Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher or a regular nature lover, you’re probably fascinated by our feathered friends. It might be a deep-seated human desire to fly. Or it may be a childhood fascination with bright colors and soft plumage. Either way, birds are fascinating.
So if you don’t live near a forest or bird sanctuary, the best way to access pretty birds is to install a bird feeder. Place it in a spot with a clear view so you can watch your guests at will. But how can you tell the best window bird feeder to buy? Let’s find out!
This bird feeder is quite pretty. It has a gabled roof that curves at its ends. This roof is aesthetically pleasing, but it serves a functional purpose too. It keeps your birdseed dry in case of rain or other types of precipitation. The roof does form a surface for condensation, but the sides extend beyond the feeding tray, so the liquid will drop safely away from your birdie plates.
The surface of the feeder is see-through so you can easily and comfortably enjoy the view. But it’s a small feeder and barely stands 7 inches high. So it can only feed smaller bird species. It does have sliding trays though, so it’s easy to fill it and keep it clean. It measures 10.5 inches at its widest point and weighs a little under 13 ounces. It’s suitable for a small window.
Aspects Café is an attractive bird feeder. It mounts to the window using three suction cups. But it’s a small feeder, so only two birds can use it at a time. That limits your bird watching.
The seed tray slides out, making it easier to load.
The slider also makes the feeder easy to clean.
It’s made of UV-protected plastic.
It’s easy for squirrels to get in the feeder and steal your birds’ food.
2. Nature’s Hangout Window Bird Feeder (Our Top Pick)
Window bird feeders need to be lightweight. So they’re mostly made of tough see-through acrylic. But because they could potentially break your window, many manufacturers use smaller dimensions to maintain the weight limit. But that also reduces the number and type of birds that can visit your feeder. Nature’s Hangout has a good-sized feeder. It suits cardinals and finches.
The feeder is almost a foot wide and a little over 5 inches high. It uses three suction cups to attach to the window, and the shipping box has three extra suction cups in case you need them. The feeding tray slides out for easy cleaning and refilling. It’s 1.75 inches deep so it can hold more seeds, and it has drainage holes to prevent the food from getting moist or moldy.
This premium bird feeder is easy to mount. Its suction cups have hooks that slip into place, and the cups have a lifetime warranty. Plus, you get three bonus suction cups in every pack. But because it’s enlarged, it allows bigger rodents like raccoons and squirrels to access the food. Mount it high on the window and keep it away from leverage points these rodents can climb.
Nature’s Hangout is aptly named because it brings all the birds to the yard. It’s easy to clean, thanks to its removable tray. But the drainage holes cam spill dirt so mulch the floor below.
The feeder has a padded perch on its outer edge.
Convenient slots let you easily hook your suction cups onto the feeder.
It’s large enough for wild birds like cardinals and finches.
The drainage holes can sometimes spill seeds and bird droppings onto your floor, you mount your bird feeder over an area with grass or mulch to be safe.
The concept behind window bird feeders is to bring the birds right up to your nose – or to lure them as close as possible. But there are still generally two sheets of material between you and your feathered friends. The window forms one screen, and the back of the feeder forms a second screen. With Nature Gear feeders, one of those screens is eliminated, offering a clearer view.
The manufacturer achieved this by boring a large hole on the mounting surface of the bird feeder. The hole lies just below the suction cups, and it gives you direct visual access to your birdie buddies. The feeder also has sidewalls, which is a unique feature, since most feeders have open sides. The walls provide an additional barrier to deter squirrels and raccoons.
This is among the best window feeders we’ve reviewed because it’s high roof gives your birds more room, and its drainage holes prevent water damage. The peephole is fun too.
The gabled roof keeps your seeds dry and protects birds from rough weather.
It has a sliding tray to make it easier to fill.
The sidewall feature protects your bird feed from squirrels and rodents.
The viewing hole means you can see the birds better … but they can see you too and you may frighten them away. Consider a one-way-mirror film for the inner window glass.
Beauty isn’t a key priority when you’re shopping for bird feeders. This is because they’re small, subtle, and see-through. So even though they’re mounted on the outside of your house, it’s not easy for the neighbors to spot unless it’s full of birds. In which case, their focus will be on the feathers and colors, not their perch. That said, this feeder is well-designed and aesthetic.
Its high sloped roof lets rain and snow slide harmlessly off the feeder, while the drain holes in the tray keep your seeds dry and well-ventilated. The tray slides out for fast filling and cleaning. And because there’s a divider, you can use different types of food to attract varying bird species. The large porthole on the mounting rear wall gives you unfettered views of your window guests.
Depending on where you position your bird feeder, it can deter squirrels because they can’t climb glass. But if there are any trees, window ledges, bug screens, or branches that squirrels can use to jump off, you’re in trouble. So think carefully and install your feeder in a high spot with no obstruction or rodent perches. Then your birds can feed in peace.
Nature Anywhere is a pretty bird feeder that brings the winged wild right to your window stoop. It has a lifetime warranty, an enlarged viewing window, and 24-hour customer service.
It has four suction cups to help it grip the window better.
The feeding tray has a divider so you can load different types of bird feed.
It has a large rear porthole for easier viewing.
The pitched roof is roomy enough to accommodate larger birds, but the feeder can only hold two cups at a time, so you’ll have to refill it frequently.
You may have an interest in a specific bird species. Or maybe your locality is known for a particular bird. If the winged wonder in question is a woodpecker, consider buying this Kettle Moraine feeder. It has metal grills that mimic the barks woodpeckers love to drill. And rather than being filled with seeds, you load it with the type of suet cake woodpeckers love.
The feeder is on the smaller side, so two suction cups are sufficient to hold it. But the cups are sturdy, so they can support the weight or a tough pecking bird. The grills also provide a foothold for the birds while they feed, so they’ll be quite comfy there. The wire grills are coated in vinyl to make them rust-proof and prevent weather damage. It’s about 6 inches by 6 inches by 3 inches.
This lightweight 10-ounce woodpecker feeder is quite popular with the birdies. But while the mesh prevents mold by allowing the suet to drain, it doesn’t protect your bird feed from rain.
It’s specifically designed for woodpeckers.
It has a metal grill to keep rodents away from your bird feed.
The feeder has two suction cups for easy mounting.
There’s no glass or plastic around the bird feeder so it’s not protected from the weather.
When you’re looking for something basic with zero frills, this is the best bird feeder to buy. It has a simple silhouette that is attractive to a wide variety of birds. And because the tray is wide, lots of different birds can dine together, provided they can get along. Mounting the bird feeder is easy. Just slip the steel hooks through the designated slots and press the feeder against the glass.
Tranquil doesn’t have a sliding tray like some of the other models we’ve looked at. But the position and angle of the tray still make it easy to refill. And the manufacturer offers top tier customer care, so that’s an added advantage. The feeder weighs a pound, but its suction cups are strong enough to hold it in place, even when several birds are using the padded perch.
Its steel hooks are easy to install.
The padded perch is attractive to cardinals and larger birds.
The wide 1-foot tray feeds multiple birds at a time.
The manufacturer swears the feeder is squirrel-proof, but its sides are partially open so rodents have easy access. Try mounting it further from spots they can jump off.
Is your area known for hummingbirds? It’s fascinating to watch these colorful critters with their super-speed wings and pretty plumage. So if you don’t have a garden with the kind of flowers they prefer, consider buying this hummingbird feeder. It doesn’t hold seeds and nuts like other kinds of feeders. Instead, it has three faux flowers in bright yellow to attract the birds.
These ‘flowers’ are soft and pliable. They’re designed to simulate hollyhocks, and they mimic the natural feeding style of hummingbirds. The three feeding ports … feed (pun intended) off a central cylinder that holds up to 8 ounces of nectar. And each flower has a tiny perch for your visiting hummingbirds. They’ll stay at your window longer since they can rest their wings.
Nectar is sweet and sticky, so it’s not just brightly colored birds that like it. Insects are attracted to your feeder as well. Specifically, bees, who want some of that nectar for their honey. That’s why Perky-Pet tapered its faux-flowers. This makes the flowers look more authentic, but it also keeps away the bees while giving the hooked hummingbird beaks full access to their food.
Hummingbirds have evolved to literally ‘feed on the fly’. It’s the buzzing hum of their wings that gave them their distinctive name. So while they enjoy perches, they don’t need them. Non-nectar-eating birds might hog the perches and keep your hummingbirds away, so watch out.
The positioning and design of the Perky-Pet feeder are useful because up to three hummingbirds can perch and feed at the same time. But clean it often – nectar can get messy and draw ants.
The feeder has bright, flowery colors to attract hummingbirds.
Its petal-shaped access points mimic floral shapes and sizes.
It’s detachable and can be dismantled for quick cleaning.
Nectar might attract uninvited guests like ants and other insects.
Every time you refill your bird feeder, you need to clean it, and that’s never fun. So the advantage of a large feeding reservoir is that it empties more slowly so it needs less refiling (and cleaning). Gray Bunny’s window bird feeder can hold 4 cups of birdseed behind its padded perch.
So your bird visitors can nestle and eat their fill as long and as often as the like. The premium acrylic surfaces are thickened to extend the sturdiness and lifespan of your feeder. But the feeder maintains a respectable weight of 1.65 pounds – higher than some of the units we’ve looked at, but still light enough to feed birds without crashing or shattering your window glass.
To support the additional weight of the thick feeder walls, Gray Bunny provides above-average suction cups. The tray slides out for cleaning and refilling, and it has a built-in divider so you can offer your bird friends a buffet. The feeder carries a 1-year warranty and the tray has drainage holes to keep your seeds fresh, dry, and palatable to the birdies.
Gray Bunny is trusted by bird watchers (and birds too, judging by visitor volumes). Just mount your suction cups on a pre-cleaned surface to avoid accidents – it’s heavier than competitors.
The tray is extra-deep and holds double the standard amount of bird feed.
The suction cups are extra-large for reinforced support.
The glass is thicker than most feeders but still sufficiently see-through.
The roof slopes towards the window, so moisture (and melted snow) might get trapped in that corner and possibly loosed your suction cups.
Want to introduce the neighborhood birds to penthouse living? Mount this high-rise feeding spot. Unlike regular bird feeders, this one has two slots for food and one slot for water, so your bird buddies can sip or splash after meals in case they want to wash their … feet after they eat.
The feeder has a pitched plastic roof with an overhang on the back. Three suction cups attach the overhang to your window, leaving the rest of the rear section uncovered. This provides a clearer view from inside the house since you only have one separation screen instead of two. All four sides of the feeder are therefore wide open, which both you and the birds will enjoy.
It’s easy to put the bird feeder together, but it takes more time and effort than rival brands. With other feeders, you simply wipe the window and press the suction cups into place. With this feeder, you have to attach the pillars, screw on the roof, and join the different components before you can push the feeder onto the wall or window. Drain holes keep your seeds dry.
You may be worried about the water trough dripping onto your seedbeds. But it has an overflow system, so the water and the food stay segregated at all times. And the birds love it too.
The feeder has a slot on the side for water.
The open sides feel more natural to birds.
Its wooden pillars provide a unique visual appeal.
Your birds might enjoy the free-flowing air, but without plastic walls, the feeder is more accessible to squirrels and other rodents.
Sliding trays are touted as the ultimate convenience in the bird feeder world. But they’re not the only option. Entirely Zen takes a different approach. Rather than sliding out, the tray lifts out when you want to clean it or refill it. You can pull it out while leaving the rest of the feeder in place. The tray has drainage holes, but because it lifts, these holes are raised off the surface.
This drainage placement is more effective than bottom holes, which can often deposit droppings and dirt below your feeder. This zen bird feeder s strong enough to hold squirrels, and with no sidewalls, it can be hard keeping the rodents out. So unless you’re deliberately luring the busy-tailed, locate your feeder away from any branches or perches they can swing off to access it.
And the feeder comes with gifts! You get two free e-books about birds that will help you identify the species of your visitors. It also has an extra suction cup and a book with bird watching tips for beginners. Besides that, the shipping box includes two-way-mirror-film you can stick inside your house to avoid scaring off the birds when you approach their rubber padded perch.
When you buy the Entirely Zen bird feeder, both you and your feathered neighbors will enjoy a brush with nature. But look out for squirrels, coz they’ll love your feeder too!
The feeder mounts using four hooked suction cups.
The perch is padded to provide a resting spot for birds.
It has a lifting tray instead of a sliding one.
At 1.85 pounds, the feeder is heavier than average, so be careful where you place it.
The primary purpose of a bird feeder is to attract birds. So no matter what you like, you want to buy a feeder that your winged neighbors will love. But it’s hard to tell what these feathered fowl are thinking, so let’s review some of the more human-facing features that should influence you.
Even if you’re not a professional birdwatcher, you should have some idea of which birds are common in your neighborhood. Some birds are common everywhere while others are more regional. So if your area has variety, buy a multi-species feeder that any of your winged friends can feed from. But if you’re targeting a particular bird (e.g. woodpeckers) buy a targeted feeder.
Size of the Feeder
This is partially related to the types of birds that are common in your area. For smaller birds, a regular-sized feeder will do. But if you’re attracting larger species, they need more flapping room. That said, bigger feeders may draw other animals like squirrels and wild rodents. So if your region is prone to possums, raccoons, or wildlife, buy a feeder that can keep them out.
All bird feeders and birdbaths have a visual aspect. You put them in your yard because you want to watch the birds (and feed them too). So you need the type of feeder that’s easy to see through. You want a strong construction material that won’t crack in harsh weather, but it also has to be fine enough that you can observe the birds clearly. And it needs sturdy window fasteners.
Bird feeders can get messy. The birds will spill food, which can then invite insects and other pests. And as they eat, your winged friends will inevitably leave their dropping in your feeder and on the ledge. Other animals may soil the spot as well. So buy a feeder that’s easy to clean, and ideally one that doesn’t show dirt easily. It should be weatherproof as well.
The most common fastening solution for window bird feeders is the suction cup. You need cups that are strong enough to grip the window and support the weight of the feeder, the food, and the birds using the feeder. Otherwise, the feeder might break the window, or it may shatter once it’s overloaded by birds. You can’t control the number of birds, so err on the heavier side.
Ease of Use
Many buyers worry about bird feeders being difficult to install and refill. But most of them just need to be pressed against your window. Push the suction cups firmly to avoid air bubbles that could come loose. It’s more important that birds can easily reach their food. So look at the feeding tray and maybe watch some demo videos to see whether they can feed comfortably.
Your bird feeder will be mounted on your window and exposed to the elements. Buy a feeder that’s suitable for your weather conditions. If you have extreme temperatures, get a feeder that won’t crack when it’s too hot or cold. For snowy areas, the feeder has to be resistant to moisture damage. If your home is windy, your feeder needs a guard to protect the birds as they eat.
It’s tough to know how long your bird feeder will last. You can read reviews and watch demos, but that only tells you so much. A better guide is to check the warranty. A lifetime warranty means the bird feeder is built for durability. It also means if anything goes wrong, the manufacturer will repair or replace your feeder. So the longer the warranty, the better.
This isn’t an essential feature, but it’s a handy one. The suction cups on your bird feeder attach directly to the surface of your window. So as you approach the window to watch the birds, they may see you, get frightened, and run away. If the feeder has a one-way mirror on the section that touches your window, the birds will only see their reflection and are less likely to fly off.
Birds don’t chew cud, but they still like to rest between snacks. So look for a feeder that has a spot they can perch on. They may want to rest as they survey the area to ensure it’s safe to eat. Or they may want to gauge the surroundings and get familiar with the neighborhood, identifying any hiding nooks or potential predators. And it’s fun to watch them perch so let them get comfy.
Look at the birdie!
If you’re looking to get some pretty birds in your yard, we recommend Nature’s Hangout:
There’s a comfy perch where birds can rest.
The tray is extra deep at 1.75 inches.
You get three bonus suction cups in case yours get lost or loose.
The design is compact but can fit finches and wildfowl.
The tray is removable so it’s easy to clean and fill.
It has a lid and drainage holes to keep your bird feed dry.
Do you have bird feeders in your yard! Show us a photo in the comments, we’d love to see!