their bird feeding hobby begins.



Hoppers consist of a floor, a roof and sides. The seed is contained and protected from the weather in the bin.

Chalet and gazebo bird feeders are types of hopper bird feeders.

The gazebo bird feeder being round, has one circular side. The chalet bird feeder on the other hand has four sides. The sides in both styles have a gap at the bottom to allow seed to be dispensed on the floor of the feeder for the birds to pick up.

Gazebo style feeders in particular, are often very decorative. This adds aesthetic value to a backyard for the human viewer.

But, beyond aesthetics, part of the attractiveness of hopper bird feeders is that they are very functional, efficiently maintained and are easily accessible to a large variety of bird species.


2. List of  Features

  • Closed in seed holder often called the bin.
  • Very often one or more of the sides are clear plastic or glass. The advantage here is it is easy to see when the feeder needs to be re-filled.
  • One or both sides have openings for the birds to eat, which helps the smaller birds feel safe.
  • Perches or rails provide a place for the birds to sit while eating.
  • Hopper bird feeders can be set up as hanging bird feeders or be pole mounted.


3. Best Seed Choice For a Chalet Feeder

You can put any type of bird seed in this style of feeder, but I only use black-oil sunflower seed in my hopper bird feeders.

The reason is, a mixed seed blend will result in a mess. The birds will land on your feeder and toss the seed they do not want onto the ground until they reach one they want to eat.

You could put just shelled peanuts or shelled sunflower seeds in a seed bin holder feeder, but that would be quite costly. And thistle seed would blow away in short order.

Black-oil sunflower seed is liked by many types of wild birds therefore it will draw in a good variety of birds. So it is a good feeder to choose when first starting out.


4. Positives

  • The greatest advantage to this feeder is that the seed is protected from the elements. The hopper or bin part of the feeder keeps the wild bird seed dry and protected from the elements.
  • Large feeders in this style can hold a great deal of seed and will not have to be filled as often, as the large chalet feeder shown in the first photo on this page.
  • When both sides are available for dining it allows the birds to eat more peacefully as they cannot see each other.
  • A wide variety of birds are able to feed from this style of feeder particularly if the seed troughs extend to a larger flat surface.
  • Hopper bird feeders are often made from wood and cedar bird feeders will last longer compared to other types of wood.
  • Clear sides make it easy to tell if the feeder needs to be refilled.


5. Problems

  • Because mixed seed or black oil sunflower seed are usually used in this style of feeder, it may attract unwanted birds and other unwelcome guests, such as Starlings and Blackbirds.
  • Some wild birds will shovel mixed seed out of the feeder looking for their favourite pieces.
  • If the hopper feeder does not have perches then the birds have to feed standing in the seed area causing the seed to become contaminated by bird droppings.


The "Shoveller"

We had a female Redbellied Woodpecker who visited our yard daily a few years ago. She loved to eat peanuts, as all Woodpeckers do.

I saw her on a few occasions at the platform feeder hanging on to the edge picking out peanuts.

But most of the time she would be at the chalet feeder shoveling out all the seed. She wouldn’t stop until she had the peanut she could see half way up the clear side of the feeder!

But we didn’t mind loosing seed on the ground this way, just having her visit our backyard was well worth it!




6. User Opinions

Many people view this as their “staple” bird feeder and start out with this style. Because of this, it becomes the “old standby” and most backyard bird watchers maintain this type and add other styles for variety.

Hopper, gazebo or chalet feeders are fashioned in an array of looks. That means lots of choice!

7. List of Birds Attracted to This Feeder

Chickadees

Nuthatches

Variety of Woodpeckers

Mourning Doves (if feeding ports are a tray)

Cardinals

Finches

Grosbeaks

Titmouse

Jays

Pine Siskin

Buntings

Sparrows

Starlings

Blackbirds


Discover Different Types of Bird Feeders
(For a Complete List See Top of Right Column)

  • Tube Feeders - This type of feeder can be used to attract smaller specific types of birds. They also serve as a deterrent for birds which are considered pests
  • Thistle Feeders and thistle seed are just what the “bird” doctor ordered if you want to attract Goldfinches to your yard.
  • Hummingbird Feeders - There is more effort in maintaining a nectar feeder than a seed feeder, but it is far less expensive to fill and very rewarding.


> > Hopper Birdfeeders





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