Every winter, more than 100 species of birds descend upon bird feeders looking for some supplementary foods for their winter diets. The birds don’t technically need us, but they have grown accustomed to our help and seem to appreciate the feed, suet, and seeds we put out for them.
But before you just purchase some random winter bird feeder to throw on a branch in the backyard, consider some criteria, choose the feeders appropriate for the birds in your region, and find good quality feed and seed for them.
Backyard Boss Top 5 Best Bird Feeders for Winter in 2022
|Perky-Pet Panoramic Bird Feeder||Check The Price!|
|More Birds 4 Cake Suet Buffet Feeder||Check The Price!|
|Nature Gear Window Bird Feeder||Check The Price!|
|XDW-GIFTS Solar Bird-Feeder||Check The Price!|
|Nature's Way Cedar Suet Upside-Down Bird Feeder||Check The Price!|
Why You Can Trust Us
From an early age, I’ve been fascinated with birds. I also happen to be a huge research freak (I was the kid who looked forward to research papers!) and that means I’ve done lots of it on birds, on how to feed them, care for them, and protect them from illness and unsafe weather. I’ve used that research and my long-standing knowledge of wild birds to choose the best bird feeder for winter for various types of birds you’ll find this season.
Best Bird Feeder for Easy Cleaning
Why We Like It: This bird feeder is one of the most versatile options you’ll find for location, bird type, and easy care.
The Sure-Lock cap snaps the lid into place for security and keeping squirrels out. The feeder also provides plenty of seed tray and a circular perch for birds to snack on seed from multiple angles, even with several birds at one time hanging out.
The feeder is powder-coated for rust resistance (and good looks!), too. You can use pretty much any kind of wild bird seed in the feeder, including black-oil sunflower seeds and mixes. Plus, the large openings make for easy cleaning, one of the key factors in a great birdfeeder.
Who Should Buy It: Anyone who’s looking for an easy-to-maintain, versatile feeder will benefit from this one.
Best Bird Feeder for Suet Eaters
Why We Like It: This multi-bird suet feeder is probably the most convenient option you’ll find for a busy yard.
The feeder allows for several suet eaters at once, permitting up to four suet cakes at a time. The sturdy design of the cage grid allows clinging birds like woodpeckers and chickadees easy access and a sense of security as they feed, keeping them in your yard for longer periods of time so you can enjoy them and they get well-fed. Additionally, you can use the feeder for seed cakes, oranges in summer, and offering nesting materials to birds in springtime using this feeder.
The feeder is easy-to-open, easy to clean, and uses a double-locking closure system to keep all contents secure so you don’t have to worry about feed going to waste.
Who Should Buy It: Anyone with a yard full of clinging birds and happy suet eaters will find this bird feeder beneficial and easy to use.
Best Bird Feeder for Up-close Window Viewing
Why We Like It: This clear bird feeder is beautiful and perfect for bird watching up close at the window.
The feeder is intended to provide birds with shelter in all kinds of weather while giving you and yours (cats included!) a great up-close view of feathered friends dropping in for a snack. The tall pitched roof keeps the birds safe and the feeder tray provides plenty of space to accommodate several birds at once.
Plus, the birdfeeder is so easy to refill from inside the house. Just slide out the feed tray and refill right there.
Who Should Buy It: Folks looking for an easy-care bird feeder with close-up views will love this suction cup birdfeeder.
Best Bird Feeder for Decorative and Functional in One
Why We Like It: This unique birdfeeder is beautiful and functional at once, using a solar light to help you watch birds and see when feed needs restored.
The high-quality materials help to ensure the birdfeeder will last and comes with a large solar cell and panel that lasts for 8 to 12 hours each night. The unique solar lit birdfeeder has beautiful vibrant colors and bronze metal fixtures, is waterproof, and comes preassembled. Plus, when the feed level gets low, you’ll be able to tell easily by the functionality of the solar light which gets brighter and brighter as the seed levels drop.
Who Should Buy It: Anyone looking for a unique birdfeeder with some bright colors and hand-made glass pieces will love this solar-powered birdfeeder.
Best Bird Feeder for Upside-down Eaters
Why We Like It: The unique design and easy access make this a truly special suet feeder for your upside-down eating feathered friends.
The feeder is specially designed to help keep out nuisance animals and birds (like grackles and blackbirds) since they’re not comfortable eating upside down. The feeder itself is made of premium cedar wood and offers a rustic, natural smell while preventing discoloration and water damage, thanks to wood treatment.
The birdfeeder holds one suet cake at a time and attracts small to medium-sized bird species like titmice, chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers.
Who Should Buy It: Anyone who wants to feed woodpeckers and keep out nuisance birds will love this bird feeder.
Choosing the Right Winter Birdfeeder
Before you purchase the birdfeeders, you ought to consider a few key factors, including the types of birds that frequent your yard and the type of seed you want to use.
Types of Seed and Feed for Winter Birds
There are several types of birdfeed and bird seeds available, depending on the types of bird in your region. The most common options include
- Suet cakes, which are made up of hardened fat and birdseed. This helps winter birds pack on fat for the winter and get enough nutrition when food is lacking due to the season.
- Black-oil sunflower seed, which are probably the most popular and common birdseed around. The seeds are high in oil and loaded with nutrients birds need for a healthy life.
- Dry-roasted peanuts, which should be unsalted. They’re a great energy food for woodpeckers, chickadees, jays, titmice, nuthatches, and many others.
- Mixed seed, which typically combine sunflower seeds and at least three or four other varieties of seed that wild birds love to nosh on.
- Fresh and dried fruits, which birds have a hard time finding in winter. Offer apple slices, berries, orange slices or peels, cherries, raisins, cranberries, and others for some super happy birds.
Types of Bird Feeders
Not only are there tons of bird food types, but there are several options for birdfeeder styles. Depending on the food you plan to use, there may be several options that work for you. Remember that you don’t want to buy a bird feeder, there are plenty of DIY winter bird feeder ideas out there!
Tray and Platform Feeders
Tray or platform feeders are an easy option for feeding a wide range of birds. You can easily put fruit, sunflower seeds, peanuts, or mixed seeds. You can even put pats of peanut butter in here for the birds to snack on.
Hoppers are good for protecting birds against the weather and bird droppings. The one problem is that if the food inside gets wet, it will grow bacteria and rot.
A lot of birds love hoppers, including finches, cardinals, jays, grosbeaks, sparrows, chickadees, and others.
These are smaller and plastic and use suction cups to affix to windows. They tend to attract smaller birds like finches and chickadees, as well as sparrows and titmice.
The placement of these feeders makes them easy to clean and helps to protect birds from window collisions. They do need to be cleaned out fairly regularly, though, as birds stand on the feed in them and soil the seed quickly.
Tube feeders are spherical in shape and have feeding trays at the bottom and lids at the top, securing the birdseed in. As the food is eaten, the level smoothly drops down, making the remaining seed available fluidly.
Sparrows, finches, chickadees, grosbeaks, and many other birds love these feeders, especially when filled with mixed seed and sunflower seeds.
Nyjer or “Thistle” Feeders
These feeders are especially popular with American goldfinches, common redpolls, and pine siskins. The feeder type comes in either a tube feeder with tiny feeding ports or a “thistle” socks made of fine mesh.
These provide little protection to the seed within, so they should be hung under some kind of awning or overhang if possible. Otherwise, you’ll need to clean them out any time there’s foul weather to avoid rot and disease spreading.
Popular among woodpeckers, starlings, titmice, jays, and chickadees, suet feeders provide birds with loads of fat as backyard birds in winter bulk up for survival. Within the cake of fat, birdseed is buried, offering the birds nutrients as well as that heat-producing fat they crave.
How We Picked
Knowing we wanted to offer a wide range of styles and types of bird feeders to everyone to choose from, we went in search of specific types of feeders, including suet, window, and tube feeders. After narrowing down the list of styles and a variety of birds that would visit them, we looked through the options available in the categories.
From there, we looked at the materials used to construct the feeders, special features and functions, and the all-important real-life reviews from real humans who’ve used the bird feeders themselves. From among these, we picked the best of the best to suggest to you.
Our Top Pick of Best Bird Feeder for Winter
Because disease spreading, illness, rot, and other health concerns arise regularly with bird feeders, we knew our top pick had to be something that’s easy to clean. When we reviewed the Perky Pet Panorama Bird Feeder, we knew we’d found the one!
This bird feeder is easy to keep clean, extremely versatile, and so easy to set up and maintain. It won’t prevent illness and diseases if you leave it hanging for months without cleaning, but it will make the process easier for keeping it well-maintained and filled.