What's the Best Type Of Bird Feeder That Will Attract the Most Birds

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Choosing the best Bird feeders to attract the most birds doesn't have to be difficult.

Knowing what birds like to eat, the different types of available feeders, and what they offer, will get you the best results.

In this article, we'll discuss 8 types of feeders and how they are used, and what birds you can expect to see when using them.

Most people will have a greater variety of birds by offering different styles of feeders and different types of food.

goldfinches feeding on nyjer seed feeder

Squirrel Proof Birdfeeders

One of the most sought-after feeder types is those that are Squirrel Proof.

These are designed to foil squirrels and keep them from devouring all your bird seed.

For a selection of these, check out our Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders page to select the one that is right for your needs.

Each will attract a variety of birds, but no squirrel-proof feeder attracts the most birds by itself.

For instance, some offer no place for a Cardinal, or Bluejay to perch while eating.

On the other hand, squirrels can be fun to feed and watch, but shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg in sunflower seed and suet.

If you want to attract these furry creatures to your yard, try using some of the Squirrel Diversion Feeders.

These are feeders specifically designed for attracting squirrels away from your seed feeders. A good idea if you just can't keep them off your favorite feeder.

This gives you more opportunities for attracting and keeping birds in your yard.

Now let's continue learning about feeding birds.

Types Of Bird Feeders

Knowing what birds you want to attract will help you in choosing the correct feeder.

Additionally, knowing what types of animals and birds you wish not to attract (squirrels, house sparrows, starlings) will help in your feeder decision.

There are four basic types of feeders for use in backyard bird feeding.

  • Hanging Feeder
  • House/Hopper
  • Suet
  • Hummingbird

Hanging Bird Feeders

These are cylindrical and have openings large enough to give birds easy access to the sunflower seed that they hold.

If squirrels are a problem, choose one that has a wire cage around the openings. I've found them to be very effective.

Another hanging tube type is the Thistle Feeder. This looks the same as the one mentioned above, except the openings are very small.

Thistle or Finch feeders are made to hold very small nyjer seeds. Nyjer seed is a favorite of the American Goldfinch.

One of the pluses is, you don't need to protect this one from squirrels since squirrels don't eat nyjer seed.

House/Hopper Style Perfect Cardinal Feeder

The House or Hopper style is a common attractive type of bird feeder.

If you don't mind feeding all types of wildlife, this will attract all birds. This is as charming in the landscape as it is functional.

Larger ones can hold several pounds of sunflower seed and attract those birds that are not likely to visit a bird feeder of the tube type.

Some birds, such as Cardinals, are more comfortable with a perch or platform they can feed from. These types always provide a landing area.

The House-Hopper style needs to be mounted on a post or pole. A squirrel baffle is a must on this type if you don't want to feed them. Make sure the model you get is easy to fill.

Tray Bird Feeder

Tray Feeders are probably the feeder type that will attract the most birds. But before you hang one of these, consider this.

This type will allow all birds, squirrels, mammals, and others easy access to your seed. It's worth having one to attract a lot of birds.

Just don't put your most expensive seed in it.

Suet Bird Feeders

If you're not offering suet at your bird feeders, you are missing out on a lot of birdwatching action.

Woodpeckers, nuthatches, and tufted titmice are just a few of the many birds that are drawn to this food source.

The most common type of suet feeder is a wire-coated basket type like the one pictured above.

While you can offer suet in nylon or onion bags, I prefer the wire basket types, as they are more squirrel-resistant.

Homemade Bird Feeder Pole Using 4x4 post and 2x4 for feet

Homemade Feeder Pole With Stovepipe Baffle

Suet cakes can be bought at almost any store where you find bags of sunflower seeds.

You can also make your own suet using melted beef fat, corn, sunflower seeds, and nuts.

Hummingbird Feeders

People in the northern states can only use hummingbird feeders for a few months, while the ones living in luckier climates can take advantage of that opportunity year-round.

For those individuals and others that may be so inclined, I'll refer you to the hummingbird's page on this site.

You'll find recommendations for bird feeders and a simple recipe for homemade nectar sugar water.

Bird Food Preferences

We have already covered suet, basically, a beef fat rendering with added ingredients of seeds, nuts, and in commercial types, berries.

Far and above, the best seed to offer to get the most types of birds is Black Oil Sunflower Seed. Check out our page on all the different types of bird seed and which birds they attract.

Dozens of birds will come to your bird feeder. If you only offer one type of seed, this is the best choice.

Nyjer seed, also inaccurately called thistle seed, is a very small black seed that the Goldfinches are drawn to.

I like offering it because the squirrels don't like it and I'm able to place the feeder anywhere I want without any concern with squirrels.

Those inexpensive bags of bird seed you see on the shelves of stores are best used on platform feeders that are just a few inches above the ground, and not in the hanging and pole-mounted feeders.

Cracked corn and less expensive seed for those birds that feed at ground level will reward you with juncos, mourning doves, and many others.

The Fruit Feeder offers a way to feed those birds attracted to fruit and nuts that may only visit in summer. A great way to get Orioles to stay and nest in your backyard.

Think Bird Feeding Station

Begin to think about a bird feeding station instead of just one best bird feeder.

If you're looking for something that attracts most all birds, offer a Heated Birdbath

You'll be rewarded with a variety of birds you didn't even know you had access to.

Bird feeders are one of the quickest ways to guarantee you have birds to watch in your yard.

Want To Know More?

Types Of Bird Seed And The Birds They Attract

Setting Up A Bird Feeding Station

How to Raise Mealworms For Bird Feeding

Squirrel Proof Feeders

Why Have Birds Stopped Coming to my Feeder?

Perfect Gift Idea - Heated Bird Baths

heated bird bath pedestal
Heated Pedestal Baths

heated bird bath with dripper
Heated Ground Bath
heated bird bath deck mounted
Heated Deck Mounted

heated birdbath deck mounted
Scallaped Deck Mounted