Attract Birds with the Right Feeders
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

The Right Feeder

Common Redpoll

Many homeowners put out a single feeder with a standard seed mix, only to be disappointed with the results. What they do not understand is that various species of birds prefer different foods, feed at different heights, and from different types of feeders. So if you want to cater to the needs of several species, you will likely need two or more feeders, possibly of different designs, mounted at different heights. And by providing a variety of foods, you will significantly increase your chance of attracting many different species of birds.

Pine Grosbeak Here are a few tips to attracting more birds to your feeders:

  • Any time of year is right for setting up and maintaining feeders for local birds, even winter.
  • Having the right feeders and food in place in advance of the arrival of migrating birds.
  • Place feeders close to cover such as a dense bush. Many birds will avoid feeders that don't offer protection in close proximity.
  • Read up on the favorite treats of the birds you desire, and have them on hand.
  • Clean your feeders and the area around them frequently. Spillage on the ground from poorly designed feeders is unattractive, and it can attract rodents. Make sure your seed feeders have effective seed catcher trays and clean up around them as needed.
  • To attract birds to a new feeder, scatter a small amount of seed at the base of the feeder and sprinkle some directly on the feeder.

Here are some feeders that some of the most popular birds prefer:

Type of Feeder: Best to Attract: Examples:
Ground &
Juncos, cardinals, indigo bunting, sparrows, chickadees, finch, mourning doves, and towhees Recycled Platform Feeder, Green Solutions Deck Tray Feeder
Eastern bluebirds, mountain bluebirds, purple martins, wrens, warblers, and towhees Dome Feeder, Bluebird Feeder, Mealworm Feeder, Snacks 'N' Treats™ Feeder with Adjustable Weather Guard, Sky Cafe Bluebird Feeder
Without perch: Hummingbirds
With perch(es): Hummingbirds, orioles, tanagers, warblers, grosbeaks, and woodpeckers
Without perch: Garden Jewels Round Glass Hummingbird Feeder, Parasol Pixie Hummingbird Feeder, Copper Plant Hummingbird Stick
With perch: HummZinger Excel, Colibri Hummingbird Feeder, 24 oz Glass Hummingbird Feeder, Stokes Deluxe Oriole Feeder
Chickadees, titmice, grosbeaks, grackles, and finches Grande Squirrelproof Feeder, Classic 12" Hanging Feeder, Triple Tube Feeder, Finch Flocker Tube Feeder, Sedona High Capacity Tube Feeder, Triple Tube Feeder
Orioles, tanagers, gray catbirds, blue jays, robins, and grosbeaks Clementine Oriole Feeder, Metal Fruit Feeder, Metal House Oriole Feeder, Ultimate Oriole Feeder
Nuthatches, woodpeckers, gray catbirds, blue jays, titmice, chickadees, sapsuckers, flickers, and mockingbirds Upside down feeders: Green Solutions Upside-Down Suet Feeder, Recycled Double Upside Down Suet Cake Feeder Copper Roof Upside Down Suet Feeder
Traditional basket feeders:. Deluxe Suet Buffet, Squirrelproof Double Suet Feeder, Copper Roof Double Suet Feeder, Green Solutions Tail Prop Feeder
Suet ball & plug feeders: Suet Ball Tube Feeder, Suet Ball Red Roof Feeder, Stokes Select Suet Plug Feeder
Cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees, finch, woodpeckers, and pine siskin Cardinal No/No Feeder, 5-Tier No/No Feeder, Giant Combo Feeder, Triple Tube Feeder
Finches, ,song sparrows, red crossbills, pine siskins, and common redpoll 1 Qt Nyjer Forever Feeder, Sock Finch Feeders, Finch Flocker Tube Feeder, Green Steel Magnum Thistle Feeder
A wide variety of songbirds; shy birds, such as rose-breasted grosbeaks, cardinals, and brown thrashers Bamboo 6 QT Hopper Feeder, Original Absolute Feeder, 2.5 Qt. Recycled Hopper Feeder, Chalet Deluxe Hopper Feeder

Related Articles: