Wishing to have that perfect blend of modern living and nature? Get the best bird feeder. A good one will ensure that birds of all colors will brighten up your every morning. So far, nothing is more relaxing that watching them feeding on seeds, flower nectars or even just playing on water baths.
It is no doubt that bird watching is not only a fun but rewarding past time, it is also reduce stress and sometimes, brings in the whole family together. For starters, it is a prerequisite to get those feathered friends flocking into your bird yard. To do this, getting the best feeder is a must.
But with so many choices available in the market, it is almost impossible to get the ‘perfect’ one for a specific yard. Some people prefers hanging feeders while some on poles and some more picky ones choose to have window feeders.
Whatever the feeder is, there is only one goal: get the birds in and hook them into coming back regularly.
Bird watching is as old as time. Even in biblical times, birds can tell people things like the weather or time. The songs, the movements and the migration of birds inform people of changes in temperature, presence of natural disasters or even just a simple downpour. Remember the story of Noah? Isn’t it that the doves report to Noah sightings of dry land?
In the modern time, taking up bird watching as a hobby means to “de-stress” from all the noise the modern life brings or simply to save the birds from starvation during the cold and dry months.
Bird watching can be as simple or as elaborate as possible. Many birders would invest so much money on their bird yard, decorating it with all the amenities such as water source (a pond, a bird bath, a fountain) for the birds to cool off. Despite all these, the most important element remains: the best bird feeder!
How do you figure out which one is the best? Here is our list of top twenty:
Table of Contents
- Best Bird Feeder Reviews 2019
- 1. Perky-Pet 312 Panorama Bird Feeder
- 2. Squirrel Buster Plus Wild Bird Feeder
- 3. First Nature 3055 32-ounce Hummingbird Feeder
- 4. Squirrel Buster Standard Wild Bird Feeder
- 5. Perky-Pet 305 Holly Berry Gilded Chalet Wild Bird Feeder
- 6. Juegoal 16 oz Hanging Hummingbird Feeder
- 7. Perky-Pet 339 Squirrel Be Gone II Feeder
- 8. First Nature 3091 16-Ounce Hummingbird Flower Feeder
- 9. Aspects HummZinger HighView 12 oz Hanging Hummingbird Feeder
- 10. Nature’s Hangout Best Window Bird Feeder
- 11. Perky-Pet 336 Squirrel-Be-Gone Wild Bird Feeder
- 12. Stokes Select Squirrel-X Squirrel Proof Suet Bird Feeder
- 13. Droll Yankees Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
- 14. Perky-Pet C00322 Red Cardinal Bird Feeder
- 15. Woodlink Going Green Platform Bird Feeder
- 16. Stokes Select Little-Bit Finch Bird Feeder
- 17. Woodlink Absolute II Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeder
- 18. First Nature 3088 32-ounce Oriole Feeder
- 19. Stokes Select 38200 Bird Feeder
- 20. Woodlink NABBFDR Audubon Bird Feeder
- What is a Bird Feeder
- How does Bird Feeder Work
- All Types of Bird Feeders
- Benefits of Using Bird Feeders
- Factors to Consider When Buying a Bird Feeder
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Bird Feeder Reviews 2019
1. Perky-Pet 312 Panorama Bird Feeder
If you are following my posts, you probably already know that I am a Perky-pet fan. And I have every reason to be. While some of their products are not to my over-all liking, they are still far more superior than many.
Take this Panorama feeder for instance. This simple cylindrical feeder can be seen simply as, well, a feeder, enough to feed chickadees, finches and other seed-eating bird species.
What makes this different from others? Perhaps, by design, not much but a closer look at its function set it apart from others including tray style feeding port, circular in design, which lets birds of different kinds to feed from all angles.
Most feeders also promise several benefits: squirrel proof, sure-lock caps and even ant moats and mold resistance. This feeder is all of the above, fortunately. In fact, it’s more than that as it is enough to hold 2 lbs of seed, enough to feed them for few days.
2. Squirrel Buster Plus Wild Bird Feeder
One of the things I like about being a birder is the fun of watching my birds relaxed in their feeding area. When they are relaxed, they rub in the same feeling to me. I guess all birders understand the point I am getting at.
For this feeling of satisfaction alone, I recommend this squirrel buster feeder that will surely take care of the all the fun. One great thing about this is also a truly squirrel proof and who does not love that. For years, getting a hand on a truly squirrel proof, rodent proof and sometimes rain proof feeder is every birder’s dream – to no avail until this one came along.
I also like the 6 ring port, it is always fascinating to see so many birds in one setting and for a birder, this is absolutely the hey of day.
3. First Nature 3055 32-ounce Hummingbird Feeder
Hummers are picky eaters. That is for sure so getting the best feeder for them will surely give you that beautiful sight of birds in your backyard while sipping your morning coffee.
There are many good things about this feeder, all worth looking at. One of the many is its mouth reservoir – perfect for filling and cleaning. In most cases, there is a need to work on making sure the feeders are full even in cold weather. However, this 32 inch feeder answers it all.
And yes, hummers love the color red as much as I do. This means that hummers will be visiting your yard without much waiting. Alas, a perfect way to attract the hummingbirds.
I like the feeder for various reasons but to name some, I specifically like the fact that it does not leak even if it is made of plastic. Its durability ensures that the plastic will stay long – 10 feeding ports likewise assures that I will never run out of birds to watch. How cool is that?
While almost perfect, one downside of this particular feeder might be the fact that it is still is made of plastic, polymer type, but strong enough to hold a heavy load yet may not be strong enough not to break when exposed enough to hot sun and searing cold. The sudden temperature changes will have an impact on the plastic in the long run.
4. Squirrel Buster Standard Wild Bird Feeder
The annoying squirrel, smart enough to find a way out to destroy a feeder is not going anywhere unless they come across a feeder that is built smarter than them. So far, this squirrel buster by Brome might just be the answer.
It can be a bit expensive but it is all worth the price. At least that’s how I look at it because why not when it is the most suitable solution to squirrels and rodents. Aside from that, it is also chew proof, making it impossible for this pesky creatures to even get near the precious birdseeds.
How does it work? Simple. The lid automatically closes when it sensor feels the weight of an adult squirrel frustrating the squirrels and hopefully they will never come back. I think this feature alone is enough to recommend this product without a doubt.
From experience, my hummers like this so much so it is worth recommending.
5. Perky-Pet 305 Holly Berry Gilded Chalet Wild Bird Feeder
Vintage is always in. They don’t only look good inside the house but also great outdoors. So anyone who fancy something from the past, this is probably the best choice so far. It is not only aesthetically pleasing for your yard but generally great for your birds as well.
Why not give them the best when they actually brings you your best smile?
Perky-pet is generally great at products about birds. From bird seeds to bird feeders to even accessories. It is therefore recommended that this product be given a good try. And personally, having tried it, it deserves a high star rating.
The vintage look and the designs that goes with it are truly worth the price. The circular shape also allows the birds to feed from all sides of the feeder while the rustic gold finish keeps things sparkly yet elegant. Of course, it is made of plastic so there’s no need to fret over possibility of rusting.
6. Juegoal 16 oz Hanging Hummingbird Feeder
Want to have pretty hummingbirds in your backyard? Here comes the Juegol feeder. It is efficient, practical and definitely a must buy. As a birder, I can’t take the idea of easy fill and clean as top priority. However, for hummers, having additional criteria is a must–ant moat.
This feeder then is the perfect answer. One of the enemy of nectar for hummingbirds are ants, bees and wasps so having one that is tightly closed, big capacity and somehow sturdy is the best choice.
I recommend this product for those reasons and few more. The detachable cover, in red color that is attractive to birds makes easy cleaning and filling. This is because no birder wants to come out just to fill during the cold months. Of course, it is hanging so you can place it in patio or in the garden.
7. Perky-Pet 339 Squirrel Be Gone II Feeder
There’s something about this birdhouse feeder that makes it one of the best choices. Surely, the design goes first while practicality and efficiency probably goes second and third.
I like this product for these reasons alone. The three completes the definition of a good feeder. What’s more important? It is squirrel proof and the weight activated seed protection covers the feeder ports once it detects a squirrel.
Most feeders are made of plastic but this one is made of tough metal that allows it to not only be a beautiful addition to your yard but a great equipment that can even last a lifetime.
8. First Nature 3091 16-Ounce Hummingbird Flower Feeder
It’s a red party for the hummingbirds. An attractive, brightly colored polymer feeder has 10 ports so you get to enjoy more birds at any given time. Of course, its capacity is obviously a come on as well.—16 oz of nectar is a lot to keep the hummingbirds busy.
Another pretty thing about this product is its sealing feature. It is tightly sealed so the nectar is protected all throughout. There is nothing to worry about, so far. Based on experience, it is one perfect feeder for hummers.
The wide mouth also gives leverage to me as I dislike cleaning, washing and disinfecting bird feeders. The features are then just perfect for me. The amount of nectar it can carry at a given time is also perfect. It is one thing to have a feeder to satisfy the birds but to have a feeder that answers all my whims is another thing.
With the hanging feature, this is great to accentuate the patio, the garden or even just under the tree.
9. Aspects HummZinger HighView 12 oz Hanging Hummingbird Feeder
Yes, there are many ways to invite hummers in. You can plant flower bearing plants, which they pollinate without a doubt, put water baths and even reduce the use of pesticides to insects will be around to be their source of protein.
But more than everything, a major consideration is to have a comfortable bird feeder. Good thing there’s a ready answer to that — red top feeder from Aspects. This is perhaps the most important investment a birder can provide for the colorful and relaxing birds.
Why not? They make you relax so they deserve to have the same treatment as well. Unlike other feeder, this hummzinger has highview perch that invites hummers to comfortably feed, rest and fly about. The four feeding ports, properly spaced, offers an unobstructed view of the birds.
The red color is always attractive to hummingbirds so this one is covered as well. Still, it is so easy to remove for cleaning or washing. Refilling the nectar has never come this easy with the wide mouth of the feeder as well.
10. Nature’s Hangout Best Window Bird Feeder
I am sure I have written this in some of my reviews but it is worth emphasizing anyway. Window bird feeders are the best and I have three reasons why: no hassle, unobstructed view and well-designed.
This feeder by Nature’s Hangout is not just economical, it is also fun and designed for both humans and yes, the family cat too! Imagine the imagine of your pet cat while watching the beautiful birds enjoy their seeds and she can’t reach them in anyway.
Window feeder comes in all shapes and sizes but there are some cut out above the rest. This is one of those. I clearly recommend this product because more than the aesthetic features, this feeder has all what it takes to be the best one yet.
The see-through acrylic is perfect for the entire family to study and appreciate the beauty of local bird species. Definitely, you can enjoy bird watching from the comfort of your living room or while sipping that hot coco in the morning.
11. Perky-Pet 336 Squirrel-Be-Gone Wild Bird Feeder
One of the most beautiful and functional perky-pet product is this squirrel-be-gone version. It is made of all metal and beautifully accentuated with beautiful metal leaf design that is also functioning as perch for the birds during feeding time.
I recommend this product for some reasons: sturdy, well-thought-of design and big capacity. This is because of the all-metal component used for the feeder. Also, the weight activated cage closes once it detects a squirrel or big birds so the seeds are protected all throughout. For the comfort of the birds, the feeder has perch area but the leaf designs are also an option during feeding time.
I like this product because of the ports too. Having six ports is great as you get to enjoy as many of your favorite feathery friends all at once. With the thin build, the birds will be tumbling up and down during feeding.
Perky pet also ensures safety from ants, insects and even squirrels and rodents with each powder coated finish and anti-rust design. It is always good to make sure the pesky squirrels will not get a hold of the birdseed container.
12. Stokes Select Squirrel-X Squirrel Proof Suet Bird Feeder
Woodpeckers love suet but other bird species like chickadees also love them as much. This means putting few of this bird feeder in your yard will ensure constant visitors. Of course, there are ways to make sure they enjoy it better.
The suet feeder made by stokes is probably one of the best one for woodpeckers. With two suets in each feeder, the birds will have enough for few days. Since it is also inside a metal cage, it will be protected from squirrels and other suet-eating pests.
Certainly, this is enough to recommend the product. It is not only durable but surely functional as well. The tight fitting metal cage is designed for small birds so the suet goes to the intended birds. Big birds preying on small ones will not be able to steal the suet as well. On top of that, it is also weather proof.
13. Droll Yankees Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
Here comes another of the beautiful tube feeder. Using dipper design, this Droll Yankees is long enough, 28-inch, to hold enough bird seed to last a while.
I am recommending this product for its capacity and durability. Made of powder-coated metal, the tube is expect to last a lifetime – fade proof even. Infact, most birders are into it and have given this enough thought and enough 5 stars. Expert birder are harder to please, having enough experience with terrible to worst to useless feeders.
With tubes, it is unlikely to go wrong in terms of filling, cleaning and even maintaining. This Droll Yankee is squirrel proof too and birders know the importance of getting away from them and protecting the birds instead.
14. Perky-Pet C00322 Red Cardinal Bird Feeder
There goes the beautiful red mesh design in this Perky-Pet feeder, which cardinals will surely love.
I love the circular perch at the base of the feeding area as it provides better and more comfortable feeding time for birds – an important aspect to feeding. I love it when birds linger a bit longer even after they are done feasting on the food. That’s what a perch can do.
Also, it holds at least 2.5 lbs of black oil sunflower seeds, which means that there’s no need to come and fill it always – a daunting task during the winter months. The small circular cover on top can just be lifted up for easy refill.
One of the most practical, easy to assemble, easy to hang, easy to admire feeder are the trays or platforms. Woodlink just have that design – the green, bird friendly feeder and it has a lot of advantages.
First off, I like the simplicity of the design and sometimes big birds do not just come to satiate their hunger. They also come to forage food for their hatchlings. So giving them access to seeds might just save this little birdies.
Anyhow, this Woodlink product is worth recommending for its durability, drainage feature and its simplicity of design. The product is made of 90-percent recycled plastic so you are also supporting the environment.
While wood platforms are nice to look at, the wood component will begin to rot after sometime of exposure to wind, rain and sun. Plastic may discolor a bit but will surely last longer.
16. Stokes Select Little-Bit Finch Bird Feeder
I have reviewed this product in my previous post but I will probably have to emphasize that this product is a good to go. May not be the best one in its category but it is value for money following its quality and design.
There are definitely great things about this feeder. First, I like the bright yellow color. Second, I like the high quality construction and third, I like that Stokes Select adopted a charity to donate some of their proceeds.
So here’s the deal. I am recommending this product because it is certainly going to be a great addition to any bird yard. Bright yellow colored mesh feeder combined with your red nectar feeder or green platforms make a desirable yard for birds. This yellow finch is even classy in its own right.
Green is in. Yes, that is exactly what this Woodlink feeder is about. Plus of course the many perks that goes along with it, which makes it one of the few good feeders in its category.
For starter, this absolute product is certainly great with its durable powder coated steel body, which can stand the elements. More importantly, the feeder is squirrel proof so there’s no need to worry about those pesky pest for sometime. When a squirrel comes in and attack, the squirrels weight causes the perch to close in. This means there is less seeds being wasted other than for birds.
I also love it because of its capacity and it is certainly something that others like about it too. There is no reason for fear of having to refill so often during cold months. This feeder can carry 12 pound mixed seed at a given time.
18. First Nature 3088 32-ounce Oriole Feeder
The orioles are sure picky birds but with proper feeder, they will come without much problem. So, the first nature oriole feeder might just be the right one and I can attest that there are many good things about it.
I like the product for its color, which by the way are very attractive for these prickly birds. Also, with wider mouth, there is no doubt about why it is considered one of the easiest feeder to manage – easy to fill, hang and definitely to wash.
It is made of polymer so the feeder will last a long time. I also like the part that it has 10 feeding ports which means that you get to enjoy watching multiple birds at once. To top that, the feeder can hold 32 ounce of nectar, enough to keep orioles and hummers happy for few days.
I also like the orange base, in contrast to the red color attract curious orioles. Of course, the unbreakable plastic container is still the main selling point of this feeder.
19. Stokes Select 38200 Bird Feeder
You don’t get to see blue colored feeder all the time. But with this product by Stokes, you and your birds get to enjoy more hues in your bird yard. This simple and sleek designed feeder attracts a variety of birds yet keeps a minimal use of space.
As a birder, we all know we need a variety of feeders to attract a variety of birds. Some birds get attracted to colors while some gets attracted to design. There are birds that simply try out and comes back regularly if they are happy with the kind of seeds offered.
This tray is in the middle of all categories: simple, sleek, colorful and it’s a tray design,w which means it can be for seeds, jellies, nectar or even small pieces of suets depending on your bird variety.
Big birds and small birds can come and enjoy whatever it is on offer. It is also easy to hang with its own S hook that comes with a package, saving you tons of time for assembly.
Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite bird feeders available in the market today. It is not only beautifully designed but very functional as well – blue birds love it and so do I!
This transparent dome type feeder protects the seeds or mealworms no matter what happens or from all elements. The dome doubles as an anti-squirrel feature. Squirrels trying to get to the food will find difficulty getting through the dome and sliding all the way to the ground instead. Pretty sleek design.
The same dome is adjustable to accommodate both small and big birds so knowing the kind of feathery friends you have at your yard is a good idea. The tray under the dome can carry a variety of bird food: seeds, suet or even mealworms. Everybody happy they say!
No wonder expert birders all rated this 5 at customer reviews. It is of course all value for money.
What is a Bird Feeder
There are many bird varieties and each has their own particular need. Each requires a specific type of bird feeder, bird food and even own way of taking care of them. It is always good to know what does your bird needs.
By strict definition, a bird feeder is a device place outdoors to supply bird food to birds. Most of the time, the success rate of attracting birds into your yard depends on where you placed the feeder as well as the kind of foods offer. Some birds prefer seeds while some prefer nectars. There are some others that feed on insects as well so the placement of the bird feeder becomes a key factor in attracting birds successfully.
Many bird feeders are made of plastic—some durable and some flimsy ones. The kind of feeder you will choose can vary greatly. Perhaps a consideration of things like weather, value for money, size, cleaning procedures and even the content will be thought of.
A good way to know whether a bird feeder is great is the feeder’s design – can it be used for bird watching? One of the major reasons why birders go for birding as a hobby is for that one reason – to watch birds up close and personal. If the design obstructs view then it is a faulty one.
Hence, the design plays a very important role in defining whether a feeder is worth the money or not. Some bird feeders can be hung, on the window or on a pole. The way it is placed depends on your yard design as well. The best it can contribute to your yard aesthetic, the better is can be.
How does Bird Feeder Work
There are many ways to make a seemingly dysfunctional bird feeder to a functional one. By all means bird watching is a fun, relaxing and environmentally friendly activity. It is one way to keep the birds well-fed and cared for especially during the winter season when food becomes scarce and foraging becomes difficult.
Keeping birdseeds or nectars within their reach ensures sustainability and as a community near areas occupied by bird species, it is our responsibility to be a part of their survival.
Hanging a bird feeder within their access and line of vision is the first key. Surely, it is easy to start the habit of bird feeding but hard to stop. A birder can’t just stop the habit of feeding birds when he wants too. This will cause confusion for the birds that regularly visits the yard.
So to avoid frustrations in birding, understanding the birds’ behavior as well as function of the feeders is important. As a birder for many years now, it is easy to make mistakes when it comes to bird feeding. Here are the ways to ensure you will never make such errors:
- Use multiple feeders. Unless you live in an area that only has one bird variety (which is very unlikely), do not stick to one feeder type. Birds, depending on variety and sizes have different dietary preferences. Technically, open feeders with parts use for perching can attract a decent number of bird variety. But there are birds that may be more attracted to feeders in mesh sock such as goldfinches, nectar feeding birds such as hummingbirds will never touch seeds, suets are best for woodpeckers and some birds will choose a combination or mealworms, seeds or even live insects. Placing as many feeders offering different food and sizes will attract more birds.
- Make sure the feeder continuously get a refill. One of the sin of a birder is frustrating the kind of bird which probably have flown far and wide for food. Coming to an empty feeder is traumatic and frustrating. Feeders that is consistently empty will not attract birds as they will perceive your feeding stations are unreliable. Try to make sure your feeder is regularly filled.
- Birdseed quality. Like humans, you won’t cheat on the quality of food you eat. Birds have a similar view. Getting them quality bird food makes sure that they are healthy and well. Most synthetic and cheap bird food usually contains fillers such as milo or wheat. Birds will know the difference and your seeds will end up being toss out to the ground, causing mess and possibly sprouting weeds. So a feeder will only work towards its job of attracting birds when filled with quality food.
- Placement of feeder. What better way to attract birds when they are hung near natural source of bird food such as flowers, fruit bearing trees and even insect rich bushes. This way, birds can have a more balanced and natural rich diet. Birders should never deprive birds of nutrients coming from natural sources.
All Types of Bird Feeders
There are many kinds of bird feeders that for a novice birder it can be some confusing. Finding the right feeder design, contents, and location is the first few steps to attracting the birds you want to visit your yard.
So if you are sincere about attracting birds quickly, knowing which bird feeder to buy can be the answer. So far, bird watching is considered to be second most popular activity or hobby among the many outdoor activities in the United States alone. Why not when the country is so proud of having thee eagle as its icon of identity.
But before you touch that payment button on your Amazon purchase, it is important to know what bird feeder should you be focusing your attention to.
Bird feeders aren’t all alike. Even seemingly beautiful feeders can be faulty. Here are some examples:
Do you want to feed finches? Then a thistle feeder is good for you. They can come in many forms such as feeder socks and feeder tubes. They are way too small that they can fit in feeders with little openings.
Do you want to feed woodpeckers? A suet feeder is perfect to buy. Woodpeckers are great to have around the neighborhood. They do more than take your seeds or suets –they come to kill by eating the insects bad for humans too. Along with peckers, suet feeders also attract chickadees, nuthatches and cardinals among others. Most suet feeders are either open of protected by metal cages. Either way, these birds are small enough to fit in metal spaces.
Do you want to feed hummingbirds? The nectar is perfect for this kind of bird. These sweet eating birds will never get disappointed with sweet nectars. Hummers can be attracted to both glass made feeders or sturdy plastic ones, usually in strong colors like red. Having multiple ports for them will also be helpful in attracting them faster.
Ground feeders are great to have around the yard. They technically take care of all the seeds that other birds toss out. They will not only add variety to you set of birds, they also clean up the ground and prevent weeds from sprouting. Some of the most popular ground feeders are sparrows, doves and juncos.
In terms of designs, here are the most common feeders:
Tube feeders. This kind of feeder design are normally practical, economical and efficient. They can be mounted on a pole and come in many sizes. Perches are connected to the main tube to provide birds that restful day. What’s great about them? You can actually mix seeds in the tube. Some tube feeders are made from sturdy polymers while very few designs are in thin glass.
Hopper Feeders. Oftentimes made of wood, hopper feeders are classic yet functional. They exude that vintage look yet maintains order when birds are feeding from it. The birds can sit or relax on the base of the feeder while feeding. This is perfect for relaxing view too. While many are made from wood, some are made of metal too.
Mesh Feeders. Some of the most common feeders in metal mesh are peanut feeders, seed feeders and thistles. The mesh sizes depends on the seeds inside but long beak birds will have a great time taking them out of the mesh metals.
Platform feeders. While small birds are cute, big birds need to get fed too. Here come platform feeders to the rescue. Normally made of plastic or wood, plastic feeders are open feeders perfect for our big feathery friends. They are designed for hanging but some designs are for glass window view as well.
Container feeders. There are seeds and there are liquids. So getting the correct container is the key. Some birds would drink nectar so container or dish feeders might just work. Some birds will drink from a jar so glass or plastic jars will be perfect for them too. Provide enough ports for them to drink their sweet treats. A little color (preferably red) will help too. Grape jellies for orioles are also best in containers.
Benefits of Using Bird Feeders
There are many reasons why people turn into bird watching. In fact, as mentioned, it has become the second best hobby in the US, next to landscaping. So I want to discuss the many benefits of bird feeding and bird feeder.
Bird feeder attracts more birds to the yard. It is without a question that the best way to get birds into the yard is to get the best bird feeder. Through the feeders, you might get to see bird not within your area suddenly coming over for some treats.
Bird feeders solve issues on habitat loss. Somehow getting birds to come to your yard during a particular season is in answer to the emerging issues of habitat loss and food scarcity. Providing them food to it as well as bird baths can make a huge difference in maintain life and sustaining their existence. An environmental study published in Nature.org even showed that birds that has access to feeders has 69 percent of surviving the winter months than the birds without.
Migration Factor. Birds do come in season. Summer birds and winter birds migrate for a reason. With available feeder around, the communities of birds flying together at a particular time of migration have a higher rate of getting to their destination if there are few stops (for food and water) they can make. For some birders, they make their yard a tourist attraction during the migration season. Certainly, many birds fly great distances and somehow they go through urban areas – hanging a feeder in your window of a high rise building works for them and for you too. Imagine watching beautiful birds coming by for some seeds.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Bird Feeder
Most expert birders know what to look out for in a bird feeder. They are good at figuring out what flaws a new feeder product will be. Call that experience. However, the same is not true for novice birders. For this, they need more help finding the bird feeder that works for them.
Here are some considerations when buying a new bird feeder. This answers the question, “What kind of bird will I attract if I buy this feeder?”
Simple design. Most birder new to the community of birding will find things a bit complicated. As such a simple tray or platform design might be the best choice. It is simple: it holds the seeds, it has a perch, the birds come and take the food. The platform usually help them feel more relax while eating. The only cons of tis feeder is that it is open to elements, so unless the birds would find it right away and finish the food before the rain comes then it was a successful feeding time. If not, then the feeding failed and the seeds spoiled. Platform feeders attracts a variety of birds: starlings, finches, pigeons, sparrows and blue jays.
House feeders. They are protected from the elements so that is surely a cons. The enclosed feature of the feeder, usually made of wood or metal is great for areas frequented by squirrels or rain, storm and snow. It is perfect to hold few pounds of food so you don’t need to worry for few days. It also attracts a variety of birds such as cardinals, jays, chickadees and finches. So if you want a more protected one, go for hoppers. The wooden house design also gives that country or vintage look. The only problem: the wood part will naturally rot after some time.
Window feeders. Yes, there’s an option is you do not have a yard to put your feeders at. This kind of feeders survive in high rise buildings and can be seen by birds flying up high or at a great distance. They are usually small boxes attached to the window using a very strong suction or in some cases, hook to the window sill. Since they are usually clear, they wont obstruct your view. Feeders attached directly to the window are safer but they need constant cleaning. Some birds attracted to these kind of feeder are finches, titmice, chickadees, and sparrows.
Other considerations include:
Design. Make sure that the feeder is big enough if you have plenty of visitors at a given time. Would you like to hang it, mount it on a pole, put near a fence or the window are basic consideration. This factor has of course something to do with your space for bird watching and feeding.
Value for Money. Some feeder manufacturers make good promises about their feeders while some do not. Study each carefully before buying one. Glass feeders are more sturdy and easier to clean than plastic ones but they also get break easily. Will it be squirrel proof, ant moat or anything else that you need? The truth remains though, “quality comes with price.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What are good bird feeder brands?
It is not easy to simply list down the best feeders because most good feeders have their own pros and cons. What can be emphasized however will be on how popular a feeder is based on few things such as: functionality, practicality, capacity and even affordability.
According to another popular bird blogging site, spruce.com, the best feeder has nothing to do with bird itself but its ability to outsmart squirrels. For 2018, Brome 2004 Squirrel Solution sold in Amazon is their top pick. The legitimacy of the choice is nothing objective but makes perfect sense. If the feeder does not answer the need to save the seeds from the pesky squirrels, then there are no reasons the birds will come for a visit as well. Their reason for choosing is Brome’s stronger sensor when it comes to adult squirrels. Well done!
So let me make my own top 3 picks, which hopefully, will guide you in choosing the best feeder so far.
Seed feeders: Perky-Pet 339 Squirrel Be Gone II Feeder Home with Chimney. Having tried quite a few feeders, this perky pet feeder is the best one yet. It has many “perks” such as design (metal hopper feeder) and it is squirrel proof too. What more, the 8 pound seed capacity is enough to convince anyone to love this without a doubt. It is metal so it last a long time too.
Nectar Feeder: First Nature got my attention for the best nectar feeder category. It is not only colorful which is probably the most important for hummers but it is also really functional and practical. It is made of plastic but it can carry 16 ounce of nectar, enough to let the pretty hummers feast for a while. It is anti-leak, anti-moat and it has 10 feeding ports to boot.
Thistle feeders. Stoke’s Select Stokes Select 38194, Yellow.6 lb Seed Capacity Little-Bit Finch Bird Feeder with Metal Roof, Ye wins the race without much needed debate. Every expert birder will agree to this choice as well. It is high density plastic that will not rust even if it is exposed outside for a long period of time.
Where to buy bird feeder?
The question on where to buy depends on your location. If you live in urban areas where Walmart or Lowe’s are just around the corner, why not take the drive and see to compare the product for yourself. If not, then a click on your computer mouse can lead you to the variety of choices at Amazon.com.
Whatever you choose to do, always consider that your feeder is dependent on the kinds of birds available in the area as well as the location of the feeder. Most feeders are effective as long as;
- Squirrels don’t get to it first. If you are aware of squirrels in the area, make sure to hang it up high and away from ledge or fence for them to climb on to.
- Placed in a location visible to birds.
- Always filled with bird seeds, suet, thistles or even nectars. An empty feeder is the most frustrating to birds and may cause them not to come again.
For busy people though, the online shopping is the most appealing choice.
How to attract birds to bird feeder?
Birds will come to a feeder for various reasons. One of the best way to attract a bird feeder is definitely be visibility of it to the birds. Can they see it before they fly by? Next thing is the seed or food available for them – is it appealing? Avoid cheap bird food as they will end up being toss away by the birds. The feeders features can go next, can they relax while feeding on your treats? This means choosing a feeder that has enough perch area or ports will invite more birds than the ones without.
How to clean a bird feeder?
Cleaning bird feeder can be daunting task especially if you got one that is really difficult to clean: small openings or too many small designs or details.
Most bird feeders are washable with soap and water. For some, placing them in the dishwasher is even the answer to it—easy way out I say. Most glass feeder may just require rinsing with water or water and a bit of dishwashing liquid.
Where to hang bird feeder?
Location is a defining factor in whether or not your hobby is going to be a success or a fail. The first consideration will be if the birds find the feeder. There is no point buying a feeder and placing in a place you can see but birds can’t. As a rule, consider how fast, how big and how high the birds you are trying to attract fly.
There are three ways to put up bird feeders:
- Hang in trees, patio. Making them visible is the key. This is probably the best spot to place them. Just make sure it is away from places squirrel can reach.
- Attach on pole. There are good poles that have perfect height to be seen by bird flying by or enough to protect the seeds from squirrels.
- On windows. This is specially perfect for high flying birds or birders who live in high rise buildings. This design can be great for birders in the countryside too. Most window feeders are transparent and small enough to be set in the middle of your clear window, which can be perfect for morning viewing.
What to put under bird feeder?
There are many ways you can properly use the space under the bird feeder. Improper use of it may result to unsightly part of the garden. How? The seeds that fell unto the ground may sprout at some point.
Here are some ways you can add beauty to your garden:
- Plant a wildflower garden. Why not use the extra space to benefit the ground foraging birds. Many birds like feasting on the seeds that usually fall to the leaves or stalks of wildflower plants. Such plants are not just pretty but tough too so they can carry seeds without a problem.
- Or shrubs. These are frequented by insects, which could also be a source of food for birds. Birds will also get added protection from predator animals or birds.
What kind of bird feeder should I get?
With the many choices of feeders available in the market today, it is a challenge to even think of which one is the best to get. When in doubt, here are the considerations:
- What birds? Knowing the kinds of birds that visits the place is the best step to know which feeder should you be purchasing. Different birds have different preferences.
- Space. Bird feeders come in different kinds of shapes and sizes. Knowing how much space you have will help you decide what kind of feeder you need. Small birds like hummingbirds need nectar so they are in jars while others require seeds which may require mesh containers.
- Big birds. For big birds, they won’t be able to fit in small feeders so dish or tray is best for them.
Which food attracts which birds?
Birds feed on different varieties of foods. Birds are attracted to various bird food such as nectar, suet, peanut seeds, sunflower, mealworms and even live insects.
Depending on the bird variety, your food supply (and feeder) differs too. The feeders in the product review provide you with ideas on which food and feeder goes for each bird.
How easy it is to fill?
Wide mouth feeders are easier to fill than ones with small or tight opening. The design, therefore, should be considered at all times. But to be clear, here are the feeder designs that are the easiest to fill:
- Tray. Tray designs are easy fill for obvious reasons. They have no lid. The only downside is its exposure to the elements; rain, snow and winds.
- Tube feeders. Some thistle feeders are easy to fill because they are simply cylindrical with either a plastic or metal covering. Lift the lid and fill it up.
- Hopper Feeders. This house-looking design are always a delight to have. The built I roof are often just a lift away and there goes your easy filling time.
- Window feeders. Most window feeders don’t have complicated designs. They are much like tray feeders but with transparent roof to protect the seed.
- Dish tray. For nectars, the dish feeders are the best one yet. They have wide opening (not upside down design like nectar bottles) so you don’t need to worry about possible liquid leaks.
Can water drain?
Perhaps, this is applicable for a limited type of bird feeders; usually the ones that contains seeds. Having that capacity to drain water that can accumulate during the rainy months is quite important. Here’s the one you need to look out for:
- Clear Window Feeders. Look out for removable tray and drain holes. If the water stays on, the seeds will rot easily. Some seed feeders has sliding drainage system.
- Platform feeders. Some tray or platform feeders has their built in holes to allow the water to drain constantly. They are small enough not to allow the seeds to go through but big enough to let extra water passes through.
Most feeders such as tube and nectars do not necessarily need a drainage because the seeds don’t get to stay long in the container.
Can you see the food from a distance?
What is more important than monitoring the food or fill of a feeder? None. As an expert birder, I know how important it is to make sure there’s continues flow of food supply – to not upset the birds.
Most bird feeders come in designs that allow a birder to check the filling even from afar. This is the reason why new feeder designs are nor made of clear plastic containers, thin metal mesh or glass tubes. This way, you will know when do you need to both wash or refill a feeder.
For birds, nothing is more upsetting than flying the distance only to find an empty feeder in one’s backyard. So next time you purchase one, go for transparent ones.
Is feeder well constructed?
The most valid question one can ask. Most feeders are left in open air, exposed to the harsh elements of the environment such as strong winds, humidity, rain, snow and even storms at times.
Hence, getting a sturdy feeder is the first key to truly enjoy the habit of birding. If you are thinking how to figure it out, here are some secrets:
- Polymers are strong, thicker and more durable plastic. Look for the labels.
- Glass will always be a better option but they can easily break once they fall during strong winds.
- Metals are the best materials but they tend to be very hot in the summer.
By rule of the thumb, a well-constructed, durable feeder is a better investment than buying cheap ones so often.
In conclusion, choosing the right material and right feeder during a particular season is the best option. Again, there are many things to think about when buying bird feeders: bird variety, food, health and nutrition and even location all hold equal importance. Birds are seasonal too so changing/shifting feeders during a season is one way to provide the best bird feeder to various types of birds.