9 of the best bird feeders
Make your garden an avian haven with our pick of the best bird feeders and tables
So long as they’re not after any seeds you’ve planted, it’s always a delight to watch birds visit your garden. And between October and April, when food in the wild is much more scarce, a predictable source of food will be highly appreciated by your feathered visitors.
Feeders come in all shapes and sizes, to cater for all shapes, sizes, species and feeding habits of birds, but to be sure of attracting the widest range and leaving no bird out an all-in-one feeding station is your guarantee of maximum delivery.
So if they want to peck at peanuts, nibble at seed or feast on a fat ball these one-stop solutions have something for every bird.
And should you want to offer your visitors somewhere to drink and bathe, take a look at our list of the best bird baths. And for more information on which berries and plants your winged guests will appreciate for food, read our article on plants for birds.
Want some tips on how to attract birds into your garden?
Where is the best place to put bird feeders?
You’ll want to put your feeder in a sheltered place that is difficult for cats, squirrels, rats and other pests to access. Birds will avoid your feeder if they see any predators near it. Hanging feeders can be attached to tree branches clear of the ground, but you should still make sure there aren’t any nearby branches that might allow pests to bother your birds. Bird tables are best erected on a tall post that keeps them well clear of the ground
Best bird feeders to buy in the UK 2023
Large Bempton Bird Table
Best table design
- Buy now from Garden Wildlife Direct (£64.99)
This quaint, wood and copper bird table is perfect if you’re lacking sturdy trees in your garden to hang a bird feeder from, or if you’re looking to adorn a fence or section of latticework. Painted in a verdant green, and with a real copper Verdigris roof, as well as enclosed sides for protection, this bird table provides a safe and easily accessible area for feeding.
More like this
RSPB Signpost wooden feeding station
Best alternative bird feeder
- Buy now from RSPB (£70)
If you’re after something a little different, we love this sturdy, yet stylish feeding station from the RSPB. Designed to replicate a traditional signpost, this feeding station offers four hooks for bird feeders to hang from. It’s a durable option, made in the UK from FSC certified timber and held together by strong bolts.
One up, one down bird feeder
Best contemporary bird feeder
On split levels, this small but multi-use feeder allows room for a birds large and small to graze your winter spread, and the aluminium roof will keep the birds and their food dry.
Simple in design and easy to clean, this feeder would suit an urban garden with less space: a balcony or roof terrace perhaps. Just remember to hang it away from any windows so the birds don't run the risk of flying into them.
Tom Chambers Elegance Bird Feeding Station
Best multi bird feeder
Sporting an attractive copper finish, this elegant and shapely feeder is both eye-catching and practical. There are 10 hooks in total to hang feeders, as well as a heavy duty seed tray - ideal for suet balls - and water tray for the birds to enjoy a drink and a wash.
This is a very sturdy option and it looks smart. Plus all the feeding stations are situated a good distance from the ground to give more protection to the birds. If you have the space and love to welcome lots of feathery friends into the garden, this multi-armed feeding station will attract species large and small and you can spend many a relaxing moment watching them come and go.
Premium Bird Feeding Station
Best traditional bird feeder
This wooden bird feeding station has four platforms for your garden birds to feed from. It’s suitable for any feed of your choice, and there's room to add more hooks for hanging feeders if you find you need extra.
Made from FSC certified timer and slate, this design is more traditional in appearance and would lovely in a cottage-style or country garden. The solid base will help prevent the table from toppling over easily and the whole frame has been protected with a weatherproof finish to ensure it's long-lasting.
Kingfisher Bronze Copper Effect Solar Powered Bird Hotel
Best designer bird feeder
- Buy now from Amazon (£28.39)
A 'hotel' is a great way to describe this rather grand feeding station. It has a bird bath, bird feeder, garden light and built in planter, so you can add a plantsman's touch.
It is quite lightweight so you will need to find a way of holding it in place in winter, but the copper finish is resistant to all extremes of weather and temperatures. It looks the part for a fraction of the price.
Wild Wings Feeding Station
Best elegant bird feeder
One assured way of bringing lots of birds into your garden is by setting up a bird table on your lawn, with several points of access. This shapely feeding station, which will certainly be hard for cats or foxes to climb, stands at 2.4 metres tall and has five feeder arms, a water tray and a seed tray.
In a slate grey, it'll look good in any style of garden and we love the small details, such as the cut out robin perched on the top and the elegant curls of the hooks. A very attractive piece for the birds to dine out on.
Garden Selections Wild Bird Feeding Station
Best practical bird feeder
- Buy now from Garden Selections (£19.99)
This steel, bronze-finished bird station from Garden Selections will turn your garden into a bustling hangout for your local birds. It features a water tray, four separate feeders and, what the manufacturers delightfully describe as ‘bathing facilities’. Seriously, you might want to start charging admission.
Finches Friend Cleaner Feeder
Best bird feeder for cleaning
- Buy now from Finches Friend (£44.99)
Finches Friend bird feeders have been specifically created to make cleaning easy, which is vital to stop the spread of disease in garden birds. With greenfinches on the Red List and chaffinches in dramatic decline, improving hygiene in wild bird feeding is hugely important.
The Finches Friend Cleaner Feeder 1 features a single chamber and holds up to 1.79 litres of bird food (sunflower hearts are recommended) – more than the capacity of a standard feeder. It weighs 1.2kg empty and 2.4kg full.
The clever design separates the feed store from where the birds perch to eat. It features a unique, removable, enclosed feed station which minimises wastage and enables easier cleaning. The innovative design also protects the feed from the elements and ensures that it always stays clean, dry and safe, thanks to a water drainage system. A 360-degree feeding station allows multiple birds to feed at once, whilst a narrowed feeding tray make it inaccessible to larger birds such as crows.
Made in Britain, Finches Friend Feeders are a sustainable choice that are built to last. Using components and packaging that are fully recyclable, they are made from durable, UV-stabilised polycarbonate that won't weaken or discolour in the sun.
How to choose a bird feeder
If you enjoy watching birds in your garden, a bird feeder can be a great addition to your outdoor space. Here's what you need to know about choosing the right feeder for your feathered friends:
A seed feeder is the most common type of bird feeder and is suitable for attracting a variety of birds such as finches, sparrows, and cardinals. When choosing a seed feeder, look for one that has multiple feeding ports and can hold enough seed for at least a day or two. Avoid feeders with a small capacity or those that are difficult to clean.
If you want to attract birds that prefer nuts and seeds such as woodpeckers and nuthatches, then a nut feeder is a good choice. Look for a feeder with a wire mesh that can hold peanuts, almonds, and other nuts securely. Choose a feeder that has a durable construction and is easy to refill and clean.
Suet feeders are designed for birds that like to feed on fat and protein-rich food such as woodpeckers, nuthatches, and blue jays. Look for a suet feeder that is sturdy and weather-resistant. Choose a feeder that has a cage or mesh design to hold the suet in place and prevent it from falling out.
A ground feeder is suitable for birds that prefer to feed on the ground, such as doves and sparrows. Look for a ground feeder that is easy to clean and has a mesh bottom to allow rainwater to drain out. Avoid feeders that are too deep or too shallow, as they can be difficult for birds to access.
When choosing a bird feeder, consider the type of birds you want to attract and the size of your garden. Ensure that the feeder is made of durable materials and is easy to clean and refill. With the right feeder, you can create an inviting environment for birds and enjoy watching them from the comfort of your own home. If you've got your eye on a particular bird feeder, why not check out the best bird feed to fill it with?
Matt Breen is a digital writer for the tech section of RadioTimes.com. He writes buying guides, product reviews, how-to, explainers and news stories about everything from flagship smartwatches to bendable televisions (no, really). He keeps a beady eye on all the latest news in the consumer tech world. Matt has also written for Expert Reviews, BikeRadar, Coach, Gardens Illustrated, Gathered.how and The Week. When he's not obsessing over the latest tech products, you might just find him painting and drawing - anything to limit his screen time.
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