Bird feeders attract colorful songbirds, orioles and hummingbirds from all around to your backyard. By offering a variety of seed or nectar and various feeder types, you are sure to bring in bird beauties of all kinds! At birdfeeders.com, we provide the highest quality bird feeders at affordable prices. We have a huge selection of tube bird feeders, squirrel proof bird feeders, decorative bird feeders, and so much more. Shop our collection of Perky-Pet®, NO/NO®, and K-Feeders® bird feeders to find the best bird feeder for you!
There are many things to think about when choosing a bird feeder. With so many options available, it can definitely get confusing in a hurry! We’ve put together a few of our top tips to help you pick the perfect bird feeder that will suit your needs.
It must be easy to clean. Bird feeders need to be cleaned and refilled often. That’s why ease of cleaning is at the top of our list! Once birds begin flocking to your feeders, you will likely have to refill them every few days. Because bird feeders are outside in all types of weather, the seed may eventually become wet, and seed clumps or mold can begin to form. This is very bad for the birds, so that’s why frequent cleaning is a must. Cleaning every other week or so should be good, but it may have to be done more frequently if it’s a particularly humid or rainy time of year.
Determine what type of seed you want to offer. Different birds are attracted to different seed types. Most common feeder birds like cardinals, chickadees, and sparrows will eat seeds such as black oil sunflower seed and mixed seed varieties. Other birds, like those belonging to the finch family, eat thistle or Nyjer® seed. Since these seed types are very different in size and shape, there are specific feeders that hold certain types of seed. Most feeders with larger seed ports will hold larger seeds like sunflower, safflower, and mixed seed. Feeders with small ports will hold thistle or Nyjer® seed.
Seed capacity is important. The amount of seed that bird feeders can hold varies greatly. The number of birds you see in your particular area can help you determine what seed capacity is right for you. If you’re new to bird feeding or you simply just don’t see a lot of birds around yet, then a seed feeder with a smaller seed capacity, like one that holds 1 – 2 pounds of seed, is really all you need. If you’ve been feeding birds for some time now or you see lots of birds around your land, then something with a larger capacity will be preferred so that you don’t have to refill quite as often. Perky-Pet®, NO/NO®, and K-Feeders® make quite a few large capacity seed feeders that hold up to a whopping 12 pounds of seed!
Location, location, location. Where to place a bird feeder is key. The best spot to place a bird feeder should definitely be somewhere that’s easy for you to view through a window in your house or if you’re sitting on your porch enjoying a morning coffee. You also want to make sure it’s at least 10 feet away from anything squirrels can use a jumping spot, like tree branches or a fence. If you can find a spot that is somewhat protected from the sun and wind too, even better.
Bird Feeder Types
There are many different styles and types of bird feeders to choose from. Each type has a unique purpose and functionality.
Hopper – Hopper bird feeders are great for holding a large amount of seed and feeding many birds. They also make refilling mess-free because of their large top opening. Cleaning is a breeze with a hopper style bird feeder because you can get in every nook and cranny. Many hopper feeders come with a seed tray on the bottom for larger birds to perch at while picking at the seed. If you have a lot of birds, or simply want something that’s easy-to-use, then a hopper style bird feeder is for you!
Tube – The long plastic or metal tubes on tube bird feeders protect seeds from rain or snow, and help keep seeds dry and fresh. Multiple feeding ports mean that many birds can enjoy a tasty meal at the same time! Some tube feeders have the option of a seed catching tray at the bottom of the feeder so there’s never any seed waste.
Squirrel Proof – If squirrels become a nuisance at your bird feeders, then a squirrel proof bird feeder is just what you need. Once squirrels discover there’s bird seed out for the taking, they will stop at nothing to get that delicious seed. Weight-activated squirrel proof feeders provide extra protection by closing off the ports when a squirrel jumps on. The ports will continue to stay open under the light weight of the birds that perch. Another option is a caged bird feeder. These work by having a large metal cage around the outside of the feeder, thus preventing squirrels from being able to reach the seed. Your birds can easily fit through the cage to come and go as the please.
Mesh – Mesh bird feeders, such as those made by NO/NO®, feature a large surface area for birds to cling to. The diamond shaped mesh allows seed to be pulled out by tiny beaks, but keeps the rest of seed securely inside. Because birds can cling to and eat from any spot on the feeder, you’re certain to see more birds eating from your NO/NO® feeder than any other feeder!
Window – If you want to enjoy the spectacular sights and sounds of songbirds from the comfort of your chair, then a window bird feeder is a great option. Window bird feeders can be mounted directly to the outside of the windows on your house with suction cups. You can then view countless hours of bird feeder watching without ever having to go outdoors. They typically have a small seed capacity, are lightweight, and easy to clean and refill making them great for someone who’s just starting out or someone who wants to add another bird feeder to their collection.
Finch – Finch feeders are made to hold the seed type adored by finches – thistle. Thistle seed is a dark, thin seed that provides lots of energy to these tiny birds. Because it’s such a small seed, the ports on finch feeders need to be smaller than those bird feeders that hold sunflower or mixed seed. Finch feeders come in all shapes and sizes, and can hold a range of different seed capacities. Some finch feeders even have upside down ports, so those finches that like to eat while hanging upside down can feed undisturbed!
Decorative – If you’re looking for something that has all the bells and whistles for the birds, but has some personality for you, then a decorative bird feeder is right up your alley! Decorative bird feeders come in an assortment of fun shapes, colors, styles, and seed capacities.
Hummingbird – Hummingbirds are majestic, tiny flyers that drink sugary nectar from flowers or feeders. The best way to attract hummingbirds is with a hummingbird nectar feeder. These feeders come in many different varieties including glass and plastic. The most common hummingbird feeders are inverted bottle feeders, which dispense nectar into a tray at the base of the bottle by creating a tight vacuum seal inside the feeder. There are also top fill feeders that allow you to easily pour nectar into a wide top opening on the bottle and dispense it into the tray using a plug and float method within the base. Dish style hummingbird feeders are another common feeder type; they simply hold the nectar in a covered dish with ports. Hummingbirds don’t always perch when they eat. They often just hover in front of the port and drink while flying. So, some hummingbird feeders don’t include perches. It’s really up to your preference if you want your hummingbird feeder to include a perch or not, as hummingbirds likely won’t care either way.
Oriole – If you want to attract orioles, then an oriole specific bird feeder will do the job! Orioles don’t eat seed. Instead, orioles dine on insects, nectar, fruit, and jelly. Perky-Pet® offers a variety of nectar feeders and jelly feeders for orioles. Oriole nectar feeders differ from hummingbird nectar feeders by providing larger ports to accommodate an oriole’s beak, and large perches that are more suitable for their larger size. Jelly feeders dispense jelly onto a tray while keeping the rest of the jelly supply fresh inside an inverted container.
Waterers – All birds need water. Attract a larger variety of birds to your yard by providing them with fresh, clean water. Even birds that you won’t see at your bird feeders may stop by to quench their thirst at a waterer!