I remove the dead plants in the fall from my hanging plastic basket. I leave the soil in tact, and add seed over them. The birds love eating off my hanging basket while I watch. Sometimes 'mother' or 'father' stand guard while "family" eats away. It's easy to refill about once a week, just top it off with more seeds. Squirrels, cats, nothing can get to the seeds!
The only problem with this is like with any feeder the birds can sit in or on. They end up pooping in the food and eating the poop and getting sick. We just replaced all of our "eat-in" feeders with screened ones or feeders with external perches.
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