Over the last month I’ve been asked this question on a number of occasions therefore it’s probably an opportune time to consider the pros and cons. We have three feeders in our garden all of which can be easily viewed from the house. They are positioned at distances of approximately 6, 20 and 50 metres.
The above feeder is positioned adjacent to our lounge window and offers amazing close up and intimate views of the tuis feeding. Positioning the tui feeder near a window such as this is a magical way to impress guests or overseas visitors.
It had been my original intention to leave the feeders in their natural state but that all changed about a week ago after staining this one and being most impressed with the end result.
The reasons for doing this now are …
- Enhance the appearance of the feeder.
- Oil base stain will help to repel water and promote timber stability and durability.
- As tuis don’t have the best of table manners staining disguises the effects of splashed sugared water.
I used “Wattyl Natural Oil Finish” and would recommend this or something similar. The instructions on the can suggest apply two coats and re staining annually to keep up appearances.
Recently one client advised me they were going to paint their feeder which in my opinion is fine but I suggested to him that a water based paint would be preferable. I’ve chosen to use oil based stain as there’s less work involved and it’s quicker and easier to apply.
If you choose not to treat your feeder with stain or paint it will not create any problems. Weather plus the passage of time will turn the timber to a light grayish colour but it won’t rot as it’s tanalised. To ensure that your feeder continues to look smart it would be advisable to give it a good wash occasionally with mild soapy water or water with a little dish washing liquid added to remove dirt and mold.
Avoid using anything too harsh as this could deter the tuis.
If you are looking at purchasing a feeder I’m happy to stain it for you for a nominal charge of $15.00, details available at the Garden Shop.
If you have decorated your feeder any photos or comments would be much appreciated as I can display them on the site for everyone to enjoy.
Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses. Dale Carnegie