Finding the best bird feeder allows you to gaze at the beauty of a variety of birds right from the comfort of your own garden. Bird watching offers a myriad of benefits.
You can educate yourself on different species, take stunning photos, and you’re offering birds a food supply when their natural resources have been destroyed or are scarce.
There are an incredible variety of feeders for birds on the market. From hopper feeders to suet baskets, each one offers a different feeding experience for different kinds of birds. You can find wooden ones, plastic tubes, or metal cages, and you can attract different species depending on your choice.
Whether it’s hanging, attached to a pole, or a feeder suctioned to a window, your choice largely depends on your garden and your overall preference.
Deciding whether you need a squirrel-proof design or a particular refill method, for peanut bird feeders for example, will be some of the factors we will cover today.
We’ve created this top 10 list of the best bird feeders featuring a wide range to choose from. Let’s jump right in.
10 Best Birdfeeders to Attract Birds
1. Cedar Bird Feeder Gazebo
First up is this gorgeous cedar wood gazebo bird feeder from BCH Woodcrafters. It’s a large sized model that can fit quite a few birds inside at once. Since it’s constructed just like a real gazebo, the windows offer some protection as it isn’t completely open or exposed.
The central cylinder is easily accessible from the top. Simply lift the lid off and fill with your chosen feed. A particular highlight for us is that you can completely remove this tube to create a flat platform.
We also like that you have the option to mount it, just like you would a birdhouse, where the base can be screwed onto a 4 x 4 post. If you just want to hang it regularly, it comes with all the necessary equipment to hang it on a wire cable.
Stained with cetol to preserve the wood, you can customize it by painting over it with an oil-based paint. Holding around 1.8kg of seeds, you won’t need to fill it up as often.
- Handcrafted Solid Western Red Cedar Wood
- 81kg Seed Capacity with Hexagon Shape
- Mountable with Pre-Drilled Holes
2. Amazon Basics Outside Hummingbird Feeder
Next is a hummingbird feeder with an eye-catching red exterior with bright yellow flowers. The flowers have holes in the center which allow the birds to use their long tongues to reach the nectar. This mesmerizing design will help to attract these tiny birds. The 453g capacity allows quite a bit of feeding before needing to refill.
Constructed with plastic and steel parts, it’s quite a durable design that is made to withstand rough outdoor elements. It’s also rather easy to clean – simply remove the lid and you can reach each crevice and corner effortlessly. Easily refilled, and can be done alone with your own homemade hummingbird nectar recipe, or simply buy the pre-made stuff online or a at a local pet store.
We like the saucer or dish shape as it is completely straightforward and allows up to 6 birds at one time. Leaks are prevented through the sturdy snap-on and off design, which provides a tight seal.
Note: It is not even possible to utilize these in the winter with the help of a hummingbird feeder heater, you can learn more about this on our dedicated article.
- 6 Separate Feeding Stations
- Eye-Catching Design Attracts Hummingbirds
- Hanging Design with Durable Plastic Shell
3. Brome 1015 Squirrel Buster Classic
Designed as a squirrel-proof feeder, this caged tube feeder surrounded by a metal enclosure can resist chewing or breakage. We love the smart construction of this model, as it doesn’t harm the squirrels in order to protect the food.
Openings in the outer wire cage align with the inner seed ports, allowing access to the feed. When a squirrel jumps on top, it forces the inner ports to close, barricading the precious seeds.
Perches can be found scattered around the outside, allowing perching birds to easily feed. However, the wire shroud also acts as a good gripping surface for clinging birds, like woodpeckers.
If you don’t want larger species to feed, you can easily remove the perches. To avoid any mold or bacteria from forming, the seed ventilation system allows hot air to escape from the vents at the top. Another promising feature is the UV resistant element, which prevent the colors from fading.
Note: If you have a fondness for Squirrels, consider the opposite. As opposed to protecting the food from them, you can try an actual squirrel feeder, and openly feed them.
- Squirrel-Proof Tube Design
- Adjustable to Prevent Large Birds Feeding
- Ventilation System Prevents Humidity Build-Up
4. Perky Pet Birdscapes Mountain Chapel Feeder
Next up is another wooden bird feeder, this time with a more traditional chapel-style design. We’ve chosen this model to suit those looking for something a little more robust, plus it’s completely handmade, which we love.
The overall construction is quite heavy, so you could even leave it sitting on your deck railing unattached, but we recommend doing so only in light winds. This one is also a hopper type with an exposed bottom platform. You can fit a variety of different bird food inside which is great for attracting and feeding more wild birds in your yard.
The glass can actually be adjusted through raising it up and down, allowing more or fewer seeds to spill out the bottom at one time. Birds can perch on the edges comfortably and lean it to forage. It’s intended to be hung, but it is possible to mount it to a pole if that’s your preference.
One of the biggest highlights for us is the gorgeous leaf pattern engraved on the Plexiglass. Not only is it durable, but the entire model is also treated for weathering. This will help to reduce any molding or overall wear-and-tear that can easily occur when left outdoors.
- Holds 3.6lbs of Seed
- Stunning Chapel Design with Leaf-Engraved Transparent Windows
- Strong Plexiglass & Durable Wood
5. Brome 1016 Squirrel Buster Finch Feeder
While similar to the previous Brome model, this one is ideal for feeding finches, like the American goldfinch, purple finch, and pine siskin. Equipped with a weight-sensitive design, squirrels will trigger the closing mechanism that shuts the port entrances to the feed. It is also chew-proof, thanks to the robust metal shroud that surrounds the clear plastic seed cylinder.
Finches can easily cling to the sides of the feeder, feasting from all angles. They also have the option to perch though, with multiple resting stations around the bottom, much like a heated birdbath in the winter time. The top green metal cap blends in nicely with the surrounding environment, plus it protects from excess moisture.
Another ingenious design choice with this cap is it’s “negative grip” – it’s constructed so that squirrels slip off, rather than latching onto the wire to reach the feed with their paws.
The ventilation system is highly convenient for preventing a build-up of humidity. Hot air is able to escape from the top, while fresh air can enter through each port. This keeps thistle seeds fresh for longer, attracting more birds at a time. Filling and cleaning it is a breeze, as you can remove the inner plastic tube.
- 100% Chew-Proof, Waterproof, Rustproof & UV-Resistant
- Seed Ventilation System Prevents Bacteria Forming
- Large Capacity 950g of Bird Seed
6. Wild Birds of Joy Bird Feeder
This is a window bird feeder that suctions to glass. We love this design because it lets you watch the birds right from the other side of your own window, letting you get up close and personal with nature. It’s shaped like a hopper model, allowing you to put a large amount of seeds in all at once on a flat surface.
We think this is an ideal option for those who don’t have a lot of garden space for a whole pole or hanging set up. The suction cups are strong and weather resistant, plus the entire construction is a heavy-duty acrylic which prevents cracks.
Even though the feed is covered in the tray by the top roof, bottom drainage holes allow the feed to dry in especially wet conditions. At 6” long and 5.75” tall, it’s large enough for all kinds of species, including blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, goldfinches, woodpeckers, and more.
- Transparent Durable Acrylic Suctions to Window
- Depp-Tray Design for Large Feed Capacity
- 4 Drainage Holes Prevent Sprouting Seeds
7. Perky Pet 10” Sunflower Seed Feeder
While the title states this is ideal for sunflower seeds, this is in fact a classic peanut bird feeder as well. It’s specifically designed to fit peanuts when compared to generic feeders. It has special sized holes that allow birds to grasp the nuts with ease.
Holding up to 570g of seeds or nuts, an all-metal design makes this heavy-duty and squirrel resistant – they can’t readily cling onto the holes or chew threw the robust metal.
It looks and feels very sturdy with a large D-ring attachment at the top to hang. The dome top cap is also completely metal. It’s simple to remove to refill with feed, but locks back on tightly to prevent squirrels or strong winds from removing it. This company also make a smaller platform brand that is ideal for use inside the home, with birdcages or other smaller pets for example.
Clinging birds can effortlessly latch to the holes with their claws, meaning they can feed from all angles. Just some of the birds that would love this model include woodpeckers, chickadees, and cardinals.
- 360° Perforations Allows More Birds
- Squirrel-Proof All-Metal Design
- Holds 570g of Feed
8. Stokes Select Squirrel-Proof Double Bird Feeder
Next is a suet feeder, which is constructed to hold a suet cake within its wire enclosure. It’s perfect for clingers like chickadees, woodpeckers, and nuthatches. Seeing as suet designs are typically easily accessible for pesky squirrels, we appreciate that this has an outer guard for protection. Birds can either peck through the outer area, or go inside for protection.
The entire cage is open, allowing plenty of air to filtrate through to keep the feed fresh. A 4-port design provides lots of room for birds to enter, with an opening mechanism that is designed to deter squirrels. This mechanism may be tough for squirrels, but you can easily open it to refill or clean.
As well as the large outer cage guard, the clean metal roof keeps suet or seed cakes dry when it’s raining or snowing. Another thoughtful element of the roof is its earthy brown color, which attracts many different bird varieties. We appreciate the clear see-through design, as it’s much easier to note the seed level to know when to change it.
- Weather-Resistant Powder Coated Metal
- Squirrel-Proof Enclosure
- Metal Roof Keeps 2 Suet Cakes Dry
9. Nature Products Birds Choice Oriole-Fest Feeder
This is an oriole feeder, which is configured to feed orioles who love fresh fruit. With an attached hook for hanging, this features 3 different ways to feed these vibrant colored birds. As well as orioles, this also interests catbirds, flickers, woodpeckers, cactus wrens, and hummingbirds.
First is the lower nectar dish, which holds up to 340g. It’s securely covered by the lid, and you’ve got removable guards to deter bees. Next are the 4 jelly trays, which are easily refillable with jelly, fruit suet pellets, or mealworms. Lastly, you can slide half an orange over the hook.
The overall design is straightforward and attractive for orioles. The lid is a bright orange shade, and there are 4 loops that protrude from the lid for them to comfortably perch on. 2 suction cups are also included in case you don’t have anywhere to hang it on.
When it’s time to clean, just pop it in the dishwasher. Other standout features include that it’s UV repellent and freeze proof, so you can leave it outside in the scorching sun or in freezing temperatures.
- Holds 340g of Nectar & Dishwasher Safe
- 4 Nectar Feeding Ports, 4 Jelly Trays, Room for 1 Orange Half
- Bee/Ant Guards Included
10. Balacoo 2 Piece Bird Feeder
Last up is this cardinal bird feeder from Balacoo. It comes with 2 interchangeable pieces, both cylindrical shaped. One is a cage style, and the other is a regular plastic pipe. There is a perching pole located at the bottom, which sticks through the center of both pieces to create a comfortable spot on either side.
With the cage piece on, clinging birds can also use it to grip while feeding to access the food from all angles. The plastic version has 2 little doors at the bottom, allowing 2 birds to feed at the same time. We like the subtle green color of the lid, as it merges well with nature.
The top handle has a lantern-like shape to it, which makes it easy to hang on different surfaces. We love how easy it is to clean and replenish, as the top lid simply flips right off using the easy-grab top handle. Both the plastic and the caged versions are highly stable to withstand the elements.
- Choose from Wire Cage or Plastic Tube
- Easy to Refill & Clean
- Large 9.45” Length and 3.15” Feed Section
How to Choose a Bird Feeder
Before choosing a particular feeder, research what kind of birds are in your area, and which ones you’d like to see. Winter and early on in the spring are important times for feeding, as this is when natural food sources are scarce. Also, feeding them during this time can help with raising their chicks. So, let’s get into each kind of feeder to help you decide exactly which one you’d choose.
These are typically tubular in shape, and transparent made from plastic or with a metal cage. The caged ones are easier for clinging birds to feed from, but both will usually always have perching posts to easily access the seeds. Designed for seed mixes as well as sunflower seeds, they will generally attract siskins, greenfinches, and tits.
One of the biggest benefits for us is that we can easily see how many seeds are inside at one time. This way, we can gage when we need to refill. For the birds to actually access the seeds, you’ll either have small ports, or they can grab the feed right out of the holes if it’s a caged version. Some have double protection to deter squirrels, but they are usually too difficult for squirrels to reach anyway, as the access points are too small.
Similar to seed versions, these are specifically designed to fit peanuts or sunflower seeds. Made from steel mesh, they are the only safe way to feed these nuts to birds. The steel mesh must be large enough to avoid any damage to beaks, but also small enough to stop large bits of nut from being eaten. 6mm is generally a safe range.
This is why rigid feeders should be used, as it helps prevent big pieces from coming through which can cause choking. Peanuts can have aflatoxin fungus, which is deadly, so it’s crucial that you purchase peanuts from reputable vendors.
Perfect for larger birds, these are designed like trays with a flat, broad surface. Cereal based seed mixes are generally preferred, but you can essentially use any type of mix. You can find them in different designs, but the most common feature a flat tray with a little roof on top.
One of the most important things to remember with these is that the feed can easily get wet, as there isn’t much coverage. This can cause seeds to sprout, or a build-up of bacteria which is a big risk to the health of the birds. Choose one with drainage holes or pipes at the bottom to prevent this problem.
Nyjer Seed Feeders
Also known as thistle feeders, these are often used to feed finches, like the goldfinch or siskin. Built with a type of netting, the birds can easily reach through and pull out seeds without everything scattering or falling to the ground. A particular advantage of this type is that squirrels aren’t huge fans because the netting is just too small.
Home-made models are certainly a viable option that you can easily do at home. You could use a half-filled coconut filled with seed cake and hang it by rope. Another great idea is to use some pop bottles (cleaned out of course), where you can hang them upside-down and let the seed pour out naturally – we’ve even seen an attachment that connects to the mouth of the bottle which allows the birds to perch. Hang your DIY creation from a tree branch, bird table, or wall bracket.
7 Top Tips for Your Bird Feeders
- Clean, clean, clean! It’s incredibly important to ensure the feeder is clean. Ensuring that bacteria can’t accumulate will help prevent the spread of disease, and generally keep the birds healthy.
- Another element of cleaning involves the surrounding area. Feed may fall on the ground or next to the feeder, so make sure you clean it up to avoid rotting which can attract vermin.
- Replenish any holes or cracked areas with fatty feed, such as suet cakes. This will attract more sprightly birds, like nuthatches, woodpeckers, and tits.
- Sparrows, doves, and thrushes like to feed on the ground, so if you’re using a hopper feeder on the ground, ensure to position it away from covers. This will deter prowling predators, like cats.
- If you’re scattering food along the ground, like apples, make sure that each piece is placed at a fair distance from each other. This helps to reduce any competition that can occur between the birds, allowing them to eat in peace at any time.
- Make sure that food is always available to the birds. Choose a transparent feeder if you want to easily see when it’s time to refill.
- Don’t forget about water! Water is just as important for a healthy bird. Installing a bird bath close to the feeder is a great way to attract more birds and keep them feeding for longer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Bird Feeders a Bad Idea?
They may attract a few unwanted visitors, but if installed properly and the right precautions are taken, they are a wonderful idea. If you keep it up high (unless you’re attracting ground feeders, then follow our top tips section above), cleaned to prevent rotting and poisoning, and full of fresh feed, then you can enjoy years of bird watching. If you choose to install one, then remember that it becomes your responsibility to keep the birds healthy and safe.
Which Feeders Attract the Most Birds?
This greatly depends on the type of bird. Some are ground feeders, while others prefer feeding up high and secure from certain predators. Special coloured feeding stations will attract hummingbirds or orioles. Flat tray models will probably attract the most birds at once, but they are more easily accessible to squirrels and other mammals.
One of the best tips when using any feeder is to mix the food source to include a variety of nutritional seeds, as this will give you the best chance of enticing a wider variety.
How Often Should I Refill my Bird Feeder?
There is no set rule on how many times you should refill. It all depends on how often birds come to visit and feed, which is also dependant on the season. Other factors include:
- The size of the feeder
- The safety of your backyard or area where you’ve installed it
- Type of feed
- Noises or disruptions
- Spillage that can waste the feed at a quicker rate
During nesting seasons, you may have to refill several times a day, while other times you may only need to do so once a week or month. It could take a week to empty, or just a few hours. Check it frequently and avoid leaving any spoiled sustenance inside.
How Often Should I Clean my Bird Feeder?
In addition to the potential of rotting feed, another big factor that warrants cleaning is the build-up of droppings. Droppings can transmit diseases, increasing the risk of infection. We suggest cleaning it each time you refill it, but we also have some important tips to follow:
- If the feed gets wet, clean it as soon as possible. Leaving anything wet or sticky leads to bacteria and toxicity.
- Take note of how long it takes for the feed to empty. If it takes a long amount of time, and there aren’t many birds feeding at that particular time, then decrease the amount you are giving.
- If you’re using one on the ground, make sure you clean everywhere, including the surrounding area, before night-time. This stops rats or other vermin from feeding and potentially carry diseases.
- If it’s not dishwasher safe, clean it with a solution of around 5% disinfectant, like 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Always rinse and dry it thoroughly before filling.
- Bird baths or water containers must be rinsed daily.
Can I Use Bleach or Cleaning Chemicals on my Feeder?
As mentioned above, you can use a very small amount of bleach – stick to diluting 1 part bleach with 9 parts water, and make sure the water is hot. You can also find some commercial cleaning solutions specific for these feeders. No matter what cleaning solution you use, always rinse extremely well before placing it back outside.
Can Bird Feeders Get Wet?
If it is treated, like with wooden models, then it can withstand moisture exposure. Plastic is also fine to get wet. However, regardless of the material, you must frequently check and ensure that water hasn’t soaked the feed. If the feed does get wet, you can easily clean it out and replace it to keep it dry.
Conclusion on the Best Bird Feeders
Having a feeder in your garden attracts an assortment of backyard visitors, no matter what style or shape. Choosing a certain design depends on what you’re looking for in terms of species, cleaning and filing methods, and the set-up.
Some models are specialized for certain types of birds, and others are more universal. Some have cages around them to protect from squirrels or larger birds, and others are more of an open platform design. Read on to discover our buyers guide, plus FAQs answered.