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Nature Products 431 Green Classic Pole Mount Wild Bird Feeder
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- This is a squirrel proof bird feeder that really works and looks great, too
- Seed tubes are 1.2 gallon seed capacity and are made with UV resistant Lexan
- The feeding ports are cast aluminum and the perches are stainless steel
- The metal top and squirrel baffle skirt feature a beautiful baked-enamel green finish
- Also includes a multi-section steel pole
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|Item Dimensions||20 x 8 x 8 inches|
|Item Weight||5.5 pounds|
|Manufacturer Part Number||431|
|Shipping Weight||5.5 pounds|
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|Item Dimensions||8 x 8 x 20 in||17.6 x 9 x 8.1 in||5 x 5 x 21 in||6 x 6 x 23 in||8 x 8 x 8 in||18.5 x 18.5 x 12 in|
This is a squirrel proof bird feeder that really works and looks great, too! This pole-mounted feeder has been tested and endorsed by The National Audubon Society. Seed tubes are made with UV resistant Lexan. The feeding ports are cast aluminum and the perches are stainless steel. The metal top and squirrel baffle skirt feature a beautiful baked-enamel green finish. Also includes a multi-section steel pole. 1.2 gallon seed capacity.
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Sometimes manufactures think nobody will know if I cut costs here. Sorry, sir they will now know. Please look at your purchase and ask yourself -"will this last me? Is it a good value? Since my purchase was in 2006, I cannot answer that question today. I did not really note any critical reviews of present construction someone needs to give a detailed analysis of present manufacturing.
However this has some very nice features ,that I do want to talk about. Maybe some of my observations will make your feeders last longer. The first one I purchased was through the Audubon Society over 20 -25 years ago, . I am still using it. I try to check the feeders in spring and autumn. Since purchase, metal was spray painted a few times (including the bottom of the food chamber inside the lexan and underneath inside the baffle. Bottom of feeding chamber WAS GALVANIZED!, ( I hope they still do that . if it is not galvanized your floor will rust through in less than 3-4 years. Personally, If it is not galvanized i would send back the feeder, and purchase a different variety!!!) Even if the floor is galvanized, after years of use rust can form. If rust is noted clean feeder, spray paint the floor with Rustoleum. Tape off Lexan when spray painting . Inspect the bottom of the floor inside the baffle, sand lightly and spray the inside with Rustoleum. I spray the bottom skirt and cap to keep the colors nice and fresh.
The plastic does become slightly cloudy over the years ( probably related to UV in sunlight). It has never cracked. Please note the plastic is a UV resistant Lexan. The capacity of the feed chamber is great. I can fill this up before a winter storm and the birds are fed for 4-5 days. I hope the feeding ports where the perches attach and surround the feeding hole openings are still made from metal.. My initial feeders purchased in the 1990's had plastic around the feeding port sand these failed. They deteriorated due to UV in the sunshine became frail and broke off. . The Audubon Society sold this feeder and it offered metal replacements for the feeding ports. I purchased these . They are great and have lasted over 20 years. If the piece around the feeding port and perches are plastic, then this is an area that where manufacturing is cost cutting. Beware! if squirrels get on your feeder they will chew through the plastic around the hole and easily chomp into the lexan and your feeder will be a total loss.
I purchased two more feeders in 2006 from Amazon. These feeders had the metal piece around feeding holes and perches screwed into this metal piece. These were the same as the updated perches I purchased for the original feeder. I added one feeder outside, and still have one boxed as a spare. I have not needed to replace the original one yet.
As to the design , it is wonderful. Place the feeders away from fences and trees so the squirrels cannot jump down from above. On the adjoining vacant property, there are small crabapple trees( 10 to 15 feet tall) about 10 feet away, so the branches must be kept trimmed. Any squirrel attack launching points are eliminated. The lower squirrel baffle is integrated into the design of the feeder, It is the metal below the perches. That cylinder of metal is of sufficient diameter that the squirrels cannot get a grip onto it and climb the final foot of height to the perches. If you were inclined, a similar diameter baffles are commercially available or a piece of 6" diameter metal ductwork (maybe 14-16 inches long could be used with wood internal spacers) could be used. You can add this feature to any feeder. No need to grease poles anymore ,cause the lower baffle keeps the squirrels from climbing to the feeding area. Now, the baffle will not stop raccoons, as they are bigger guys.
The poles that came with this in 2006 were in 3 pieces and fitted together well. They had a galvanized coating, solid with no seams Over the years they needed repainting and some rust formed on the bottom of the post, Ithese were so sturdy I could hammer them INTO the ground. But as the posts aged, I found an easier way. I now purchase a section of rebar about 3-4 feet. (diameter is 1/2 inch). That is hammered 1/2 way into the ground. I drilled a hole into a paver and placed that at the bottom of the base where rebar enters ground. I slide pole over rebar. It remains very solid even during winter. Paver keeps pole bottom drier and the bottom of the pole is less likely to rust out. One other thing, if you remove pole cover from the rebar, please cover the end of the rebar with a tennis ball. Do not leave rebar above ground without a plastic cover or tennis ball covering the end. Rebar would be difficult to see standing vertically. since rebar is not galvanized the rebar will rust.
If your posts are seamed and lightweight. I saw photos in another review that failed as the pole split at the seam. I suspect this was with the weight of a fat raccoon. If you have raccoons in area either replace pole or reinforcement with several stainless hose clamps at the joints might be helpful.
I want to mention the perches may seem short. This feeder is meant for the birds smaller than a cardinal. Cardinals can use the perches. Blue Jays and Grackles cannot for more than a second or two. Larger birds tend to lose their balance and fly away. If you only want to feed the smaller birds, you can take the perches off. I just screw the perch backwards and perch is inside baffle and screw nut is on the outside. the baffle. That way I don't misplace the pieces.) Personally I turn around two perches on each feeder, I want my cardinals to use the feeders too.. With the perch removed, the smaller birds grab onto the metal hole. Yes, they don't need the perches. Chickadees sparrows, tufted titmice, goldfinches will grab. I get large woodpeckers such as the red bellied woodpecker (10inch length) and they can easily feed without the perch.
I feed all winter and into the spring to see the parents bring their new fledglings to the feeder. Please note the holes to the feeder are small but a very tiny inexperienced or hungry bird can get into the feeder and get trapped there. Over the years I had two. One I noted and rescued , the other was not as fortunate, it died. PLEASE, take down the feeder if you are not going to refill it. I also made some plugs to close up the feeding holes. So I don't misplace these I keep them in a plastic bag and I keep that bag in the bottom of the bird seed bin. They are made of the foam pipe insulation. An 8 foot piece of this foam cost about a buck You only need pieces about 4 inches long for each opening.
I use one feeders for the general mix and the other safflower seed and black sunflower seed. Try other feeders with different seed, they will attract other bird varieties to your back yard. I do want to admit the squirrels get their due with corn and peanuts on the ground. They can eat the bird seed on the ground with the other birds that do not use the feeders well, dark eyed juncos and chipping sparrows and morning doves. but I do not want them on my feeders, Squirrels can chew holes into the feeder to get the seed, then your feeder is destroyed.
I also have a thistle feeder for the goldfinches and a suet feeder. The thistle feeder, hang it higher to keep the deer from tonguing the holes to get the thistle. The suet feeder is an what I call an upside down one. I made my own suet feeder with a block of wood 2" thick and size 5"x5" ( larger than the wire cage suet feeder you are planning to use), a cheap wire cage suet feeder and put a round, domed above the feeder baffle I attached the wire suet cage to the block of wood and that to the the domed baffle using a stainless eye screw. Hang this from branches that will not support a raccoon's weight. The suet cage lies horizontally along the block of wood. The birds need to fly and grab to the suet cage that is under it. This is the best suet feeder ever. You get mainly the woodpeckers and acrobatic little birds using it. Chickadees, tufted titmice a few sparrows, nuthatch, and all the woodpeckers. Rare cardinal or bluejays. use it
If you have some space neaby put in some crabapple trees and hawthorns. (Keep the trees at least 12-15 feet away from this squirrel resistant feeder.) The robins, cedar waxwings and others will feast on the frozen fruit during the winter till it is gone. Enjoy the winter, FEED the birds. Yes, this is great kitten entertainment too. For me there is nothing better than to be inside on a snowy day, watching.
Also, the multi-part pole wasn't stiff enough initially, so I put a PVC pipe as a sleeve around it. Works great!