I get a lot of enjoyment watching the birds out my back window. During spring migration this year there have been indigo buntings, goldfinches, rose-breasted grosbeaks, and blue grosbeaks at my feeders. These are the standouts that I love to see as they make their way north.
I have five feeders right now and they are all different brands and types. I wanted to try out several kinds and see which ones worked best for my backyard and which ones lasted the longest. After three years of using my newest feeders and even longer for some of my older feeders, I put together this review of the ones that were the best for me. I ranked them by ease of cleaning, ease of filling, sturdiness, and price. I hope this is helpful to you in your search for a good bird feeder.
This content includes affiliate links. I get a small percentage of the sale for purchases made through links in this post. However, I use each product I review and only recommend those that I like and have worked well. Read my disclosure for more information.[table “7nbspresponsiveflip” not found /]
NOTE: This article includes affiliate links. I purchased all feeders myself (I’m a bit of a backyard birding enthusiast) and am reviewing each feeder based on my experience of the last year and a half (or more) of using each feeder in my backyard habitat in zone 7b.
Duncraft Original Tube Feeder
Duncraft makes good sturdy feeders that will last for years to come. They even withstand the bleach in the cleaning process – though they will start to get a little cloudy from the process.
This feeder is sturdy – with metal parts and a strong polycarbonate tube. It’s relatively easy to clean, though removing the base is challenging. The squirrel stoppers on the lid can also be a little annoying when trying to fill the feeder. Overall, it’s a very good feeder that will last for years.
This feeder is designed to allow smaller birds to reach the seeds while keeping away the larger birds that may chase them. While this is a good idea, and the cage adequately does this, the difficulty in cleaning and filling this feeder along with its higher price make it a purchase I recommend avoiding.
Like the Duncraft Original Tube Feeder, it is made of rustproof metal ports, lid, and base with a polycarbonate tube. It has a metal cage around the feeder and a metal tray to catch seeds. It is a sturdy feeder that will last for years. However, based on the difficulty in cleaning and filling the feeder, I would not recommend it as a purchase. There are easier to maintain/fill “caged” feeders available.
Droll Yankees Songbird Plus Feeder
Made of metal ports, base, and lid with a polycarbonate tube, this Droll Yankees feeder is sturdy and stands up well to the typical cleaning procedures for bird feeders. It is easy to open and fill and holds approximately four cups of seeds. Cleaning the feeder well with a bottlebrush requires the removal of screws from the base of the feeder, making it a bit more time consuming.
For some reason the birds in my backyard seem to prefer the other feeders on my bird feeder pole and they will empty all of the other feeders while this one remains mostly filled. I don’t know why this occurs – whether it is a fault of the feeder construction or if the other feeders are just easier to get seeds from, but knowing this, I don’t think I would purchase another one.
Note: The manufacturer recently updated this feeder, you can now purchase it as the “New Generation 15″ Sunflower Bird Feeder.”
Plastic Tube Feeder from Lowe’s
This feeder doesn’t have a brand name. It was cheap, easy to buy, and holds a lot of seeds. It seemed like a good buy at the time, but there’s a major problem with it. The birds just don’t like it!
After watching them feed from it for a while, I think the problem is the distance from the perch to the feeding holes. The birds have to contort themselves to be able to reach in and get seeds. Whatever the reason, I have pretty much stopped using this feeder and plan to find it another home. There’s just no sense in filling it as the seeds sits in it so long that it begins to mold and rot before the birds even make an attempt at feeding from it.
The moral of this story is, not every bird feeder is equal to the task.
Globe Cage Bird Feeder
A sturdy feeder designed for smaller bird species to be able to feed without competition from larger birds. While not necessarily squirrel proof – this feeder works well for small birds. It holds sunflower seeds only, but there is a multi-seed version as well. It is easy to fill and easy to clean. It is made of powder-coated metal which will begin to rust and peel after a couple of years. However, you can sand it and repaint (if you wish) or leave it as it is. I find this feeder to be a nice addition to my feeders.