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Where to Place a Bird Feeder: Tips to Find the Perfect Spot

bird feeders in a pole

Are you enjoying bird watching in your backyard already, or are you getting started?


Whether it's your first feeder or you have a few of them, there are two concerns every time you bring a seed feeder. The first concern is where to place a bird feeder to stimulate the natural habitat of the wild birds you're attracting.

The second issue is to place it in a spot you can see from your balcony to enjoy birding whenever you want.

Let's look at these two issues.

Where To Place Bird Feeders: Placement For Different Designs

Feeders function differently and attract different species. We'll look at the most popular designs.

Window Feeders Window Feeders to have a better experience of bird watching

These feeders use a suction cup to glue them to your window without obstructing your view.

Being just outside your house makes them easy to clean and refill. But, since the visitors stand inside the window feeder, the food may be contaminated or soiled faster.

A window feeder is the best bird feeder when you don't want to go for a birding tour away from home. You'll see titmice, sparrows, and finches from your bedroom.

Nectar Feeders Nectar Feeders for hummingbirds

A hummingbird feeder may attract more birds than you expect. Therefore, get more of them instead of one large one that'll cause disputes among the many visitors.

It'll draw more hummingbirds when you place it near nectar flowers.

Tube Feeders Tube Feeders reduces wastage

Hang a tube feeder on a pole where birds can use the feeding ports while perched upright or upside down, depending on the design. The seed stays fresh and dry inside a tube, which reduces wastage.

Platform Feeders Platform Feeders attracts brown sparrow

Ground feeding birds like the house sparrow spend more time near shrubbery, so the platform feeder should be close to such a habitat.

It'll also give them a hideout when predators come.

However, these tray feeders don't protect backyard bird food from elements like rain and snow. You'd need a platform feeder with a screened bottom to drain water or a roof to shield bird food from rain and snow.

You can also mount a tray feeder on a deck railing or stump.

Hopper Feeders Hopper Feeder reduce times you refill the feeder

They protect bird food better than the design above. Using hopper feeders is convenient as you'll not need to refill them every few days because they hold a large mass.

While considering where to place bird feeders, think about accessories like a squirrel baffle.

In this case, mount or suspend hopper feeders on a feeder pole and attach a squirrel baffle to keep predators away.

Suet Feeders Suet Feeders attract sparrows

You can nail suet cages to a tree trunk, suspend them on a pole or fix them to a hopper feeder. Get a plastic suet feeder if you're afraid a metal one can trap and injure birds.

Tips On Where To Hang A Bird Feeder

The location of a feeder determines how fast avians will find it. Therefore...

1. Place It In A Safe Place

It should be away from buildings or trees that predators can use as launching pads. Mount it about six feet from the trunk. When using a feeder pole, it should be about ten feet away from trees.

2. Invest In A Squirrel Baffle

Sneaky predators attack a bird feeder from all sides, even from below. Consequently, place a feeder below or above a squirrel baffle. 

3. Choose A Serene Location

Place your feeders in quiet surroundings as birds shy away from noisy places like garages and patios. Even though they'll get used to the noise, most garden birds prefer undisturbed surroundings. 

But, some noises attract birds. For instance, water splashes draw thirsty birds to your birdbath, while the sound of buzzing insects might be the reason birds come to your backyard in the first place.

4. Avoid Contaminants

The chemicals in pesticides are harmful to birds. Also, the insects in your backyard may consume vegetation with pesticides, and birds will, in turn, eat these insects.

Bird disease is also prevalent in feeders. Spread feeders out to give different species territories and reduce the risk of bird disease across your feeders.

5. Focus On The View

The sounds and sights of different species make bird watching in our backyards enjoyable.

Consequently, know where to put a bird feeder for uninterrupted views from your balcony or inside the house. The area you choose should be well-lit so that you can capture pictures from your viewing spot.

6. Select A Spot With Easy Refill & Cleanup

If you spread out feeders in your backyard, it'll take more time to refill them than when you have several of them at one bird feeding station. 

There'll also be a mess under your feeder consisting of discarded hulls, fallen seeds, mealworms, bird droppings, and feathers. Therefore, place your feeder on a brushy spot or grass instead of your patio, or you'll be cleaning up waste every other day.

The feeder shouldn't be so high that you'll need a ladder to refill or clean it because chances are, you'll not do it regularly.

7. Shelter Feeders From The Wind & Rain

If your feeder doesn't drain when it rains, you're likely to see moldy seeds inside.

8. The Weight Of The Feeder Matters

A hanging bird feeder should also support the weight of birds that perch on it. Therefore, if you're using a feeder pole, think about the weight of all the feeders attached to it, a squirrel baffle, and a birdhouse. 

Also, larger birds may perch on the pole if there's access to birdseed.

9. Match Feeder Location To Feeding Habits

A northern cardinal eats unshelled sunflower seed from a ground feeder or gathers fallen safflower seed. A mourning dove also uses ground feeders, but even platform feeders serve the purpose as this species swallows shelled seeds whole and flies higher to digest.

There are also other factors to consider in finding the perfect location, find out in this video:

10. Minimize Conflicts

Some bird species are aggressive, and they'll ruin your birding experience if you put all the feeders in one place. For instance, a house finch may compete with a house sparrow or purple finch. 

You may not have total control over these aggressive habits, but you can minimize them by offering a variety of food, feeders, and enough space.

FAQs On Where To Put Bird Feeders

How far from the house should the bird feeder be?

It should be about 30 feet away to prevent window strikes and about 12 feet from buildings to stop predators from launching onto bird food. 

Should bird feeders be in the sun or shade?

Birds prefer to enjoy their birdseed in the sun. They don't like windy locations or secluded spots without an uninterrupted view of the surroundings to prevent attacks from larger birds.

The Cornell Lab notes that nectar shouldn't be in the sun as it'll spoil. It may also leak when left under the sun for a long time. Furthermore, cats like this mixture, so keep your hummingbird feeders away from trees these intruders can use.

How far away from a window should a bird feeder be?

Placing feeders close to windows can cause strikes as a bird takes off. It also offers window ledges where predators can perch and wait for small birds leaving a suet or nyjer feeder. Unless it's a window feeder, it should be under three feet from the window or more than 10 feet away. 

There'll be fewer injuries as birds won't take off at top speed when it's three feet from a window. On the other hand, when it's 10 feet from a window, there's room for the bird to pick up speed. You can also use a screen to shield avians in case of window collisions.

Now you know where to put a bird feeder and where it should never stay.

Let's wrap it up with some nice thoughts...

Final Thoughts

Attracting birds to your feeder takes more effort than just choosing bird feed. 

Your feeder placement will influence so many elements of your bird-feeding experience. 

Therefore, choose the feeder and its location wisely.

It'll determine how easily you can refill or clean your feeders, the birds visiting feeders, and your feeder views. A window feeder will treat you to morning views of finches and titmice before you head out to see the avians enjoying nectar in your hummingbird feeder. Wouldn't you love that?

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