MarketWatch has highlighted these products and services because we think readers will find them useful. We may earn a commission if you buy products through our links, but our recommendations are independent of any compensation that we may receive.
More than 65 million Americans have tried backyard bird feeding, according to the United States Fish & Wildlife Service. But depending on where you live and the kind of birds you’re looking to lure, the type of feeder you have can determine how many, and what kind of, birds you attract, experts say. (If you’re curious about what to feed them, The Audubon Society has a good guide.) To master the art of bird feeding, we asked garden experts to share the best types of feeders to attract flocks of flyers, be they the vivid cardinal or the friendly finch.
For nut-loving birds like towhees, grackles, crows, jays, ravens, wrens and doves: Hanging Peanut Wreath Bird Feeder, $19.95 on Amazon
This 16-inch, rust- and weather-proof steel wreath feeder is attractive to nut-loving birds like towhees, grackles, crows, jays, ravens, woodpeckers, wrens and doves. Fill the coils of this wreath-style feeder up with peanuts (you can buy them inexpensively in bulk), and hang it from a tree branch, fence post or pole. The company notes that it is also a good way to keep certain birds like blue jays from monopolizing your other bird feeders. Buy on Amazon here.
For easy bird watching from the comfort of your home: Window Bird Feeder with Strong Suction Cups and Seed Tray, $29.95 on Amazon
This see-through acrylic feeder has more than 15,000 4.6 star ratings and lets you get an up close look at birds while they feed. The removable tray makes clean-up easy and the company promises their suction cups will never give out, so you can study birds from inside your home, while they feast on seeds at your window. Buy on Amazon here.
To mount on a deck: Deck Mounted Bird Feeder, $27.59 on Amazon
“Funny enough, the inexpensive ones seem to be the most popular among our aviary friends,” says says Tracey Price, owner of American Growers Company, a landscape design and construction firm based in Los Angeles. She likes this clip-on balcony feeder, noting that she has seen that “it attracts birds all day long and makes a perfect addition to smaller homes, apartments or retirement communities.” Buy on Amazon here.
This feeder boasts a clear plastic seed tube with multiple feeding ports inside a metal spiral that enables finches to perch all around it. World Birds, a site about birdwatching, recommends a finch-specific feeder noting that a tube feeder is ideal to attract the finch, because it’s easy for them to jump on but “makes it impossible for the bigger species like red-winged blackbirds, blue jays, and other aggressive and bigger species to latch on and feed.” A squirrel-proof locking lid protects the seeds in this hanging feeder, and the different perches allow finches to pop up and down the feeder as they snack. (They love nyjer and sunflower seeds.) Buy at Plow & Hearth.
Cardinals “like having a large perch, platform, or tray to land on and use” and “they prefer to feed facing forward,” writes BirdWatching HQ, a birdwatching site, which recommends using a cardinal-specific feeder. This aviary haven, with its bright red metal feeder, provides the large perch and forward-facing feeding these red-winged birds enjoy. Plus, this feeder holds 2.5 pounds of black oil sunflower seeds (a cardinal favorite) and can feed up to 15 birds at any given time. Buy at Chewy.
For rainy days: Twinkle Star Wild Bird Feeder, $13.99 on Amazon
Just because it’s raining outside doesn’t mean you have to forgo feeding wild birds. This plastic bird feeder comes fully assembled and has a roof attached to shield birds from rain and sun while they peck at their seeds. Buy on Amazon here.
That simple red and yellow feeder you see everywhere works even better than its fancy counterparts: “Hummingbirds tend to prefer the red and yellow plastic feeders with sugar water reloaded fresh each day,” says Price. She’s had clients buy pretty metal ones or stained glass to be more aesthetically pleasing, yet the hummingbird visits diminish when they do. Buy on Amazon here.