7 Types of Bird Feeders and Birds That Like Them

Beth Rice 14/12/2023

If you’re looking to attract and catch a glimpse of your favorite birds but aren’t sure which type of bird feeder they’re attracted to, we’re here to help. Which birds like what feeders? The following list offers seven types of bird feeders and the birds you’re likely to attract with them.

Different birds have different bird feeder preferences. If you love cardinals or woodpeckers, orioles or hummingbirds, you’re more likely to attract them with just the right bird feeder.

Tray Feeder

Tray feeders attract a wide variety of birds. Keep in mind that while they are open and easily accessible, they need good drainage as they are open to rainfall. Tray feeders with screened bottoms are best to allow good drainage. Tray feeders can be mounted or suspended and some have roofs to provide added protection.

Birds that like tray feeders include: Starlings, pigeons, grosbeaks, sparrows, jays, and blackbirds.

Hopper Feeder

A hopper feeder offers some protection against the weather. They hold a good amount of seed and they can be mounted on a pole or hung up. The seed empties into a tray so birds can get to it easily. Visiting birds can sit on the base as they eat. Hopper feeders are also called house feeders since their design looks like a little house. They are harder to clean than tray feeders.

Birds that like hopper feeders include: Finches, jays, sparrows, chickadees, and cardinals.

Suet Feeder

Suet feeders can be hung, nailed to a tree trunk or added to the side of a hopper feeder. Suet feeders feature a suet cage made of wire or plastic-coated mesh frame. Suet feeders hold suet cakes that are a high protein food. Some suet contains nuts and berries.

Birds that like suet feeders include: Woodpeckers, chickadees, jays and titmice, cardinals, and wrens.

Nectar Feeder

Nectar feeders are designed to hold sweet nectar. Bright colors make great materials for nectar feeders.

Birds that like nectar feeders include: Hummingbirds and orioles.

Ground Feeder

Ground feeders attract birds who prefer to find their food on the ground. With their open tray design, ground feeders can hold a variety of food items and keep seed off the ground. For an open ground feeder, the best positioning for them is under a cover like a gazebo, trees or shrubs.

Birds that like ground feeders include: Doves, bluebirds, sparrows, cardinals, pigeons, buntings and starlings.

Peanut Feeder

Peanut feeders are, you guessed it, filled with peanuts, either with or without shells. There’s enough room for birds to pull them out. It’s recommended to set them up pretty high to help prevent squirrels from invading them.

Birds that like peanut feeders include: Magpies, chickadees, sparrows, woodpeckers, cardinals, jays, bluebirds, and finches.

Oriole Feeder

The oriole feeder is a colorful one since orioles are attracted to the color orange. These feeders will feature a perch and feeding stations that hold yummy treats like oranges, nectar, jellies, mealworms or fruit. Oriole feeders should be cleaned often to remove any sticky residue that could attract bugs. Most have removable jelly jars or dishes that lift right out for easy cleaning.

Birds that like oriole feeders include: Orioles

In addition to matching the right feeder with your desired bird, remember the following when selecting a feeder:

  • Double check the entrance hole and make sure it’s the right size. One too big can invite the wrong residents, while one too small might keep out the birds you’re trying to attract.
  • Be sure the feeder or house has the right ventilation and drainage.
  • When replacing food, be sure to empty any leftovers and put in fresh seed.

Select the right feeder to match your favorite bird and attract them to your yard soon!

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