The 15 Best Bird Feeders In MY Backyard (w/Pics)

Trying to find the BEST bird feeders for my backyard is challenging.


Here’s why:


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 feeder options available, I thought it would be easiest to show you what works well for me.


So today, I’m sharing the BEST bird feeders in my backyard!

bird feeders in my shed

Here is a picture of my shed, which has been taken over by bird feeders!


The list below includes 15 of my favorite feeders and is organized into a few different sections, depending on the style and type of bird you want to attract. I have also included six questions to ask before buying your next bird feeder, which you can find at the end of the article.


Quick Links: The Best Bird Feeders (15 total)


Do you want to see my bird feeders in action?


Check out the LIVE camera that streams my feeding station! I’m always rotating feeders, depending on the season or the bird’s preference, so you never know which of my favorites you are going to see. 🙂


Hopper Bird Feeders (#1 and #2)


Hopper feeders are typically designed to attract as many different bird species as possible. They are a great place to put a general bird seed mix. When I think of the most common or traditional type of bird feeder, a hopper is what comes to mind.


Here are some common features of hoppers:

  • Protects the birdseed from the weather, specifically rain and snow.
  • Holds a few day’s supply of food.
  • Food dispenses from the bottom as birds feed.
  • Includes a large perching area for birds to eat from.


If you were only going to purchase ONE bird feeder, I think a hopper would be the BEST choice.


#1.  Absolute II Bird Feeder

Best Hopper Feeder for Cardinals

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  • This large hopper bird feeder is the centerpiece of my backyard feeding area and where I put my general bird seed 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 of seed and is heavy when it’s full!
  • It is quick to refill. The top lid unlatches easily to open.
  • The seed is protected from the 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.


Did I mention that this feeder is also effective at preventing squirrels?


The perches collapse if too much weight is put on them!


#2. Woodlink Hopper Bird Feeder

woodlink hopper

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  • This simple design allows many birds to feed comfortably at once and from both sides.
  • The hinged roof makes it easy to fill, and it holds about 5.5 lbs of seed. It’s made of 90% recycled plastic, so it should never rot or fall apart.

  • The feeder has a mesh screen bottom that provides excellent drainage
  • It’s not flashy, but it works, which is why it’s one of the best hopper bird feeders available!


Tube Feeders (#3 and #4)


After you have had some success with a hopper feeder (above), getting a tube feeder for your backyard is a great addition.


These classic bird feeders have a tube shape and feature multiple perches and ports for birds to feed. Tube feeders come in many different sizes. For example, I own tube feeders that are small enough to be hung from a window hook and also a large tube feeder that holds up to 4 lbs of birdseed!


The simple design of tube feeders is what makes them so popular. I appreciate that they are easy to open and fill. Most species of birds have no problem flying up and using the perches.


#3. Aspects Tube Bird Feeder

aspects tube bird feeder

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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 are going to pay more money for an Aspects bird feeder, but it’s worth the extra cost. I have talked to many people whose bird 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, 6 feeding ports, and feeding capacity is 1.75 quarts.
  • Medium: 16 inches long, 4 feeding ports, and feeding capacity is 1.25 quarts.
  • Small: 12.5 inches long, 2 feeding ports, and feeding capacity is .75 quarts.


I recommend buying a tray and attaching it to the bottom, which gives larger birds a place to land! Northern Cardinals will especially appreciate this addition.

aspects tube feeder and tray

Here are two different sized trays, which both fit on the Aspect tube feeders above:

  • 12-inch seed tray. This larger option is the best for larger birds, such as Blue Jays, Mourning Doves, or Northern Cardinals.


#4. Perky-Pet Metal Tube Bird Feeder

best tube bird feeders

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This blue tube feeder was the first bird feeder that I ever purchased! I bought it more than ten years ago, mostly because it was super cheap (under $15!).


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 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 much better overall tube feeders available, such as the Aspect ones above, 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.


#5. Audubon Caged Tube Feeder

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Buying a caged bird feeder is the BEST way to make sure the 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 used daily!


As hard as they may try, squirrels and starlings can only look at the delicious food!


Audubon makes this specific feeder for smalls birds:

  • Features 4 feeding ports.
  • It holds approximately 1.25 lbs of seed.
  • The feeder is about 15.5 inches long from top to bottom.
  • It is made of durable powder-coated metal.


So what’s not to like?


The metal cage works incredibly well at keeping birds out except the very smallest. Please know that medium-size birds, such as cardinals, will not be able to use this feeder. The species that I have observed so far inside the cage include goldfinches, chickadees, finches, sparrows, and small woodpeckers (like the Downy Woodpecker).


Nyjer/Thistle Seed Feeders (#6 and #7)


Nyjer feeders (or commonly referred to as thistle feeders) are specially made to distribute nyjer seed, which is tiny and black.


These bird feeders are characterized by small openings that make it hard for birds with larger bills to pull any of the seed out. Many of them also don’t have perches for birds to land upon, electing instead to have a wire mesh that birds must cling to eat (like American Goldfinches!).


Here’s why I love nyjer feeders:


They discriminate against the majority of birds. Putting up a nyjer feeder only appeals to a few species. This list includes many different finches, goldfinches, and chickadees. Doves will eat the seed that falls to the ground.


#6. Droll Yankees Nyjer Tube Feeder

Niger tube finch feeders

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This product is made by Droll Yankees, who have a fantastic reputation for quality bird products. The feeder is made in America, and backed by their Lifetime Warranty, which covers any defective part or any damage caused by squirrels!

  • The yellow top and bases are constructed of zinc die-cast metal.
  • The transparent tube body is made of hard and durable plastic, which lets you see when the feeder needs refilled.


The tube feeder has small slits above each perch that only allows nyjer seed to come out, which is excellent because not much of the seed is wasted.


The version pictured above is 23 inches tall, has eight ports/perches, and can hold up to 2 lbs of seed, which is perfect for my backyard.




#7. No / No Screen NYJER SEED Feeder

Finch Feeder Screen Mesh

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This screen feeder is one of my favorite bird feeders!


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!

  • It’s made entirely of metal. There is NO plastic and NO wood, hence the name “No/No.” (No/No is a brand of Perky-Pet). Since it’s made entirely of metal, it’s 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 seed gets wet when it rains due to the open design, but it dries quickly. Just make sure to replace any uneaten seed after about two weeks (depending on weather).


Platform / Tray Bird Feeders (#8 and #9)


The concept of a platform feeder is simple; just put out a tray and fill with food.


A platform feeder caters to the natural 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.


A quality platform feeder was one of the last bird feeders that I added to my backyard, and this was a mistake.


My platform and tray feeders are now two of my favorite bird feeders! It’s easy to experiment with different food combinations to see what my local birds are eating. I love putting out a mix of just about every food in my shed (sunflower, corn, suet nuggets, peanuts, safflower, mealworms) to see what their favorites are.


#8. Woodlink 3 in 1 Tray Feeder

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Currently, I have my tray feeder positioned on the ground below my other bird feeders. This location provides food for ground birds, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, and rabbits. Press PLAY above to watch this tray feeder in action LIVE.


  • This feeder is an excellent, multi-purpose platform and one of my favorites. Just spread a mixture of foods on top and watch the birds and mammals come. My favorite foods to use for this feeder are peanuts (both in the shell and out), sunflower, 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, as you can see in the video above.

I also have it mounted to my feeder pole to give birds a large area to land and feed!

best tray feeder


  • The metal screen bottom provides excellent drainage. 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)


#9. Droll Yankees Tray Feeder

Best Cardinal Feeders

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  • This feeder is versatile and has many purposes in my backyard. For example, when I want to see more cardinals (generally in winter), I put safflower or striped sunflower on the tray. In the summer, I use this feeder for mealworms or peanuts.
  • The tray has small holes that provide excellent drainage to help keep the food dry.
  • This bird feeder is constructed of sturdy and durable polycarbonate plastic. It’s tough, sturdy, and resistant to cracking or breaking. As with all Droll Yankee products, you can expect a high-quality quality product that is made in the USA.

  • It’s effortless to clean. Dirt, shells, and waste quickly wash off the smooth plastic.


Nectar Feeders (#10 and #11)


Even though there are quite a few types of birds that sample nectar occasionally, there are only two groups of birds that reliably visit backyard feeders filled with sugar water.


Those are hummingbirds and orioles.


Both of these birds are some of the most fun and beautiful birds you can attract to your backyard. I highly recommend learning how to make homemade nectar and buying one of these feeders!


Hummingbird feeders are easily the most popular style of bird feeders.


In my opinion, they are the best bird feeders for people that don’t love birds. It’s hard to find someone that doesn’t enjoy having these little avian beauties flying around their yard!


#10. Aspects HummZinger Nectar Feeder

Best Dish Hummingbird Feeder - Plastic

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  • It is effortless to clean, and there is no leaking!



  • This product is BY FAR my favorite hummingbird feeder that I have ever owned. It’s inexpensive with no hassle or frustration AND attracts hummingbirds! It just works!


Before buying a hummingbird feeder, you need to realize that feeding hummingbirds can be quite a commitment. You will need to change the sugar water frequently, or you risk getting your hummingbirds sick!


#11: Birds Choice Oriole Feeder (12 oz)


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This feeder was designed to offer THREE delicious oriole foods at once! Nectar, oranges, and jelly!

  • First, there is a transparent plastic dish that holds the nectar. Orioles access the sugar water by landing on the perches and sticking their beaks through the four holes in the orange lid.
  • Next, there are four cupped sections on the orange lid where jelly or orange slices can be placed.
  • Finally, the metal hook that screws into the plastic dish can be used to skewer oranges (not pictured in the above video).


The look of this feeder reminds me of a dish hummingbird feeder, just with the added benefit of having spots for jelly and oranges. For the record, hummingbirds will also visit oriole feeders like this one for the nectar. 🙂


If you decide to put out nectar for orioles (or hummingbirds), please make sure you are committed to cleaning your nectar feeders consistently. Sugar water spoils rather quickly, and if a bird drinks rotten nectar, then it can cause issues.


Lastly, this oriole feeder is made of durable polycarbonate plastic, has a built-in ant guard for the nectar, and is simple to take apart to clean. The top lid is also the color of orange, which is vital because orioles are naturally attracted to anything orange.


Suet Bird Feeders (#12 & #13)


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.


#12. Suet Cage

caged suet feeder

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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.


Take a look at the picture on the right. It is a cage that perfectly fits any standard size suet cake (4.5″ x 4.5″ x 1.5″). The hook allows it to hang just about anywhere.


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!



#13. Droll Yankees Metal Mesh Feeder

best metal mesh suet feeder

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The first thing you need to know about this Droll Yankees feeder is that it doesn’t use standard suet cakes like the Stokes Select suet cage above (#12).


Instead, you will need to use suet nuggets (or peanuts) to fill this metal mesh tube feeder. Suet nuggets resemble a pea, just slightly larger.


Because of the metal construction, this feeder is durable, tough, and sturdy. I use it commonly in my backyard whenever I want to feed suet nuggets or peanuts.


The food that is put inside this feeder typically lasts a long time. 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!


Specialty Bird Feeders (#14-15)


Here are a few of the other best bird feeders in my backyard that didn’t fit in any of the previous sections.


#14: Acrylic Window Bird Feeder

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Putting up a few window bird feeders outside our kitchen was one of the best decisions I have made. 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.


Check out this durable window bird feeder. It 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.

It’s big enough to fit 4 or 5 birds at once easily. Most of the birds use the perch, but a few species (House Finches, for example) tend to sit right on top of all the seed to eat and relax.


And don’t worry. The FOUR suction cups do a great job at 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.


#15. Stokes Snack ‘N’ Treats Bird Feeder

Feeding Bluebirds with Mealworms

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Whenever I want to experiment and try a different type of food, this is the bird feeder that I use. Since it’s small, it’s easy to isolate a specific food and then watch what birds feed on it. I have used everything from jelly to mealworms to suet balls in this feeder.

The simple design is just a small (10 oz) dish with small slits on the sides (to allow water to drain out).


Lastly, I appreciate that it’s easy to clean! The dish pops right out from the metal hook.


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.


1. What species of birds do you want to feed and attract? 

The Best Bird Feeders


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.


2. Is it easy to clean?

Trust me; you will appreciate an easy to clean bird feeder!


3. Can water drain?

It rains. It snows. Nothing ruins birdseed faster than sitting in water.


4. Can I see the 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!


5. How easy is it 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.


6. Is the feeder well constructed?

No one likes cheap stuff. Spend a few more dollars and get a sturdy bird feeder.


7. Which company manufactures the feeder?

Many companies have been in business for a very long time and have excellent reputations for making high-quality bird feeders. These companies are my preference! Also, check out any warranties that are offered.

A Question For You!


  • 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!




  1. Which birdfeeder would you recommend that dispenses food as slowly as possible? My dad’s in a nursing home and I’m wanting to find the best birdfeeder that won’t run out of food super quickly.

  2. I’d love to see a picture! This is a fantastic idea! I have a feeder my birds love but I hate because the rain ruins the seeds…also hard to clean.

  3. As far as caged tube feeders, I have found the Woodlink (copper) to be the best. It has an 11″ diameter instead of the 8-9″ that most are. It also has a cage bottom so there is not the accumulation of feed on the bottom the larger birds can get to. The smaller diameter do not keep the feed safe from cowbird or red winged blackbirds which are a problem in my area. They just hang on the outside and stick there heads through to grids. With the larger diameter, they can’t reach the food by sticking their heads in. I also have the Woodlink Absolute II which became a hit within 2 days of installing.

  4. Consider the Wingscapes AutoFeeder™. What is an AutoFeeder? It is an automatic bird feeder, featuring a battery-powered, time-release system that allows you to program not only the amount of seed released, but also the time of day that you would like to see birds visit your backyard feeder.

  5. I mix dried mealworms in with my regular seed. The bluebirds will eat them from the tube feeders. I also found a special bluebird feeder at our co-op with a rubber opening and small perches. They love it.

  6. I have several wonderful Brome products but the Squirrel Buster Suet may be my favorite. The other day I watched a frustrated squirrel try to get the suet, and the unit closed. He tried several times. I love this feeder because it is two-sided, and very easy to fill and clean. During the year woodpeckers in particular love it, but now that the weather is really awful birds of all sizes come to it, and because it is two sided, they can share suet, and sometimes I will have large and small birds on it simultaneously. And, OK, this is absurd, its really attractive.

  7. Thoughts on how to put out dried mealworms for the bluebirds without having starlings dominate the feeder? I like the idea of the “size exclusion” mesh and could make my own, but what size opening would allow bluebirds and not starlings?
    Thank you!

  8. If you can’t dissemble the feeder to wash it thoroughly, every couple weeks, then it’s not a qualified candidate on my selection list. Droll Yankee (#3) failed that test after the lack of washing inner niches left a residue of moldy seed that birds avoided.

  9. Some of these, such as the “Woodlink Hopper Bird Feeder” are a nightmare in terms of cleaning. I have the Woodlink Hopper Bird Feeder and it gets really disgusting in the bottom part. I soak it in a large enzyme bath, but the design is poor.

  10. Any thoughts on how to put out dried mealworms for the bluebirds and Carolina wrens without having starlings dominate the feeder? I like the idea of the “size exclusion” mesh and could make my own, but what size opening would allow bluebirds and not starlings?

  11. Hey Scott, you really go all out to feed our little feathered friends. I have one of the tube feeders that works quite well . I had to drill a small hole in the bottom support piece and hooked an aluminum pie plate under it to catch all the seed that the little guys throw all over. It’s surprising how much ends up in that tray. I also have some very inexpensive “drop tray” type feeders that I’ve built covers for so as to keep the seed dry, and have them in an enclosure with a large tray under to catch seed. Trying to prevent rats. Have to diligent re: cleaning tray , as seed there gets wet and sprouts if left too long. Recent “salmonella” scare, which was killing some birds, so am being extra careful . I also have a suet hanger out there. Regards , John Turner

  12. I have 2 squirrel-proof tube feeders that work well for small birds but the cardinals and blue jays are too large to use it. The squirrels are still getting some seeds but not easily. They and the big birds browse under the feeders. I’ve been putting out peanuts for the squirrels and the blue jays love them. I read on one of your posted articles about putting pepper on the bird seeds. It’s not supposed to hurt the birds but squirrels apparently don’t like it and stay away. So I filled a tray with seeds and peanuts, (provided another source of peanuts for the squirrels,) added cayenne pepper and pepper seeds. My local squirrels love pepper. Not only were they sitting in the tray feasting but they tipped it over. Any ideas why this didn’t work? I can’t really afford those nice poles and baffles but do want to feed all of the birds, especially during winter.

  13. Thank you for this article! I bought the medium sized Droll Yankee Tube Feeder after reading this and think I should have sprung for the largest. The birds love this feeder! I should also thank you for your live webcam. It is a peaceful haven in the most unusual and chaotic year. This winter I bought some sturdy, clear plastic salad bowls ( for roofs over my bird feeders. They give some protection for the birds during stormy weather and keep the seed a little drier. I just dremeled a custom slot across the “bottom” of each bowl to fit over the different sized hangers. I wrote a 5 star “salad bowl review” on Amazon but wasn’t sure how many bird lovers would see it. I would love to share a couple of pictures of how they are working out.

  14. i would not put Vaseline on anything because if it melts, it can drip on birds’ feathers and damage their waterproof coating! Not good!!

  15. Hi, I live in Ohio too and really love your bird site. It is very informative and you really did justice for the birds. I too love feeding birds and love to watch them come to my yard. Thank you so much for sharing all you know.

    Judy in Medina

  16. You should be fine with regular store bought/homemade suet, although you can use no melt if it gets up in the 90s. I live down in Tacoma and the worst my suet has melted is only enough to make your hands a little slippery.

  17. I was wondering how to keep the pigeons off the tube feeders I have. I have mesh trays under the feeders so the sunflower chips don’t get on the ground, we had a couple of rats! The pigeons land on the trays and get the droppings and try to get at the openings. Any ideas? I have considered feeding them some where else in my yard. Thanks

  18. Thanks for the great article! I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, in the city, and enjoy backyard birding very much. I have been bird feeding for a number of years and have slow built up a number of bird feeders. In my backyard I now have 18 bird feeders. They are positioned on a number of poles. The setup changes through the year but this is how it is now. Through-out the year I try to create a setup that stops the squirrels and crows. I do not get House Sparrows, Starlings or an appreciable number of blackbirds.

    On one pole I have four caged feeders. One has a gelatin bound seed cylinder in a cage. Another feeder on this pole has dried mealworms. Also on this pole I have I have caged suet cakes. Lastly on this pole I have a caged tube feeder in which I place hulled sunflower chips.

    On another pole have a squirrel proof suet feeder with a weight activated mechanism to protect the suet. I generally put regular fatty suet cakes in this feeder or a suet, peanut butter and corn mix into this feeder. I also have a peanut feeder on this pole that has a weight activated mechanism to stop the squirrels. I put suet nuggets in it.

    Another pole I have has a very large pole mounted hopper on top and hanging below it are two hanging trays and one small tube feeder. This pole has a baffle below the feeders. The hopper has black oil sunflower in it. The two trays have mixed seed. The small tube feeder has sunflower chips.

    On another pole I have three feeders. Two of the feeders are tray feeders with a cage. One of the feeders has shelled peanuts and the other tray feeder has mixed seed. The third feeder on this pole has a weight activated squirrel proof mechanism. In this feeder I put hulled sunflower. On this pole there is squirrel baffle but the cages and the squirrel proof mechanism is really to stop the crows.

    I have another pole with two nyger feeders. Both have yellow accents to draw in the goldfinches. One is a mesh feeder and the other has perches.

    One more pole has two more feeders. One is a small tube feeder with a tray in which I run hot pepper bird seed. And the other feeder is designed for clinging birds and again I put hot pepper bird seed in it.

    Finally I have a hummingbird feeder on a pole.

    It rains more than you can believe here in the Pacific Northwest so many of my feeders have roofs.

  19. Thanks for the info. To answer your questions, if I could only keep one of my feeds, it would be the lifetime warranty tube feeder that is indestructible. It’s at least 20 years old and no markings as to manufacturer, but everything from finches to red bellied woodpeckers keep it busy. Currently I have 7 hanging feeders plus I ground feed scratch and seed for crows, etc.

  20. I am thinking of putting in a 4×4 inch pole with a gazebo type feeder on top. It has a plastic cylinder in the center. Roof comes off so it is easy to fill, good construction, but I don’t know if this type of feeder is practical and if cardinals will like it. Have you tried one?

    1. Judy, I don’t have any experience with those types of feeders, but my guess would be that cardinals will like it. They seem to have a big open area to eat if I’m picturing it correctly.

  21. I read you can put a ring of Vaseline on the pole that holds the feeder and it would stop ants from getting to the bird feed – it works! I just refresh it several times/ yr. (Plenty of ants in N.C., too. )

  22. Scott, thanks for the great list. How do you keep the ants out of the Oriole feeder? I am in South Florida and we always had Baltimore Orioles around when I was a kids, trying to attract them to my yard has proven futile thus far.

  23. central iowa now using hopper feeder home made-platform feeder old plastic garbage can lid-ear corn in jar also on platform on tree,peanut butter mixed with bird seed on tree.small cover feeder. mesh plastic covered wire for finch feed.hanging suet feeder.all work good. favorite is platform feeder.

  24. I have one. Didn’t take the squirrels any time at all to figure out how not to step on the bar and emptied it out onto the ground within a day. Simply hanging it on a tree doesn’t work.

  25. I never knew that the type of bird feeders that we place in our backyard actually plays a role in attracting certain species of birds. My younger children developed an interest in birding, so I am positive that a bird feeder that attracts a variety of species will be best. I am going to do some research and see if the option is available in animal-themed seeing how it is for my younger children.

  26. I probably have purchased thirty-five feeders trying to find the perfect one. There is no such thing of course because of the different birds I like to feed and the types of feed I use. One of my faves that you didn’t mention is the Roller Feeder ( I have two and they are in constant use. They are squirrel proof, weather proof, and larger bird proof. Absolutely love them.

  27. I have several feeders in my yard. Two of them are in my front yard and one is in my back yard. The first is a post mount hopper feeder with plexi-glass so I can see the seed. The other two are home-made tube-feeders using 1/4″ screen, large mason jar rings, 8″ pot lids and metal pie pans. The birds just love all three feeders.

  28. It takes time for them to learn. And if there’s an easier way for them to get to the seed, they’ll eat that. Mine became more used when the number of birds went up. The goldfinches like the small holed feeder.

  29. We currently have a hanging feeder, a window feeder that we made (it’s nailed to the outside sill instead of suctioned to the window), four seasonal Hummingbird feeders (including one that suctions to the window and is exceptionally interesting to observe), two suet cages and a homemade platform feeder on the ground for the wrens, mourning doves and other birds who prefer to eat down there. We have our window feeder, hanging feeder, two hummingbird feeders and a suet cage all outside our second story windows because that’s where we spend a lot of time. A little inconvenient to fill the hanging feeder, but the birds seem to like being up in the trees where many of the feral cats around here can’t easily access them, also the cover of the treetops seems to make them feel secure by providing them a good view of the area.

    If I could only keep one of these feeders, I’d opt for my homemade window feeder because I like the variety of birds that visit and that I’m able to photograph and observe very closely with this one. I would have to plant mass quantities of flowers in the area though, so that the hummingbirds would still visit me since I chose not to keep their feeders in the scenario where I could only keep one. Thankfully that’s just a hypothetical question posed to promote interesting conversations and/or comments!

    Thanks for your great article sharing your feeder experiences and research. I found it informative, well written, and interesting.

  30. I like your feeder set-up. I put out at least 6 different kinds of feeders beginning now (November) thru March. I have a 2.5 acre yard and MANY critters. I can “squirrle-deter” most feeders, but they learn quick. Unfortunately, I have many raccoons that love bird seed. I finally learned to use heavy-duty wire and clips to prevent them from ripping off feeders at night. I throw unshelled peanuts on ground in winter, and the Jays & crows go bonkers.

  31. Thank you for a very informative article. My husband and I are just beginning to add to our feeder area, so this gives us a lot choices to ponder over. Do the ground boxes have a solid bottom or have holes to allow rain to filter through? I really enjoyed watching the reactions of the birds and the squirrel to the skunk. They were extremely cautious in approaching to get food. HAHA!

  32. My backyard is about 45×55 minus approx 1/4 for a room addition and deck. Currently I have a covered platform feeder hanging from the trunk of a maple tree. On a large lower branch I have another small platform feeder, uncovered. I have these filled with a combination bushy tail mix for the squirrels and chipmunks (and raccoons, possum, whatever else is out there at night) and a patio/deck mix that contains no shell. Next to it I have a 15″ screen thistle feeder filled with nijer and sunflower hearts. Woodpeckers as well as finches love this so I recommend if you have a finch feeder you have metal reinforced ports or the woodeckers will make sure you have more hole than feeder. Beside it I have a screened feeder holding a soft shelled safflower seed. Wow!! I knew when the finches came back!!Next to that Is a hopper filled with whole mixed nuts (from a bird food company) that are currently too big to easily get out of the hopper so I may switch to a cardinal blend. It also has a suet feeder on each side usually filled with peanut suet. Finally, sitting on a pole, is a covered platform feeder that is adjustable. I recently put it in so I’m not sure anyone besides a few sparrows know that it’s there. I have the too chunky mixed nuts in there along with some patio/deck mix.

    There are many feeders out there I’d like to try I’m considering putting up some more. Throughout the summer I’m gifted not by starlings or grackels but morning doves. (so stupid sometimes they’re entertaining.) I’m looking forward to seeing the cardinals and jays back. I get many woodpeckers, some of the “what the heck is that?” variety, chickadees, junco’s nuthatches, finches, wrens and an occasional guest star. I hope my neighbors will appreciate the splash of color on a snow filled day.

  33. I have the Droll Yankees Njyer feeder you recommend (#5), but the finches where I live (New York) don’t seem to know how to use it. If I put seed in the catch tray, they eat that, but they haven’t learned to sit on the perches and pull seed from the holes. Any tips for encouraging/training them?


  35. What is the peanut feeder that the woodpeckers are loving on the right of my screen? I didn’t see that one listed. 🙂

  36. Loved all the well thought out information. Only thing missing was …. I was searching for input on best feeders for my free ranging peafowl. I WISH someone who loves peafowl would do an article like you did this one. Thank-you. Though none of these target my tall, independent, stand on the ground or a perch, my favorites, I may try one or two of your suggestions. Like the peanut wreath or ??? I’ll read this again and I’ll but through your link.

  37. Which feeder is best for all types of birds that has rain protection, and also very importantly, a feature that keeps so many seeds from dropping to the ground below and sprouting?

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