The 8 Best Bird Feeders to Buy in 2018

Bring the birds to you

perky-pet-bird-feeder
Courtesy of Amazon

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Brome 2004 Squirrel Solution at Amazon

“They sense the weight of an adult squirrel.”

Best Real-Life: Audubon Red Barn Combo Seed at Amazon

“It can hold up to seven pounds of two different kinds of seeds.”

Best Tray: Cedar Tray Wild Bird Feeder at Amazon

“From its clean and simple look to the ease of use, this is one no-fuss feeder.”

Best Budget: Perky Pet Copper Panorama at Amazon

“The circular design lets multiple birds perch around and eat at the same time.”

Best Standing: Verdigris Gazebo at Amazon

“It makes a beautiful addition to any yard or garden, and the price is right.”

Best Decorative: Mosaic Glass Garden at Amazon

“Will beautifully reflect the sun as it bounces off the mosaic pattern.”

Best Squirrel Proof: Wild Bill’s 12 Station at Amazon

“Sorry squirrels, this bird feeder is made to keep you out.”

Best Design: H Potter Wacky Copper at Amazon

“It’s a gorgeous way to attract and watch birds.”

 

  • 01 of 08

    Best Overall: Brome 2004 Squirrel Solution Wild Bird Feeder

    Excellent

    Birds of a feather will flock together to come dine at this bird feeder. With six feeding ports, there’s room at this “table” for quite the crowd. Assembly is easy, and no tools are required. That means when it’s time to clean it or fill it, you don’t have to go looking for your toolbox.

    Made by Brome, the company offers a lifetime limited warranty that promises to replace parts if they’re lost or even damaged by a squirrel. Speaking of pesky squirrels, this feed is designed to keep them from eating the bird seed, with seed ports that close automatically when they sense the weight of an adult squirrel. No seed for them. Another bonus for the birds, this feeder is equipped with a patented seed ventilation system that lets fresh air in and heat and humidity out to keep seed at its freshest.

  • 02 of 08

    Best Real-Life: Audubon Red Barn Combo Seed Bird Feeder Model

    For a down home feel, this barn bird feeder fits the bill. It’s a combo feeder, so it can hold up to seven pounds of two different kinds of seeds to attract two different kinds of birds. The barn receptacle holds up to six pounds of seed, while the silo receptacle holds another pound. The tops lift off for easy filling, and the silo includes both thistle and standard seed ports.

    You can mount it on a pole (pole not included) or hang it from a tree or awning with the hanging cord, which is included. Its bright red color will stand out in your yard and add a bit of country flare no matter where you live.

  • 03 of 08

    Best Tray: Cedar Tray Wild Bird Feeder Fresh Seed Tray

    Simplicity is the name of the game with this bird feeder. From its clean and simple look to the ease of use, this is one no-fuss feeder. It’s inexpensive, and the base is made of cedar, which means it’s naturally insect and rot resistant. It’s also coated with an all-natural preservative that helps it resist water damage, mold, mildew and fading, so it will look great for a long time.

    Using it is simple too, with an easy-to-fill tray that is great for a variety of bird seed from sunflower seeds to dried fruit and even whole corn. The screen easily pops out for cleaning, and all of the hardware is rust proof. This is a great, straightforward bird feeder no matter what type of bird you’re hoping to attract.

  • 04 of 08

    Best Budget: Perky-Pet Copper Panorama Bird Feeder 312C

    perky-pet-bird-feeder
    Courtesy of Walmart.

    Copper is hot when it comes to home decor, and this copper bird feeder will give birds a stylish place to nibble up their meals. The compact feeder (it measures 9.25" x 8.32" x 8.32") holds up to two pounds of bird seed of any variety and is easy to fill and clean.

    The circular design lets multiple birds perch around and eat at the same time. It also has a unique dispensing feature that only allows new seed to fall when there’s room on the feeder tray. That eliminates waste and makes sure a fresh supply of seed is constantly flowing. Birds will flock to this smart, stylish feeder.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best Standing: Verdigris Gazebo Standing Bird feeder

    While this standing birdfeeder has the elegant look of weathered copper, it’s actually made of durable plastic. It stands just under 40 inches high and has tons of great detail, like an ornate base and a fluted rooftop, which makes for a nice shady spot for the birds to hang out on sunny days.

    It’s lightweight too — just three pounds — so installing it and moving it around is easy to do without assistance. Just pour the birdseed in, and sit back to watch. It makes a beautiful addition to any yard or garden, and the price is right (read: inexpensive).

  • 06 of 08

    Best Decorative: Mosaic Glass Garden Jeweled Hues Circle Bird Feeder

    For a cool, artsy vibe, this circular bird feeder will add flare wherever you choose to hang it. Made of hand-painted, stained-glass squares, it will add a pop of color to your porch, yard or other areas and will beautifully reflect the sun as it bounces off the mosaic pattern. This feeder is especially great for small spaces, as it’s on the smaller side —just about 10" in height. Those who have purchased it say the quality is great, and birds love to hop through it.

    It hangs easily from any tree, post, hook or garden stake. You simply put the seed in from either side, and the birds come scoop it up.

  • 07 of 08

    Best Squirrel Proof: Wild Bill's 12 Station Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder

    Sorry squirrels, this bird feeder is made to keep you out. When sneaky squirrels try to get at the seed meant for birds, they receive a tiny electric shock from the stingers that are located at the top and bottom of the feeder. It only takes a time or two before they get the message, and the birds get to eat in peace. No offense to the squirrels (and don’t worry, they’re not harmed in the process), but they can be greedy little guys, and if it’s birds you want to attract, then you don’t want the squirrels to gobble up the bird seed.

    The battery operated feeder (it takes one 9v battery, which isn’t included) can be hung from a tree or hook or mounted on a pole (pole not included). This one has 12 ports for feeding a crowd of birds and holds up to 20 pounds of food for a never-ending feasting.

  • 08 of 08

    Best Design: H Potter Wacky Copper Bird Feeder

    For a whimsical look, this copper bird feeder can’t be beat. Made of real copper with brass accents and glass windows, it’s a gorgeous way to attract and watch birds. It holds about three pounds of birdseed, which can be easily added to the feeder via the hinged roof.

    The house is about 10" tall and 12" wide, and the copper is coated with a clear lacquer finish to protect its beauty. A brass chain and ring are included, so you can hang it from a tree or hook easily to showcase this masterpiece and watch the birds with this as a beautiful backdrop.

Products Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 22 hours testing one of the most popular bird feeders on the market. To get the most comprehensive feedback possible, our testers observed exactly what happened when they installed it in their yards themselves. We asked our reviewers to consider this bird feeder’s most important features — from its size to its durability — when using it. We've outlined the truly important points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.


What to Look for in a Bird Feeder

Type There are five main types of bird feeders: ground or platform, hopper, hummingbird, tube, and suet. Ground feeders have screened bottoms to prevent seeds from spilling and attract the largest variety of birds but should not be used if you (or your neighbors) have cats. Hopper feeders are sturdy, bird friendly, and hold a lot of seeds. Hummingbird feeders should be filled with sugar water and placed in the shade near a window. Tube feeders are the most common type and attract small birds. Suet feeders can be hung from poles and attract less common birds like woodpeckers, bluebirds, and goldfinches.

Material Plastic bird feeders should have metal reinforcements and metal perches to keep squirrels away. If you’re choosing a wooden bird feeder, make sure it’s made of weather-resistant cedar or is stained or painted.

Food The type of food you select will affect what kinds of birds frequent your feeder. Ground-feeding birds like medium cracked corn, but this type of feed tends to rot. Millet is popular for small-beaked, ground-feeding birds. Milo, wheat, and oats are inexpensive but tend to attract rodents. Insect-eating birds like woodpeckers and wrens like suet (a mix of beef fat and seed). If you want to attract a wide variety of birds, sunflower seeds are a great choice.

Test Results: Brome 2004 Squirrel Solution Wild Bird Feeder (Best Overall)

Excellent

What We Like

  • Attractive design

  • Durable

  • Effective

  • Prevents squirrels from infiltrating

What We Don't Like

  • A bit heavy

Brome 2004 Squirrel Solution Wild Bird Feeder
Brome 2004 Squirrel Solution Wild Bird Feeder
Brome 2004 Squirrel Solution Wild Bird Feeder

One of our reviewers — who installed this bird feeder outside his Brooklyn apartment — was very satisfied with its performance, reporting that it attracted sparrows and finches. However, this feeder’s most game-changing feature was its ability to ward off squirrels. “Being a birdwatcher,” one of our testers explained, “I have had many different types of bird feeders — this is the first I've owned where I haven't had the constant struggle of squirrels eating all the food or knocking the feeder over and destroying it.” The only downside? Our testers thought this feeder was a little heavy to lift.