No Mess Bird Feeders to Keep Your Yard Clean

Experts share what to look for when shopping for no mess bird feeder options to attract birds. Plus check out the best no mess feeders to add to your yard.

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How to Choose a No Mess Bird Feeder

no mess bird feederCourtesy Clinton Meese
Choose a feeder with a tray on the bottom to minimize seed mess

“What kind of no mess bird feeder options can I add to my apartment balcony?” asks Katie Schick of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.

Birding experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman weigh in: “Choosing the right bird food is the first step to keep your feeding station mess free. Shelled nuts, sunflower hearts and suet are all options that create less mess.”

Look for feeders that have trays on the bottom to capture any debris. You can also consider installing a seed hoop. The Kaufmans also encourage people to visit a nearby bird-feeding specialty store to ask about no mess bird feeders that will work well in your area.

Backyard tip: A no mess seed feeder is less likely to attract squirrels and raccoons. Check out the best squirrel-proof bird feeders.

A hummingbird feeder filled with sugar water is another good no mess bird feeder option. Kenn and Kimberly suggest a saucer-style feeder for hummingbirds to help discourage bees and wasps. Make sure to add a good ant moat to deter ants. You can also offer grape jelly and orange halves to orioles without worrying about cleaning up messy seeds.

The Best No Mess Bird Feeders

oriole feederVia Amazon.com

Flower Shaped Oriole Feeder

Attract fruit-loving birds two different ways with this oriole feeder. Pierce an orange half on one of the metal branches and add grape jelly to the glass bowl, which is included. It’s also a gorgeous piece of art to admire!

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Learn how to attract orioles to your backyard.

Peanut butter feederVia Etsy.com

Peanut Butter Feeder

Accommodate two hungry birds at once with this no mess peanut butter feeder. But first: Here’s what you should know about feeding birds peanut butter. We think you could also use this feeder to serve jelly or mealworms.

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Don’t miss 10 unique bird feeders you can buy on Etsy.

Top-fill hummingbird feederVia PerkyPet.com

Top-Fill Hummingbird Feeder

You won’t have to worry about spilling hummingbird sugar water with this top-fill feeder that’s designed to prevent leaks. The feeder is clear, so it’s easy to see when it needs cleaning. Plus, it’s got built-in bee guards to discourage unwanted swarming visitors.

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Psst—we found more hummingbird feeders and accessories your birds will love.

perky pet finch feederVia Amazon.com

Perky-Pet Finch Feeder with Flexports

Attract sunny goldfinches other small songbirds such as pine siskins and common redpolls with a no mess finch feeder. Fill it with Nyjer thistle seed; the rubber Flexports prevent seed from leaking out all over your yard.

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Squirrel resistant suet bird feederVia Chewy.com

Squirrel Proof Double Suet Feeder

Serving suet is a less-messy option than seed feeders. Whether you prefer buying premade suet cakes or trying a homemade suet recipe, you won’t have to worry about furry visitors or bully birds stealing the food. This squirrel proof double suet feeder holds two suet cakes at once, and the cage is designed to let in smaller suet-loving birds, like downy woodpeckers and nuthatches.

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Here’s how to get rid of blackbirds and grackles at feeders.

Seed catcher trayVia Amazon.com

Hoop Bird Seed Catcher

Attach this hoop bird seed catcher below a messy bird feeder to grab all the shells that birds flick away. It’s 16 inches across, so it’ll keep a porch, balcony or other spot in your yard nice and clean. Ground feeding birds like sparrows and mourning doves may land on the hoop to clean up the leftovers.

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Check out the best finch feeders to serve thistle seeds.

Squirrel Buster nut bird feederVia Amazon.com

Brome Squirrel Buster Nut Feeder

Put shelled peanuts or suet nuggets into this Squirrel Buster nut feeder for minimal mess. The weight of squirrels will close the feeding ports, which means the birds will be able to happily feast.

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Next, check out more of the best peanut bird feeders.

Molly Jasinski
Molly Jasinski is an editor, writer and social media manager for Birds & Blooms. She’s been with the magazine since 2019 and with Trusted Media Brands since 2012. She brings more than 10 years of editorial experience to Birds & Blooms and has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. In her role, Molly works closely with bird experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman and gardening expert Melinda Myers, in addition to the Birds & Blooms freelance writers. Molly was featured in a May 2023 episode of The Thing With Feathers birdwatching podcast. She's a member of the nonprofit Friends of Wehr Nature Center in Franklin, Wisconsin, a popular location for birdwatching in southeastern Wisconsin. She goes out birding often and is still hoping to spot a tufted titmouse in the near future.