35 Best Bird Feeders and Accessories for Your Yard

Want to attract pollinating birds to your yard and garden? Check out our recommendations for the best bird feeders, including window feeders, stylish handmade feeders, squirrel-deterring feeders and more.

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February 24, 2021

Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher or simply like hearing those spirited little chirps in your backyard, there’s something incredibly peaceful about the sound of songbirds. While birdbaths and birdhouses can attract nesting birds, one of the easiest ways to welcome more visits to your yard is with a bird feeder. We’ve rounded up the best bird feeders online — most under $40! for seed, suet and fruit plus the best problem-solving and squirrel-proof bird feeders. Take a look at our top picks below, from ingenious window bird feeders to handmade bird feeders that are works of art.

Bird Feeders 101

Before shopping for a bird feeder, consider the backyard songbirds in your region and the birds you’d like to see. Depending on the menu, you’ll attract different birds. The most-popular seed is sunflower seeds, but some birds would rather have fruit. If you’d like to see an oriole, they prefer orange slices. And water-soaked raisins are a good way to tempt bluebirds. Other birds, such as woodpeckers and warblers, prefer more fatty suet or peanut butter. The most common bird feeders are vertical and designed for a mix of seeds such as sunflower, millet, safflower and even peanuts, but there are also suet block-specific feeders and hanging fruit spears for oranges. For a variety of food and visitors, tray-style feeders are great for displaying a bird buffet.

Beyond food and feeder type, there’s a responsibility that comes with owning a bird feeder: maintenance. It’s extremely important to clean your bird feeder regularly especially in hot, humid regions as soggy seeds can make birds sick or even kill them. (The Pacific Northwest is currently battling a salmonella outbreak among pine siskins and the state of Oregon has asked homeowners to take down all bird feeders.) Like flower baskets, you can’t hang it and leave it. There’s a required amount of love and care that comes with a bird feeder. At a minimum, a seed bird feeder should be cleaned once per season.

Seed Bird Feeders

There are so many different kinds of seed bird feeders. Some, such as this Onyx Clever Clean Finch Magnet, are designed for the small, diamond-shaped beaks of finches. Others, such as this Bird Quest Spiral Thistle Bird Feeder, are designed to hold tiny thistle seeds for goldfinches and pine siskins. These specific feeders help the little guys get a bite since larger feeders attract birds such as cardinals and bluejays — both very pretty, but total bullies! For something more general for a wide variety of birds, I love this cedar bird feeder from Copper Spade. At $69.99, it’s a great balance of style, function and price. Red cedar has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties and the four main seed ports are spaced out to help with territorial squabbles. Plus, there’s also room at the base for additional seeds or treats. For easy cleanup, love this removable tray feeder from Lowe’s.

Non-Seed Bird Feeders

If you already have a seed feeder and want to add a non-seed feeder, a fruit spear is a great place to start. I love this Kettle Moraine orange feeder for orioles. It looks like a little bird patio table complete with a teeny, tiny umbrella. For more hearty food in the winter, a suet block or ball is a great way to help birds find sustenance when seeds and berries are hard to come by or buried in snow. I’m really digging this diamond-shaped suet feeder from Wildlife Sciences.

Problem-Solving Bird Feeders

Seeds, fruits and suet may attract all kinds of birds, but they also attract squirrels. No hate on squirrels, but they tend to scare away birds or worse — eat all the food! There are a couple of different avenues to keep the squirrels at bay. Personally, I find those spinning bird feeders that are motion-activated and fling squirrels off just plain cruel. You can deter squirrels with hinge-specific feeders such as this Pest-Off Bird Feeder, designed by a former Dyson engineer, or this Squirrel-Proof Feeder from Gardener’s Supply. The hinge on these feeders is sensitive to weight. If a squirrel visits, its weight triggers the hinge and the feeder closes. Another solution is a simple squirrel baffle. These dome-shaped toppers prevent squirrels from crawling or even leaping to the feeder. Plus, it protects seeds from getting soggy in the rain.

Window Bird Feeders

While trees are ideal for bird feeders, you don’t have to have a yard or patio. Window bird feeders are perfect for city dwellers and apartments. Unlike hanging feeders, a window bird feeder clings to a window with strong suction cups. Just be sure to note the weight limit. This Glass House Bird Feeder from Uncommon Goods is absolutely gorgeous and would make a great gift. I also like the simplicity of this clear feeder from Nature Anywhere, and as a bonus, it has a removable tray for easy cleaning. For something completely over-the-top, you can buy a literal window bird feeder on Wayfair. Yep, the windowsill insert juts into your home so it feels like birds are coming to visit you, Disney princess style.

Most Stylish Bird Feeders

If you’re looking for a more modern or artistic bird feeder, Etsy is a great place to shop for beautiful handmade bird feeders. Just look at this stunning Craftsman-style feeder — you assemble it like a puzzle and can even add optional lights. This vertical feeder made from PVC piping is beautiful and has a gothic, almost Art Nouveau, vibe. For a large feeder, this black, tiered design from Bunny Williams is absolutely gorgeous. The cutouts are spaced out really well for all kinds of birds to stop in for a bite without getting territorial about space.

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