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The Best Bird Feeders (by Bird & Feeder Type!)
Whether your old feeder broke or you’re just looking to purchase a new addition, picking the best bird feeder for your needs can go a long way to seeing more birds you like. I’ve compiled a list here of the best-rated picks for the type of bird you’re trying to attract. There are also a few situational feeders, like window feeders and squirrel-proof feeders, in case you’re looking for a particular style or solution.
Best Bluebird Feeder
Bluebirds aren’t fussy, so they will eat from a variety of feeders. A high-quality tray feeder, suet feeder, or hopper feeder works fine for them. They like mealworms, fruit, and suet best, so picking a feeder that offers them at least one of those foods is a good start.
A great option is this house-style bluebird feeder that can attract them while keeping larger birds, like starlings, out. A design like this one can be filled with mealworms, fruit, and a few seeds if you want to attract other small birds!
Best Bird Feeder for Blue Jays
Blue jays will eat just about anything, anywhere. That said, their favorite foods include peanuts, sunflower seeds, and corn, and they’ll eat suet if given the opportunity. Giving them a feeder design that supports their size and weight and offers them those foods is key.
This tray feeder is your best bet, since it offers space for the blue jays to move around and pick through what they want. If you’ve ever used any other type of feeder, you know what a mess they make trying to get to their favorite nut or seed! It also has a cover that keeps some of the elements out.
Best Bird Feeder for Cardinals
Cardinals are one of the pickiest birds you can attract to your feeder, so you’ll have to think carefully about feeder design and placement if you hope to see one. Due to their larger size, they need somewhere they can sit and face forward while they eat their preferred diet of sunflower seeds, peanuts, and cracked corn. That makes platform and hopper feeders your best bet.
The best option for cardinals is this adorable house-style hopper feeder. Far more than just a pretty design, the feeder has three separate compartments (two with mesh) for feeding different types of seed, nuts, and even mealworms if you want to attract other birds. The rim is just the right size for holding a cardinal’s weight. Place the feeder near trees and other cardinal hiding spots for the best chance of sighting one.
Best Chickadee Feeder
Chickadees will eat from just about any feeder that offers their favorite foods! This large tube feeder is great because it’ll stay full for longer and offer chickadees (along with all your other birds) two different foods to choose from thanks to the metal divider.
Best Finch Feeder
Finches will eat out of just about any feeder (and even the ground), but their preferred type is one they can perch on, like tube feeders or their own special finch feeders.
Finch feeders contain a mesh that holds the small seeds finches like to eat, like nyjer and thistle, giving them easy access once they grab onto the feeder. This copper mesh feeder is ideal.
You can even forgo getting a regular “feeder” altogether by purchasing finch socks! They’re made of a cloth mesh and are easy to refill with nyjer seeds.
Best Oriole Feeder
Orioles are unique birds. Despite their size and otherwise normal characteristics, I only seem to see them in the summer – and when I do, they’re trying to get sugar water out of the hummingbird feeder!
Like hummingbirds, they eat nectar, so sugar water is acceptable for them. Other great food sources include pieces of fruit and jelly. They’ll also eat small insects, like spiders and grasshoppers.
The best feeder designs allow you to offer any of their favorites. This awesome oriole feeder has space for the birds to land and enjoy fruit, jelly, or mealworms – whatever you choose to set out for them! And how cute is the orange steel umbrella that keeps the rain out?
Best Woodpecker Feeder
If you love woodpeckers, a good suet feeder is one of the best purchases you can make! It’ll draw in plenty of different woodpecker varieties, along with many other birds. Great suet feeders for woodpeckers are well-constructed and offer fun extras – like a tail prop. Here’s the best one.
Best Bird Feeders for Small Birds
To bring in smaller birds without attracting bully birds, you need a feeder that doesn’t make life easy for the blue jays and starlings of the world. The best feeder for small birds is a high-quality tube feeder. The design allows little birds easy access to their preferred seeds while making it difficult for bigger birds to land and sneak a bite.
Best Hummingbird Feeder
Hummingbirds are usually pretty easy to please – in general, put some sugar water in something red, and they will come!
This hummingbird feeder is the best because it’s all you need in one package: a high-quality plastic feeder that’s easy to clean and bright red to attract the smallest avian visitors. As a bonus, they come in a two-pack so you can avoid the age-old fighting hummingbirds issue!
Bonus: Best Bird Feeders by Situation
Sometimes you’re not looking to bring in a particular bird, but just want a feeder that attracts many at once and solves a particular problem. Here they are!
Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
When squirrels are pestering your bird feeders, sometimes the only solution is to get a squirrel proof feeder. Most of them are designed with a mechanism that closes off access to the food when something heavy – like that pesky squirrel – climbs onto it.
While no feeder is completely squirrel proof (they’re tenacious little buggers, after all), some do an excellent job, especially when combined with a good anti-squirrel pole and baffle. The best option is this squirrel proof feeder. It has two sections for feeding nuts and seeds or fruit, so you can increase the varieties of birds that come in addition to keeping the squirrels out!
Best Window Bird Feeder
Window bird feeders offer some of the best views of your birds. When placed in a highly watched window, it also offers some entertainment to other members of your household – like cats!
This fantastic window bird feeder is large, has a tray that allows many birds to visit, and has strong suction cups that hold the feeder to your window.
Best Suet Feeder
When it comes to suet feeders, simpler is generally better. This long-lasting suet feeder is perfect, since you can choose between designs that hold one, two, or even three cakes at once! It includes a tail prop for your woodpecker friends, too.
Best Hanging Bird Feeders
If you’re looking for a regular, high-quality hanging feeder that will attract many different types of birds for years, consider this Amish-made hanging feeder. It’s easy to use and offers both birds and the food some protection from the elements, so it can be hung out on a pole or under a porch without any problems.
Best Unique Bird Feeder Designs
Sometimes you want something a little special for your birds – and for yourself! These are all unique designs that both you and the birds will enjoy.
First up is the White Swing Feeder, which would be perfect next to your own white swing!
If you live on the coast (or if you really love the beach), consider this lighthouse-themed feeder!
This simply designed farmhouse feeder will look great while feeding just about any bird who’d like to visit your feeder!
Add some color to your yard with this bright tube feeder that comes in yellow, red, or blue.
When you want to offer a little something for everyone, try this feeder design that accommodates both nuts and seeds/mealworms and suet cakes. Perfect for getting all types of birds at once!
Enjoy Your Birds!
Hopefully you’ve found the right feeder for your needs from this list. Once it arrives, fill it up and get ready to watch your birds!
If you’re just getting started, here’s a guide to northeast winter birds to help you start identifying your visitors.
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