backyard bird feeder

The Best Bird Feeders for Your Yard

Jane Marsh - February 25, 2023

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What are the best bird feeders for your yard? With so many options available, it can be challenging to know what you’re in the market for–you just want to attract some birds! 

There are many different birds, so knowing what you’d like to attract to your yard can help. Let’s explore some of the options available and the types of birds you can entice with the best bird feeders for your yard. 

Types of Bird Feeders 

Birds are gorgeous creatures that survive off bird seed that you provide or find natural resources. Here are some bird feeders that will attract bird species to marvel at in your yard.  

Tube Bird Feeders

Tube bird feeders allow numerous birds to eat at one time, making them one of the best bird feeders for your yard. You can use different bird seeds for tube bird feeders to attract other species of birds. 

Tube feeders are fantastic for wrens, chickadees, goldfinches and other small birds that can easily access short perches. Tube feeders are hollow cylinders that come in plastic, glass or metal. Purchase a metal tube feeder to minimize damage from squirrels. 

Tray Bird Feeders

Tray bird feeders are excellent for blackbirds and juncos. These feeders provide the most viewing since there typically isn’t a top to them, so there’s nothing to block your view of the birds as they snack. 

You can mount tray feeders on your deck or patio or place them near the ground to attract all sorts of critters to your home. Tray bird feeders are simple yet effective in drawing birds to your area. 

Suet Bird Feeders

Suet bird feeders are feeders that allow birds to nibble on a solid chunk of food. A few styles of this bird feeder can attract different species of animals. Suet bird food is a solidified mixture of fats that can keep birds warm in the winter. 

A suet cake for birds is equal parts bird seed and beef fat. Suet bird feeders are typically wire cages that consist of a suet cake. Woodpeckers, cardinals, titmice and nuthatches are common birds that flock to suet. 

Hopper Bird Feeders

Hopper bird feeders are what you think of when you hear the term bird house. They are like automatic feeders for birds. To replenish the bird feeder, it dispenses bird food when the tray is empty. Most species of birds like hopper bird feeders, but the most common are finches, sparrows, titmice, jays and buntings. 

Squirrels also love hopper bird feeders since they can easily access the bird seed in the tray. If you want to attract large birds, this is your best bird feeder. Hopper feeders are also low-maintenance feeders. Since they hold more food than others, you don’t have to fill them as often. 

Nyjer Feeders

There are two types of nyjer feeders. One of them holds thistle seed and consists of a mesh bag, and the other looks like a tube feeder. These feeders contain nyjer or thistle, a tiny seed that few birds like to eat. However, a few birds love them, including purple finches, goldfinches and pine siskins. Squirrels usually steer clear of this type of feeder. 

Nectar Feeders

Nectar feeders mimic flowers that hummingbirds get their nectar from. You can fill your nectar feeder with sugar water and attract hummingbirds, orioles, woodpeckers and cardinals to your yard. Boil one part sugar to four parts water to fill your nectar feeder. You do not need to add red food coloring–it is toxic for the birds

Most nectar feeders contain the color red to attract the birds to the feeder, so it is unnecessary to add coloring to your sugar water.  These nectar feeders require a little more maintenance than other feeders since sugar water can ferment and threaten your feathered friends.  

DIY Bird Feeders

Making a bird feeder can be fun with multiple rewards, like seeing pretty birds frequent your yard. There are a few easy ways to make your own bird feeder for birds to enjoy. You can make a cookie cutter bird feeder, a teacup bird feeder or a pinecone bird feeder. 

Teacup Bird Feeder

These are all adorable options, but the teacup bird feeder is cute and easy to make. If you have a teacup and saucer set, simply place your teacup on its side on the saucer and glue it down. Allow the teacup to set for about a day to ensure the glue is dry, and then pour some birdseed into the cup. You can hang this birdfeeder with wire or string or attach it to a post to put in the ground. 

Pinecone Bird Feeder

A pinecone bird feeder is an excellent craft for kids. Send your little ones searching for a pinecone and let them cover them with peanut butter or coconut oil. Roll the pinecones in a birdseed mix of your choice, and then hang them up with string for your birds. 

Cookie Bird Feeder

Cookie cutter bird feeders are also fantastic crafts for kids but require a little more supervision. Place some cookie cutters onto parchment paper and fill them with a mixture of boiled water and two packs of gelatin and bird seed. Stick some toothpicks in them and let them dry before you hang up your bird cookies. 

Food for Bird Feeders

Birds come in all shapes and sizes. They are all beautiful birds, but they like to eat different things. They likely won’t return to unreliable food sources, so if you get a bird feeder, ensure that you keep filling it if you want to attract birds. Sunflower seeds attract various birds and are a great source of bird feed. There are different mixtures of bird seed you can purchase at retail stores that work great as well. 

Medium cracked corn is excellent for attracting ground-feeding birds and suet is ideal for woodpeckers and wrens—many bird species like chickadees and woodpeckers like peanuts. You can take a toilet paper roll, spread some all-natural peanut butter on it and then roll it in birdseed to attract these birds

The Best Bird Feeders

Depending on your location, the types of birds you want to attract will likely visit your yard if you put out food for them. Birds are in constant search of resources for themselves and their young. Try these bird feeders with the right bird seed and see what beautiful birds you see in your yard! 

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About the author

Jane Marsh

Starting from an early age, Jane Marsh loved all animals and became a budding environmentalist. Now, Jane works as the Editor-in-Chief of where she covers topics related to climate policy, renewable energy, the food industry, and more.