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

Attract Birds with the Right Feeder

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:
Small ground feeders: quail, mourning doves, bobwhites, bobolinks, and cedar waxwings Covered Ground Feeder
Eastern bluebirds, mountain bluebirds, purple martins, and nuthatches Dome Feeder, Bluebird Feeder, Steel Mealworm Feeder
Without perch: Hummingbirds
With perch(es): Hummingbirds, orioles, tanagers, warblers, grosbeaks, and woodpeckers
Without perch: Mini-Blossom Gloria Hanging Feeder, Blue Spruce Flora, Hummingbird Feeder & Mobile
With perch: HummZinger Ultra Feeder, Colibri Hummingbird Feeder, Glass Milk Bottle Feeder, Lunch Pail 2 Hummingbird Feeder
Chickadees, titmice, grosbeaks, grackles, and finches Easy-Fill Deluxe Feeder, Fortress Squirrel Proof Feeder, Triple Tube Feeder, Finch Flocker Tube Feeder
Orioles, blue jays, robins, and grosbeaks Deluxe Fruit & Jelly Feeder, Metal Fruit Feeder, Ultimate Oriole Feeder
Nuthatches, woodpeckers, blue jays, titmice, chickadees, sapsuckers, flickers, mockingbirds, and finches Upside down feeders: Upside Down Suet Feeder,
Traditional basket feeders:. Suet Plus Feeder, Mega Suet Feeder, Copper Top Double Suet Cage
Suet ball & plug feeders: Suet Tube Feeder, Deluxe Suet Buffet, Suet Log Feeder
Nuthatches, jays, wrens, titmice, woodpeckers, sapsuckers, chickadees, and nutcrackers Squirrel Feeder Munch Box, Squirrel Under Glass Feeder, Squirrel Diner
Purple finches, red crossbills, pine siskins, and nuthatches Thistle Sock Finch Feeder, Sock Finch Feeders, Finch Flocker Tube Feeder, Metal Mesh Feeders
A wide variety of songbirds; shy birds, such as rose-breasted grosbeaks, and brown thrashers Garden Shelters Bird Feeders, Cedar Shake Feeder, Chalet Deluxe Hopper Feeder

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