At one time we used to buy plastic bird feeders of the type modelled here by a coal tit, which appeared in our garden the other day after a long absence. We've been feeding small birds for thirty years and, increasingly, building our own feeders, but it has taken that long to start to get things right.
A couple of more advanced mark Vs have been built, one of which is being trialled in severe winter conditions - temperatures down to -30C with additional wind chill and driving snow - in Canada, while the other is at Swordle.
In general the birds feed together in an amicable way but there are some nasty chaffinches, exclusively males, who sit on top of the feeder and chase other birds away.
More and more, we're phasing out the old open-style peanut feeders, seen here at right with a great tit modelling it, replacing them with....
We love watching the small birds anyway, but designing one's own feeders adds another dimension to the pleasure.