Wild birds are a beautiful sight to behold and they can bring a dash of bright color to your yard. If you want to attract birds to your yard, a bird feeder is the way to go.
Bird feeders come in many shapes and forms, each designed to attract a different kind of bird. With so many options, how do you choose the best bird feeder?
In the end, it is really a matter of preference but there are certainly factors to consider. For example, you want your bird feeder to be large enough that you don’t have to refill it everyday and you want it to offer some protection against squirrels. You also want to know that it is easy to clean and refill so you can enjoy it as much as possible.
Keep reading to learn more about the different types of bird feeders and to see our top 10 picks!
Here are our top 10 picks for the best Bird Feeders:
#10 Heritage Farms Audubon Bird’s Delight Squirrel Resistant Feeder
If you’re looking for a large bird feeder that holds a high volume of seed, the Heritage Farms Audubon Bird’s Delight Squirrel Resistant Feeder is the way to go. This feeder holds up to 9 pounds of seed and it features eight feeding ports to accommodate many birds at once. Best of all, it offers protection from squirrels so you don’t waste seed – the weight of a squirrel on the perch closes the feeding port.
The Heritage Farms Audubon Bird’s Delight Squirrel Resistant Feeder comes fully assembled with a hanger and pole mounting hardware included. It features a locking top to keep your seed safe and the materials are heavy-duty enough (powder-coated steel) to withstand weather, keeping your seed dry. Choose whether to hang it from a branch or mount it on a pole, positioning it so you have the best view of your wild backyard birds.
Pros: Durable powder-coated steel frame, comes with hanger and hardware, holds up to 9 pounds of seed, eight feeding ports, locking top, anti-squirrel measures, comes fully assembled
Cons: Mounting pole not included, somewhat expensive, holes for mounting brackets may leak seed
#9 Stokes Select Little-Bit Finch Bird Feeder
If you want to attract finches to your yard, the Stokes Select Little-Bit Finch Bird Feeder is the way to go. This brightly colored bird feeder is durably constructed from high-density plastic materials to prevent rust and withstand the elements. The feeder itself features a simple but attractive design with a flower-like lid and a round tray base with fluted edges. It is sure to match any backyard décor.
The Stokes Select Little-Bit Finch Bird Feeder is easy to fill and clean because it has a wide opening at the top – this allows you to spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your backyard birds. This feeder also features a stay-full port design which keeps seed at all of the ports, even when seed levels are starting to run low. Best of all, Stokes donates a portion of sales to bird conservation.
Pros: Durable high-density plastic materials, stay-full design keeps seed at all ports, attractive design, easy to clean and fill, comes with large stainless-steel hanging ring
Cons: May be too small for some types of birds, doesn’t offer squirrel-proof measures
#8 Nature’s Way Cedar Platform Tray Bird Feeder
Some birds simply prefer to feed from a platform or tray-style feeder and the Nature’s Way Cedar Platform Tray Bird Feeder is one of the best ones out there. This platform feeder is made from insect- and rot-resistant premium cedar protected with a water-based stain. The base is a rust-free tray that removes for easy cleaning and it drains well to keep your seed dry. Plus, the wide opening makes it easy to fill and it reduces spillage.
The Nature’s Way Cedar Platform Tray Bird Feeder is designed to accommodate all kinds of birds depending on the type of seed you offer, but it is particularly good for larger species who can’t use the small perches found on most bird feeders. This feeder is great for cardinals, titmice, grosbeaks, chickadees, finches, woodpeckers, and more. It even comes with a vinyl-coated steel hanging cable as well as rust-free hanging hardware.
Pros: Made from insect- and rot-resistant premium cedar, removable rust-free tray for drainage, easy to fill and clean, attracts a wide variety of species, good for larger birds, comes with hanging hardware
Cons: No protection against squirrels, no cover from rain or snow, not designed for pole mounting
#7 Perky-Pet Panorama Bird Feeder
If you can’t decide between a tray-style feeder or a tube feeder, the Perky-Pet Panorama Bird Feeder offers the best of both worlds. This bird feeder features a tray-style feeding port as well as a circular perch so birds can rest comfortably while they eat. The feeder itself is six inches wide and holds up to 2 pounds of seed so your birds will never go hungry.
The Perky-Pet Panorama Bird Feeder features an elegant but simple look and the round design allows you to see your birds from any angle. Seed is automatically dispensed into the feeding tray as it empties, but it stops when the tray is full. The feeder has built-in drainage holes to keep your seed fresh and the powder-coated finish protects against rust and weather. Plus, it has a Sure-Lock cap to prevent squirrels from getting into the seed reservoir.
Pros: Powder-coated finish to prevent rust, unique panoramic design, holds up to 2 pounds of seed, circular perch for comfortable feeding, easy to fill and clean, Sure-Lock lid protects against squirrels
Cons: Larger seed may not dispense as easily, hanging wire may wear out before the feeder
#6 Aspects Hummzinger Ultra Hummingbird Feeder
As small as they are, hummingbirds are some of the most colorful and beautiful birds out there. If you want to attract them to your yard, the Aspects Hummzinger Ultra Hummingbird Feeder is the way to go. This feeder features a generous 12-ounce capacity with 4 feeding ports so you can accommodate several hummingbirds at once. Plus, it features a built-in ant moat so your nectar never gets contaminated with ants.
The Aspects Hummzinger Ultra Hummingbird Feeder is easy to clean and fill, plus it is made from durable polycarbonate materials so you can be sure it will last. It is leak-proof and drip-proof, plus it comes with nectar guard tips which ensures that only hummingbirds can access the nectar inside.
Pros: Durable polycarbonate construction, includes nectar guard tips, easy to clean and fill, 12-ounce capacity and 4 feeding ports, built-in anti moat, leak-proof and drip-proof
Cons: May not prevent bees from getting in, top doesn’t screw on to the base
#5 Perky-Pet Gazebo Wild Bird Feeder
If you’re looking for an affordable bird feeder that accommodates a decent volume of seed, the Perky-Pet Gazebo Wild Bird Feeder is a great option. This feeder holds 2.25 pounds of seed and features a clear plastic construction so you can easily tell when it’s time to refill. It comes in a unique gazebo-style design with a hexagon base, providing plenty of perching space.
The Perky-Pet Gazebo Wild Bird Feeder is made from durable plastic materials with a lid to keep the seed dry and a twist-lock cap. It features a wrap-around seed tray and comes with a steel hanging wire as well. This feeder can accommodate many different types of seed and, because it is so affordable, you can easily purchase several to place them throughout your yard.
Pros: Durable plastic construction, twist-lock lid to keep seed dry, wrap-around tray for plenty of perching space, holds up to 2.25 pounds of seed, comes with steel hanging wire
Cons: Not as durable as other feeders, no squirrel-proof protection, roof may not cover whole tray
#4 Nature’s Hangout Window Bird Feeder
Enjoy your backyard birds up close and personal with the Nature’s Hangout Window Bird Feeder. This feeder affixes directly to your window using strong suction cups, providing hours of entertainment for cats, children, and yourself! It is ideal for all seasons because the tray has drainage holes to keep your seed dry and the tray is easy to remove for cleaning.
The Nature’s Hangout Window Bird Feeder features a protective cover to keep your seed fresh as well as a padded perch grip to keep your birds comfortable while they feed. This feeder can be filled with your choice of seed to attract finches, chickadees, cardinals, bluebirds, warblers, and more. Plus, because it attaches directly to the window there is no pole for a squirrel to climb. All in all, it is a durable and affordable feeder that offers you an excellent view.
Pros: Durable all-weather design, strong suction cups attach to window, removable feeding tray for easy cleaning, mold-free drainage holes, holds up to 4 cups of seed, accommodates different seed types
Cons: Not as large as other feeders (needs frequent refilling), no anti-squirrel measures
#3 Ashman Premium Bird Feeding Station Kit
If you can’t decide which bird feeder you want to buy, why not buy them all? With the Ashman Premium Bird Feeding Station Kit you can mount four hanging feeders and still offer loose seed from two different feeding stations. This feeding station kit is made from sturdy rust-free steel in a durable pole that measures 91 inches tall. Plus, the components are easy to adjust so you can customize the feeding station to work with the feeders you have.
The Ashman Premium Bird Feeding Station Kit is an excellent gift idea for bird watchers or for yourself. Depending on the type of feeder and seed you choose, you can attract all kinds of wild birds and view them from the comfort of your own home. This product is guaranteed for quality and satisfaction, so feel free to return it if you aren’t happy.
Pros: Durable rust-proof steel construction, adjustable components for easy customization, four hooks and two tray feeders, great gift for bird watchers, quality guarantee
Cons: Doesn’t come with bird feeders, no overhead protection for feeding trays, no anti-squirrel measures
#2 Droll Yankees Sunflower Hanging Tube Bird Feeder
If you are looking for a classic tube-style feeder, the Droll Yankees Sunflower Hanging Tube Bird Feeder is a great option. This feeder holds up to 2 pounds of bird seed and it offers four feeding ports which have a 180-degree ring design. Not only are the perches uniquely designed, but there is an internal baffle which disperses seed evenly among the four feeding ports.
The Droll Yankees Sunflower Hanging Tube Bird Feeder may be a little more expensive than other feeders, but it offers a wide variety of features that make it worth it. Made from high-quality polycarbonate materials, this feeder is highly durable and it features a simple-fill twisting base for easy cleaning and filling.
Pros: Durable polycarbonate materials, 4 perches with 180-degree ring design, internal baffle for even seed distribution, twisting base for easy filling and cleaning, holds up to 2 pounds of seed
Cons: No anti-squirrel measures, lid isn’t wide enough to provide cover for perches
#1 Brome 1015 Squirrel Buster Classic Feeder
If you’re tired of losing seed to squirrels, the Brome 1015 Squirrel Buster Classic Feeder may be just the feeder you’re looking for. This feeder is covered with a wire-mesh frame to keep squirrels out and the weight of a squirrel will close access to the seed ports.
This tube-style feeder holds up to 1.4 quarts of seed so you can attract a variety of birds. The Brome 1015 Squirrel Buster Classic Feeder features four feeding perches and it measures 21 inches tall – simply fill it with your choice of seed and enjoy!
Pros: Wire-mesh frame keeps out squirrels, squirrel weight closes seed ports, holds up to 1.4 quarts of seed, easy to fill and clean, durable construction
Cons: Doesn’t appeal to some kinds of birds, very expensive compared to other models
When you think of a bird feeder, what do you picture?
Do you think of a long plastic tube studded with perches or a wide wooden tray scattered with seed? Bird feeders come in all shapes and sizes to attract different birds by accommodating different types of seed. Which one is the best choice for you?
Before you can decide which type of bird feeder to buy, you need to know and understand your options. Keep reading to learn about the different types of bird feeders and to receive some helpful tips for filling, cleaning, and maintaining your bird feeder.
What Are the Different Types of Bird Feeder?
While it may seem like all birds are the same with variations in color and pattern, there are actually many different species of wild bird and they are all unique. Different species have different dietary requirements and feeding styles, so bird feeders are not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.
So, what are the different types of bird feeder? Here are the top choices:
Platform Feeder – Also known as a tray feeder, a platform bird feeder is exactly what it sounds like – a tray used to contain loose seed. The benefit of this type of feeder is that they have plenty of room for multiple birds but there is no protection from squirrels, no drainage (unless it has a wire bottom), and no cover from snow or rain.
Hopper Feeder – Also known as a house feeder, a hopper feeder typically consists of a tray fitted with a hopper you can fill with seed – it spills out the bottom of the hopper into the tray. These feeders are protected against weather, but if the seed gets wet it can harbor bacteria and fungus – they are also very easy for squirrels to access.
Window Feeder – If you want to watch your birds up close and personal, a window feeder is the way to go. These are typically small plastic feeders that adhere to the window with suction cups and they are designed to attract smaller birds like finches and chickadees.
Tube Feeder – This is the type of feeder most people imagine when they think about bird feeders. A tube feeder consists of a long plastic tube filled with seed with a number of perches on it. The size of the perch determines which type of bird can feed there, as does the type of seed. Many tube feeders have measures to keep squirrels away.
Suet Feeder – This type of feeder consists of a wire frame that contains a block of suet and it is designed to attract nuthatches, woodpeckers, chickadees, starlings, and jays. Depending on the design, suet cages may force birds to feed upside down but you can prevent this by mounting it properly.
Nyjer Feeder – Also known as thistle feeders, nyjer feeders are designed to attract finches and siskins and there are two designs – a small tube feeder or a “sock” that contains the thistle. Squirrels usually aren’t a problem with this type of feeder because they don’t generally eat thistle seed.
When considering which type of bird feeder to buy, think about the kind of birds you want to attract and the space you have available for the feeder itself. To help you decide, keep reading to learn more about tips for placing, filling, and cleaning your bird feeder.
Tips for Placing, Filling, and Cleaning Your Bird Feeder
In addition to thinking about what kind of birds you want to attract, you should also consider some of the more practical aspects of keeping a bird feeder such as placement, filling, and cleaning. Here are some simple tips for keeping a bird feeder:
Choose the location of your bird feeder carefully – if you’re using multiple feeders, space them out throughout the yard and place them at different heights to attract different birds.
Keep your bird feeders away from windows (except window feeders) because birds can become startled by the reflection and may fly into the window.
Plan to clean your bird feeder once every two weeks (at the very least) but clean up spilled seed around the feeder at least once a week.
To clean your bird feeder, empty it and scrub with a stiff brush and a mild bleach solution (1/4 cup bleach per 2 gallons of warm water) – make sure you rinse it thoroughly to get rid of all of the bleach residue.
Keep your extra seed stored in a cool, dry location where squirrels and pests can’t get to it – if the seed ever gets wet, discard it because it will start to grow mold.
Don’t top off the bird feeder with new seed – wait until it runs out then clean and refill it to avoid adding fresh seed on top of seed that has gotten damp.
If you have multiple bird feeders, offer different types of seed to attract a variety of birds – you can also try scattering some seed on the ground to attract ground feeding species.
Keeping a bird feeder is almost like keeping a pet because you’re feeding an animal on a regular basis. To keep your wild birds happy and healthy, put the tips above to use.
If you’re having trouble with blackbirds and pigeons hogging the bird feeder, try switching to black-oil sunflower seed or switch to a hopper feeder or tube feeder. These birds typically prefer to feed on the ground or from platform feeders, so making these changes can help eliminate the problem.
In addition to adding some bird feeders to your yard, you should also consider adding a bird bath. Birds need fresh water all year-round for both drinking and bathing, plus it’s another way to attract birds to your yard. Just make sure you keep the bird bath clean and follow the same rules for placement.
Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of bird feeder and how to use them, you’re ready to buy one for yourself! Take what you’ve learned here and use it while you’re shopping. If you still aren’t sure where to start, try one of our top 10 best bird feeders from the review above.
So now that you have a bird feeder it’s time to attract birds to it and start feeding them right? Well here’s a very interesting video tutorial on how to attract birds to your garden.