About a year ago, I decided to try and hang a few window bird feeders on the back of our house.
When it comes to feeding and enjoying birds, this has easily been one of the BEST decisions that I have made!
It’s incredible to see our backyard birds this close. If I move slowly, I can easily get right next to the window to see their beautiful plumage, unique beaks, or even the color of their eyes.
Related Reading: The 14 Best Bird Feeders For Your Backyard
Related Reading: The 8 Best Hummingbird Feeders (That Actually Work!)
You think Smartphones are distracting?
Try getting a bird feeder on your window! My wife regularly snaps me back to reality because I am always staring outside!
And here’s something else I enjoy about window bird feeders:
They are even exciting and fascinating for people that don’t love watching birds!
For example, my wife (who supports my hobby but otherwise wouldn’t have eight bird feeders in her yard) is always giving me updates on what is happening at the window while I’m at work. I get texts saying the blackbirds are fighting, the goldfinches have eaten all the sunflower, etc. And any visitors immediately want to talk about the bird feeders all over the windows and the entertainment they provide.
The best part is that having birds constantly outside our kitchen windows has helped spark an interest with our 3-year-old daughter. She especially likes chasing away House Sparrows when they visit in huge flocks! “Daddy, the House Sparrows are back!!”
And did I mention that window bird feeders make excellent gifts???
Since hanging up window bird feeders has been so much fun, I thought I would share some things that I have learned:
I tried to give some of the benefits and potential problems with each of these feeders too.
Make sure you don’t miss my 7 tips for more success and lower frustration at the end!
My 4 Favorite Window Bird Feeders
My short review and thoughts:
The perching area where the birds eat from is small.
- Only two birds can feed on the Aspects Window Feeder at a time. But the benefit of this is that birds can’t sit directly on top of their food, which prevents any birds from defecating on it and inside the tray (this is a problem in feeder #2 below.).
This plastic body that holds food is simple to remove, clean, and refill!
- See the picture below. The hopper slides right out while the roof stays suctioned to the window.
Photo Courtesy of AspectsInc.com
The design helps to dissuade larger birds.
- Since the roof hangs over the feeding trays, there is not a lot of vertical area for larger birds to land and feed. European Starlings cause the most problems with my window bird feeders (they eat all the food and scare away the smaller birds), and this Aspects feeder is their least favorite. It’s hard for them to squeeze their body onto the tray and still eat (but trust me, they still visit this one if the others are empty.).
There is no plastic blocking my view of the birds from inside.
- As the birds are feeding, you get a very clear view. For example, look at window feeder #2 below. As the birds feed, you have to see through plastic, so it’s not as great of a view.
The roof is sloped.
- Having a sloped roof prevents birds from perching on top and defecating all over the feeder. Plus, it’s very entertaining watching the goldfinches TRY to land on top only to slide off.
- The roof easily attaches to windows with the three suction cups. No issues with the feeder falling off the window.
Aspects is well respected.
- It’s made in America by a company that is known for its quality products and customer service. Made with UV stabilized polycarbonate. Backed by their Lifetime Guarantee.
My review and thoughts:
Secure attachment to my window.
- Window bird feeders are notoriously hard to keep attached. I have had no issues with this feeder as the three suction cups do an excellent job.
The inside tray is removable.
- I don’t have to take the entire feeder off the window to clean or refill with food. I just have to take out the tray that sits inside the plastic shelter. If you don’t decide to take the tray out, it’s a bit awkward to refill with seed because of the roof overhang.
Ability to feed different types of bird food.
- The tray insert has a divider in the middle, which makes it easy to offer different types of food without mixing them. Typically, I put sunflower kernels on one side and peanut pieces on the other.
The bird food stays (somewhat) dry.
- First, it has a roof over the bird food which prevents most rain and snow. And just in case any water does hit the food, there are many small drain holes in the bottom for immediate drainage.
Large feeding area.
- I have seen as many as three different species and six individual birds feeding at once! On the flipside, there is enough room that birds can sit on top of the birdseed while they eat. Unfortunately, this means that they tend to defecate all over their food. 🙁
I have visibility issues when it snows.
- See the picture below. During winter, snow and ice accumulate between the window and the bird feeder.
By utilizing a hook with suction cups, you can hang almost any small bird feeder from your window. This means you can continuously experiment and change the feeder and food being offered.
Here is something else I love about this window feeder hanger:
They don’t leave a mess on my window!
Since bird feeders that attach directly onto the window with suction cups are so close, bits of seed waste tend to accumulate on the glass. Typically every few weeks I have to clean the window surrounding the feeder.
By using a window hanger, it sets the bird feeder about 6 inches away from the window. Almost all of the waste falls to the ground.
Here are the three bird feeders that I am currently rotating onto my window hangar along with some of the different birds that each one has attracted. For the record, the Woodlink Window Feeder Hangar is advertised as holding up to 4 pounds!
By filling with a mixture of suet nuggets and peanut pieces, it’s common to see Downy Woodpeckers and Carolina Wrens right outside our kitchen window.
Using nyjer seed attracts many goldfinches, which provide endless entertainment as they cling all over the sides.
This small, classic tube feeder works great hanging from a hangar. Filling it with sunflower kernels and peanut pieces attracts many different birds, including Black-capped Chickadees, House Finches, and American Goldfinches.
This is one of the best window bird feeders available to see hummingbirds up close!
Here’s my quick review:
The red lid unhinges easily.
- It’s easy to take the top off (it’s attached via a hinge), clean, and then refill with nectar.
Photo Courtesy of AspectsInc.com
The nectar does not leak.
- Because of its simple dish design, the nectar stays inside the tray and does not make your window sticky and gross. For the record, it holds 8 oz.
- This past summer I had no issues with the feeder sticking to my window with the two suction cups. I think it helps that it’s so small and light.
Comfortable for hummingbirds to use.
- It includes a perch around the three feeding ports for the hummingbirds to land on while they eat.
- If ants are a problem, it includes a moat that insects can’t cross when filled with water! This can be detached if desired.
Aspects is well respected.
- Their bird feeders are made in America and are known for their excellent product quality and customer service. Made with sturdy poly-carbonate and backed by their Lifetime Guarantee.
7 Tips For Success with Window Bird Feeders
1. Create a strong suction to the window.
Nothing can ruin the joyful experience of a window feeder then having it constantly fall off the window.
To help prevent this from happening, make sure that you clean the window. Nothing sticks to dirt so wipe the window down with water only. Don’t use soap as this can mess with the suction.
Next, apply a little oil to the suction cups. Typically, I just use the natural oil from my face. I take my finger and wipe on the side of my nose or my forehead. Don’t use water because once it evaporates your suction cups will lose their grip and fall.
Also, make sure that the suction cups are warm when you attach them because they will stick much better. During winter, I will bring the feeder inside to let it warm up before trying to connect to the window.
2. Use your bird’s favorite foods in your window feeders.
This is especially true if you have other bird feeders scattered in your backyard.
Imagine for a second that you are a bird deciding on where to eat your next meal. It’s much easier to just eat from the bird feeders near the woods. It takes a lot of courage to fly up next to a window to feed.
You need to get them some incentive!
My window bird feeders are full of high-quality sunflower kernels. They love the stuff! And my window feeders are the only place they can get it.
There is good bird food available in my other backyard feeders (like Black-oil Sunflower), but everything else has a shell.
If my backyard birds want the easiest and best meal, they HAVE to come to my window.
3. Deter House Sparrows and European Starlings.
At first, it’s exciting to see any bird coming to your window to use your new feeders. You’re excited that they are attracting birds!
But then the House Sparrows and European Starlings quickly become a nuisance.
I have come to realize that these two invasive species can easily dominate your window bird feeders by eating the majority of the food and keeping the birds you want to see away.
Here is an excellent strategy to help deter them:
Both House Sparrows and starlings love cracked corn, so I feed them as much and as far away as possible.
At the back of my yard and away from other bird feeders, I set up a large tube feeder filled with cracked corn (holds up to 12 pounds of food!). This lets these birds fill up on cheap corn and seems to help keep them away from my windows!
4. Don’t place near the most popular room.
As you can imagine, if birds see a lot of activity happening on the inside of your house they are going to be skittish and scared.
If possible, try to put your bird feeder on a window that you don’t have to walk past often.
5. Help birds find your new window feeders.
A big issue with window feeders is that birds never find them and don’t use them.
Don’t worry; this is a common problem and one that I had to overcome! Most birds are not familiar feeding on a window feeder, so you have to help train them.
Here is what worked for me:
I took my blue metal tube feeder and filled it with sunflower kernels. Then I placed it among my other bird feeders in my backyard feeding station.
This taught the birds that the bright blue feeder offered delicious food! From there, I moved it to hang from my back kitchen window. Almost immediately, the birds recognized the blue tube by sight and followed. And from there they easily found my other window bird feeders.
Another tip is to scatter lots of bird food on the ground beneath the window feeders. Once this food is gone, the hope is they search the surrounding area for more food.
And most of all, please be patient! It may take birds a few weeks to find and start using the feeders on your windows.
6. Place your window bird feeder over grass or mulch.
This may not be possible, but it sure helps to avoid a mess!
Birds naturally are going to spill some of the food and leave droppings behind. If your window feeder is over a deck or patio, then you are going to have to clean up underneath periodically.
7. Avoid window collisions.
Many people recommend purchasing and applying stickers around the feeders on your windows to help prevent any bird-glass collisions.
Personally, I have never once had a bird collide with the windows that hang my bird feeders.
I think having window bird feeders actually prevents window collisions. This is because all the local birds are familiar with the window and know that it is there.
Typically birds run into windows when they are spooked or startled by predators and trying to make a quick getaway. These reasons tend not to be an issue with window bird feeders.
Regardless, putting stickers on your windows is not a bad thing. If in doubt, try these from Window Alert.
Placing a few bird feeders directly on your windows will bring a lot of joy and fun into your home.
There are many different options available, but this list of the best window bird feeders should provide a great start as you shop.
And I hope you didn’t skip over the 7 tips for window feeder success. There are a few lessons in there that I had to learn the hard way.
Thanks for reading. Please share your success stories below.
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