Trying to find the BEST bird feeders is challenging.
Seriously, there are SO MANY options! With dozens of companies making thousands of unique bird feeders, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up. And since it’s impossible to rate, review, and test all the possible feeders for sale, I thought it would be easiest to show you what I use.
So today, I’m sharing the BEST bird feeders in my backyard!
You can even see the bird feeders I’m using RIGHT NOW. Just press PLAY below and watch the LIVE camera that streams my feeding station! I’m always rotating feeders, depending on the season or the birds’ preference, so you never know which of my favorites you will see. 🙂
15 Best Bird Feeders:
- I have also included six questions to ask yourself before buying your next bird feeder, which you can find at the end of the article.
This large hopper bird feeder is the centerpiece of my backyard feeding area. It is where I normally put my general birdseed mix (sunflower, peanut pieces, safflower, and white millet) that is designed to attract as many species as possible.
My Absolute II is hanging from a pole, but it can also be mounted. Make sure to use a heavy-duty bird feeding pole. This feeder holds up to 12 pounds (5.4 kg) of seed and is heavy when full!
I love that it is quick to refill as the top lid unlatches easily to open. In addition, the seed is protected from rain. I have had no problems with mold or seed clumping due to moisture or dampness.
Check out the Absolute II in action!
In this video, you can watch multiple Northern Cardinals feeding on the perches.
This feeder is also effective at preventing squirrels!
The perches collapse if too much weight is put on them! Press PLAY below to see how this feature works. 🙂
It’s hard to go wrong with this feeder. It’s made by Aspects, whose products are always high quality, made in the United States, and backed by their Lifetime Warranty. You will pay more for an Aspects bird feeder, but it’s worth the extra cost. I have talked to many people whose Aspects feeders are over 20 years old and still work great!
The BEST part about these tube feeders is that they are EASY to clean! The base comes right out by just pushing two buttons, which makes cleaning super convenient. Honestly, I refuse to use a tube feeder anymore that doesn’t have a quick clean base.
This tube feeder style comes in THREE sizes:
I own all of them, so it’s hard to pick my favorite. Each size serves a different purpose in my backyard. The “Medium” size would probably be best for most feeding stations. (Click on the links below to see the current price)
- Large: 20 inches long, six feeding ports, and a feeding capacity of 1.75 quarts.
- Medium: 16 inches long, four feeding ports, and a feeding capacity of 1.25 quarts.
- Small: 12.5 inches long, two feeding ports, and a feeding capacity of .75 quarts.
One thing to know about tube feeders is that many larger birds have problems fitting on the small perch and then turning their bodies to the feeding port. If you want to offer these bigger species a place to eat, attaching a tray to the bottom of the tube feeder is easy.
Here are two different-sized trays, which both fit on the Aspect tube feeders above:
- 8.5-inch Seed Tray (pictured above)
Buying a caged bird feeder is the BEST way to make sure that small birds have a private place to eat.
These feeders work by wrapping a metal cage around a classic tube feeder, which prevents larger birds AND squirrels from fitting inside. My American Goldfinches and Black-capped Chickadees especially like using this feeder.
My biggest recommendation is to give your birds time to find it and learn how to get inside. I almost gave up on it after a few days because no birds were using it, but once they discovered the delicious sunflower kernels inside the cage, this feeder is now used daily!
As hard as they may try, squirrels, grackles, and starlings can only look at the delicious food inside!
So what’s not to like?
Please know that medium-sized birds, such as Northern Cardinals and Blue Jays, will not be able to use this feeder. The metal cage works incredibly well at keeping birds out except the very smallest. The species that I have observed so far inside the cage include goldfinches, chickadees, finches, sparrows, and small woodpeckers (like the Downy Woodpecker).
This bird feeder is my favorite for goldfinches!
The feeder is constructed of a fine metal mesh, and the openings for the seeds to fit through are small. It is specially designed ONLY to distribute Nyjer seeds, which are tiny and black and commonly called “thistle.” And in case you weren’t aware, GOLDFINCHES LOVE EATING NYJER SEED. It’s a lot of fun to watch my goldfinches cling all over the sides to get at the seed. I have counted as many as nine eating at once!
Here are some other reasons I like this bird feeder:
- The feeder discriminates against the majority of birds. Most species either don’t enjoy eating Nyjer seed or can’t fit their beak through the small opening. The only birds I’ve seen eating from it are goldfinches, house sparrows, house finches, and chickadees.
- It’s made entirely of metal, which makes it sturdy and resistant to squirrels (and other critters).
- In the pictures above, you will notice two internal baffles inside the mesh tube. This feature helps to distribute the seed evenly throughout the feeder and provides a larger surface area for finches to feed.
- It is super easy to clean! The top and base twist right off.
- There are tiny holes drilled into the bottom tray to help with drainage. The seeds will get wet when it rains due to the open design, but it dries quickly. Make sure to replace any uneaten seed after about two weeks (depending on the weather).
This tray feeder is an excellent multi-purpose platform and one of the best bird feeders in my yard. Just spread a mixture of foods and watch the birds and mammals come. My favorite foods for this feeder are peanuts, sunflower seeds, corn, suet nuggets, and mealworms.
- The tray can be used in THREE ways. It can be placed on the ground, hung with a wire, or mounted to a pole. Currently, I have this feeder sitting on the ground underneath my feeders. This location provides food for ground birds, squirrels, opossums, and rabbits. Press PLAY below to watch this tray feeder in action LIVE.
I also have it mounted to my feeder pole to give birds a large area to land and feed!
- The metal screen bottom provides excellent drainage. So your food will never be sitting in standing water. The screen bottom is also removable and slides right out. This feature makes it easy to clean!
- It’s big and can support multiple birds at one time when it’s hanging in the air. (16.4 x 13.2 x 2.4 inches)
Tray feeders cater to the instincts of many birds. For example, certain birds enjoy having lots of space to hop around to eat their food, which a tray feeder provides. The platform also gives lots of visibility for birds to watch for predators, so they feel safer while eating.
#6. Brome Squirrel Buster Plus
The Brome Squirrel Buster Plus is one of the BEST bird feeders that DON’T let squirrels eat!
It’s weight-sensitive, allowing birds to feed, but it instantly closes with the weight of a squirrel. It features six seed ports, holds about 5 lbs (2.3 kg) of seed, and has one continuous perch around the entire base.
Another thing that I like is that you can adjust the feeding ports to different weight sensitivities. This feature comes in handy if flocks of European Starlings or other large birds are taking over your feeding station. If too many of these birds land on the perch, then it will close access to the food inside.
Here’s a great video of the Squirrel Buster Plus in action!
View Today's Price! | Use Coupon Code “BWHQ850″ to save 10%!
Have you ever wanted to put a camera next to your feeders to watch the birds up close?
Well, by using this bird feeder, this has never been easier! Netvue was the first company to manufacture an “out of the box” bird feeder with a camera built into the design! The camera is 1080p, giving incredibly clear video and pictures of the visiting birds!
What’s neat about the Birdfy Feeder Camera is that you can watch the birds from your phone! The app makes it easy to record or capture interesting moments that can be shared quickly and easily. In addition, you can set up notifications to be alerted every time a bird comes to the feeder, although this can get annoying quickly if you have a high-traffic feeding station. Also, please note that the bird feeder must be close enough to your house to connect to your Wifi to work.
Although the bird feeder camera is not squirrel-proof, the Birdfy Feeder has an interesting way of discouraging squirrels. The Netvue app and the camera have two-way audio, so if you see a squirrel on the feeder, you can yell at it to go away or set off a built-in siren. 🙂
One negative to this style of bird feeder camera is that you have to recharge the batteries in the camera. During the cold winter months, my feeder lasts about 3 weeks before I have to recharge the batteries, and it lasts a bit longer than that in summer. But Netvue also provides the option to buy a small solar panel, which continuously charges the battery for you (I have not tried the solar panel yet).
- Learn more about the Netvue Birdfy Feeder Camera HERE! (Use Coupon Code BWHQ850 to save 10%!)
- This feeder is versatile and has many purposes in my backyard. Northern Cardinals love it because it provides them with a big, open area to land and feed. In addition, the large tray gives them plenty of space to feel comfortable.
- The dome over the feeding tray helps to keep rain and snow off the seed. And the water that does get onto the seeds will drain away through the small holes in the tray.
- This feeder is constructed of sturdy and durable polycarbonate plastic. It is very tough, sturdy, and resistant to cracking or breaking. No worries if this accidentally falls to the ground.
- It is made by Droll Yankees, who have a fantastic reputation for quality bird products. Made in America (as are all their products!) and backed by their Lifetime Warranty, which covers any defective part or damage caused by squirrels.
- Since it is made from clear plastic, this cardinal bird feeder is not the most decorative or aesthetically pleasing in my yard. However, this is not something that I care about because it works well. Our family calls it the “UFO Feeder” for obvious reasons. 🙂
- The plastic tray doesn’t hold much food. I have to refill this feeder daily.
Hummingbird feeders are easily the most popular style of bird feeders.
Seriously, it’s hard to find someone that doesn’t enjoy having these little avian beauties flying around their yard! To attract hummingbirds, you don’t use seeds like other birds. Instead, you must offer SUGAR WATER, which mimics the nectar that hummingbirds naturally drink from flowers. While you can buy countless hummingbird feeders, the HummZinger is my favorite!
- First, the Hummzinger has a simple dish design, which means that the sugar water sits in the glass dish BELOW the feeding ports. This design makes cleaning the feeder incredibly easy since there are no hard-to-reach areas inside a skinny bottle. Another benefit of dish-style hummingbird feeders is they DON’T LEAK!
- This 12 oz model has four feeding ports. The HummZinger also comes in a 16 oz model with six feeding ports if you want a larger option.
- There is a built-in ant moat, which is very effective at preventing these insects from accessing the nectar. Just make sure to remember to fill it with water. (Speaking from experience 🙂 )
This product is definitely one of the BEST hummingbird feeders on the market. It’s a bit more expensive than other options, but it’s worth the extra cost. You should have no hassle or frustration with cleaning or leaking nectar. It just works!
Before buying a hummingbird feeder, you need to realize that feeding hummingbirds can be quite a commitment. You must change the sugar water frequently or risk getting your hummingbirds sick!
This bright orange feeder is one of the best feeders for attracting orioles!
Orioles are bright orange birds that are incredibly beautiful and amazing to see visiting feeders. The problem is that they don’t eat normal feeder foods, like peanuts and sunflower seeds. Interestingly, the best way to attract orioles is to use oranges and jelly. And luckily, the Double Fruit Oriole Feeder is perfect for these two foods. 🙂
- First, You can see that it holds two orange halves on each side on the permanently mounted fruit stakes.
- Second, the glass dish can be filled with grape jelly, which orioles can’t resist.
Check out this oriole bird feeder in action in my yard!
In the above video, you can watch a male Baltimore Oriole feasting on grape jelly in my backyard! The fact that this feeder is completely orange helps attract the interest of orioles passing by.
I like that this feeder is tall and skinny, so it doesn’t take up much room hanging from my feeding station. In addition, it’s made from recycled poly lumber and is guaranteed never to crack, split, or fade!
Just remember that orioles typically will only eat oranges in the spring and fall. During the summer, their diet switches to insects that provide protein for breeding and raising their young. Luckily, the glass cup gives a perfect place to offer mealworms once they switch foods.
#11. Suet Cage
Having a feeder dedicated to offering suet is an excellent addition to any backyard. Suet provides birds with a huge energy boost and is especially crucial in the cold winter months. They are also great if you want to attract woodpeckers!
If you’re looking for a suet feeder that works and doesn’t cost much money, then this one (or any similar cage feeder) is a great choice. Birds can cling to the metal sides and slowly eat the suet. Once it’s gone, the feeder unlatches easily to place another suet cake inside.
Even giant Pileated Woodpeckers enjoy using this suet feeder!
Offering suet at your feeding station is a great thing to do. The only problem is that at certain times of the year, European Starlings will GO CRAZY over suet. Seriously, I have had dozens of birds swarming around my suet feeders, eating an entire suet cake in less than an hour.
This caged feeder is a great solution if starlings, squirrels, raccoons, or other critters won’t leave your suet alone! They can’t fit their bodies through the outer cage to get to the suet.
- This feeder has a two-cake capacity, meaning there will be plenty of suet for all the small birds that need a bite! Make sure to have patience, as your birds need time to figure out they must go inside the cage to eat.
- Its all-metal design and screw-top lid make it a great low-maintenance choice for a suet feeder.
- You might notice one or two determined starlings stretching their neck to get a small bit of food. But don’t worry; this feeder will prevent flocks of starlings all showing up and once and decimating the suet within an hour!
One drawback to using this feeder is that only smaller woodpeckers, like Downy Woodpeckers, can fit inside. Most larger woodpeckers won’t be able to get to the suet.
The first thing you need to know about this metal mesh feeder is that you will need to fill it up with suet nuggets or peanuts.
Since there are no perches, the only way for a bird to eat is to cling to the metal mesh. The birds I see most often using this feeder are woodpeckers, chickadees, jays, and starlings.
The food that is put inside this feeder typically lasts a long time. This is because birds can access the food, but they can’t devour it quickly since they are forced to take a little chunk at a time.
Also, the feeder discriminates against some bird species that either can’t cling (Mourning Doves) or don’t have a bill that can fit in between the metal mesh (Northern Cardinals).
Below is a short video of a Red-bellied Woodpecker using this feeder!
View Today's Price – Use code “BWHQ” to SAVE 10%!
Putting up a window bird feeder outside our kitchen was one of my best decisions. My kids love watching the birds up close, and anyone that visits is immediately attracted to the back windows to see the action. If I am quiet, I can easily get next to the window to observe each bird’s beautiful plumage or feeding habits.
This window bird feeder consistently has birds feeding on it and works as advertised. There is a removable tray that sits inside the plastic housing that suctions to your window, which makes it easy to refill the seed and clean.
And don’t worry. The FOUR suction cups do a great job of keeping the feeder attached. I have NEVER had it fall from my window.
*If you have never used a window bird feeder before, PLEASE BE PATIENT! It can take the birds a while to find the new location and feel comfortable enough coming that close to your home.
This blue tube feeder was the first bird feeder that I ever purchased! I bought it more than 10 years ago, mostly because it was cheap (around $15), and it still is!
I’m happy to report that it still hangs in my backyard today. Most days, it can be seen on a window hook outside our kitchen window and serves as an excellent window bird feeder. As you can see in the picture above, goldfinches love visiting daily to eat sunflower kernels.
There are better overall tube feeders available, such as the Aspect ones above (#2), but this one has too much sentimental value not to be included on my list. Plus, it’s inexpensive and works well. I have never once dealt with moisture inside. It’s also easy to open and clean. My only complaint is that since the feeder is not transparent, I can’t check the seed level without opening the top and looking inside.
7 Questions to Ask Before Buying a New Bird Feeder
It’s worth considering the following questions before purchasing a new bird feeder. These are the features that I have found valuable in the feeders I own. This list is not all-inclusive, so please give me some more ideas in the comments section below.
What species of birds do you want to feed and attract?
Please give this question some serious thought. Do you want to see the widest variety of species possible? Are you hoping to see lots of colorful goldfinches? Do you love watching woodpeckers? Once you are clear on your birding goals, it will help narrow down the best bird feeders for you.
Is the feeder easy to clean?
Trust me; you will appreciate an easy-to-clean bird feeder!
Can water drain easily?
It rains. It snows. Nothing ruins birdseed faster than sitting in water.
Can I see the amount of food from a distance?
I like to check food levels from the comfort of my own home, especially during the cold winter months. I don’t want my feeders sitting empty for long!
How easy is the bird feeder to fill?
This question doesn’t seem relevant until it’s incredibly cold and you just want to get back inside. My preference is that I can easily unhinge a lid WITH my gloves on.
Is the feeder well constructed?
No one likes cheap stuff. So spend a few more dollars and get a sturdy bird feeder.
Which company manufactures the feeder?
Many companies have been in business for a long time and have excellent reputations for making high-quality bird feeders. Therefore, these companies are my preference! Also, check out any warranties that are offered.
What is the best bird feeder in your backyard?
Or, put another way, if you could only keep one feeder, which one would it be and why?
Thanks again for reading. Happy backyard birding!