The 10 Best Bird Feeders

Updated September 22, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best Bird Feeders
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Enjoy an up close and personal view of the flying wildlife in your garden. From seed bells and towers to house-style options and more, we've ranked the best bird feeders around based on seed capacity, what they cost, and how good they'll look hanging outside your home. We've also included options for attracting some rarer species, like the ever-elusive hummingbird. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best bird feeder on Amazon.

10. H Potter Umbrella 537

The H Potter Umbrella 537 has a striking appearance with its metallic copper powder-coated finish and brass accents. It is as much a piece of artwork as it is a device for attracting winged creatures, and its open design makes refilling easy.
  • wide overhang keeps seeds dry
  • sturdy all-metal construction
  • easily spilled by wind or squirrels
Brand H Potter
Model GAR537
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

9. Audubon Mini 7458

The Audubon Mini 7458 is a double-sided option that is designed to attract a large number of feathered friends and allow them all to snack at the same time, while keeping pests like squirrels out. It comes fully assembled and includes hanging hardware.
  • regulating baffle prevents waste
  • durable powder-coated steel body
  • too small for some larger birds
Brand Heritage Farms
Model 7458
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Perky-Pet Triple Tube

The Perky-Pet Triple Tube has a large capacity and three separate silos for different seed types, which makes it great for attracting a variety of species. It also has a removable, quick-release plastic tray that catches seeds to prevent waste and save you money.
  • 12 feeding ports
  • built-in funnel for filling
  • doesn't deter squirrels very well
Brand Perky-Pet
Model 7103-2
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Stokes Select 38069

Help your feathered friends survive during the colder fall and winter months with a model like the Stokes Select 38069. It's designed to hold suet cakes, which are comprised of fat, nuts, fruit, and other high-energy foods, perfect for when seeds and insects are scarce.
  • also holds seed cakes
  • double-cage design keeps rodents out
  • may inadvertently trap birds
Brand Stokes Select
Model 38069
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Brome 1057 Squirrel Buster

The Brome 1057 Squirrel Buster provides both perching and clinging footholds, so species of all preferences have a comfortable position from which to enjoy your offerings. It's well-ventilated to allow hot air and moisture to escape, preventing mold and rot.
  • weight-adjustable closing mechanism
  • won't fade or rust over time
  • seeds may fall through the bottom
Brand Brome
Model 1057-V01
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Droll Yankees CJM13GP

If you're looking to attract woodpeckers, chickadees, doves, or other peanut-loving species to your yard, the Droll Yankees CJM13GP is a good choice. Its mesh holes are also well-sized for sunflower seeds and mixes containing snacks on the larger end of the spectrum.
  • die-cast zinc end caps
  • perches are designed for foot safety
  • mesh is too fine for some peanuts
Brand Droll Yankees
Model CJM13GP
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Aspects 367 Hummzinger Ultra

If you're a fan of hummingbirds, the inexpensive Aspects 367 Hummzinger Ultra is a great choice. It's designed to be filled with a sugary nectar that's simple to make at home, and has a two-piece plastic construction that's easy to keep clean.
  • built-in moat deters ants
  • raised ports keep rain out
  • sturdy hook makes it easy to hang
Brand Aspects
Model 367
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. M&R Industries Nature's Hangout

The M&R Industries Nature's Hangout has two separate seed troughs, so you can attract different species at the same time. It's easily mounted to any glass surface with suction cups, so you get an up close and personal view of your visitors.
  • completely transparent design
  • trays are removable for cleaning
  • includes three extra suction cups
Brand Nature's Hangout
Model pending
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Perky-Pet Panorama 312C

The Perky-Pet Panorama 312C is a low priced but reliable option for the home of a budding ornithologist who prefers not to shell out the cash for a fancy model. It can be used with all seed types and holds up to 2 pounds of feed.
  • lid locks in place to thwart pests
  • copper finish resists rust
  • allows access from all angles
Brand Perky-Pet
Model 325S
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Brome 1024 Squirrel Buster

The Brome 1024 Squirrel Buster prevents furry pests from stealing all of your seed. It has an adjustable weight sensitive ring that can support several birds, but will close its port doors when weighed down by something heavier.
  • completely dishwasher safe
  • well ventilated to keep seeds fresh
  • includes a lifetime warranty
Brand Brome 1024 Squirrel Bus
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Choosing The Perfect Bird Feeder

Bird feeders are an affordable and easy way to bring both beauty and excitement to your yard. Within a few days of installation, feathered friends will flock to your yard to feed upon the food you have provided. With a bit of research and the modest dedication required to keep your feeder regularly filled with seed, a bird feeder transforms your property into a veritable oasis for wild birds -- you can attract even more avian animals with the addition of a bird bath.

Choosing the right bird feeder has a direct impact on the type and the volume of birds you will attract, so take a few minutes to consider which option is right for you in terms of aesthetic preference, local bird species, the climate and weather patterns of your area, and the likely physical placement of your prospective new feeder.

First and foremost, you have to decide whether your bird feeder is intended to serve primarily as a mechanism for feeding wild animals, or if its primary purpose is for decorating your yard. There is no wrong or right approach: even bird feeders that are largely ornamental will still offer birds food they will greet enthusiastically and which can help them survive the late autumn and winter months when food sources grow scarce. And larger capacity, multiple port options will still offer extra beauty to your yard in the form of all the birds attracted to the property, if not through the actual aesthetics of design.

Deciding where you want to place a bird feeder will also have a direct impact on your choice of which feeder best serves yours needs. If you want to hang one -- whether from a tree branch, from a shepherd's hook, or from under a patio or gazebo -- that of course eliminates many types of feeders designed to mount flush with a window or to rest on a flat surface. And of course not all hanging feeders will work for all hanging locations.

While most hanging varieties use a single cord, for example, some are supported by twin wires and thus must be hung from larger overhead areas. And if you intend to hang a bird feeder anywhere near your windows, you have to be sure the feeder is not so large and bulky that it might crack the windows if blown hard enough by gusts of wind.

If you do want to mount a feeder that sits flush against a window, make sure that you are not mounting it in easy reach of squirrels, rats, or other critters not intended to eat that bird food. Small mammals are notorious for finding ways to eat bird seed, and their presence can mean more than merely scared off birds, it can also mean damage to your home and a property soiled by animal waste. It's better to not even hang a bird feeder at all than to hang one in the wrong place and end up needing pest repellents later down the line.

Choosing The Right Bird Seed

The types of birds that will be attracted to your bird feeder has much more to do with the seed you put inside it than the unit itself. But not all bird feeders can handle all sorts of bird seed. Or rather all sorts of bird feeds, to be more specific, as not all bird feed uses seeds: some blends use corn, peanuts, and more.

If you only want to attract finches, for example (and indeed the bright and beautiful gold finch is a favorite species of many bird lovers), then a thistle seed is the perfect bird feed. These diminutive seeds can be placed in purpose built bird feeders with smaller feeding ports that larger birds' beaks can't access. Putting thistle seed in a general purpose feeder won't work, though, as the small seeds tend to flow out of the feeder's openings.

If you want to attract the greatest variety of birds possible and you are not especially concerned with dissuading certain species and favoring others, basic black sunflower seeds are the affordable and reliable way to go. Rich in oil, these seeds help give birds plenty of energy to burn, and their flavor is almost universally appreciated. The thin shells of the sunflower seed are also easy for most birds to crack.

For larger birds like jays and pheasants, consider a feed made not using seeds at all, but rather from dried corn kernels, from shelled peanuts, or from a blend of the two.

And of course you can always invest in blended bird seed mixes that have everything from sunflower seeds to peanuts to millet and more. These blends can keep a variety of birds fed and healthy.

A Few Words On American Birds

There are more than 900 different species of wild bird living in America and Canada alone. Looking at a few of the subspecies of birds in a bit of detail can help give you an appreciation for the vast range of differences among the many birds plying the skies, forests, and waters of North America. While you are unlikely to see many Wedge Rumped Storm Petrels (or the oceandroma tethys to be precise in taxonomy) visiting your backyard bird feeder, you are more than likely to see finches dining there.

But which type of finch? There are now fewer than seventeen varieties of finch living in North America. These birds share many traits, such as a small size, a pointed, usually triangular beak shape (though a few finishes have hooked beaks), and often brightly colored wings. And as finches are non migratory, if you can find the right feed to attract them to your property, you can enjoy the presence of these feathered friends all year round.

If you're interested in attracting swallows, there are only eight different subspecies of American bird about which to learn. (There are more than 80 swallow species around the globe, though.) Swallows gobble up lots of insects and thus can help reduce the bug population in your yard. Attracting them with bird feed will help keep them in the area, a bonus as they look lovely and as they balance their feed diet with mosquitoes and flies you would rather not have bugging you.

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Last updated on September 22, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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