Bird feeders come in all different shapes and sizes. They are designed to hold a variety of bird seeds, and thus, attract different species of wild birds. Regardless of the feeder type, certain characteristics can separate better bird feeders from poorer ones.
Wild Bird Feeder Preferences
Different bird species have different feeder preferences. To learn more about the bird feeder preferences of your favorite backyard birds, view the NBFS Wild Bird Feeder Preferences for your region.
Choosing a Bird Feeder
© Roger Mayhorn
When selecting a feeder, look for a bird feeder that is easy to fill, easy to clean, and most importantly, attracts the birds that you want to attract. Bird feeders with sharp edges should be avoided, as should feeders that can’t keep seed dry during a storm or have poor drainage. One should also look at the feeding ports and make sure that they are able to dispense the preferred bird seed. Finally, purchase bird feeders that are sturdy, and that can withstand a fall to the ground.
There are three major bird feeder types: platform, hopper and tube. Tubular feeders provide access to smaller birds, while hopper and platform feeders allow larger birds to perch. There are also specialty feeders that hold suet, nectar, fruits, insects, and Nyjer®.
Meet Your Bird Feeders
What type of bird feeder attracts the greatest variety of birds? What bird feeder helps you attract new species of birds to your yard? Meet your bird feeders to find the answers.
Placement of Bird Feeders
Wild bird feeding is for the birds and the people who feed birds. Therefore, bird feeders should be placed in locations where you will get the most enjoyment watching birds, while the birds are protected from predators and the elements. Previous research has found that bird abundance is greatest at bird feeders placed closer to large shrubs and trees as opposed to open areas. To reduce bird-window collisions, feeders should be placed within 3 feet of your window. To reduce cat predation, place feeders in areas where cats cannot hide to ambush birds feeding on the ground. Finally, consider where the feeder will be located relative to the wind. Bird feeders that are pole-mounted are less likely to sway than other types.
Mounting of Bird Feeders
Feeders can be mounted in a variety of ways. Bird feeders can be hung from a shepherd’s hook, mounted to a post or hung from a tree.
There are also feeders that attach to windows. Window feeders allow you to enjoy close-up views of birds. They are typically made of clear acrylic and attach to your window with suction cups.