The 15 Best Bird Feeders to Attract Cardinals, Hummingbirds, Finches, and More to Your Yard

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Best Bird Feeders to Attract a Variety of Species Year-Round


If the beauty and song of the birds in your backyard have piqued your interest, it may be time to purchase a bird feeder. With the right bird feeder, you’ll be able to attract your favorite types of birds to your yard while keeping pests like squirrels at bay. However, there are a few important things to keep in mind while you shop. 

“It’s important for a bird feeder to be high quality and durable, constructed of a material like recycled plastic or metal so it won’t fall apart over time,” says Kate Furtaw, owner of the East Lansing, Michigan, location of Wild Birds Unlimited. “They should also be easy to take apart or break down for [routine] cleaning.” 

The best bird feeders are designed to attract specific bird species such as hummingbirds, finches, or orioles. Some will need to be hung from a tree branch or a pole in your garden, while others can be attached to a window for indoor birdwatching. Many also have features to deter squirrels or large birds so they don’t steal food from smaller birds.

Best Overall

Audubon Squirrel-Resistant Caged Tube Bird Feeder

Audubon Squirrel-Resistant Caged Tube Bird Feeder


Why You Should Get It: Smaller wild birds can easily get inside the cage to peck from the seed tube, while larger birds and squirrels get stuck outside.

Keep in Mind: It has a relatively small seed capacity, so you’ll need to refill it often.

This clever feeder allows the smaller songbirds in your yard to eat their fill while keeping out squirrels and large birds, thanks to a metal cage structure surrounding the feeding tube.

It’s constructed of strong, chew-proof, and impact-resistant steel with a removable cap that allows effortless cleaning and refilling. It securely locks into place once you’re done to prevent unwanted guests from stealing the seed. 

Visiting birds can rest on sturdy perches positioned underneath the four reinforced feeding ports to enjoy seed from the tube in the center of the cage.

Inside the feeder, a baffle helps direct seed to the bottom of the container so it empties out completely and prevents seed from getting stuck and growing stale or moldy over time. You’ll be able to fit a wide variety of birdseed inside—just make sure you’re adding seed for birds small enough to fit through the cage. 

With a capacity to hold 1.25 pounds of birdseed at a time, the Audubon squirrel-resistant cage feeder isn’t as large as other options on our list, so you’ll need to refill it more often. However, this smaller feeder size can also help prevent the seed inside from getting stale since you’ll be replenishing it more frequently. 

Price at time of publish: $45

Product Details: Size: 9 x 9 x 15.5 inches | Seed Capacity: 1.25 pounds | Seed Types: Any | Number of Feeding Ports: Four | Material: Powder coated steel | Squirrel-Proof: Yes

Best Budget

Perky-Pet Tube Wild Bird Feeder

Perky-Pet Tube Wild Bird Feeder


Why You Should Get it: It has six feeding ports to feed multiple birds at once. 

Keep in Mind: It’s not squirrel-proof. 

You don’t need to splurge on an expensive feeder to attract your neighborhood songbirds—this colorful option is big enough to hold multiple feathered friends at a time while remaining easy to assemble, clean, and fill. It’s tasteful enough to work in any yard or garden, and it’s sturdy enough to stay outside year-round.

Durably constructed of metal with a rust-proof powder finish, The Perky-Pet feeder can hold up to a full pound of mixed or black oil sunflower seed, so you won’t need to refill it every time you go outside.

There’s a plastic base and perches make it easy to clean thoroughly, preventing mold or debris from building up inside. Just remove the caps, take out the perches and base, and you can get into the tube for a good scrubbing inside and out. 

Keep in mind that this bird feeder isn’t squirrel-proof. To prevent squirrels from jumping onto the feeder and stealing all the birdseed, you’ll need to hang it at least 10 feet away from nearby trees, shrubs, or other structures. 

Price at time of publish: $17

Product Details: Size: 5.5 x 5.5 x 17.6 inches | Seed Capacity: 1 pound | Seed Types: Mixed or Black Oil Sunflower Seed | Number of Feeding Ports: Six | Material: Metal  | Squirrel-Proof: No

Best for Cardinals

Droll Yankees Cardinal Platform Bird Feeder

Droll Yankees Cardinal Platform Bird Feeder


Why You Should Get It: This feeder has specific features designed to attract the Northern Cardinal, including lots of space for landing, perching, and eating facing forward. 

Keep in Mind: The clear plastic it’s made from isn’t as pleasing to the eye as other options.

Since the Northern Cardinal doesn’t migrate, this bird is a colorful companion you can spot in your backyard all year long—assuming it can find its favorite food nearby. If you’re interested in attracting this species, it’s best to find a bird feeder that meets their specific needs. 

Since they are medium-sized birds with full, broad chests, cardinals are naturally drawn to large platforms. They need plenty of space to land, perch comfortably, and feed without twisting their heads, which isn’t possible with most tube feeders. 

We chose the Droll Yankees Cardinal Platform Bird Feeder as the best bird feeder for cardinals, since it has an ample 13-inch platform for landing and a spacious tray that holds up to a pound of seed at a time.

The tray is also covered by an adjustable 15-inch dome, which helps to shelter the seed and birds beneath from falling rain or snow. Additionally, the feeder has drainage holes on the bottom for any water that does happen to make its way onto the seed, helping to prevent mold from growing on the feeder. 

Plus, its strong, crack-resistant plastic construction is likely to withstand winter and other harsh weather. We wish it looked a little more decorative, since the plastic exterior isn’t as attractive as other options on our list.

The Droll Yankees Cardinal Platform Feeder is also backed by the company’s lifetime warranty, which covers defective parts or any damage caused by squirrels. 

Price at time of publish: $110

Product Details: Size: 15.5 x 15.5 x 17 inches | Seed Capacity: 1 pound | Seed Types: Any seed desired, can also hold fruit, mealworms, and suet | Number of Feeding Ports: N/A | Material: Plastic | Squirrel-Proof: No

Best Tube Feeder

Droll Yankees Yankee Flipper Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

Droll Yankees YF-M Yankee Flipper Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder


Why You Should Get It: This feeder is designed to spin when squirrels jump onto it. 

Keep in Mind: It doesn’t have any indicators to show when the battery’s low.

This brilliant tube feeder is designed to allow birds to eat freely while sending squirrels packing as soon as they hit the perch. This is thanks to a motorized feeder, which spins rapidly once activated by the weight of a squirrel jumping onto it. The spinning motion “flips” squirrels off the feeder, causing them to move on to other, easier food sources. 

The Droll Yankee Flipper Squirrel-Proof feeder’s tube is 21 inches long and 4.75 inches in diameter, and it’s capable of holding up to 5 pounds of seed, so you won’t need to constantly refill it. It's designed to ensure that the seeds in the tube flow downward into the feeding ports rather than getting stuck inside, which keeps birds coming back for more. 

It also comes with rechargeable batteries that hold their charge for an impressive amount of time, generally only needing a recharge a few times per year. We wish there was a way to tell when the batteries—which power the spinning motion of the feeder—are running low, since the device will simply stop working when the battery runs out. Instead, you’ll have to manually check the battery. 

Crafted of durable metal and UV-stabilized plastic, the feeder can stand up to the elements including direct sunlight and rain while keeping its color true and its structures intact. 

Price at time of publish: $149

Product Details: Size: 8.5 x 8.5 x 28.5 inches | Seed Capacity: 5 pounds | Seed Types: Any | Number of Feeding Ports: Four | Material: Metal and Plastic | Squirrel-Proof: Yes

Best for Hummingbirds

LaElvish Garden Hummingbird Feeder

LaElvish Garden Hummingbird Feeder


Why You Should Get It: Its colorful design features an ant moat and a leak proof gasket. 

Keep in Mind: It can be hard to see how much nectar is left in the feeder depending on the design.

If you want to attract hummingbirds to your yard, a hummingbird feeder (or several) is the best way to view the tiny avian wonders. The best hummingbird feeder is the editor-approved LaElvish Garden Hummingbird Feeder, which is available in 11 stunning colors.

The hand blown glass feeder is both functional and beautiful. You can place it in your yard or hang it from a hook on your porch. It can hold up to 28 ounces of nectar, so you don’t have to worry about filling it every morning. The leak proof feeder features four feeding ports that each have an individual perch for hummingbirds to sit on while they feast.

With a wide mouth, it’s easy to clean and refill this feeder. To clean, simply disassemble and wash with warm water and a mild soap. Additionally, an ant moat is included with the purchase to help prevent ants from stealing your birds precious nectar. 

Although the feeder is glass and fairly see-through, it can be difficult to see exactly how much nectar is left in the feeder due to the elaborate glass blown designs. However, because it’s durable, easy to clean, and leakproof, this is the best hummingbird feeder. 

Price at time of publish: $21

Product Details: Size: 6.3 x 6.37 x 9.44 inches | Seed Capacity: Up to 28 ounces of nectar | Seed Types: N/A | Number of Feeding Ports: Four | Material: Glass | Squirrel-Proof: Not listed

Best for Windows

Nature's Hangout Window Bird Feeder

Nature's Hangout Window Bird Feeder


Why You Should Get It: This feeder has a deep enough tray to hold 4 pounds of seed and conveniently attaches to your window with suction cups.

Keep in Mind: It’s difficult to clean out, since none of the parts are removable.

This see-through unit is the best window bird feeder for cozy indoor viewing of your neighborhood songbirds. Crafted of a thick and hardy clear acrylic, the Nature’s Hangout Window Bird Feeder mounts on any clean window without a screen on your home, giving an optimal view of wild birds anytime they’re visiting.

It’s also equipped with six strong suction cups which allow you to easily mount and remove whenever you want without damaging your windows. According to the manufacturer, they’re even strong enough to stay up in extreme weather. 

Viewers can enjoy the likes of finches, bluebirds, cardinals, chickadees, sparrows, and more as they dine on up to four cups of bird seed in the feeder’s large removable tray.

You’ll even be able to put out two separate types of bird seed at a time to attract multiple bird types, since the feeder has a plastic divider in the center. Plus, it all stays dry because of the plastic roof and built-in drainage holes on the bottom which filter out rain and other moisture.

As an added bonus, the feeder’s proximity to the window helps to break up the window’s reflection, which is helpful in preventing birds from colliding with the glass. Just keep in mind that this window bird feeder is more difficult to clean than other products on this list; the tight corners make it difficult to scrub bird seed and grime out of the container. 

Price at time of publish: $30

Product Details: Size: 12 x 4 x 5 inches | Seed Capacity: 4 cups | Seed Types: Any | Number of Feeding Ports: N/A | Material: Clear Acrylic | Squirrel-Proof: No

Best for Finches

Perky-Pet Thistle Seed Tube Finch Bird Feeder

Perky-Pet Thistle Seed Tube Finch Bird Feeder


Why You Should Get It: This feeder’s bright yellow color is attractive to finches, while the circular mesh tube allows them to easily hold on and feed anywhere on its surface. 

Keep in Mind: You may end up attracting more than just finches.

Finches love the circular mesh surface of this feeder’s reservoir since they can grasp onto the sides or perch on the bottom ledge while snacking on the seeds inside.

This feeder is substantial, too; it holds up to 1.5 pounds of thistle seed, sparing you from constantly refilling it, and the interior is designed to keep seed flowing down through all the tiers of the tube and avoid problematic clogs. Drainage holes ensure that water won’t collect inside, and the dome-shaped top helps protect the seed inside from being damaged by moisture. 

Sturdily built, it’s constructed of 100% metal and wire mesh with a rust-resistant coating, so it’s designed to withstand damage from weather and squirrels or other pests. In fact, the small metal holes make it more difficult for squirrels to get to the seeds, causing them to avoid your bird feeder and search for food that’s easier to access. 

The wide opening at the top of the Perky-Pet Thistle Seed finch feeder allows you the space to clean it thoroughly and fill it without making a mess. Because of its bright yellow hue, this option is very attractive to finches, and the three-tiered system evenly distributes feed throughout the entire tube so it can feed multiple birds at a time.

We wish the feeder’s tray at the bottom was larger, because it’s not big enough to catch all of the loose seed that falls out. Since this seed ends up on the ground, it can attract squirrels, chipmunks, and other pests who could scare finches away. 

Price at time of publish: $25

Product Details: Size: 7.3 x 7.3 x 17.8 inches | Seed Capacity: 1.5 pounds | Seed Types: Thistle seed | Number of Feeding Ports: N/A | Material: Metal and wire mesh | Squirrel-Proof: No

Best with Camera

Netvue Birdfy Feeder AI

Netvue Birdfy Feeder AI


Why You Should Get It: Get notified when a bird visits your feeder, find out what species it is, 

and tune in for a live video of the visitor anytime—even in the dark. 

Keep in Mind: It’s not built to withstand extreme weather, so you’ll want to bring it inside during storms.

If you’ve ever seen a colorful bird in your yard and wanted to learn more, you’ll love the Netvue Birdfy Smart Bird Feeder Camera. Easy to install, this feature-rich feeder cam does plenty to keep bird lovers informed and entertained. 

When an avian guest lands on the seed tray, this feeder uses artificial intelligence to automatically identify the bird from its library of over 6,000 bird types. It then sends you a notification (which you can turn off or on as you wish), letting you know about the visitor, its species, and just about anything else you’d like to know about it.

he feeder’s built-in camera will show you live video of the bird in 1080P resolution, and you can zoom in to see the details of its feathers or face or listen to it with the microphone.

You can even shoo away pests with the voice feature or by activating built-in sirens and lights. Plus, the feeder’s camera works at night, offering clear and distinct in-color night vision of the birds in your yard. 

The feeder cam is weather-resistant enough for outdoor use due to its IP65 water-resistance rating, although it’s not built to withstand extreme weather conditions, so we recommend bringing it inside during heavy rain.

Its extra-long battery life lasts for around a month, and it’s conveniently rechargeable, and can even be solar-powered as well. This feeder cam comes with a 1 year warranty and live support offered 24/7. If you’d like it without AI, there’s also a Lite version for a little cheaper.

Price at time of publish: $250

Product Details: Size: 10.23 x 9.64 x 11.22 inches | Seed Capacity: 50 ounces | Seed Types: Any | Number of Feeding Ports: N/A | Material: Plastic | Squirrel-Proof: No

Best Ground

Gray Bunny Ground Bird Feeder Tray

Gray Bunny Ground Bird Feeder Tray


Why You Should Get It: Grains as small as millet can be used in this feeder without falling through the mesh bottom. 

Keep in Mind: There’s no way to keep squirrels or chipmunks away from this feeder.

This feeder appeals to a variety of bird species, particularly those that normally feed off the ground. Available in two sizes, it works in numerous places where you may not have space to hang a feeder, such as patios, decks, lawns, and gardens. It’s also built durably of rust-resistant heavy duty steel to withstand all kinds of weather without getting damaged. 

The ground feeder’s tightly woven mesh wire bottom is great for holding a wide assortment of seed mixes with grains as small as millet without falling through and making a mess. It’s also well-ventilated, which is helpful in draining water from the tray and keeping the seed fresh and dry.

To keep the tray balanced, this feeder has two sturdy bars that curve underneath the feeder and slightly elevate it off the surface below, which helps prevent seeds from sprouting.

If the bottom of this feeder gets messy, just flip it over and rinse it off with the yard hose. Be sure it’s completely dry before refilling it and placing it outdoors for the birds. 

Since this is a ground feeder, there’s no way to prevent squirrels or other animals from stealing the seed you put out. The presence of these creatures may scare away the songbirds you intend to attract, so plan to have other ways of deterring squirrels if you plan to purchase a ground bird feeder. 

Price at time of publish: $25

Product Details: Size: 7 x 7 x 2 inches | Seed Capacity: 1.41 pounds | Seed Types: Any, millet is the smallest that won’t fall through  | Number of Feeding Ports: N/A | Material: Steel mesh  | Squirrel-Proof: No

Best Platform

Solution4Patio Platform Bird Feeder

Solution4Patio Platform Bird Feeder


Why You Should Get It: Easy to hang, mount, or place on the ground, this platform feeder is one of the best bird feeders for attracting diverse birds. 

Keep in Mind: It won’t deter squirrels on its own, so you’ll need to hang it at least 10 feet away from trees, deck railings, and more.

A hit with sparrows and doves especially, platform feeders (also called tray feeders) are the simplest type of feeder to incorporate into your yard, and they’re the best bird feeders for birds that prefer an open space when choosing their seed. Most birds love sifting through seed on a platform feeder, depending upon the kind of food you have out for them. 

This platform bird feeder offers top of the line features and an unobstructed view of the birds as they perch to eat. We like that it’s weather resistant and strong enough to hold up to 10 pounds at a time, so even if a squirrel manages to hop up on the tray, the entire device won’t break.

In addition to its durability, there are two large feeding areas for food, which is ideal for separating seed, nuts, suet, or mealworms. You can also use it to hold fresh fruits and attract birds this way. 

Its wide open tray gives birds plenty of room to land and take off while remaining visible to you from far away. This allows you to set up the feeder wherever you have space in your yard without having to grab a pair of binoculars.

The feeder is remarkably easy to clean and refill—simply scrub it with a damp cloth and then pour out new seed once the feeder is dry. Shoppers can also take their pick on how to use the feeder—hang it the attached wire hanger, mount it on a pole, or simply put the feeder on the ground.

In addition to its rust-proof hardware, the base is covered in a rust-free mesh to encourage drainage, keeping the seed dry and fresh. It also comes with a three-year warranty to protect your purchase.

Just keep in mind that platform feeders aren’t the easiest to keep squirrels away from, since they can jump from tree branches or climb up some garden poles. To make this feeder as squirrel-proof as possible, we recommend setting it up at least 10 feet from tree branches. 

Price at time of publish: $19

Product Details: Size: 12.98 x 12.98 x 13.98 inches | Seed Capacity: 5 pounds | Seed Types: Any | Number of Feeding Ports: None | Material: Pine wood | Squirrel-Proof: No

Best Suet

Nature’s Way Suet Upside-Down Feeder

Nature’s Way Suet Upside-Down Feeder


Why You Should Get It: Enjoy visits from chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers while keeping the neighborhood bully birds away with this upside-down suet feeder.

Keep in Mind: it may not work as well if no-melt suet is used, as it would likely fall through the grating on the bottom.

Especially during the cold winter months, birds need high-fat suet to provide the energy they require to stay warm and hunt for food.

In the wild, birds can peck it from dead animal carcasses, but you can make the task easier for them by providing suet cakes in your own backyard. This upside-down Nature’s Way suet feeder is designed to feed small to medium birds like nuthatches, titmice, woodpeckers, and chickadees while deterring larger, less-agile birds.

Made with the premium quality wood and top notch craftsmanship, this suet feeder will make an impressive addition to your feeding area. We love its high-quality, rustic design that’ll fit right into your yard without creating an eyesore like plastic bird feeders.

The water-resistant cedar construction prevents rotting and insect infestations, while the mesh, screws, and other hardware used are covered with a rust-proof finish. In addition, the hanging cable attached is made of steel and coated with vinyl for additional corrosion and abrasion resistance. 

When your suet gets low, the feeder’s roof lifts up for an easy refill of one standard size suet cake, so it’s easy to replenish. You likely won’t be able to use no-melt suet, since this type of feed tends to have a semi-solid consistency that may cause it to fall through the grating on the bottom. 

Price at time of publish: $24

Product Details: Size: 8.5 x 8.5 x 4.13 inches | Seed Capacity: One standard-size suet cake | Seed Types: Suet only | Number of Feeding Ports: N/A | Material: Cedar | Squirrel-Proof: No

Best Pole

Sequoia Squirrel-Proof Pole System

Sequoia Squirrel-Proof Pole System


Why You Should Get It: This rust-resistant, squirrel-deterrent pole can hold up to four bird feeders of up to 15 pounds each.

Keep in Mind: The auger is designed to go 2 feet into the ground, which is deeper than most bird feeder poles and can be difficult to install if your ground is hard.

Some may argue that the pole you use to hang your bird feeder may be the most important part of your setup. Its strength and durability in spite of troublesome weather and curious non-bird animals like squirrels can make all the difference in your bird-feeding success.

Squirrel Proof’s Sequoia Pole System is equipped with a 27-inch, all-metal squirrel-deterring baffle that moves in all directions when an animal tries to jump on it. It also has four hangers for different types of feeders, allowing you to feed multiple types of birds at the same time. 

Additionally, this pole keeps hanging feeders safely between 5 and 6 feet above ground— and with 4 perfectly placed hangers, you can also offer different feeders and seed/types to invite a more diverse group of feathered friends to your yard.

Placed at least 10 feet from the nearest shrub, tree, or other similar structure, this feeder will be full of happy birds, providing hours of enjoyment for bird lovers.

Constructed of a lightweight, but sturdy steel with an attractive black powder-coated finish and screw-in ground auger, the Sequoia pole is fairly easy to put together without tools of any kind. However, this bird feeder pole is designed to go 2 feet into the ground, which can be tricky to accomplish. 

Price at time of publish: $130

Product Details: Size: 90 x 1.25 inches | Seed Capacity: N/A | Seed Types: N/A | Number of Feeding Ports: None | Material: Steel | Squirrel-Proof: Yes

Best for Orioles

Birds Choice Recycled Oriole Bird Feeder for Oranges and Jelly in Orange

Birds Choice Recycled Oriole Bird Feeder for Oranges and Jelly in Orange


Why You Should Get It: This bright orange feeder has cups and pegs for offering all the top oriole favorites including oranges, jelly, and more. 

Keep in Mind: Its electric orange hue and plastic exterior may be an eyesore in your yard.

Crafted of recycled poly lumber, this bright orange device is the best bird feeder for attracting orioles. Orioles can enjoy their preferred fare of jelly, orange halves, or mealworms in this multi-function, sturdily-constructed feeder.

Its vibrant orange color will first attract the birds, and the buffet of their favorites will keep them coming back. The feeder’s jelly cups hold up to three ounces of either grape jelly or mealworms, and the two pegs provided present them with fresh orange halves for a bit of additional variety. 

Since the foods it’s designed to hold are definitely sticky, we’re glad that the feeder’s cups can be removed for easy washing and refilling. The clear acrylic roof helps to keep rain off the fruit and out of the cups, preventing water from accumulating or mold from growing.

This feature also allows the colorful vittles to be seen by orioles passing overhead. You may find that this feeder attracts more than just orioles, since finches, bluebirds, woodpeckers, grosbeaks, and other birds will likely enjoy these snacks, too. 

Note that while orioles can be fed mealworms year-round, the protein-packed treats are best offered to these birds during early summer or late fall into early winter. Living, juicy mealworms are known to be a top choice for bluebirds feeding their young as well. 

While the bright orange color of this feeder is great for attracting beautiful birds, it’s not the prettiest to look at in your yard. The vibrant hue may not match your existing patio and garden decor

Price at time of publish: $44

Product Details: Size: 12.5 x 7.5 x 7.38 inches | Seed Capacity: 2 cups | Seed Types: N/A | Number of Feeding Ports: Two jelly cups and two pegs for orange halves | Material: Plastic | Squirrel-Proof: Not listed

Best Wooden

Audubon Wild Bird Deluxe Wood Ranch Feeder

Audubon Wild Bird Deluxe Wood Ranch Feeder


Why You Should Get It: With a hinged top for easy filling, this feeder comes with a cable for hanging, two suet cages, and a 5-pound seed capacity. 

Keep in Mind: If you order from Amazon, double check your feeder when delivered. Some felt theirs wasn’t as described and had a different roof among other features.

This cedar bird feeder should draw a diverse array of birds to your space. With two suet cages and a 5-pound seed capacity, birds with either food preference are likely to flock to this feeder, including the likes of chickadees, nuthatches, finches, cardinals, and woodpeckers. 

You can mount or hang the feeder from a sturdy tree branch, shepherd’s hook, or other type of pole with the attached metal hanger. You’ll be able to see when the seed needs refilling, as the windows on both sides are clear.

Constructed of high quality cedar, the feeder will be more durable and resistant to rotting and insects than other types of wood feeders. It can also hold several different kinds of bird food, since the roof is removable, allowing for mixed, large, and small seed types to be used.

You can even use it to hold suet cakes, if you choose. It’s quite easy to refill and clean when the top is removed, and the bottom is made up of a thin screen to help drain moisture out of the container and keep the seed dry and bacteria-free. 

Price at time of publish: $32

 Product Details: Size: 8.38 x 12.75 x 9.63 inches | Seed Capacity: 5 pounds of mixed seed or two suet cakes | Seed Types: Mixed Seeds and suet | Number of Feeding Ports: Four | Material: Cedar | Squirrel-Proof: No

Best Solar Powered

Sweetfull Solar Bird Feeder

Sweetfull Solar Bird Feeder


Why You Should Get It: This solar powered bird feeder will add ambiance to your yard. 

Keep in Mind: It’s not squirrel proof.

Line your garden path or yard with these multitasking feeders. The Sweetfull Solar Bird Feeder are solar powered bird feeders that are made with durable alloy steel and metal to attract birds while providing gentle light. 

The solar panel, which is located at the top of the feeder, uses solar energy to charge during the day so it can light your yard in the evening. The middle barrel of the feeder features cut-outs that illuminate a flower design at night. 

To fill the feeder with bird seed, simply twist open the cap on the top and pour your seed into the feeder. With the space to hold up to 2 pounds of food, you can rest easy knowing you won’t have to refill the feeder every day. The food disperses on a dish where birds can stand to eat their seeds, and the feeder also provides birds with a bit of shelter from the sun or rain. 

The top locks into place to help prevent water from entering the inside of the feeder, so your food will remain fresh. This feeder also includes a small chain and S-hook so you can hang it from a tree, but you can also sit it on a tabletop for added ambience. 

While we love the duality of this feeder, keep in mind that it’s not exactly squirrel-proof, so you may have to get creative to prevent unwanted critters from eating your bird seed.

Price at time of publish: $17

Product Details: Size: 7.2 x 7.2 inches | Seed Capacity: 2 pounds | Seed Types: Various seeds | Number of Feeding Ports: None | Material: Alloy steel and metal | Squirrel-Proof: No

The Bottom Line

Our top pick for the best bird feeders is the Audubon Squirrel-Resistant Tube Caged Feeder because of its sturdy steel construction, ease of cleaning and refilling, and overall high quality. It’s great at keeping out squirrels and other pests while letting the songbirds in for a meal of the tube’s seed.

An excellent budget feeder is the Perky-Pet Tube Wild Bird Feeder with its eye-popping color, and all-metal durability, making it a great purchase for beginning birdwatchers. 

What to Know About Bird Feeders Before Shopping

Size and Seed Capacity

When choosing the best bird feeders for your yard, it’s important to consider the size and seed capacity of each feeder. First, think about which types of birds you’d like to attract. Some large birds prefer to feed together as a flock, so feeders that hold more seed will be able to handle these bigger groups with more ease.

They also hold more food , so naturally they won’t need to be refilled as often. However, keep in mind that bird seed can eventually go stale, so avoid buying the biggest bird feeder on the market if your yard only gets a few avian guests a day. 

Smaller feeders that hold less seed, but they’re great for attracting smaller birds. The best small bird feeders have a cage around them to keep out bigger birds and protect small birds as they dine.

Seed Type

According to Kate Furtaw, owner of the East Lansing, Michigan, location of Wild Birds Unlimited, “High quality seeds without filler are preferred by most birds, so they’re the best kind for filling bird feeders.” 

The best bird seed mixes contain a mixture of peanuts, millet, black oil sunflower seeds, and striped sunflower seeds. The problem with seed mixes is that the birds you wish to attract may only eat one of the seed types and discard the rest, creating a great deal of waste.

For this reason, some bird lovers prefer to feed only one seed type at a time separately. This requires more than one feeder, unless you purchase a bird feeder with separate compartments for different seed types.

You’ll also want to ensure that the holes in your bird feeder are smaller than the size of the bird seed you intend to use. If the seed is too small, all of the contents will spill out of the feeder and onto the ground, where squirrels will most likely eat all of the food themselves. 


Furtaw advises that it’s important for a bird feeder to be made of high quality, durably constructed material so it won’t fall apart over time. Typically, this is a combination of rust-resistant steel, mesh wire, glass, and plastic. 

Fine wire mesh is used to construct tube feeders, which allow small birds to access the seed inside while deterring bigger birds. Wood is a popular, though less resilient bird feeder material, as squirrels can chew through it. It also frequently absorbs the oils from seed products, resulting in an odor that attracts squirrels and other pests. 

If you’re going to buy a wooden bird feeder, look for one made of cedar. Cedar is superior to other woods for its weather resistance and lightweight nature which is good for hanging. It’s also naturally insect-repellant.

Feeder Type

The best bird feeders are often designed to attract certain types of birds based on their natural feeding preferences while deterring squirrels and holding a variety of food like seed, suet, or fruit.

Some feeders are specifically made to attract certain types of birds like finches, cardinals, orioles, or hummingbirds. The design of the feeder should have vibrant colors, feeding tubes or ports that are ideally sized for the bird, and offer a sturdy place to land. 

Tube Feeders

Tube feeders consist of a single, long, cylindrical tube that is usually made of clear plastic or glass. The tube is filled with food like seed or suet balls, and often has multiple holes or feeding ports placed around the outside of the tube.

There are also perches placed below each feeding port for the birds to sit on while they eat. Some tube feeder styles might also have seed trays or perches located at the bottom of the cylinder. 

Most tube feeders have short perches so that only small birds like finches, wrens, or titmice can rest on them to eat. If a tube feeder’s perches are located above its feeding ports, only birds that can feed while hanging upside down can use them, like nuthatches and woodpeckers. 

Platform/Tray Feeders

Platform feeders, also called tray feeders, table feeders, or “fly-through” feeders, are wide and open in design, allowing you to use it to hold a wide variety of bird food. These feeders are easy to land on and fly away from, making it easy to access for avian creatures of multiple sizes. You can hang these, place them on posts or the railing of your deck, or mount them on poles. 

Hopper Feeders

While there are many types of hopper feeders, most resemble little bird houses with roofs, floors, and four sides on each. The hopper holds feed inside the “house,” and there’s usually a tray underneath it to dispense the seed. 

Suet Feeders

These feeders hold solid suet cakes or balls inside cage-like structures, allowing birds to perch on the wire and peck through at the goodies inside. Some suet feeders have baffles built in to deter pests and predators, while others are designed upside-down to keep larger birds like grackles, blackbirds, and blue jays at bay.

Window Feeders

A window feeder has suction cups on one side and easily attaches to glass window panes for indoor birdwatching. These feeders may also come equipped with hooks for hanging it onto window frames. They’re designed for up-close bird watching at the window, and they’re known for attracting chickadees, finches, sparrows, and titmice. 

Platform, nectar, or hopper feeders often come with suction cups to attach them to your windows if you choose to do so. Plus, window feeders are considered the safest for preventing birds from colliding with windows due to their proximity to the windows.

Caged Feeders

These work in a variety of ways to hold seed or other bird food inside a strong metal mesh or cage-type structure designed to allow smaller birds entry while keeping larger birds out. This can be added to tube feeders, hoppers or suet feeders.

Nectar Feeders

These are designed to hold nectar in an inverted reservoir or chamber, allowing birds to sip from multiple feeding ports, feeding several birds at once. They are typically hard plastic or glass, and most come with bee guards, “ant moats”, and other types of insect deterrents. These feeders attracts nectarivores, like the hummingbird, sunbird, and honeyeater.

Pest-Deterrent Features

Since squirrels often steal food from bird feeders (and damage them in the process), many of the best feeders have built-in deterrents to prevent this behavior. 

“Putting a baffle on the feeder’s pole is helpful in keeping squirrels away,” Furtaw says. Baffles keep squirrels from climbing past, as their shape (usually a cone) “baffles” them, causing them to give up on the food source.You can add this feature to many pole-mounted feeders by attaching the baffle either above or below the food source, depending upon the feeder’s design. 

Some high-tech bird feeders have spinning mechanisms that toss squirrels away when they try to jump onto the tray, while others use flashing lights and sounds to deter pests. Stainless or galvanized steel feeders can prevent squirrels from munching the bird’s food too, since it’s too hard for them to chew through compared to wood or plastic.

“Squirrel baffles and squirrel-proof feeders can help [deter pests],” LeBaron says. “If possible, feeders should be 10 feet away from trees or other potential squirrel jumping-off points. You should dispose of leftover seed rather than scatter it on the ground, since fallen seed can attract other animals.”

Your Questions, Answered

How do you clean a bird feeder?

Marissa Jardine, clinic manager of the Bird Center of Michigan, says that keeping your bird feeder clean not only prevents the growth of mold and bacteria, but it also helps limit the spread of disease, “Make sure to clean bird feeders frequently to prevent the spread of avian flu and other diseases spread among birds,” Jardine says. 

“A mild soap and water solution or a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water is sufficient for cleaning out bird feeders (make sure you rinse them well!),” LeBaron says. “Hummingbird feeders can be washed with just water. After that you should soak the feeder in a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar, which helps sanitize the feeders.”

LeBaron warns that you should make sure your feeder is completely dry before refilling it with seed to avoid bacteria growth. 

“You should clean your seed and suet feeders at least every other week, and likely more frequently in humid or hot weather, since that’s when bacteria are likely to grow,” LeBaron says. “Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned every few days since they contain a sugar solution, and if the solution becomes cloudy at all, it needs to be cleaned.”

How do I keep squirrels (and other animals) away from my bird feeder? 

“Small mammals like squirrels and chipmunks are a perennial problem at feeders, but other more problematic animals may visit as well.” LeBaron says. “Opossums, skunks, raccoons, and bears all enjoy bird food, and most of those creatures forage mainly at night. So, if any of these animals become an unwanted problem, you can start by bringing in your feeders at night.” 

How often should you add new food to a bird feeder?

Depending on the size of your bird feeder and how hungry the visiting birds are, you may need to refill them anywhere from a few times daily to just once a month.

As a rule of thumb, however, it’s generally best to fill feeders as soon as they’re empty, especially when you’re first establishing the bird feeder and getting birds accustomed to its location.

Don’t worry too much if you can’t do so immediately. Birds are constantly seeking out new food sources and are likely to find something else if necessary. Just keep in mind that birds are unlikely to keep returning to an unreliable food source, so filling it back up within a couple of days or sooner will encourage them to visit your yard more frequently. 

Is it good to feed birds in winter? 

Jardine shares that, although many people take their bird feeders down in the winter, “it’s important to keep feeders out."

"It’s even more beneficial to have them out during winter, as there’s less food abundance for the birds,” Jardine says. “Birds don’t all migrate for the winter. Some of them stay year-round, like cardinals, doves, and many other species.” 

LeBaron also says that keeping bird feeders out year-round helps ensure that migrating birds and nesting birds alike have plenty of food, during cold months when sustenance is scarcer. 

“Migrating birds in the spring and fall are always looking for a place to rest and refuel on their journeys,” LeBaron says. “Nesting birds in the summer will use feeders to get provisions for themselves and their families. While birds are not dependent on feeders alone, they’re a great way to see the different kinds of birds that come through each season, and they’ll appreciate the extra help!”

Who We Are

KJ Callihan is a commerce writer at Better Homes & Gardens. She enjoys writing about the best products for your home and where to find the best deals. She spent hours researching the features of the best bird feeders for this story. She also consulted Geoff LeBaron, Christmas Bird Count Director for the National Audubon Society, Kate Furtaw, owner of the East Lansing, Michigan, location of Wild Birds Unlimited, and Marissa Jardine, Clinic Manager of the Bird Center of Michigan.

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