Hearing birds singing outside your window every morning can really start your day magnificently. However, not everyone can enjoy such for various reasons. This is why most folks look for the best bird feeders so they can entice these beauties into their yards.
Top 3 Bird Feeders
[BEST OVERALL BIRD FEEDER]
[BEST VALUE FOR THE MONEY]
[BEST WEATHER AND SQUIRREL RESISTANT BIRD FEEDER]
Buying Guide: The Most Important Things You Need to Know When Looking for the Best Bird Feeders
While installing a bird feeder to get them to visit your yard sounds like a good idea, you might also be on the fence about it because of the repercussions it might come with. Making food easily available to wildlife may sound like a noble idea but there’s also the fact that it might make them dependent. This can then alter their behavior and hurt their chances of survival in the wild.
It’s a very valid and a good concern if you’re thinking about getting a bird feeder. The good news is, however, studies show that they can be helpful to birds. Feeders are said to help reduce stress and increase antioxidant levels.
It’s said that bird feeders don’t really alter a bird’s feeding behavior. In many cases, they use it for just supplemental food. These creatures will still be on the hunt for other food on many occasions. With this, you don’t have to worry about creating a dependent horde of birds if you install one in your yard.
This is where we have to be more distinct about backyard bird feeding and manual bird feeding. In many occasions, the latter can really harm the natural behavior of animals so they are advised again in such cases.
However, you can’t just install a bird feeder without committing to it. Experts consider such items a responsibility as they can also harm the health of the birds that rely on it for supplemental food. This is why it’s even more important to get the best bird feeder for your yard.
To help you do just that, here are a few of the most important tips that you should keep in mind when shopping for one:
Get to know the different types of bird feeders.
The first thing that you need to know about bird feeders is that there are different types available. They vary in design, height, placement, and size to effectively attract and cater to the needs of various species. Here are a few examples of the different types of bird feeders and the corresponding species they’re meant for:
Tube bird feeders
Available in various sizes and is characterized by a central seed chamber and several feeding ports, tube bird feeders are quite popular options for homeowners. Each port has a perch which is also why they’re called perching feeders.
Despite their size, these feeders are most often considered as small bird feeders if their perches are tiny. So if you want to accommodate larger birds, choose a unit with bigger perches.
House or hopper feeders
A hopper style bird feeder resembles a birdhouse with its walls and roof so it’s also often referred to as a house bird feeder. They’re also popular choices because they effectively protect the seeds from getting wet or dirty. Hopper bird feeders are also often considered as small bird feeders. However, you can also find large hopper feeders that can accommodate big birds. So if you want those on your backyard, you might want to get a bigger unit.
Platform bird feeders
Also known as the tray bird feeder, these offer the simplest bird feeder designs in the market. They’re just trays with screen bottoms that hold seeds on top. A bird feeder tray attracts a wide range of species but they’re also considered as the best finch feeders. In some cases, the space underneath the tray will also attract certain birds, so it can really be a good choice for some homes.
It’s crucial to keep these feeders dry and clean, however, which can be a bit tricky to do. Luckily, you can also find a platform bird feeder with a roof, solving most of the problems you’ll come across with this type of feeder.
Due to their openness, these installations don’t always just serve as finch bird feeders. They can also attract other small animals. This is why it’s often turned into a standing bird feeder to make them more critter-proof.
Hanging bird feeders are excellent options to draw in birds that love clinging to their food like the chickadees, woodpeckers, and nuthatches. Suet bird feeders are also classified as such as you have to suspend them on something high like a bird feeder pole. They’re meant to be hung, so they don’t have perches. Because of this design, they can effectively keep away unwanted big birds and critters.
As the name suggests, these are the bird feeders that you affix or place right on your window. Platform and suction cup bird feeders are classified as such. They offer a close view of the visiting birds and prevent window collisions.
Food inside these feeders can get easily soiled, however. Luckily, most of the ones commercially available are easy to clean. They’re also easier to access since they’re just on your window so you can wash them regularly without a fuss.
As some birds also feed on nectar and tree sap, you might also want to hang a nectar feeder in your backyard. The best hummingbird feeder can be found among them.
Consider installing multiple bird feeders if your area sees a lot of different bird species. This will help you accommodate more different birds.
Keep in mind that large bird feeders will attract huge birds as well.
Most people install bird feeders so they can attract and help small birds to find food. However, if you opt for a large bird feeder, they will also bring in bigger birds. While this might not sound like a bad idea in theory, in reality, big birds can be a hassle. They can bully smaller birds and maybe even cause damage to your property in some instances.
Big bird feeders also don’t 100% guarantee that you’ll get big birds on your backyard. Sometimes they can also just draw in other critters which can be more damaging to your property.
Be particular about the feeder’s design.
Beautiful bird feeders aren’t always the best picks if they’re not well-designed for the job at hand. To make sure that your bird feeder won’t injure the animals that will visit it, you should be very particular about its design and construction. To guarantee this, here are a few things that you can do:
Make sure that there are no sharp edges and pointy parts in the feeder you’re eyeing.
Cuts and puncture wounds can be seriously injurious to birds so make sure that there are no sharp parts in the item you intend to get. Do the same for bird feeder replacement parts just to lower the risks of your backyard addition causing harm to the birds you love having nearby.
Extra large bird feeders can save you from frequent re-fills and feed more birds.
Not because you have a humongous bird feeder on your backyard does it mean that you’re inviting massive birds into your home. They can also be great options for those who welcome a lot of birds regularly. A large bird feeder can accommodate more small birds in the process and can lessen the need for you to top up.
However, due to its size, they will also most likely attract a lot of large birds and critters. Choose something that has protection against such so they won’t drive away the birds that you want to hang out with.
Make sure that the unit you’ll choose will keep its contents dry.
Since you’ll be leaving these things outside, it’s very important that it can keep the food inside dry and clean. This can help prevent mold growth and keep the food inside in good condition.
Make sure that the bird feeder is safe and sturdy.
Depending on your area, your bird feeder can attract several birds at the same time or even attract other kinds of wildlife like squirrels. While you don’t want the latter to get to your feeder, it would still be a good thing to opt for a sturdy unit so it won’t buckle under the weight of bigger animals. This way, no creature will be harmed by your outdoor bird feeders.
If you do have squirrels nearby, choosing bird feeders that are squirrel-proof would also prove to be beneficial to you. Squirrels won’t just grab the food inside your feeder but they can also damage the structure. As these critters are also considered as bird predators, having them around might cause birds to shy away from your yard. So it’s really for the best that you also read squirrel proof bird feeder reviews.
Opt for something that is easy to clean.
Because they bring species together that otherwise won’t get in contact in the wild, your feeder can host viruses and parasites that can infect and hurt the birds that visit your yard. This makes it very important that you regularly maintain your unit and ensure that it’s kept clean. Some birds might require more thorough and regular maintenance, however, so make sure to keep such things in mind.
In any case, choosing a unit that’s easy to clean is a must. This will help you ensure that your feeder is safe for food storage and for birds to feed in.
Put in the right food items.
Aside from choosing the right bird feeder, you should also know what the right items to put in it. Different bird species have their own dietary needs, restrictions, and preferences so it’s best to keep such in mind when setting up a bird feeder. Putting out the right kinds of food will also help you better attract the birds to your yard.
For a successful bird feeder, make sure to learn what kinds of birds are available in your area then check which food items they need and enjoy. For example, if you want to know how to attract cardinals, you should start looking for the seeds and food that they love to nosh on. This way, you’ll be able to load up your feeder with the right items.
Product Reviews for the Best Bird Feeders on the Market Today
Now that you know what to take in consideration when choosing the right bird feeder for your backyard, the next thing you might want to look into are the available products in the market. For this, here are six great options that you can look into:
If you’re after a reliable small bird feeder, the WELLTED New Bird Feeder - Birdhouse - Window or Hanging Bird Feeder would be a nice option. It has an attractive modern design, making them excellent additions in backyards.
The first thing that attracts people to this product is the different ways you can use it. It’s a very nice choice for a window feeder but it can also work as a hanging feeder.
As this product is made from acrylic, it features a see-through design. So even if it’s designed like a birdhouse, there’s nothing to obstruct your view. You can easily see the birds nibbling on the bird food you’ve set out from any angle.
This makes it a great choice for a window feeder. Its design will give you a very close view of the birds visiting your backyard without obscuring anything from your line of sight. It won’t block your window since it’s see-through. The only thing that might obstruct your view is the bird food sitting inside its seed container.
It’s also very easy to install as a window feeder. It comes with four strong suction cups so you can just stick it right onto your window.
If you don’t want to place this on your window, you can also easily just hang it on a branch. Its large opening and slanted roof design will let you slide it right into a branch or a compatible bird feeder stand.
Construction-wise, you’re guaranteed that this product is very sturdy and durable. It’s made from quality material so you can count on it to handle the weight of the food you’ll put in and the small birds that will go to it.
This product also promises to be squirrel-resistant. Critters will find it hard to grab onto so they won’t really get into your bird food.
Things We Liked
Beautiful design and solid construction
Can be used as a hanging or a window feeder
Friendly price tag
Things We Didn't Like
Not as squirrel-proof when used as a hanging feeder
Looking for bird feeders for cardinals? The Squirrel Buster Plus 6"x6"x28" (w/Hanger) Wild Bird Feeder Cardinal Ring 6 Feeding Ports would be a nice choice for you. It’s not as pretty as the one listed above but as it can help you attract a marvelous bird, it can still be a good addition to your household.
Being the official bird of more than seven US states, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that cardinals some of the most well-loved birds in the country. They are not just pretty birds to look at and listen to, they’re also easily recognizable since they look unique. They also hold meaning to some folks.
Some believe that seeing a cardinal means that angels are nearby. Others say that they represent a loved one who passed away. In some cases, it can also be a sign of a future romantic encounter.
No matter what the case is, a lot of people like having cardinals around. It’s believed that they’re some of the most beautiful birds that you can see in your backyard, so why not boost your chances by installing a good bird feeder that can draw them in?
The Squirrel Buster Plus is a good choice because of its sturdy construction and spacious design. Since cardinals are heavier than the usual feeder bird, this item promises to be sturdy enough to handle their weight. They also have enough room between the Cardinal Ring and the feeding ports to accommodate these beauties’ size.
If you’re wondering about the name, it’s because it’s also designed to keep squirrels out. While it is made to accommodate slightly heavy birds, it has an adjustable mechanism that closes the ports when the unit carries excess weight. You can adjust this to your desired settings so you can also choose to keep out bigger birds.
Things We Liked
Lifetime Care warranty
Designed to accommodate cardinals
Effectively keeps squirrels out
Keeps seeds dry and clean
Received great reviews from users and experts alike
Things We Didn't Like
Some experience seed spillage
Another solid option for a window bird feeder would be the Nature Gear Window Bird Feeder - Refillable Sliding Tray - Weather Proof - Snow and Squirrel Resistant. This see-through, birdhouse-shaped feeder will attach securely to your window so it can give you a nice view of your chirpy visitors while inside your home.
While this product shares similar features with the first item listed above, it can offer a few alternative features that might appeal to you better. For example, its one side is partially closed so the suction cups are more evenly distributed. This helps ensure that the feeder will sit securely against your window.
Its bird seed container is also designed to slide out of the unit. This makes it easier to refill and clean, making it a fuss-free choice for busy households.
This item is also touted as a weatherproof and squirrel resistant option. With its clear acrylic material, it certainly can withstand harsh outside conditions. It’s also designed with a lot of drainage holes in the bottom so it will easily drain water when it rains.
It’s squirrel-resistant because there’s nothing for the squirrel to hold onto in this bird feeder. They’ll also have a hard time getting into the food since it’s placed inside the feeder.
Things We Liked
Beautiful modern design
Won’t block your window
Things We Didn't Like
Will get crowded if you attract lots of birds at the same time
Those who struggle with squirrels sneaking into their bird feeders should check out the Brome Squirrel Buster Classic Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder 1015. Designed specifically to prevent squirrels and big birds from getting into the bird feeder, it can certainly be the very solution to your backyard bird feeding woes.
How does this Squirrel Buster bird feeder work to prevent squirrels from pilfering its contents? It has a few design elements that are meant to foil these rodents’ plans. For starters, it’s chew-proof so squirrels won’t be able to chew through the ports to get to the seeds.
Secondly, it has a unique port design that closes off when it detects a significant shift in weight. This means that the squirrel’s weight causes the port to close off, preventing them from grabbing seeds from the container.
It also has a negative grip tube connected that connects the feeder to the wire hanger. Its design prevents squirrels from using their hind legs to grab onto the wire while they hang upside down to grab seeds from this tube feeder.
This product is also designed to be customizable. You can take off the perching ring at the bottom of the unit so the squirrels and large perching birds won’t have anything to hold on to. This can further discourage them from using this bird feeder. If you want to use it as a bird feeder for large birds, however, it can still work as such. With its sturdy construction, it can easily handle heavier perchers.
This won’t affect the functionality of the Squirrel Buster Classic, though. It’s a clinging bird feeder, so it will still be able to feed clinging birds without a hitch.
Things We Liked
Great for clinging birds
Easy to dismantle and assemble
Keeps seeds safe and dry
Things We Didn't Like
Non-adjustable port closure so smaller rodents might still get to its contents
Those who are looking for a classic looking addition to their vintage-themed home would find the More Birds Hummingbird Feeder a great choice. This product features a vintage antique bottle as its main food container so it has a nostalgic feel to it.
Since this item is a nectar feeder, it has a more solid design than the others on this list. Aside from its glass bottle body, it has a durable metal basin with five perches where hummingbirds can perch to feed. Its red colored, flower-shaped feeding ports also add a nice touch to the overall look of the feeder. Not only does it give it some whimsy but they also help attract birds.
You don’t have to worry about its use, too. It doesn’t require serious assembly and is very easy to clean. You only really need to attach the bottle to the metal basin and that’s it. The huge opening in the bottle also makes it very easy to clean, so you don’t have to worry about maintenance. As the other end of the bottle is sealed, there’s also no need to worry about bird droppings and other debris from getting to the food.
Things We Liked
Attractive vintage design both for humans and birds alike
Easy setup and maintenance
Also works as the best oriole feeder
Durable materials and construction
Things We Didn't Like
Some reports of glass bottle issues
For backyards that are often visited clinging birds, the Perky-Pet RSB00343 Red Seed Ball Wild Bird Feeder is a solid choice. This cage feeder can be everything you need to attract the most entertaining kinds of backyard birds for your backyard bird watching, thanks to its good design.
Also known as the No/No Red Seed Ball Wild Bird Feeder because it has no wood and no plastic that can injure the animals that get in contact with it, this product’s design really has a lot to offer. Its ball shape makes it a solid option for a clinging feeder. This also helps make it squirrel-proof as there are no perches for non-Clingers to grab onto.
The ball design also makes it weather-proof. While the seeds can still get wet inside, it also has excellent ventilation, so they can still dry up in no time. Its top lid also works as a partial roof so the entire content of the feeder won’t get soaked.
Like other Perky Pet bird feeders, this product is also made with durable construction and high-quality materials. It also has an attractive detail which is its eye-catching red finish. This will definitely help draw birds in.
Things We Liked
Attractive and effective design
Things We Didn't Like
Not as squirrel-proof as touted but can be altered a bit to prevent the critters from opening the lid