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The Top 12 Best Bird Feeders (Buying Guide)

 Updated by Melanie Cruff on 11-28-2023

The world of feeding wild birds is bigger than one might think. There are multiple types of bird feeders for feeding dozens of types of birds.

It can be hard to navigate all of the different categories of feeders and features and what might be the best type for you, especially if you are new to all this.

This list I’ve put together contains some of the best bird feeders for beginners to the hobby and old pros alike.

All of the products on this list were carefully selected and are quality feeders, in our opinion. 

Which type of bird feeder is best for me?

The best bird feeder is the one that meets your needs and works best for you, your yard, and the birds that visit it. If you are just getting started with feeding birds, and have a yard for placing a feeder, or have no clue where to start with all of the options, I recommend trying a good tube or hopper feeder. 

If you live in an apartment or condo and don’t have much of a yard, I recommend trying a window feeder like the one on this list. 

The different types of bird feeders

  1. Hopper – perfect for someone who doesn’t want to change the seed often
  2. Tube – great for beginners
  3. Ground/platform – great for a variety of birds (and animals in general)
  4. Caged – best for smaller birds
  5. Suet – great for attracting woodpeckers
  6. Nyjer/thistle – best for attracting goldfinches
  7. Peanut – attracts woodpeckers, jays, titmice and other birds that like peanuts (most)
  8. Window – easy installation, no yard needed – Bird Feeder Hub’s custom window feeder 
  9. Hummingbird – attracts mainly hummingbirds, some other nectar drinking birds
  10. Oriole – attracts mainly orioles
  11. Squirrel proof– Best if you have tons of squirrels
  12. Camera Feeder– Fun tech if you want video of birds feeding

Best hopper feeder

Great overall bird feeder

Woodlink Absolute II Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeder Model 7536

1. Woodlink Absolute II Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeder

This hopper style feeder from Woodlink is a great feeder addition to any backyard. It has a large capacity for holding seed, the squirrel proof mechanism can be adjusted to 3 different weights for selective feeding, and it’s made of a powder coated steel for longevity.

The Absolute II is double sided for feeding on both sides allowing you to attract even more birds. This feeder can be hung or mounted in the ground and comes with a metal hanger as well as a 5 foot pole and hardware that can easily be driven into the ground with minimal tools.

Pros:

  • 12 pound seed capacity
  • Double sided feeding
  • Squirrel proof with 3 weight settings for selective feeding
  • Powder coated steel construction
  • Holds a variety of seed types
  • Can be hung or pole mounted and comes with the hardware for either
  • No waste seed saver baffle, saves money on bird seed

Cons:

  • Price is a little higher than other feeders because of all the features and high quality construction
  • May not always be 100% squirrel proof, they can sometimes just figure things out

What birds like this feeder?

This feeder is great for all types of birds including cardinals, blue jays, titmice, wrens, chickadees, finches, and more. This feeder gives you the power to decide what types of birds you want to feed by either changing the weight settings on the selective feeding mechanism or changing the type of food you are offering.

A great all around bird feeder.

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Best tube feeder

Droll Yankees Classic Sunflower or Mixed Seed Bird Feeder, Ring Pull Advantage, 16 Inches, 6 Ports, Silver

2. Droll Yankees 6 Port Hanging Tube Feeder

This 16″ clear tube feeder by Droll Yankees holds around a pound of bird seed, has 6 feeding ports and a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer against squirrel damage. The ports, perches, and top access are all made of metal and can’t be chewed through by squirrels. It says it can be either pole mounted or hung by an included steel wire, I recommend hanging a tube feeder personally.

While it does claim to be “squirrel-proof” there is no counterweight mechanism like there is with the Woodlink or Squirrel Buster feeders on this list. The small openings, small perches, and metal protection is what allows them to call this squirrel proof. But because of those smaller features, this feeder is likely going to be best for feeding smaller birds and using smaller seeds.

This is an overall very simple tube feeder from a quality manufacturer that has been in the bird feeder game for a long time so buy with confidence, just be sure it’s the right type of feeder for you.

Pros:

  • Easily taken apart and cleaned
  • Metal perches and lid make it chew proof to the squirrels, with added lifetime squirrel chew proof warranty
  • The price point is great
  • 6 feeding ports for feeding multiple birds at once

Cons:

  • Size of the perches and openings makes it not ideal for feeding birds much larger than titmice
  • On the small side and only holds a pound of seed
  • Because of the small opening, peanuts and unshelled sunflower seeds may be too large for this feeder

What birds like this feeder?

This feeder is great for a variety of smaller birds like chickadees, finches, and titmice. Medium-sized birds like cardinals, blue jays, and doves may have trouble feeding from this feeder.

This is a great but small tube feeder for smaller birds that holds smaller seeds. If these things are fine with you and you are looking for something to feed smaller birds, then this is a great option.

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Best ground/platform feeder

Will attract many different types of birds

Woodlink 3 in 1 Platform Bird Feeder

3. Woodlink 3 in 1 Platform Bird Feeder

This handy little 3 in 1 bird is great for doubling as a ground feeder or a platform feeder. It’s made of all natural cedar wood, has small built in legs for transforming to a ground feeder, and has a removable all mesh bottom for drainage and easy cleaning.

The 3 in 1 for this feeder comes from the fact that it can be hung from a hook using the provided wire, pole mounted, or using the foldable legs be used as a ground feeder.

I recommended the same feeder for both the ground and platform categories because it is a convertible feeder than can be used for both purposes. If you’re looking for something simple and cheap that will attract a wide variety of species, then this might be the best bird feeder for you. 

Pros:

  • Made of reforested, kiln dried, inland red cedar
  • Holds up to 3 pounds of seed
  • Used as a platform feeder on the ground, hung up, or on a pole. Very versatile
  • Can feed almost any type of birds any type of food because of the open construction

Cons:

  • The wood construction looks great but it may not last as long in the elements as other types of material

What birds like this feeder?

Almost any type of birds will visit this feeder, it just depends on what you offer. You can see a chickadee and a cardinal in the picture above. Keep in mind that this type of feeder is not only open to all birds but all wildlife unless you get a solid baffle for the pole.

This feeder can be used for offering food like sunflower seeds, mixed seeds, or safflower seeds as well as mealworms for attracting bluebirds or even orange slices for attracting orioles. The sky’s the limit with this feeder if you get creative.

If you are looking for a good platform or ground feeder then it’s hard to wrong with this one from Woodlink.

View on Amazon


Best caged bird feeder

Audubon Squirrel Proof Caged Tube Type Bird Feeder Model NATUBE3

4. Audubon Squirrel Proof Caged Tube Type Bird Feeder

This is a really a well made caged bird feeder at a great price. Many people swear by these caged bird feeders and use them as a last resort when all other squirrel proof bird feeder options have been tried.

This caged feeder is simply a powder coated steel cage with approximately 1.5″ by 1.5″ square openings surrounding a clear plastic tube feeder with 4 feeding ports. As you’ll find with any caged bird feeder, they’re great for feeding small birds but anything cardinal sized and up simply can’t get in.

If you’re ok with feeding smaller birds only and want to keep out the squirrels, starlings, and grackles, then this one could work great as a first feeder or simply an addition to the existing bird feeders in your yard.

Pros:

  • High quality powder coated steel cage
  • Holds 1.25 pounds of mixed seed
  • Squirrel proof as well as starling and grackle proof
  • Good price

Cons:

  • Small holes make feeding cardinal sized birds and larger hard
  • Smaller sized squirrels have been known to squeeze through the cage holes

What birds like this feeder?

Because of this feeder’s design, it’s another one that is really best for feeding small birds. Even medium sized birds like our beloved cardinals may have trouble feeding from this cage style feeder, so keep that in mind if you have several birds in that medium feeder bird category that you hope to see at this feeder.

A few feeder birds in what I consider the small bird category are:

  • Chickadees
  • Titmice
  • Wrens
  • Finches
  • Sparrows

View on Amazon


Best suet feeder

Best for attracting woodpeckers

Birds Choice 2-Cake Pileated Suet Feeder with Brown Top

5. Birds Choice 2-Cake Pileated Suet Feeder

This suet feeder from Bird’s Choice holds 2 suet cakes, is made from recycled materials, and has an extra long tail prop at the bottom for larger birds like the elusive Pileated Woodpecker that we all hope to see.

There’s not really a lot to most suet feeders and this one is no different. However, it’s a quality made hanging suet feeder that is great for attracting some new types of birds to your yard that regular seed feeders may not.

Pros:

  • Holds 2 suet cakes
  • Made from recycled plastic
  • Extra long tail prop for larger birds
  • May help you attract a Pileated Woodpecker finally!

Cons:

  • Recycled plastic construction can be destroyed by squirrels so be careful where you place it

What birds like this feeder?

When we think of suet feeders we automatically think woodpeckers, and that’s ok because they are what many people are actually trying to attract with suet feeders like this one. A number of other types of birds will also show up at suet feeders and get in on that high fat/high energy suet that’s there for the taking.

Some of the birds that will eat from a suet feeder such as this one are:

  • Pileated Woodpeckers
  • Downy Woodpeckers
  • Hairy Woodpeckers
  • Red-headed Woodpeckers
  • Northern Flickers
  • Blue Jays
  • Nuthatches
  • Titmice
  • Wrens
  • Chickadees

An overall excellent choice for a suet feeder!

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Best nyjer/thistle feeder

Best for attracting Goldfinches

Squirrel Buster Finch Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder w/4 Metal Perches & 8 Feeding Ports, 2.4-pound Thistle/Nyjer Seed Capacity

6. Squirrel Buster Finch Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder

While there are many other finch feeders on the market that can be purchased for cheaper, this option from Brome is really top of the line when it comes to thistle feeders if you’re looking to attract Goldfinches.

As with other Brome products, you only ever need to purchase one, they offer lifetime care for all feeders should anything go wrong. In addition to that peace of mind you get the high quality construction that Brome puts into all of their products.

This finch feeder in particular has a cage around the tube within, similar to a cage feeder. However the birds do not need to fit through the cage holes in order to feed. There are small slots on the tube just big enough for nyjer seeds that finches can easily get to, but not squirrels!

This chew proof, no tools required finch feeder from Brome is our top pick if you want to attract Goldfinches to your yard!

Pros:

  • Squirrel proof and chew proof
  • Lifetime care from Brome
  • Easy to clean and refill

Cons:

  • No selective feeding option
  • Can only feed thistle/nyjer seed and some very small seed varieties

What birds like this feeder?

This feeder is made for smaller birds and anything larger than 4 oz is locked out by the squirrel proof mechanism. This feeder is also made for feeding only nyjer seed, with these two things in mind you are a bit limited as to what types of birds you can feed.

I would say a large majority of people buy this feeder just for the Goldfinches, and I don’t blame them. If you are a Goldfinch fan and want more in your yard then this is a great choice.

The main types of birds you can expect to attract with this feeder are:

  • American Goldfinch
  • House Finch
  • Purple Finch
  • Pine Siskin
  • Juncos
  • Sparrows
  • Chickadees
  • Small wrens

View on Amazon


Best peanut feeder

Squirrel Buster Peanut+ Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder w/Woodpecker Friendly Tail Prop, holds 1.3 pounds of Shelled Peanuts Only

7. Squirrel Buster Nut Feeder

Another great squirrel proof bird feeder by Brome, this one is designed for feeding shelled peanuts and is made to dispense seeds and food roughly the size of shelled peanuts. So you may be able to get away with filling it with unshelled sunflower seeds or suet nuggets, it’s not recommended for that purpose.

In addition to the host of features that you would normally expect from a Brome feeder you’ll also find a large tail prop on the bottom portion of the feeder. This tail prop is great for woodpeckers

Pros:

  • Durable, chew proof construction
  • Lifetime care by Brome
  • Extra long tail prop
  • Adjustable for selective feeding

Cons:

  • Recommended for holding shelled peanuts

What birds like this feeder?

Peanuts are a highly popular and highly nutritious backyard treat that many types of birds (and squirrels!) love. I’m sure you’ve heard that peanuts are high in protein for humans to eat and make a great snack for us, it’s no different with birds.

Peanuts are high in fat and protein and birds love them. They will commonly take peanuts and store them in various places so they can come back to them later during the winter months when food is scarce. Offering peanuts to backyard birds is great for those reasons.

Here are a few of the different types of birds that you may see eating from a peanut feeder:

  • Woodpeckers
  • Nuthatches
  • Titmice
  • Chickadees
  • Blue Jays
  • Wrens

View on Amazon

If you’re looking for an inexpensive option, check out this one from Droll Yankees on Amazon.


Best window feeder

Best easy install bird feeder (great for apartments, condos, houses with small yards, people with cats)

wf o2 outside

8. Bird Feeder Hub Window Bird Feeder

This window bird feeder was designed and created by the good folks at Bird Feeder Hub, the website you’re on right now. It’s a very simple feeder that is made of a highly durable, see-through acrylic with a slide-out tray for easy refilling.

The perch is wide and tall in the middle to make it comfortable for small and medium sized birds. At ours, we regularly see cardinals, finches, nuthatches, titmice, chickadees, mockingbirds, and more.

This feeder attaches to the window with 4 heavy duty suction cups that will not fall off, if you follow the instructions and install them on a clean surface.

We created this feeder for other bird feeding enthusiasts and therefore recommend it to anyone who wants to get started feeding birds at a minimal cost.

Features:

  • High quality acrylic material
  • Extra-wide perch for several birds at once
  • Suitable for many sizes of birds 
  • Easy slide-out tray for refilling
  • Fully open back to give the clearest view
  • Great customer service

What birds like this feeder?

This feeder can hold any type of seed, there are really no restrictions to food or bird sizes that can visit it. With that in mind expect to see a large variety of birds visit it, and right at your window which makes indoor birdwatching very easy.

Just to name a few types of birds you might see..

  • Cardinals
  • Nuthatches
  • Titmice
  • Wrens
  • Chickadees
  • Blue jays 
  • Starlings

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Best hummingbird feederAspects HummZinger HighView 12 oz Hanging Hummingbird Feeder - 429, Red

9. Aspects HummZinger HighView 12 oz Hanging Hummingbird Feeder

This 4 port, 12oz, hanging hummingbird feeder from Aspects is a great choice. You’ll find that most hummingbird feeders are pretty inexpensive and this one is no different, well maybe just a few dollars more.

But for those few extra bucks you’ll pay for the HummZinger you get several cool features that you have to pay extra for in the form of attachments with other feeders. Some cool features of this feeder are a built in ant moat, 100% drip and leak proof, and a high perch for more comfortable feeding.

Pros:

  • Great price
  • Built in ant moat
  • High view perch
  • Drip and leak proof
  • Raised flowers (feeding ports) that divert rain
  • Easy to clean and refill

Cons:

  • All plastic construction so may not hold up for life, but at this price you can afford another when it wears out

What birds like this feeder?

This is a simple one, hummingbirds! Basically whatever hummers are native to your location are going to be the frequent flyers here, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be the only visitors!

Here is a list of a few birds in addition to hummingbirds that love nectar and you may catch drinking from your hummingbird feeder:

  • Orioles
  • Woodpeckers
  • Finches
  • Warblers
  • Chickadees

View on Amazon


Best oriole feeder

Songbird Essentials SE905 Ultimate Oriole Feeder (Set of 1)

10. Ultimate Oriole Feeder by Songbird Essentials

You may be thinking that this oriole feeder looks somewhat similar to the hummingbird feeder you just saw, and it does. It holds 1 quart of nectar and has larger holes for the Orioles larger beaks. It also has 4 small dishes for grape jelly as well as spikes for holding up to 4 orange halves. Orioles absolutely love either of these.

It also has a built in ant moat to help with insects because we know bugs show up when anything sweet is offered. If you are wanting to try and attract some orioles to your yard, then this is a great feeder to start with and at a great price too.

Pros:

  • Holds up to a quart of nectar as well as jelly and 4 orange halves
  • Built in ant moat
  • Orange in color for attracting more orioles
  • Easy maintenance construction
  • Great price

Cons:

  • Orange spikes are not very long and may not hold the oranges in place well
  • Can become a deathtrap for ants and bees if you aren’t careful, change offerings and clean often

What birds like this feeder?

This feeder was specifically designed to attract orioles, however lots of birds may try and eat the sweet treats that orioles like so much. A few of these are:

  • Orioles
  • Tanagers
  • Bluebirds
  • Thrashers
  • Cardinals
  • Woodpeckers
  • Grosbeaks

If you don’t get to see one or more of these birds in your yard currently but want to, this oriole feeder may cause them to show up. This is a great oriole feeder that will also attract several other species to your yard!

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Best squirrel proof feeder

My personal favorite bird feeders

Squirrel Buster Standard Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder w/4 Metal Perches, 1.3-pound Seed Capacity

11. Squirrel Buster by Brome

When it comes to squirrel proof bird feeders there are no shortage of options out there. Several of the feeders on this list are squirrel proof, it’s a feature than can be added to many feeders giving them a one up on the competition.

In my opinion though if you are going for a squirrel proof bird feeder that is well built, well designed, and by a trusted manufacturer that has been at the squirrel-proof game for many years, it’s really hard to beat the Squirrel Buster series by Brome.

We here at Bird Feeder Hub have owned several of Brome’s Squirrel Buster feeders and they never disappoint. Always high quality feeders that are truly squirrel proof, if you follow the instructions and place your feeder in a way that aligns with their instructions.

I am currently using the “Standard” in my yard and I love it. Most of the different models have very similar features, the Mini does not have the selective feeding option that allows you to change what weight triggers the trap door to lock out squirrels and larger birds.

Here are some of the other sizes in the Squirrel Buster lineup:

Pros and cons for the Squirrel Buster Standard (what I’m currently using)

Pros:

  • Amazing build quality
  • Lifetime care by Brome
  • Holds 1.3 lbs of seed
  • Adjustable for selective feeding
  • Affordable price point

Cons:

  • Hard to think of any!

What birds like this feeder?

Pretty much all birds will eat from this feeder, so pretty much any small or medium sized bird may be a regular. I have however found that smaller birds have an easier time eating from the smallish perches on these feeders. That doesn’t stop the cardinals at my Squirrel Buster though, or the Blue Jays for that matter.

I regularly fill mine with sunflower seeds, mixed seeds, and a cardinal blend of sunflower and safflower seeds. This gives me the best chance of seeing a wide variety of birds at my feeders.

I can’t recommend the Squirrel Buster enough!

View on Amazon


Best Camera Feeder

Netvue birdfy camera

12. NETVUE Birdfy AI Smart Bird Feeder Camera

As smart technology gets better and better, it’s no surprise that smart bird feeder cameras are starting to show up on the market. This camera/feeder combo works over WiFi, so you can get live video of what’s happening at your feeder.

Using the NETVUE app, you can get notifications sent to your phone when the camera’s motion sensor is activated. There is also an option where their AI software identifies the bird species for you.

We have started to play with this item and it’s been very fun so far and the picture quality is great. There are some species I only see certain times of the year as they migrate through the area. They can be really hard to catch because you have to be watching your feeder just at the right moment. I’m looking forward to using the notification feature to alert me who’s stopping by when I’m not around to watch.

NETVUE has been around for a while making outdoor security cameras, so they have experience in this field to back up their hardware. This is a fun choice for any bird lover!

Pros:

  • Up-close view of the birds at your feeder (and you don’t even have to go outside)
  • Capture and save your favorite videos
  • You can set-up phone notifications so you never miss the action
  • Reviewers are happy with picture quality
  • Has options for solar charging if you don’t want to recharge a battery manually
  • Most reviewers think the set-up is fairly simple

Cons:

  • The AI species identification still needs accuracy improvement 
  • Won’t keep out squirrels so you’ll have to place this strategically if you want to avoid them
  • Expensive for many people
  • May need help with the set-up if you aren’t comfortable with tech

What birds like this feeder?

This feeder can hold typical sunflower or mixed seed and has a good sized perch, so most backyard songbirds and smaller woodpeckers should be able to use this. 

Just to name a few types of birds you might see..

  • Cardinals
  • Nuthatches
  • Titmice
  • Wrens
  • Chickadees
  • Blue jays
  • Finches

There are a few different models, so make sure you check them all out before making a purchase. Some have a battery that you will need to recharge, others come with a solar panel. The “lite” model does not come with the AI identification function included (can be purchased separately through their app), where the “AI” model does come with it included. 

A really fun way to get a birds-eye-view of your backyard friends while they are feeding!

Buy the Birdfy Smart Feeder


New bird feeder and no birds?

Sometimes it takes a little while for birds to actually find a new feeder, which can be frustrating. So don’t expect birds to just fly in from all directions immediately eating all the food you put out..

It won’t happen like that at all, unless you already have established feeding areas in your yard. If birds already visit existing feeders in your yard then they might find the new feeder much more quickly.

I recently put a feeder out at a house that hadn’t previously had a feeder for a long time and it took a couple of weeks before I had regular visitors.

Patience is key.

Tips to attract birds fast

This isn’t meant to be a definitive guide to attracting birds to your yard but rather a few quick tips to follow to get them to show up as fast as possible after placing a new feeder in your yard.

Offer the right types of food

This one is simple, offer seed that most birds will eat. Mixed seed is good because it contains a little of everything.

Personally I think black sunflower seed is great for almost any bird feeder, and will definitely attract more birds than you can handle.

Almost any type of birds loves black sunflower seeds! Learn more about other types of seeds and which birds like them here in our seed guide. 

Have water available

Birds are perfectly capable of finding their own water, and food for that matter. But if you offer water they will use it, the birds like American Robins that don’t eat seed from feeders will also use it.

In fact, it is commonly said that having a bird bath in your yard will attract more birds than a bird feeder will.

Adding a something like a drainage dish for a plant pot, an upside down trashcan lid, or something of that nature will greatly improve your chances of attracting birds to your yard. Or maybe you want to just go ahead and buy a nice birdbath from Amazon.

Make sure they have protection

When I say make sure they have protection I mainly mean trees, shrubs, and bushes.

These are the main ways birds protect themselves from predators, by darting into a thicket or in a bush or tree. They hide.

If they have no where to hide they likely won’t take the risk. So if your new feeder is in the middle of a field of freshly mowed grass with no trees or vegetation of anywhere nearby then you may have trouble getting them to feel safe enough.

They know that a Red-tailed Hawk could be perched high up in the trees waiting for an unsuspecting birds to try and feed so they can swoop down and snatch them.

Native flowers and fruit-bearing plants

If you already have some fruit bearing plants and nectar producing flowers in your yard then birds like orioles and hummingbirds may already be in your yard and you haven’t noticed.

This may make attracting orioles or hummingbirds to a feeder much easier.

Just keep in mind that you should only plant plants that are native to your area. Invasive plants can cause trouble in more ways than one for birds and wildlife in general.


Conclusion

Now keep in mind you don’t have to have just one bird feeder.

If you’ve looked over this rather long article and have it narrowed down to 2-3 feeders and just can’t decide which would be the best bird feeder for you, then get a few different ones. I assure you the birds will appreciate it!

In the end any bird feeder will get used by many different species, even the ones that are meant for one specific type of bird. Once birds start to realize that your yard is a viable food source and not only that, but one that can be relied upon, more and more birds will show up.

Some birds will make nests nearby and raise their young in your yard all because you decided to take the necessary steps to become a feeder of birds and make their little lives just a bit easier.

We really hope this article has been helpful to you and you were able to find the perfect feeder! Let us know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for feeders or your experiences with any of the ones listed.

Happy birding!