Easy to clean bird feeders

Table of Contents

How to Clean Your Bird Feeder

Cleaning your bird feeders regularly helps keep your backyard birds healthy.

Cleaning seed feeders

Moldy or decomposing seeds and hulls that accumulate on feeder trays can make birds sick. Bird droppings and other contaminants may also spread infectious bird diseases. Clean your feeders about once every two weeks, more often during times of heavy use or wet weather or if there have been reports of salmonella in your area or you have seen sick birds in your yard. To clean your feeder, take it apart and use a dishwasher on a hot setting or hand wash either with soap and boiling water or with a dilute bleach solution (no more than 1 part bleach to 9 parts water). Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry before refilling.

Clean the ground below your feeders, too, to prevent a build-up of hulls, uneaten seeds, and other waste. Moldy or spoiled food is unhealthy both for birds and for your outside pets. And bird food scattered on the ground can attract unwanted rodents.

Maintaining hummingbird feeders

Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Jason Means via Birdshare.

Change sugar water at least every 3 to 5 days to prevent mold and deadly fermentation, and more frequently during hot weather. Clean feeders at least once a week with hot water and a bottle brush. Don’t use soap or a detergent. You can also clean hummingbird feeders by filling with a dilute bleach solution, but make sure to rinse them thoroughly and allow them to air dry before refilling.

Don’t put oil or other sticky substances around feeding ports to deter bees; you might contaminate the nectar. If bees, wasps, or ants become a problem, try moving the feeder, or go to our feeder pests and predators page for other solutions.

  • Choose easy-to-clean feeders: Wooden feeders will absorb oils and other debris, making them much more difficult to clean over time. For easier bird feeder maintenance and healthier birds, choose feeders that are made from recycled plastic, metal, glazed ceramic, or glass.
  • Clean regularly: All feeders should be thoroughly cleaned at least once per month. Busy, popular feeders may need to be cleaned much more frequently depending on how many birds use them and how much seed is consumed. Hummingbird feeders and oriole feeders should be cleaned each time the nectar is refilled.
  • Use proper cleaning solutions: Feeders can be sanitized with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts hot water. Commercial bird feeder cleaning solutions or a mild solution of unscented dish soap is also suitable to clean bird feeders.
  • Soak feeders first: Soaking a dirty bird feeder before scrubbing will loosen debris and make it easier to clean the feeder thoroughly. Use a utility sink, washtub, or similar large basin to make sure the entire feeder can be submerged for a good soak.
  • Clean all feeder parts: For the best sanitation and disease prevention, each feeder should be cleaned inside and out, including all feeding ports, perches, lids, platforms, and reservoirs. The feeder’s hooks, poles, and any other part where birds may perch or where feces may collect should also be cleaned.
  • Use proper equipment: Use rubber gloves to avoid any contamination and use stiff brushes to ensure thorough cleaning. Nature stores, garden centers, and pet supply stores have specialized brushes for different sizes and shapes of feeders, though regular bottle brushes can also be effective. An old toothbrush is a great option for cleaning small parts, feeding ports, and tight corners. A stiff pipe cleaner is ideal for pulling through small feeding port holes to ensure they are thoroughly cleaned.
  • Rinse thoroughly: After cleaning, the feeder and all cleaned parts should be rinsed for several seconds in clear, clean water to be sure all chemical residue is removed. There should be no stuck-on debris, lingering suds, or chemical odors after the feeder is rinsed.
  • Dry completely: Before refilling the feeder, it should be completely dry. Any remaining moisture could lead to mold and mildew that can cause illness and rotten, unhealthy seed. Drying feeders in direct sunlight will further help to break down any lingering soap or chemicals.

How To Clean Bird Feeders:How Often & What Tools To Use

The Easiest & Best Way, In 5 Simple Steps:

Pick A Day To Clean All Feeders At Once

It just makes sense to clean them all at once.

It will prevent one of them from being forgotten and becoming a bed of disease.

The mess of cleaning will happen once, not again and again for every feeder you clean.

Bird feeders can spread salmonella among other diseases so it is important to protect your home as well as preventing the spread of disease among our feathered friends.

And one of the best ways to do this is to do the job outside.

(If you have a lot of feeders and cleaning all of them in one day would be too big of a task, then do some one day and the rest another day.)

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How To Clean Bird Feeders ~ Step 2:

Assemble All The Cleaning Tools

  • 2 pails of water – one with warm water, with a drop or two of dish detergent and a capful of bleach or 1/4 cup of vinegar.
  • The second one with clear cold water for rinsing or rinse with the garden hose.
  • An assortment of brushes to reach all the nooks and crannies.
  • Wear rubber gloves to protect yourself from bacteria.
  • Wet wipes are also great for cleaning perches.

How To Clean Bird Feeders ~ Step 3:

Clean Feeders Thoroughly

  1. To wash thoroughly, the seed in the feeders must be removed. Dig out the seed in the corners.
  1. Spread the seed that was in the feeder on the ground in an area where ground feeding birds will enjoy it (If the seed is in good condition and not moldy). Or wait until your feeders are empty to wash them. But if you leave them empty too long your friends may decide to look else where for dinner.
  1. Use the water with detergent and bleach to give them a good wash using the brushes. Wash perches and feeding ports especially well.

Why Is There Moldy Seed In Your Feeder?

1. The seed has been left in the feeder far too long.

2. The seed is getting wet in the feeder and not able to dry out quickly enough.

3. Poor quality seed will have dirt, dust and twigs which all turn moldy quicker.

4. Poor quality seed also has under developed seed or moldy seed to start with.

Seed Feeder Cleaners ~ My Top Picks

This brush has a nice end for cleaning corners of chalet feeders.

Attaches to garden hose.

This one has a nice foam end for getting into the corners at the bottom of tube feeders.

A good long brush for tube feeders.

Good for “poop” build-up.

Bird Poop Remover Wet Wipes

I love using wipes to clean the perches often. They make it so easy.

How To Clean Bird Feeders ~ Step 4:

Allow Seed Feeders To Completely Dry Before Refilling With Fresh Seed

  • Letting feeders dry in the sun is always best.
  • When the feeders are completely dry fill them with fresh seed. (Do not refill with the seed that was in the feeder before cleaning.)

  • The same applies to Oriole and Hummingbird feeders; refill with fresh syrup and never top up the feeders. More info here about cleaning Hummingbird feeders.

Wet wipes are great for cleaning seed ports & perches between washings.

How To Clean Bird Feeders ~ Step 5:

How Often Should Bird Feeders be Cleaned?

  1. How often will depend on how many birds you get at your feeders. The more you have the more often you should clean them.
  1. Outside temperature will also dictate how often your feeders will need to be cleaned. The hotter it is outside the more cleaning will be necessary. (But once per month should be more than enough if you have fairly constant traffic and the temperatures are moderate.)
  1. In-between wash days use a rag that has been wet and rung out with a water and bleach or vinegar solution, to wipe off feeding ports first and perches second. This will also help prevent the spreading of disease when your feeders are being heavily used and it is hot. (Wet wipes are also handy for this task.)

Sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of healthy, happy wild birds at your clean feeders!

All About Bird Feeders

  • Where To Place Bird Feeders? It will take some experimenting on your part to find the best location for your feeder in your own backyard. Here are some tips.
  • When To Take Down? Many people are concerned if they leave their feeders up in the autumn that wild birds will not migrate. Find out the truth.
  • We’re Moving!? How to plan for a move from your home where you feed backyard birds without causing your bird feeder visitors undue stress?
  • What are the Different Types of Wild Bird Feeders? There are many, many different types and styles of each type of bird feeder available to make attracting a variety of wild birds so much easier and exhilerating! Learn about them here.

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How to Clean a Plastic Bird Feeder

Table of Contents:

  1. You Will Need
  2. Steps to Clean and Sanitize the Bird Feeder
  3. Additional Tips and Advice

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Joan asked: We have a hanging bird feeder, the kind with the clear plastic tube. I would like to know how to clean it.

If not maintained, bird feeders can develop mold and bacteria growth. This spreads to the birds that eat the birdseed and can then contaminate other birds. This can be prevented with a simple cleaning.

You Will Need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Stiff brush or salt
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Bucket or sink
  • Soft towel or cloth

Steps to Clean and Sanitize the Bird Feeder:

  1. Wear rubber gloves for protection from the bleach as well as any germs that may be present on the feeder.
  2. Fill a bucket or sink with one part bleach and nine parts hot water.
  3. Remove any remaining birdseed from the feeder and disassemble as needed to fit all of the parts into the water. If you are having trouble disassembling your bird feeder, look online for the user manual for your particular model to better understand if and how your feeder can be taken apart. If you are unable to disassemble the feeder and it does not fit in the sink or bucket, a trash bag can be used instead. Be sure not to use more bleach than instructed though; a good guide is to check the box of your trash bags to find out how many gallons each bag holds, then adjust the amount of bleach needed based on how much you need to fill up the bag (1/4 full, 1/2 full, etc.).
  4. Once submerged, use a stiff brush to scrub away any debris that may be present both inside and outside of the feeder. Smaller brushes will be needed for smaller feeders. Old toothbrushes work well for these. If your feeder can’t be disassembled and you have trouble scrubbing inside it, use a bottle brush or other long-handled brush, or pour in some salt and shake the feeder – the salt will act as an abrasive and do the scrubbing for you.
  5. Clean the perches, lids, feeding ports, platforms, etc. All areas should be disinfected and any bird droppings washed away.
  6. Once all parts of the feeder have been cleaned, rinse each piece thoroughly.
  7. For the best rinse, hold each piece under clean, running water for at least 10 seconds.
  8. Dry each piece completely with a soft cloth.
  9. Allow them to air dry until all moisture is gone.
  10. Reassemble and refill the bird feeder for use.

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Additional Tips and Advice

  • The frequency of the cleanings will depend on the use of the feeder. Most feeders should be cleaned at least monthly. Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned each time the nectar is changed.
  • There are commercial bird feeder cleaners and disinfectants as well. These can be found at pet supply stores.
  • If using dish detergent to clean the bird feeder, use a small amount of unscented detergent. Be sure to rinse the feeder completely.
  • In addition to cleaning the feeder, check the surrounding areas. Remove any rotten fruit from trees, and consider covering the areas below with mulch.

Easy Ways to Clean

I really hate cleaning, but I love my birds and I know that harmful bacteria can flourish in and around feeders, baths and houses. So I developed a simple cleaning routine for myself that just takes a few minutes and keeps my feathered friends happy and healthy.

To keep it quick and easy, I hang my trusty Bird Bath & Feeder Brush on the hose reel and every time I go to refill my baths, I give them a quick scrub-a-dub and a rinse. In the heat of summer, my baths get lots of use so I am brushing and filling daily. Every couple of weeks I sanitize my bath with a vinegar solution. Just mix 4 cups of white vinegar with 1 gallon of water in the bird bath, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then scrub and rinse well. It will sparkle!

I clean my feeders every week or two in summer, less often during the cold months. First, I give my feeders a good spritz with 3B Protection Spray. Let it sit on the feeder for 15 minutes and then give them a good once-over with a Feeder Brush. A good rinse and an hour drying in the sun and the feeders are ready for some fresh seed. If you have a Duncraft tube feeder, click here for detailed cleaning instructions.

I wash my nectar feeders with hot soapy water, followed by thorough rinsing, every single I time I refill them. Starting with a clean feeder helps keep the nectar fresher for a longer time. A dash of Nectar Defender makes a world of difference in how long the nectar stays fresh.

Bird houses really need to get cleaned out at the end of the season to rid them of yucky germs and parasites. The 3B Protection Spray and a good brush work great for houses, too.

Nobody needs extra chores, but it really feels great knowing that I’m doing my best to keep my birds safe and healthy. Do you have any tips for keeping your backyard bird equipment clean? Let us know!

Make every day a happy bird day!

Heidi Babb

With cold weather just around the corner, hanging feeders in your garden can be a lifesaver for the wild bird population. The RSPB recommends you put food and water outside on a regular basis to help our feathered friends through the winter months, and with the possibility of luring robins, greenfinches, house sparrows and blackbirds to your garden, you’ll be missing out on an exciting view from your kitchen if you don’t!

It’s really important to regularly clean your bird feeders, as mouldy food and bird droppings encourage bacterial growth. Here’s how to keep your feeders clean and disease-free when the weather gets colder…

We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

Be prepared

Empty the contents of the feeder and dispose of them in a bin. It’s important not to reuse food or compost it as it could be harbouring harmful bacteria.

Don’t bring your feeders into your house – always clean them outside, using separate utensils. Wear gloves and always wash your hands once you’ve finished the task.

Wash thoroughly

Fill a bucket with hot, soapy water. Using a strong-bristled brush, thoroughly scrub the feeder inside and out, taking care to remove any residual food or bird droppings. We like the RSPB Long Handle Feeder Cleaning Brush, which makes the inside of the feeder easily accessible.

Rinse the feeder with cold water from an outside tap. Leave it to stand and dry completely.

Keep it clean

Spray the feeder with a veterinary disinfectant, to kill off any lurking bugs. Make sure the disinfectant is non-toxic and bird safe, like Johnson’s Poultry Virenza Disinfectant and Cleaner.

After disinfecting, rinse the feeder once more under the cold tap and then allow to dry completely again.

Refill with food

Once your feeder has completely dried, it’s time to refill it with food to keep those peckish birds happy!

Make sure you feed birds a variety of food during the winter months when food is scarce. The RSPB recommends putting out high-energy, high-fat foods as the cold weather arrives. The Really Wild Bird Food Co. Peckaballs are mini suet balls packed full of protein, which fit into standard peanut mesh feeders.

Bird feeder accessories

RSPB Premium Easy Clean Bird Feeder RSPB amazon.co.uk £16.49 Johnson’s Vet Poultry Virenza Disinfectant Johnson’s Vet amazon.co.uk £6.05 Long handle feeder cleaning brush RSPB rspb.org.uk £6.50 Suet Peckaballs With Mealworm, 1kg Really Wild reallywildbirdfood.co.uk £3.00

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The 15 Best Bird Feeders In MY Backyard (2020)

I have found that trying to find the best bird feeders for my backyard is about as challenging as trying to order food at a Mexican restaurant.

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. So 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!

The list below includes 14 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 6 questions to ask before buying your next bird feeder.

Do you want to see my bird feeders in action?

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

*Watch ALL of my LIVE Cameras HERE!*

Quick Links: The Best Bird Feeders (14 total)

The Best Advice I Can Give…

Before choosing a bird feeder (or feeders) for your backyard, let me ask you the following question:

What species of birds are you trying 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 feeder or combination of feeders for you.

Good luck! If you have additional questions or thoughts, please don’t hesitate to comment at the bottom!

Hopper Bird Feeders (#1 and #2)

Hopper feeders are typically designed to attract as many different species of bird 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 days 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

View Cost – Amazon

  • 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 and squirrel proof pole. This feeder holds up to 12 pounds and is heavy when it’s full of seed!
    • RELATED: The Two Best Bird Feeder Poles – Squirrel Proof, Sturdy, & Stylish

  • 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, there are 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!

    • RELATED: The 6 Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders (Stop Wasting Food!)

#2. Woodlink Hopper Bird Feeder

View Cost – Amazon

  • 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 feeder perches.

#3. Droll Yankees Tube Bird Feeder

Buy Now/View Price

It’s hard to go wrong with this feeder. It’s made by Droll Yankees, 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 a Droll Yankees 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!

In my opinion, it’s the perfect size for most backyards as it holds a few pounds of birdseed. Its large ports work great for many different types of seed, including sunflower, peanut pieces, and every bird seed mix.

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

#4. Perky-Pet Metal Tube Bird Feeder

View Price – Amazon

This blue tube feeder was the first bird feeder that I ever purchased! I bought it more than five 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.

  • RELATED: The 4 Best Window Bird Feeders (That Are Proven To Work!)

I know there are much better overall tube feeders available, but this one has too much sentimental value not to be included on my list. Plus it works incredibly well. I have never once dealt with moisture inside. It’s easy to open and clean.

My only complaint is that since it’s not transparent, it’s not convenient to check the seed level.

#5. Woodlink Caged Tube Feeder

View Price – Amazon

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.

  • RELATED: Best Bird Feeders For Small Birds (7 PROVEN Choices!)

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 there is delicious sunflower kernels inside the cage, this feeder is used daily!

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

Woodlink makes this specific feeder for smalls birds:

  • Features 6 feeding ports.
  • It holds about 1.25 lbs of seed.
  • The feeder is about 17 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. Don’t think that medium-size birds such as cardinals will be able to use this feeder. The only species that I have observed so far 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. By putting up a nyjer bird feeder, there are only a handful of birds that will ever feed on it. This list includes many different finches, goldfinches, chickadees. And doves even eat the seed that falls to the ground.

  • RELATED: Finch Feeders: The 3 Types Working BEST For Me Right Now

#6. Droll Yankees Nyjer Tube Feeder

View Price – Amazon

This bird feeder is made by Droll Yankees who have a fantastic reputation for quality bird products. It’s made in America (as are all their products!) 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 a 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.

This version is 23 inches tall, has eight ports/perches and can hold up to 2 lbs of seed, which is perfect for my backyard. If you have large flocks of finches that you must feed, Droll Yankees also make a 36-inch (with 20 ports!) version. For smaller yards or to serve as a window feeder, you can try their 8-inch finch feeder.

#7. No / No Screen NYJER SEED Feeder

Buy Now/View Price

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 pretty resistant to squirrels (and other critters).
  • In the pictures above you will notice two internal baffles inside the mesh tube. This 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 2-3 weeks (depending on weather).

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

The concept of a platform feeder is simple, which is probably why they work so well. 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 platform feeder provides. They also give 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 the best bird feeders in my backyard! 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 are their favorites.

#8. Woodlink Platform/Tray Bird Feeder

View Cost – Amazon

Currently, I have my tray feeder positioned on the ground below my other bird feeders. This provides food for ground birds, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, and rabbits. And as you can see ABOVE, even BABY SKUNKS use the tray!

  • This is an excellent, multi-purpose platform and one of my favorite bird feeders. 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.
  • This tray feeder can be used in three ways. It can be placed on the ground, hung with a wire, or mounted to a pole.
  • 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 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

Buy Now/View Price

  • 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.
    • RELATED: The 5 BEST Bluebird & Mealworm Feeders To Try

  • 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!

  • RELATED: The Hummingbird Food Guide (Easy Nectar Recipe + 8 FAQ’s)

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

Buy Now/View Price

  • The Hummzinger has a simple dish design, which is why it works well and is extremely popular.
    • RELATED: The 8 Best Hummingbird Feeders (That Actually Work!)

  • It is effortless to clean, and there is no leaking!
  • This 12 oz model has four feeding ports. If you want a larger option, the HummZinger also comes in a 16 oz model with six feeding ports.
  • This 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!

  • RELATED: How To Attract Hummingbirds: 38 Simple Tips!

#11: Birds Choice Oriole Feeder (12 oz)

View Cost on Amazon

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

  • First, there is a clear plastic dish that holds 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.

  • RELATED: Attract Orioles With These 5 SIMPLE Strategies!

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)

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 important in the cold winter months.

  • RELATED: 7 Effective Suet Feeders That Attract Woodpeckers!

#12. Stokes Select Suet Cage View Price on Amazon

If you’re looking for an effective suet feeder that doesn’t cost much money, then this one made by Stokes Select (or any simple 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.

Take a look at the video below. At the top, you can view the Stokes Suet Cage in action being used by a Downy Woodpecker!

My only complaint with this suet feeder is after some use, the latch that snaps the cage into place starts to wear and won’t snap into place as well as when it was brand new.

  • Stokes Select also makes another similar cage feeder that I own, but it can hold TWO suet cakes. View on Amazon here.

Specialty Bird Feeders (#13-15)

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

#13: Nature’s Hangout Window Bird Feeder

Buy Now/View Price

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 birds beautiful plumage or feeding habits.

Check out the above window bird feeder from Nature’s Hangout. 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.

  • Related: The 4 Best Window Bird Feeders (That Are Proven To Work!)

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 three suction cups do a great job at keeping the feeder attached, I have NEVER had it fall from my window.

#14. Stokes Snack ‘N’ Treats Bird Feeder

Buy Now/View Price

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 in the feeder and then watch what birds feed on it.

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.

#15. Songbird Essentials Whole Peanut Wreath Feeder

Buy Now/View Price

This peanut feeder from Songbird Essentials is one of the few bird feeders on this list that I don’t own…yet. I am happy to say that I now own this bird feeder and LOVE it and so do Blue Jays and grackles

One of my favorite birds to watch in my backyard are Blue Jay’s as they swoop down to grab a whole peanut and fly off to open in a nearby tree. It’s fun, entertaining, and interesting to watch them bang and peck the shell until they get to the peanut meat inside.

  • RELATED: How To Attract Blue Jays (4 Simple Strategies)

Be prepared that filling this feeder full of peanuts takes a few minutes. And typically, I have a mess of peanuts on the floor that missed or popped out. I have found it’s easiest to fill the wreath inside of a plastic container, which helps tremendously with cleanup!

6 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. Is it easy to clean?

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

2. Can water drain?

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

3. 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!

4. How easy is it to fill?

This 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.

5. Is the feeder well constructed?

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

6. Which company manufactures the feeder?

Many companies have been in business 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?
  • How many bird feeders do you have outside right now? Please share the types and styles you prefer and use!

Thanks again for reading. Happy birding!

Scott

Tube Bird Feeders Attract a Variety of Birds

Tube bird feeders typically cater to small birds, but can accommodate birds as big as jays or woodpeckers.

Some tube feeders allow you to attach or remove perches and/or feeding trays.

Depending upon the configuration, you can attract a wide variety of birds or very limited species. Some tube feeders even have feeding ports that only accommodate black oil sunflower seed or thistle (aka Njyer) seed for finches.

Below are some of the best tube bird feeders we could find including several by Brome.

If you have trouble with squirrels, then we highly recommend any of their Squirrel Buster models.

Inexpensive, yet durable, tube bird feeder

If you are looking for something that’s durable, but inexpensive, the Perky-Pet Panorama Birdfeeder is one of birder’s favorites.

Perky-Pet Panorama Feeder Benefits & Features:

  • Easy to load,
  • Easy to clean
  • Long-lasting
  • 2-lb seed capacity
  • Sure-lock cap system that helps keep the squirrels out

This feeder has a good design that’s easy to take apart and clean, and will keep the bird seed dry in rainy weather.

“The best bird feeder for all around feeding. The birds can get to the seeds, stays clean and doesn’t fall apart in the weather.” – William

View the Perky-Pet Panorama Birdfeeder.

Attracting Birds & Bird Feeding Tips

We recommend getting tube bird feeders that are easy to clean, have multiple ports and are squirrel proof.

Tube bird feeders will attract goldfinches, chickadees, titmice, small woodpeckers and a host of other common backyard bird species. Just remember to keep them clean.

Clean the tubes with warm water and mild detergent when it’s time to refill with seed. Make sure to rinse thoroughly to remove any soap residue.

Related Bird Feeder & Bird Seed Pages:

Wild Bird Food – Learn about the different types of bird seed.

Bird Feeders Main Page

Oriole Feeder

Platform Bird Feeders

Window Bird Feeders

Hopper Bird Feeders

Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Review & Comparison

Squirrel Buster Plus Bird Feeder Review

Hummingbird Feeders

Angel Bird Feeder

Bird Feeder Pole

Tube Bird Feeder Plans – Plans to make your own tube feeder. Sometimes it’s fun to do it yourself if you have the time, tools and patience.

Free Bird Feeder Plans Main Page

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