How To Choose The Right Kind Of Bird Feeder

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To Help Keep the Large Birds Away!

tube bird feeder A Tube Bird Feeder
Enjoyed By A Red-breasted Nuthatch

1. Review of Tube Bird Feeders

Tube bird feeders come in many styles and will feed a variety of wild birds.

This type of feeder can be used to attract smaller specific types of birds.

They also serve as a deterrent for birds which are considered pests, as these unwanted birds are usually too large to mange most tube style bird feeders.

cardinal at tube feeder Cardinals Often Find Tube Feeders Difficult to Manage
tube bird feeder Black-capped Chickadee Fits Well On a Tube Bird Feeder


2. List of Features

Tube feeders come in many styles.

  • A solid tube with perches and feeding ports alternately placed down the length.
  • A solid tube with a seed tray or perch and seed openings around the bottom.
  • A tube made from wire mesh with solid wood or metal top and bottom.
  • Tubes that can hold suet balls.
  • Some tube bird feeders are not around tube shape but a square shape.

tube feeder filled with nyjer seed Tube Bird Feeder Filled
With Goldfinches Favourite Food, Nyjer Seed

3. What is the Best Seed Choice for This Feeder?

suet balls in tube feeder

Long Tailed Tit and Blue Tit in Uk Enjoying Suet

It is best to have one type of wild bird seed and avoid mixed seed.

If you buy a triple tube feeder which has 3 tubes attached together, for use with different types of seed.

The types of wild birds feeding at this feeder, will as usual, only eat their favorite seed.

The seed which is left will clog the feeding ports leaving their favorite seed out of reach.

As the picture to the left shows, suet tube feeders are also well-liked, even here in North America.

  1. Black oil sunflower – can be used in the first two styles listed above, with or without the shells and in the mesh style, only in the shell if the mesh is small enough to prevent the seed from slipping through.
  2. Shelled peanuts can be used in all three styles. But be sure the mesh style has large enough holes to enable the birds to remove the peanuts.
  3. Thistle bird seed (or nyjer seed) requires a specifically designed tube feeder for this seed with very
    tiny feeding ports. The seed is very small and light weight, making it unsuitable for conventional feeders. Through experience I found this out when the wind blew all the seed out of the feeder in short order. An expensive lesson! I quickly purchased a finch feeder.

Thistle Seed Feeders I Recommend
With Gold Star Rating

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4.5 Star

3 Hanging Soda Bottle Bird Feeders

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These 2 feeders are large capacity,

will not need re-filling as often.


Thistle Seed & Finch Mixed Seed
(Finches love mixed seed too, but maybe not quite as much as straight thistle seed.)

4. What are the Positives?


The best advantage to this feeder is that larger birds, such as Starlings, Blackbirds, Blue Jays, and Mourning Doves, etc, which tend to be bullies and monopolize feeders, cannot eat from most types of tube feeders.

5. What are the Problems with Tube Feeders?

The very same reasons that make this type of feeder a positive choice, also make it a limiting style of feeder too.

A mixed seed blend does not work well in this feeder so it limits the assortment of birds that one may want to see at feeders such as Cardinals, Grosbeaks, and Blue Jays etc.

A triple tube bird feeder allows a variety of seed to be offered, each type of seed having their own tube holder.

6. Do People Like this Style of Bird Feeder?

Many people have told me they love this type of feeder and use two or three in their yard.

The little birds love them because it is usually reserved just for them.

Many customers at our store told me they only use tube feeders because they have less problems.

Putting out another style of feeder for other types of wild birds will round out the menu though.

7. List of Birds Attracted to a Tube Feeder

The size and what type of perches a particular tube feeder has will determine the type of bird that will use it:

  • Chickadee
  • House Finch
  • Goldfinch
  • Nuthatch
  • Titmice
  • Pine Siskin
  • Purple Finch
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Red-Bellied Woodpecker
  • Cardinal

tube feeder filled with mixed seed A Tube Feeder Filled With Mixed Bird Seed

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take birds to notice a bird feeder?

Birds will notice a bird feeder within a few days. The time it takes to attract birds to a feeder depends on various factors, such as its location, its attractiveness, and the birds’ natural food sources.

Do bird feeders attract snakes?

Yes. Bird feeders can attract a number of animals, including snakes, raccoons, skunks, and squirrels.

Where is the best place to hang a bird feeder?

The best place to hang a bird feeder is in a place where the birds are used to seeing food. This could be in your yard or on your deck, but this spot should not be a place where you leave food out for the birds every day. If you want to attract specific birds, like bluebirds, by feeding them, it may be best to put a platform feeder in a tree in your yard.

All About Bird Feeders

  • How to Clean Seed Feeders When we make the decision to draw wild birds to our backyards with feeders, baths or houses we also, whether we first realize it or not, must be committed to keeping them clean.
  • Solve Bird Feeding Problems Discover safe solutions to 19 backyard bird feeding problems that can arise from time to time. Don’t put up with annoyances when there are fixes.
  • Bird Feeder Plans Enjoy homemade bird feeder plans that other site visitors have shared. And please feel invited to share your plans with everyone with photos too if you have them.
  • Bird Feeders FAQ Check out what other bird watchers are curious about and discover the answers to questions that are often very common among backyard birders. Throw your helpful ideas in too.

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