My newest feeder is a Woodlink Squirrel-Proof Seed Tube Feeder in their Coppertop Tube Feeder Series. This one is bigger than the Nuttery Globe Seed Feeder, another cage-type feeder that I purchased a year ago. The Woodlink feeder measures 19” from the top of the extended hanging loop to the base (or 16.5” not including the loop.) It has six food ports instead of the four of the globe feeder. The tube that holds the seed is taller, although a little narrower. It holds a quart of seed. Because the feeder is fairly tall, I had to adjust my feeder pole using extensions. (Note: Feeder review follows extensions section.)
Feeder Pole Extensions
I remember looking at this feeder or one very similar in my local bird store (Mother Natures in Columbia Maryland) last year, but worried that it was too tall to hang on my bird feeder pole because I needed it to stay above the squirrel baffle on the pole. This year I decided to give it a try anyway. As I was making my purchase at the store, I was telling one of the folks who works there about my pole height and I learned that I could purchase extensions for the poles I have to make them taller.
The poles I use are from Erva and they actually call them “Wrought Iron Staffs”. Each staff has two shepherd hooks on top, so I purchased two 18″ $7.99 metal extension pieces for each pole. (Note: Checking Amazon, I see them listed but the price is higher. You can also see them on Erva’s website here.)
To use them, you simply take the shepherd hook off the top of the existing pole, slide the extension into the bottom of the hook piece and then put that back into the slots on the pole. Instant height.
Now my poles have enough height on top to allow me to hang taller feeders. I did need to play around with the hooks I used to hang the various feeders to arrange them so that no feeder was blocking the view of another feeder and they all stayed above the pole’s squirrel baffle.
Woodlink Squirrel-Proof Seed Tube Feeder
Hanging the new feeder was easy. Like many tube type feeders, it has a hanging loop at the top. You need some kind of hook to hold the loop. My local bird store sells useful hooks of this kind for fifty cents.
I have a lot of birds in my yard and this feeder is already popular so I’ll probably add seed to it each day. To top off or refill this feeder, I need to lift it down off the hook, slide up the two metal disks on either side of the loop to free up the lid and then slide up the lid so that I can pour seed into the now open top of the tube. Then I reverse the process to close it up and hang it again. The tag on the feeder suggests hanging it at a height of 5 ½ feet high for easy filling.
I haven’t had it long enough to have to clean it yet, but I like the design of it. With this one, there are four wing-nut screws underneath that you can use to detach the tube from the feeder. Then you can slide the tube out the top for cleaning. There are slots on the top to allow the perches to slide out (see above photo.) I’m thinking that the slots might make it just a bit wetter for birds on a rainy day but I have a rain guard over it anyway so it doesn’t matter.
This feeder has six metal seed ports. The grid of the cage is 1 1/2” in size and is powder coated metal. The bars on this feeder are not as heavy as those on the globe feeder but so far I like this because it gives a less obscured view of birds inside it. I also like that the bigger rectangular shape of this feeder allows more space for birds and the open wire floor of the cage lets spilled seed drop out onto the ground. Un-hulled sunflower can get junked up on a feeder floor, even a partial floor like on the globe feeder. In my yard, the spilled seed below feeders is quickly eaten by the Dark-Eyed Juncos, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Mourning Doves, Northern Cardinals and various other ground feeding birds.
But the important part is whether the birds like it right? Well, the day I introduced this feeder to the yard, I fiddled around for awhile arranging the placement of the various feeders on this pole. (There is an art to feeder placement because you want it to both work for the birds, not work for the squirrels and also be very visible to you. So it can take a little while to get it right.) As I worked, the birds kept an close eye on what I was doing.
As soon as I turned my back and walked away, there were half a dozen American Goldfinches on the new feeder in literally less than a minute. I think part of the reason it was accepted so fast is that they had gotten used to cage-type feeders when I got the globe feeder last year and because the new feeder and the globe feeder are currently the only feeders serving hulled sunflower. Having learned how to use the globe feeder before, they quickly figured out this new cage feeder. These two feeders are also right next to each other.
Is it all happiness in bird land now? Mostly. The tag on the feeder says that “Birds attracted to this feeder [include] Goldfinches, Finches, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Redpolls, Siskins, Juncos and Woodpeckers.” At first I only saw House Finches and American Goldfinches on this feeder but then the Carolina Chickadees started using it. I haven’t seen the Tufted Titmouses on this one yet, although they have used the globe feeder. They do eat safflower though so they are currently using the other feeders.
I haven’t seen the White-Breasted Nuthatches try it yet, but give them a little time and I think they’ll go to the new feeder if they want the seed. I can’t imagine a Downy Woodpecker getting into this feeder though and the Red-Bellied Woodpeckers in my yard would definitely be too big.
Is it really squirrel-proof? I can’t honestly say because I hung it on a baffled pole far enough away from the closest tree that squirrels can’t jump over to it. I suspect that if you hung it on a tree limb or pole without a decent squirrel baffle, that a squirrel might be able to tip it so that seed spills out, although I’m thinking that they probably would find it hard to chew through the metal to get to the plastic tube inside. The top that lifts off to allow you to fill the feeder, at least on this brand new feeder, seems pretty stiffly in place, with a little metal disk on either side of the loop to make it harder for a squirrel to get into.
I paid $89.99 locally for this feeder but at the time I write this, it’s listed on Amazon for $65 plus free shipping.
I’ve had this feeder for about a week now and so far, I’m really pleased with it. It was easy to hang, easy to fill and seems easy to clean and the birds seem to love it. So it’s all good!
Update: I’ve had this feeder for a year now and it has been so popular, that I’ve bought a second one! It feeds American Goldfinches, House Finches, Purple Finches, White-Breasted Nuthatches, Red-Breasted Nuthatches, Carolina Wrens, Pine Warblers and Carolina Chickadees. These feeders are easy to top off with seed each day and easy to clean. When I top these off, I give them a little up and down shake to fill in any little gaps where the seed hasn’t sifted down (something that can happen with un-hulled sunflower seed.) I definitely recommend these feeders.
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