The 13 Best Bird Feeders of 2023 for Every Garden

Get ready to observe cardinals, finches, hummingbirds, and more.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

The Best Bird Feeders to Add to Your Garden

Real Simple / Alli Waataja

Whether you're a seasoned bird watcher or just looking to invite more wildlife into your yard, a bird feeder is a great way to attract new animals and spruce up your outdoor space.

According to Dick Woods, bird feeder designer and founder of Finches Friend Nature, using the right bird feeder and adopting a regular and effective cleaning routine is a critical aspect in responsibly supporting birds, and avoiding the spread of disease. 

“Bird feeders, bird tables, and other feeding points can easily become a focus for the spread of disease,” says Woods. He explains that choosing a feeder that can keep feed, feet, and feces separate is key to protecting wild birds. “Ensure that birds cannot stand, regurgitate, or defecate in the food or water,” he says. “It is also vital to clean bird feeders regularly.”

Woods suggests that the best type of bird feeder is one that birds can only access with their beaks, and keeps their feet out of the feed. Another important thing for taking care of birds that come to feed in your bird feeder is ensuring they have enough food. Though there are many cute bird feeders available to buy (i.e., the ones that look like little houses), it’s not possible to check the level of seeds from afar. Kate Staab, the Livestock Supervisor at Marsh Farm in Essex, England, says that “a clearly visible food container is best for ensuring there is always enough bird food.”

We researched dozens of bird feeders, evaluating them on size, material, style, function, and ease of cleaning, and found the best options for every outdoor space and need. One important thing to note: Many states have reported an increasing number of avian flu cases. Before setting out bird feeders, birdbaths, or birdhouses, please check with your state’s department of natural resources.

Best Overall Bird Feeder

Best Choice Products 4-Hook Bird Feeder Station

Best Choice Products 4-Hook Bird Feeder Station


Who it’s for: Nature lovers who want a vast array of wild birds visiting their yard.

Who it isn’t for: Anyone who doesn’t want to spend more than an hour a month on bird feeder cleaning and maintenance.

The Best Choice Products 4-Hook Bird Feeder Station is ideal for anyone who is undecided on what type of bird feeder to get since it’s (almost) every kind of bird feeder in one handy unit. It has two hooks to hang the included tube and suet bird feeders, as well as two extra hooks to hang other feeders—like a special one for hummingbirds attracted by coral honeysuckle (not the popular but invasive wisteria) you planted in your yard. It also has two slots for the birdbath or water tray, and an extra mesh bird seed tray, both of which come with the set. It’s also really easy to put together—all you have to do is tighten the wingnuts at each section.

This bird feeder stand has four long prongs at its base that dig deep into the soil to ensure it won’t tip over, and it’s made of rust-resistant steel that can withstand the elements. At 84 inches tall when installed, it’s unreachable by cats from the ground, but squirrels, with their superior climbing abilities, will have no problem getting into it and having a snack. If you’d rather not have squirrels around, you can use the base and hang squirrel-safe feeders on it instead.

Price at time of publish: $35

Type: Pole mounted | Size: 21.25 x 91 inches | Materials: Steel (pole), plastic (water bowl and tube feeder)

Best Budget Bird Feeder

Perky-Pet Copper Panorama Bird feeder


Who it’s for: Budget-conscious bird lovers looking for a durable, squirrel-proof feeder.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a heavy duty bird feeder.

The low price of this best-selling bird feeder is not indicative of its performance. First, it features a cylindrical design and large seed tray that allows birds to feed from all angles. Plus, it's weather-proof and rust-resistant thanks to the glass seed casing and powder-coated finish, and has a "Sure-Lock" cap that keeps squirrels, chipmunks, and other rodents out. The feeder holds up to two pounds of seeds and attracts a variety of birds including titmice and cardinals.

It is designed not to waste seed as it automatically dispenses feed when the tray is empty and stops once it is full. The large clear seed container makes it easy to see when the food has run out, even if you’re far away, and it has a wide mouth for easy refilling. It's available in four different shades including metallic red and blue, though they’re slightly more expensive than this attractive version with an antique copper finish.

Price at time of publish: $22

Type: Hanging | Size: 8 x 8 x 9 inches | Materials: Metal, shatter-resistant plastic

Best Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

Brome Squirrel Buster Legacy Bird Feeder

Brome Squirrel Buster Legacy Bird Feeder


Who it’s for: People who want a heavy duty feeder that keeps squirrels out.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a more budget-friendly bird feeder.

If you're a seasoned bird watcher, you’ll know that nothing can ward off potential visitors quite like squirrels, and apart from having one of these feeders, you can’t do much to keep the little fluffers away. Unfortunately, the very seeds that attract birds also seem to attract other critters too. This tube feeder, however—aptly named the Squirrel Buster—detects when a squirrel is trying to feed (based on its weight) and automatically closes the feeding holes, and it’s made of a chew-proof material in case the squirrel tries to gnaw its way in. You can even customize the spring mechanism depending on if you want larger birds to be able to perch and snack too. 

This bird feeder might be more expensive than other styles but it will save you money in the long run since squirrels will no longer be able to steal the bird feed (which, depending on the type you buy, can be rather expensive). What’s more, the manufacturer will send you any replacement part needed under its warranty (for free, and with free shipping too) making this bird feeder likely to last a very long time. 

Price at time of publish: $65

Type: Hanging | Size: 5.5 x 5.5 x 16 inches | Materials: Metal

Best Tube-Style Bird Feeder

Gray Bunny 4-Port Metal Tube Feeder

Gray Bunny 4-Port Metal Tube Feeder


Who it’s for: People who want a straightforward yet durable and affordable bird feeder.

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning their feeder.

Tube feeders like this one from Gray Bunny are a great inexpensive option for smaller and larger birds alike. The hanging feeder is 15.5 inches tall and made of durable polycarbonate plastic that won’t bend or break and can hold up to six cups of seeds. Its clear design allows you to see in to know when it’s time to replace the seeds to make sure your little winged friends always have enough to peck at. 

The feeder is also weatherproof so it can stand up to the elements, and it’s chew-proof too, so even though squirrels will be able to get to it and grab some food, they won’t be able to destroy it with their teeth. It has four feeding ports, and it disperses the seeds slowly to conserve on feed (and protect birds from overeating in the process). A six-port version is also available but, be prepared to have to replace the seed more regularly with that one. 

Price at time of publish: $25

Type: Hanging, tube | Size: 15 x 5 x 5 inches | Materials: Metal, plastic

Best Hopper Bird Feeder

Nature's Way Cedar Hopper with Suet

Nature's Way Cedar Hopper with Suet


Who it’s for: People who want to keep insects away from the bird food.

Who it isn’t for: People who want to deter squirrels.

For a cross between a traditional birdhouse-style feeder and a modern and safer hanging model, opt for the Nature’s Way cedar hopper. This cute little house is made from premium cedar wood that is completely rot- and corrosion-resistant, but the best thing about it is that it is insect-repelling. Cedarwood produces allelochemicals which act as a natural repellent against some species of insect. 

This house bird feeder has a mesh tray that allows for aeration and water drainage, so the bird feed is always fresh. The cedar prevents rot, excess water, and mold, is fade-resistant, and comes with rust-free stainless steel hardware to last you longer than just one season. It's also designed to provide space for both large birds and smaller birds. Plus, the suet block can be moved from the bottom to the side for more versatility. It isn’t squirrel-proof, however.

Price at time of publish: $42

Type: Hanging, hopper | Size: 7.5 x 9.25 inches | Materials: Cedarwood

Best Bird Feeder for Hummingbirds

Perky-Pet Hobnail Vintage Glass Hummingbird Feeder

Perky-Pet Hobnail Vintage Glass Hummingbird Feeder


Who it’s for: People who are not likely to remember to buy bird seeds and people who don’t want to deal with seed mess clean-up.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a variety of birds to visit.

Featuring a unique style, this elegant glass nectar feeder will add a touch of color to your patio and attract plenty of gorgeous hummingbirds. Hummingbirds don’t eat birdseed, so they’re one of the most economical birds to take care of. Though you can buy hummingbird nectar, all you have to do to make it is create a mixture of sugar and water at a 1:4 ratio, bring it to a boil, and put it in the feeder once it’s cooled down. 

It has a wide opening so you can effortlessly pour in up to 16 ounces of nectar with a jug, and it’s easy to take apart and clean. This particular hummingbird feeder doesn’t come with mounting hardware or a pole, so you’d have to buy those separately unless you own some already. You can hang it from a tree, an overhead gutter, or awning, on a deck using an extendable arm, or anywhere else you’d hang a regular bird feeder, preferably with 10–15 feet of clearance to be safe from cats and other predators. 

Price at time of publish: $23

Type: Hanging | Size: 8.63 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches | Materials: Glass, metal

Best Bird Feeder for Small Birds

Woodlink Caged 6-Port Seed Tube Feeder

Woodlink Caged 6-Port Seed Tube Feeder


Who it’s for: People who don’t mind spending a bit more for a good, squirrel-proof bird feeder that is built to last.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a less obtrusive bird feeder.

The innovative design of this bird feeder makes it only suitable for feeding small or slender birds like finches, sparrows, chickadees, and woodpeckers. The protective cage that surrounds the tube feeder has small holes that are 1.5 inches big so only little birds can fit through—crows, starlings, pigeons, and squirrels stand no chance. Though it’s a bit on the pricier side, this feeder is made from a sturdy die-cast steel that squirrels won’t be able to chew through to reach the birdseed (this won’t stop them from trying, however).

The cage is designed to keep little birds safe from predators when eating from the six feeding ports, and there is more than enough space for many little birds to move around. The unit comes fully assembled so all you have to do is hang it up and fill it with seeds via the easy slide-up lid. It’s equally easy to clean, as the base simply pops out and the bottom is made of mesh so that seed husks can fall through and won’t gather around the base. 

Price at time of publish: $72

Type: Hanging | Size: 11 x 11 x 16.5 inches | Materials: Metal, plastic

Best Wooden Bird Feeder

Solution4Patio Cedar Gazebo Bird Feeder

Solution4Patio Cedar Gazebo Bird Feeder


Who it’s for: People who want an affordable and pretty bird feeder that’s easy to fill.

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t have an appropriate place to hang it from.

This pretty hexagonal bird feeder has see-through plastic window paneling all the way around so you can clearly see when it’s full, or when the birds have been having a field day and it’s time for a refill. There’s a ledge all around that the birds can perch on while they eat, keeping their feet safely out of the feed while they peck away. It’s made from Eastern red cedar wood that’s weather-resistant, and has a traditional yet pretty minimal design that will look nice in any type of garden.

The bottom of the feeder is a hollow, powder-coated mesh tray that allows proper drainage and keeps the seeds fresh. Plus, the gazebo has a roof with a slight overhang to ensure that the feed is kept dry in the rain and free from mold. To fill, simply remove the roof and pour the bird food in—it’s as easy as that. It’s also easy to clean, since the opening is large enough to get your hand and a sponge in, but you can also run it under a faucet. It comes with a steel cord, but you’ll need to have somewhere suitable to hang it as it doesn’t come with a pole or wall bracket. There’s also a three-year warranty.

Price at time of publish: $30

Type: Hanging | Size: 9 x 5 x 3 inches | Materials: Cedar wood

Best Large Bird Feeder

Woodlink Absolute Squirrel-Resistant Bird Feeder

Woodlink Absolute Squirrel-Resistant Bird Feeder

Tractor Supply

Who it’s for: People who get a lot of birds in their yard and want to welcome them all. 

Who it isn’t for: People who would rather not have a plethoric avian commotion in their garden.

The Woodlink Absolute Bird Feeder is a large model that looks like something you’d find at a zoo. It’s made for hardcore birdwatching fans and can attract lots of birds of all different varieties. It can hold a whopping 15 pounds of bird feed at once, and is totally squirrel-resistant so you won’t have to worry about refilling often, or bird feed going to waste. It’s super easy to fill via the removable and lockable top, and it comes with a metal hanger, a five-foot pole, and all the mounting hardware needed so you can set it up straight out of the box.

The bird feeder is made from a durable and rugged, weather-resistant powder-coated alloy steel and has a zinc-plated steel hanger, as well as a black powder-coated pole. When squirrels inevitably come along to check out the grub, the access ports are closed so they are unable to get to any of the seeds. The model is chew-resistant too, so disappointed squirrels won’t be able to get their gnashers through it. There’s also a seed level indicator window to let you know when it’s time to top up. 

Price at time of publish: $80

Type: Hanging | Size: 13.5 x 16 x 11.25 inches | Materials: Alloy steel

Best Stylish Bird Feeder

Umbra Café Bird House

Umbra Cafe Bird House


Who it’s for: People who want a highly stylish bird feeder with a Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic.

Who it isn’t for: People who are fans of more traditional looking bird feeders.

This highly stylish bird feeder from Umbra will look wonderful on the balcony or patio of a minimalist space. With its light gray color, asymmetrical windows, and modern architectural vibe, it kind of looks like a mini version of one of those lavish abodes you’ll find on The World's Most Extraordinary Homes

In terms of features, this feeder has a wrap-around tray so that birds can feast from all angles, and the lid opens so you can easily pour feed in when it’s running low. The roof overhangs to keep the food dry in wet weather, and it’s slightly tilted so rain will just roll off. The see-through windows let you know when it’s time to refill. It comes with a strong steel cable for you to hang it up, but you’ll have to purchase the pole, hanging hardware, or mounting bracket separately. It only weighs two pounds and can hold a pound of bird feed, so it’s easy to carry if you need to clean it (even if it’s full), which you can simply do with a damp cloth. It also comes with a five-year manufacturer’s warranty. 

Price at time of publish: $40

Type: Hanging | Size: 9 x 9 x 8.46 inches | Materials: Alloy steel and plastic

Best Bird Feeder with Stand

Charlton Home Adila 3-in-1 Birdbath

Charlton Home Adila 3-in-1 Birdbath


Who it’s for: People with no suitable place to hang a bird feeder.

Who it isn’t for: People who want to deter squirrels passing through or people who own cats.

This beautiful and traditional-style three-in-one bird feeder, birdbath, and planter is perhaps the easiest type of bird feeder around—just place it in the garden, fill it regularly with food and water, and enjoy watching the birds come dine and bathe. At 20 inches, the birdbath’s rim is big enough to hold many birds at once, and though it looks like cast iron metal due to its rustic metallic antique gold paint job, it’s actually made of a hard and durable resin that is totally weather-proof. Plus, the natural hue blends into natural surroundings and goes with just about any outdoor space color scheme. 

While it might not be heavy enough to withstand extremely windy areas, it comes with three ground stakes, and you can fill the base with stones and pebbles, or even plant some flowers in it to keep it stable and stylish. Burying the base slightly in the soil is also recommended for extra security. This unit is easy to assemble, but it doesn’t have an easy refill top, so if you don’t want to have to clear away bird seed husks you can buy shelled seeds instead. Just remember to put out only a day or two’s worth of shelled seeds at a time so that the birds won’t have to fight insects off for a morsel. 

Price at time of publish: $69

Type: Bowl and stand | Size: 44.5 x 20 x 20 inches | Materials: Resin

Best Bird Feeder for Windows

Go Simply Amazing Window Bird Feeder

Go Simply Amazing Window Bird Feeder


Who it’s for: People who live in apartments or people who want to watch birds up close.

Who it isn’t for: People who have windows with shutters (or anyone who would like to be able to close those shutters).

A sure-fire way to bring a smile to any bird lover's face, this clear bird feeder made from a heavy-duty and sturdy acrylic material is the perfect option for anyone who loves the idea of observing wild birds up close and personal. The material won’t go yellow from the sun over time, and it’s easy to clean. This window feeder comes with strong suction cups that keep the feeder securely adhered to your window all year round.

When stuck to the window, the feeder is semi-enclosed so that the seeds are kept dry and protected, and they won’t fly away in the wind either. It also features a deep tray feeder that can hold up to four cups of seeds, built-in drainage to keep seeds dry after a rainstorm, and a sliding tray that can be removed to dry or refill as needed. It's also quite a large feeder, so it can fit several birds at once. It might take a while for the birds to find it since it’s clear and located right on the house, but they’ll be sure to keep coming back for more once they do.

Price at time of publish: $35

Type: Window | Size: 12 x 3.95 x 5 inches | Materials: Acrylic

Best Bird Feeder With Camera

Netvue Birdfy Feeder AI

Netvue Birdfy Feeder AI


Who it’s for: People who would love to see and capture live footage of bird action for a personal National Geographic-worthy experience in their very own yard.

Who it isn’t for: People who aren’t tech savvy or who don’t want to spend so much on a bird feeder.

This innovative model is a bird watcher’s dream feeder. The Netvue Birdfy AI bird feeder can capture all the avian action in your garden thanks to the built-in 1080P high resolution camera, which can deliver the footage directly to your phone or smart device. There’s even color night vision to secure footage of those night visitors that are very hard to see even with more high-tech bird-watching binoculars. With enough capacity for 1.5 liters of bird food (which is released slowly as the birds nibble at it), you won’t have to refill it too often either. 

With the help of the compatible app and the camera’s advanced AI technology, you’ll be able to recognize more than 6,000 bird species and types. What’s more, you can monitor the bird feeder’s action and deter unwanted visitors like squirrels by activating the built-in flashlight or siren, and you can even shoo them away with your voice as there’s a microphone, too. Netvue offers a subscription service so you can store your bird movies on the cloud, but you can also add your own SD card. 

Price at time of publish: $250

Type: Hopper | Size: 10.2 x 9.6 x 11.2 inches | Materials: Plastic

Final Verdict

For nature lovers who want a versatile bird feeder, the Best Choice Products 4-Hook Bird Feeder Station is our recommendation. It comes with a tube feeder, a suet feeder, a seed tray, and a water tray that doubles up as a bird bath, plus it comes with all the hardware needed to set it up. It has a durable build and a reasonable price point, and it has two extra hooks so you can add more bird feeders down the line as well.

How to Shop for Bird Feeders Like a Pro

Bird Species

If you want to attract a certain type of bird into your garden, you should opt for the best type of bird feeder for that particular species. For example, sparrows and finches love tube and hopper feeders, whereas birds like starlings, nuthatches, and woodpeckers are attracted to suet feeders. If you opt for a ground bird feeder, you can expect blue jays, cardinals, and grosbeaks. For hummingbirds, however, specially designed nectar feeders are necessary for them to be able to access the feed (not seeds, only nectar).


There are several types of bird feeders which can be made from various different materials. “They are available in plastic (most of which can’t be recycled), zinc, or with aluminum-based metal casings,” says Dick Woods, bird feeder designer and founder of Finches Friend Nature. “The latter are less prone to squirrel damage, but also usually can’t be recycled.” For ease of cleaning, Woods suggests choosing a material that is non-porous with a smooth surface. The main types of bird feeder available are platform, tube, and hopper-style models.

Platform: A platform or tray feeder is a hanging style that features a hanging tray for birds to rest on. This type attracts the largest variety of birds, but is also the least protectant against the elements, squirrels, and chipmunks. This type of feeder will also need to be cleaned frequently, even if it has a mesh bottom for rain drainage. A feeder like this is probably best for dry, warm climates, and, according to Woods, should be cleaned regularly. “If a bird can stand in a feeder or water source, then it will spread disease,” he tells us. “It should not be possible for the birds to access the food with anything except their beak.”

Tube: This is a great type of feeder for attracting lots of smaller birds, like sparrows or chickadees. It's also weather-proof (and mostly critter-proof) since the seeds are completely housed behind a glass or shatterproof plastic tube. Because the seeds are stacked on top of each other, be sure to clean the feeder often, as the bottom layer can be prone to bacteria and mold.

Hopper: Also known as a "house" bird feeder, a hopper feeder holds the seeds inside a house-shaped receptacle, allowing birds to perch on the sides to feed. Like the tube bird feeder, this type will need to be cleaned frequently to resist mold and seed damage. Some hopper feeders also feature a suet, which is a mesh bottom that birds hang upside down from to feed on.

Mounting Style

Hanging: To hang your bird feeder from trees or decks, you’ll need to attach a bracket or a pole with mounting hardware such as railing clamp mounts, screw mounts, or baluster mounts.

Stand: These are freestanding styles that usually house the bird feeder on top of a stand with a heavy base that will ensure the feeder doesn’t tip over or get blown away in the wind.

Window: These feeders attach to a window via strong suction pads or adhesive stickers. The glass needs to be thoroughly clean and dry before affixing the feeder to ensure it will stick and stay put.

Floor/table: These feeders are simple trays that allow the birds to stand in it and feast. According to Woods, these feeders should be avoided. “Birds don’t wash their feet,” he says. “Sick birds sitting directly on bird seed are more likely to contaminate it. Stick with a perch feeder wherever possible.”

Food Type

There are different types of bird food specific to each bird species, depending on what type of bird you want to attract to your garden. In addition, some birds even like a bit of salad, like grated carrot. However, not all birds are able to eat this, so Kate Staab, the Livestock Supervisor at Marsh Farm, advises sticking to a general bird mix that is suitable for all birds. Black oil sunflower seed is widely considered the best type of feed for all birds, and it attracts the widest variety as well. This seed has a very thin shell so it’s easy for nearly all birds to open.

If you’d rather not have to clean up seed husks, you can opt for shelled seeds, although these are more expensive and will attract insects and squirrels too. They also spoil much quicker than the in-the-shell variety, so you’ll only want to put out a day or two’s worth of feed at a time. For hummingbirds, you’ll have to buy nectar, but a more affordable option is making some yourself by mixing a 1:4 ratio of refined white sugar and water (i.e., quarter-cup sugar in 1-cup water), bringing the solution to a boil, and letting it cool before filling your hummingbird feeder.

Keeping bird feed dry, Woods tells us, is imperative for safety. “Bird seed that is exposed to rain and becomes wet is a more suitable environment for disease transmission,” he says. “The food must remain dry and free of mold whilst in the feeder.”

Water is another important thing you might want to offer your little winged visitors. “Provide clean drinking water every day, and wash it properly weekly,” says Woods. “Dirty water can stand stagnant for weeks or months, making disease transmission an inevitable consequence. If you use a bird bath, avoid clay, cement or corroded iron as they are not ideal and can contaminate the water.”

Questions You Might Ask

How do you clean a bird feeder?

“Cleaning the husks out of the bird feeder every one or two days is important so that you can also check the food level and that ants or other insects haven’t taken it over,” says Staab. In addition to briefly checking the feeder regularly throughout the week, Staab advises a thorough clean every two weeks. 

“You’ll want to tip all the feed out and replace it with fresh feed,” she says. Veterinary disinfectants are available to buy that can kill off bugs and germs, but you must ensure that they are bird-safe. At her farm, Staab cleans out the aviary bird feeders every 1-2 weeks with an animal-friendly spray and wipes them down with a sponge.

Woods agrees that choosing a bird feeder that is quick and easy to clean is important. “If it is difficult to do so, then you most likely won’t clean it frequently enough,” he says. He also provided us with a helpful step-by-step bird feeder cleaning routine:

  1. Wear gloves and avoid touching your face while cleaning.
  2. Remove or empty old bird feed and water.
  3. Take the feeder apart before scrubbing with hot soapy water and a brush. 
  4. Ensure all food and droppings are removed.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with cold water to leave no trace, and allow it to dry.
  6. Treat with a non-toxic disinfectant or weak bleach solution.
  7. Rinse again and dry before refilling.
  8. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. 

It’s also good practice to clean the areas surrounding and below your feeders and tables. “Be sure to remove any wet, soiled, or spoiled food and droppings from these spaces,” says Woods.

How do birds find bird feeders?

“Birds are nosy little things,” Staab tells us. “They tend to sit in trees and look around or venture off and see what they can find.” Since they don’t have a strong sense of smell, birds rely on their sight to find food, so a bird feeder with clearly visible feed is necessary. “As soon as they find a bird feeder that they enjoy and that they can get adequate food from, they will remember where it is and keep going back to the same one,” says Staab.

How do you keep ants out of bird feeders?

“Unless you have a hanging bird feeder, you’ll not only get ants, but also slugs and other insects,” Staab says. “Ground feeders and ones with stands are quite hard to manage in this aspect.” In fact, ants are so crafty, they can often find their way to a hanging bird feeder, so you’ll need to opt for different tactics like purchasing an ant moat or hanging the feeder on a fishing line which can be difficult and rather slippery for ants to get across. 

The best way to deter ants from your bird feeder is to use a light insecticide called Permethrin. It isn’t harmful to birds or other animals and doesn’t actually kill the ants, but puts them off going in the direction of the insecticide. Bay leaves and mint leaves are also known to be natural ant deterrents, as are cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and vinegar. “Keeping the bird feeder clean, as well as the area around and under it, will greatly contribute to keeping ants and other insects away,” Staab advises.

Where should you hang a bird feeder?

“Hanging a bird feeder in a tree from a branch is the best place for it as it’s more in line with the birds’ natural environment, is a little hidden away, and will make them feel safe from predators,” says Staab. A squirrel-safe feeder is important if you plan to hang it from a tree, as your feeder will be easily accessible to the furry little rodents. If you don’t have a tree in your garden, you can hang it from anywhere sturdy, but try to avoid open or noisy areas that could make the birds feel unsafe. You also want to make sure that the bird feeder is out of the reach of cats.

Woods confirms that placing your bird feeder, where possible, in an elevated position is best to avoid contamination. “Feed on the ground quickly becomes stale and encourages unwanted guests,” he says. In addition, he adds that providing several feeding stations can help reduce the number of birds in any one spot. “It’s also a good idea to rotate the position of feeders to minimize droppings and food waste in areas underneath them,” advises Woods. “Doing this should help to create a safer garden for our feathered friends.”

What color is best for a bird feeder?

When it comes to choosing the color of your bird feeder, it’s simply a matter of your personal preference. “Colors are for humans, the birds don’t care!” says Woods. “Only a significant clear panel is important so that they can see the food.” On the other hand, colors that blend in easily with the feeder’s surroundings (like green or brown), could help deter predators since they’re less visible.

What type of bird feeder attracts the most birds?

“Wild birds are creatures of habit and will feed from most feeders once they establish a food source from a given area that they think is safe,” says Woods. “It can take a long time, even up to a year to attract birds to a garden they are not used to, but this can vary enormously. Patience is key.”

No matter what type of bird feeder you opt for, Woods stresses that the most important thing to remember is safety. “The food inside it should always be kept dry to ensure that mold spores cannot access the main body of food,” he says. “Disease loves damp food and it can spread easily. Almost one in eight of our garden birds carry some kind of disease, so keeping the food dry can help to limit this.”

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Kat de Naoum, who has over 10 years of commerce-writing experience. Kat is also the Commerce Editor-at-Large at Thomas-Xometry, the leading US online platform for supplier discovery and product sourcing. For this article, Kat reviewed multiple bird feeders, and researched and considered factors such as each bird feeder’s size, material, style, and ease of cleaning. She also spoke to Kate Staab, the Livestock Supervisor at Marsh Farm in Essex, England, and Dick Woods, bird feeder designer, engineer with over 40 years of experience in product design and manufacture, and founder of Finches Friend Nature.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles