The Big Easy
Nothing lasts forever, and that's undoubtedly true of bird feeders. After all, they are out in some of the most atrocious weather and are often subjected to some pretty harsh
treatment by birds and squirrels. Sunlight (or the UV part of it) can make plastic discoloured and brittle, which is what had happened to one of my main bird feeders, so it was time for a replacement.
Having looked at what was on offer I opted to buy a ‘Big Easy', and if you're going to have one have a big one, so I opted for a six-port version. With a capacity to hold 2.2 litres this is a serious feeder that needs to be hung from a secure location. The thinking behind the large capacity is that the feeder needs filling less frequently, but what it also means is that filling is easy as the tube is wider, even on the smaller models. The top (which also includes the hanger) just unscrews a quarter turn. No more wire hangers that always seem to fall off when you fill others.
A handy addition to the base of the tube is a seed ventilation system, a device designed to provide a supply of fresh air rising from the base due as a result of convection. Air rises through the seed and out at the top. The result is dry and cooled seed which, it is hoped, will last longer and be healthier for the birds. Sadly we are plagued by grey squirrels and, as a result, the old feeder has suffered some damage around the ports from small teeth. They tried to bite through the metal but thankfully without success. However, the result has been some damage to the ports. If the same fate befalls this feeder the ports are designed to be very easily replaced, let's just hope we don't have to!
In an effort to try and outwit the squirrels the new feeder has been hung from a feeding station fitted with a baffle to stop them scaling the post and so far it seems to have worked. Should any other part of the feeder need replacing you can not only buy the parts but it's also guaranteed for life, so hopefully this one is going to last for years.
At the end of the day the most important things are, do the birds use it and does it work well in use? The answer is yes to both questions. It was quick and easy to set up and once in place the birds got used to it quickly. It wasn't long after the feeder was up and running that we saw all six ports being used at the same time by a mixed flock of green and goldfinches.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, and the Big Easy is no different. It's well made and well designed, and the birds seem to like it. What more could you ask for?
© Phil Pickin 2018