Where to Place Bird Feeders

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From Lindsay

(Madison, WI)

We are completely new to bird feeding, but we have a wonderful opportunity to do so in our new home.
We have a couple of feeders left by the previous owners and were given some as a gift.

  1. We aren’t sure where to hang the feeders – if the low branches of the single pine tree in our yard are okay; if the one on a shepherd’s crook needs to be under the tree or in the sun (for both suet and seed)?
  2. Does suet need to be in a different type of place than seeds?
  3. Should several feeders be spread out, or grouped together?
  4. We also have heard that having a birdbath will help draw birds to our yard.
  5. We have purchased a heated one, as the winter will soon be here, but are also unsure of where to place it – near the feeders? In the sun? In the shade? Under a tree? Out in the open? 

Any advice you can offer would be much appreciated!

Answer: Knowing Where to Place Your Bird Feeders can Make All the Difference

Hi Lindsay

Thank you for asking!

You have asked several questions which I will do my best to give you the best possible answers to:

1. First, there is no “right” place to hang a bird feeder as all yards and situations are different. It will take some experimenting on your part to find the best location in your own backyard. Here are some tips:

    • The first thing to consider is the best location in your yard for you to view the birds at your feeder.
    • The second thing is to make it easy for you to refill the feeder with seed and to clean it. (Especially giving consideration to snowfall in the winter.)
    • Place bird feeders where it is difficult for predators and squirrels to get to your feeder. Under trees give the squirrels a direct line to it, not that they find difficulty in accessing bird feeders in other locations. ? There are some excellent bird feeders on the market that squirrels cannot feed from. You can see them here. )
    • Learn what feeders will attract which type of bird and what seed to use in each one. Info about wild bird feeders here.

2. You can have suet and seed together. Some seed feeders have suet holders built on the sides. This does not pose a problem for the birds. The suet eaters will happily cling to the suet cages while the seed eaters perch on the troughs. The only special consideration given to suet should be in the summer. Summer suet can be served all season and is best when placed in a shady place.

More about suet feeders

3. Spreading your feeders out around the yard will provide a more relaxed dinner table for the birds. The shy birds will not be as intimidated by the more aggressive ones if they have a different feeder to go to.

4. Yes, a birdbath draws birds to your yard faster than a bird feeder. Especially if you use a dripper or mister with it (summer), as the sound of water is very alluring to wild birds. A birdbath in the summer will also attract bug-eating birds, something your feeders will never be able to do.

More about bird baths

5. In the winter, water is still essential for wild birds. They will eat snow to get the moisture they need, which requires them to eat more food to maintain their body heat. Place your heated bird bath in the sun for the winter and it will be much appreciated by your feathered friends.

More about heated bird baths

Thank you, Lindsay!

I hope this helps!


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Bird Feeders FAQ

Where to Place Feeders

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Politically Correct?

by: Made In Canada

Is it respectful to hang bird feeders from a flag pole while the flag is on it?? My flag is very high and I still have plenty of room to hang feeders at a safe height but I just want to make sure that this will not be disrespectful of my flag.

Hello Made In Canada

Here is a quote from https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/flag-canada-etiquette/flying-rules.html a Canadian Government site:
“The National Flag of Canada should always be flown on its own mast or flag pole; flag protocol states that it is improper to fly two or more flags on the same mast or flag pole (for example, one beneath the other).”

The statement only addresses other flags, but you can make your own conclusion from the statement. ?

And while we are at it, in the USA I could not find anything that specifically stated that other objects could not be hung on the same pole. I read this document CRS Report for Congress: The United States Flag: Federal Law Relating to Display and Associated Questions https://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL30243.pdf and others. I think each person should make their own decision on what is right and respectful for other uses of a country’s flag pole.

Would love to hear what others have to say about this matter.

Please help.

by: Mr.Wes C.

Is it ok to place wild birds feeders together with hummingbird feeders?

Hi Wes

Yes it is OK to place seed feeders and nectar feeders on the same pole. You can read more about it here.

Happy birding!

How to keep birds keep coming back

by: Louise

I had birds last winter and all summer till this late fall and now the birds have stop coming. I have changed the food and feeders and cleaned them and fresh seeds too. What have I done wrong ?
I miss watching the birds

Hi Louise

It may have nothing to do with anything you have done. There are many reasons wild birds move around. Just keep your feeders maintained (sounds like you are doing a good job with that) and they will come back. You may find answers here to help:
Where do my birds go in winter?

Happy birding!

Bird Feeder Roof Color

by: Anonymous

Would a bright yellow roof keep the birds from my feeder?

Hi Hazel

No a yellow roof will not be a problem.

Happy birding!

Where to place bird feeders

by: joe

Small songbirds like lots of cover close to there feeders, even if thats bushes with no foliage but pricky branches that they can jump into.

Woodpeckers like cover over top of the suet. I place my suet under the big thick branches that are almost as thick as the trunk.

One of my feeding stations I have a canopy over top of the birdfeeders, (The canopy use to hold my swing under it.) I hang feeders from the pole in the middle. Underneath it is an old picnic table with a brush pile around it.

One feeding station is way back at the edge of the woods not close to the house at all. Then the one in the front and other feeding station in my fenced in yard with the canopy, that I can’t see.

I enjoy watching the birds but, at the same time I dont do it for my enjoyment, I do it because wildbirds need our help.

Which direction ? and how high from ground ?

by: Hazel

Help please! I have been given a blue tits’ nest box. Which direction should the entrance face? Is there an optimum height?

Hi Hazel

Here is a site that has excellent information for sitting a Blue Tit nest box.

Putting up a nest box.

Hope this helps you and not too late.

Happy birding across the pond!

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