They say birds of a feather flock together. If you enjoy bird-watching, one of the easiest ways to attract them is to put a bird feeder in your yard. It’s a great way to get a true bird’s eye views of all the different species of wild birds native to your area. That said, birds can be quite hesitant to try new feeders. What’s worse, other critters like squirrels and raccoons may beat them to the seeds and have their own messy feast. The best bird feeders are durable, weatherproof, can be easily accessed and refilled, and ideally keep away other pesky wildlife.
And there are great benefits to having bird feeders. Did you know that being around birds makes people happier and boosts mental well-being? A study by scientists at King’s College London reports that seeing or hearing birds provides uplifting feelings that can last for up to eight hours!
Researchers in Germany also note that songbirds can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and paranoia among people who listen. In a study of 295 participants, a team from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf examined the impact of hearing birds versus various traffic sounds. Although birdsong did not positively impact levels of depression, it did ease the severity of other mental health issues.
Just make sure to take into consideration your surroundings when putting out bird feeders. One recent study concludes that bird feeders should be placed within 18 inches of windows to prevent potentially fatal collisions. The research conducted by Brendon Samuels and colleagues from Western University and Purdue University published in PeerJ Life & Environment, examines bird-window collisions in a residential backyard. “Given that birds’ flight velocity prior to impact predicts the lethality of collisions with windows, we recommend that bird attractants (feeders or baths) should be placed close to windows (within 1.5 feet or 0.5 m) to reduce the available space where birds can gain speed,” the researchers say.
So that got us wondering, what are some of the best bird feeders to set up outside for your feathered friends to enjoy? StudyFinds compiled a list of the five best bird feeders, from ten expert websites, to find the best bird feeders for your backyard. As always, we’d like to see your own recommendations in the comments below!
The List: Best Bird Feeders, According to Expert Reviews
This $30 feeder gets rave reviews on Amazon. “This is the best bird feeder for up-close bird watching, since it not only sticks to your window—which you can do at eye level—it’s also completely clear for you to witness every movement the birds make,” points out USA Today.
This feeder features “a large removable tray that holds four cups of bird seed, it’s equipped with smart drainage holes and an overhang to keep everything fresh and dry,” according to Woman’s Day.
“The perch is wide and padded to make it comfortable for the birds and it also has a covered top to protect the contents of the feeder as well as the visitors from the elements. It attaches to the window with 3 heavy duty suction cups that do not fall off if you follow the instructions and install them on a clean surface,” notes Bird Feeder Hub.
Bird feeders tend to attract a host of other animals like squirrels to your open space. This feeder helps to prevent those pesky squirrels from stealing the birdseed.
“The openings in the cover align with the feeding ports, providing birds easy access to the food. However, when a squirrel climbs onto the feeder, its weight automatically forces the cover down, closing access to the ports without harming the animal,” notes Bob Vila.
It features a tube that keeps the seeds contained, protecting the food from moisture. The feeder’s base has perforations that help with airflow. “This helps protect the seeds from dangerous bacteria and fungus growth. It also holds a reasonable amount of seed — enough to last a day or two,” adds Tech Gear Lab.
At about $70 on Amazon, this Brome feeder attracts smaller birds like finches, titmice and chickadees. Reviewers do note it’s harder to clean.
For under $25, The Spruce calls this the ‘best platform’ feeder adding that it’s “ideal for attracting all sizes of birds to your yard. The cedar platform is coated with a water-based protective stain, which provides resistance to rot and insects.”
“The feeder works best in a sheltered area, like a covered patio, to protect the seeds from rain,” points out Bob Vila. Two things to consider; this feeder isn’t squirrel-proof and it doesn’t come with the hardware to hang it with.
As you may have guessed from its name, this feeder is great for attracting hummingbirds to your yard. The cost? About $25.
This feeder’s nifty “HighView” perch allows birds to rest during their mealtime, giving you more chances to snap a photo. You can also remove the red top for quick cleaning,” according to The Pioneer Woman.
Plus, the HummZinger features an ant moat to keep insects at bay. “Reviewers give it high marks for its moat and its slim feeder-port design, which together help to keep ants and wasps away from the syrup inside,” adds The New York Times.
For under $20, the Perky-Pet is an affordable way to enjoy a bird feeding hobby. It has six feeding ports with perches and the plastic comes apart easily to clean. “The bright blue 18-inch-long tube is made from durable powder-coated metal that is rust-resistant. It holds up to a pound of bird feed and can be hung from a sturdy, built-in metal hanger,” according to Insider.
“Keep in mind that this bird feeder isn’t squirrel-proof. To prevent squirrels from jumping onto the feeder and stealing all the birdseed, you’ll need to hang it at least 10 feet away from nearby trees, shrubs, or other structures,” notes Better Homes & Gardens.
- USA Today
- Woman’s Day
- Bird Feeder Hub
- Bob Vila
- Tech Gear Lab
- The Spruce
- The Pioneer Woman
- The New York Times
- Better Homes & Gardens
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