Bird Feeders For All

You can never have enough bird feeders. Learn about the different feeders available, and make plans to add a new one to your yard.

Downy woodpecker at suet feeder

Suet Feeder

You can find more than half a dozen suet feeders on the market, including the classic cage design or the cage attached to a vertical wooden platform, giving woodpeckers a better way to perch with their tails.

Peanut feeder

Peanut Feeder

It’s usually shaped like a tube, but you can also find peanut feeders in round, wreath shapes. These feeders have large holes, so the birds (and sometimes squirrels) have to work to get the peanuts out.

Baltimore oriole at fruit feeder

Fruit Feeder

You can find a handful of other feeders on the market, including those that hold fruit like grapes, jelly, oranges and apples. These are great feeders to experiment with, especially in spring and fall, when you’ll see the most migrants.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds at sugar-water feeder

Sugar-Water Feeder

This feeder should be pretty self-explanatory. You can find it in a few standard shapes, and it’s for those glorious little flyers we call hummingbirds. Keep in mind that a second sugar-water feeder (usually in an orange color) will also attract orioles and other birds.

American goldfinches on tube feeder

Tube Feeder

If it’s not a thistle feeder, other tube feeders have larger holes for seed like sunflowers and safflowers. Often good squirrel deterrents, look for tube feeders that have a weighted contraption that closes off seed access when larger birds or squirrels land.

American goldfinches

Thistle Feeder

Often a tube-shaped feeder, thistle feeders hold the special thistle (nyjer) seed, which goldfinches love. Some thistle feeders are a simple mesh bag, while others are sturdier. You can even get some that are several feet long, holding dozensof goldfinches at a time.

Blue Jay battle

Tray Feeder

These types of feeders can either hang or sit atop legs on the ground. In both cases they are completely open, so birds have a big space to land and eat. Tray feeders are often used for larger birds like juncos or mourning doves. Some people who love squirrels even put out their corncobs on tray feeders.

Hopper Feeder
The classic hopper usually has four sides, and it’s common to find in the shape of a house or a barn. Sometimes you can even find options with suet feeders on either end. While it typically doesn’t deter squirrels, it does offer a surefire way to offer black-oil sunflower seeds to birds of all sizes.

Log Feeder
You can’t get thriftier than taking an old log and drilling holes in the side. These holes are perfect for suet or straight peanut butter. Plus, the log gives woodpeckers and other birds a built-in perch.