Home & Garden

Bird Feeder Types

Bird feeders come in many different types. And it seems in addition to birds loving them, almost all of them (with a few exceptions) are also favoured by squirrels and chipmunks.

Tube Bird Feeders

Tube feeders are best for small birds like nuthatches and finches.

tube bird feeders, tube shaped bird feeders, bird house feeder, wild birds, male house finch, red head bird

(Male House Finch at Bird House Design Tube Feeder Photo: Joshua J. Cotten)

Some tube bird feeders are divided into sections and can hold different types of bird seed. 

tube bird feeders, tube shaped bird feeders, bird house feeder, wild birds, female birds, male birds, cardinals,

(Cardinals at Tube Bird Feeder Photo: Elvis Bueno)

These female and male cardinals like the polished copper domed tube bird feeder and seed mix.

Nectar Bird Feeders

These bird feeders are the hummingbird’s best friend.

hummingbird feeder, bird feeders hummingbird, red hummingbird bird feeder, 

(Hummingbirds at Feeder Photo: Dave Sherrill)

Hummingbird feeders with a red colour attract hummingbirds; a side benefit is that red isn’t as attractive to bees and wasps, who prefer yellow.

You can find all different shapes and sizes of hummingbird feeders in plastic, or even fancy glass nectar feeders.

Platform and Hopper Bird Feeders

These are all-purpose bird feeders suitable for all sizes of birds.

platform bird feeder, bird seed, great tit,

(Great Tit on Platform Bird Feeder, Germany Photo: Abdul Rehman Khalid)

Bird seed spilled onto a platform bird feeder will attract birds (and squirrels etc.) of all sizes.

platform bird feeder, bird seed, great tit, covered platform feeder(Great Tit at Covered Platform Bird Feeder, Hungary Photo: Marco Secchi)

A covered platform bird seed feeder will help to keep food dry.  Include a drainage hole to prevent water from collecting. 

Suet Bird Feeders

Suet feeders are beloved by woodpeckers, chickadees, northern flickers, wrens, and nuthatches.

suet feeder, bird feeders, wild birds, covered bird feeder, platform feeder, nuthatch, small birds, suet ball(Nuthatch at Suet Bird Feeder Photo: Fabianna Freeman)

When mixed with other types of bird seed and nuts, suet bird feeders can attract a wide range of birds including blue jays, orioles, robins, and blackbirds.

suet feeder, suet ball, bird feeders, wild birds, great tit(Great Tit at Suet Ball Feeder Photo: Krzysztof Niewolny)

Yes, squirrels really like suet feeders too, so if you only want birds at your suet feeder try placing free-hanging suet balls in such a way that squirrels can’t climb up, climb down, or jump over to them – Good luck with that! If squirrels at the bird feeder frustrate you, you may enjoy my article Confessions of a Bird Watcher.

Outer Cage / Barrier Bird Feeders

Bird feeders with either a fixed outer cage, or a sliding outer cage that drops down if a heavier weight is detected, will help to deter larger birds and squirrels. 

outer cage bird feeder, fixed cage feeders, barrier bird feeders, great tit(Great Tit at Caged Barrier Feeder Photo: Gibbon Fitzgibbon)

You can fill these bird feeders with your preferred bird seed, suet balls, or nut mix and attract different types of smaller birds.

Add in a mix of evergreen and seasonal perennials, shrubs and trees to your yard, and in addition to being a source of fruit and seeds, they’ll provide shelter for your visiting birds.

Note: This article was first published in 2016. It has been updated with new & additional content.

More About Birds:

3 Ways to Attract Birds to Gardens & Yards

Pet Birds for Seniors

Backyard Birdhouses

*Images are via Unsplash. This article is for general informational purposes only; i am not a bird feeding or bird feeder expert. 50+ World does endorse any product or service providers, nor does it receive remuneration from them.*

Anita Hamilton

50+ World editor & writer Anita Hamilton's articles are inspired by real historical events, places, and people. Her travel experiences, a lifelong keen interest in history, art, vintage music, books, silent films, classic movies, "golden age" television shows, fashion, & entertainment in general - combined with years of research - make her a subject matter expert with acquired knowledge & expertise on these topics. This, and a loving and supportive family complete with 3 mini-dachshund minions, keeps her busy.

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