Learning how to hang a bird feeder in a secure location and one that will help to attract new visitors will depend on the type of feeder it is, whether it’s a birdseed feeder or a nectar feeder, what types of birds you have visiting, which species you want to attract, how to attract them, and how to hang your feeder to prevent other animals from ransacking your birdseed. This guide will walk you through how to hang and secure different types of feeders, locating them in places that make them highly visible to your local birds and you.
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The Best Location
Birds need to be able to easily view the feeders when they’re flying over your yard, but the feeders should also be placed in a specific location that will also ensure their safety. Southeastern exposure that’s sheltered is the best place to put a hummingbird feeder or a regular seed feeder because birds tend to prefer feeding out of the wind and enjoy feeding in the sunshine. For safety reasons, a bird must have a clear view of their feeding area, which allows them to easily view and avoid predators.
If this is your first time hanging a bird feeder in your yard, it’s possible that you’ll have to wait several weeks before a bird discovers it. You can place a shiny pie pan out to make it easier for them to find your feeder, placing some seeds in the pie pan itself and placing it directly under the feeder. This can help to attract birds in flight. Water can also be a natural attractant for hummingbirds and other species. Avoid leaving nectar in a pie pan as this will simply attract ants and other pests.
I recommend hanging your feeder away from buildings, fences, bushes, and trees, to prevent predators and squirrels from using these structures to jump or climb onto the feeder. If you have to hang the feeder from a tree branch make sure you place it on a branch that’s at least six feet from other tree limbs and the trunk.
Adding a baffle can also prevent squirrels and other animals from climbing and hanging on the feeder. The best option is often a pole that’s placed six to ten feet from a structure or tree.
Nectar and Seed Feeders
Unlike other species of birds, the hummingbird lives on nectar, so they require a special type of feeder. The feeder should not be placed in a windy area and should be hung out of the reach of cats and other types of predators. Try to place the feeder around trumpeting flowers if possible, which will help to attract these birds to your feeder.
These birds are very beneficial to your landscaping and garden and help to pollinate plants. They may also feed on these plants or on insects in the yard. The best hummingbird feeder will be durable, can withstand the elements, and should feature a variety of ports for multiple birds to feed on at the same time. I recommend the First Nature Hummingbird Feeder, which features the type of durable design that you need if you live in an environment that’s prone to high wind conditions. In most cases, the design will be a matter of personal preference, since the hummingbird won’t mind just as long as the feeder has enough ports. However, they are naturally attracted to the colors orange and red, which is why most feeders will come in these color options. Avoid buying a feeder that’s yellow since a feeder of this color tends to attract wasps and bees.
Are you creative? Do you take pride in providing your backyard visitors with the freshest nectar and seed possible? Great. This is another way to ensure you get plenty of visitors year-round. If you’re concerned with the quality of the nectar or birdseed you buy you can actually make your own special birdseed and nectar, both of which are packed with the nutrients your birds need to survive during a harsh winter and the extra nutrients birds need during the nesting season. To learn more, click here to read my article on homemade bird food recipes.
The feeder should be easy for you to access so you can fill it and clean it. The feeder should be hung approximately six feet from the ground. There should be no foliage under the feeder since this tends to welcome cats and squirrels. If you want to hang several feeders, hang them ten feet apart to prevent fighting between aggressive, hungry birds. Before you hang the feeder, make sure the base is tightened appropriately. You’ll start off by pushing the container into the base and shut the ports to prevent leakage. The cap should be unscrewed to fill it with food. Screw the cap on tightly to form an airtight seal.
Some feeders will have string or wire hangers attached, so all you’ll have to do is choose the right location to hang it.
However, if the feeder doesn’t come with a wire or string hanger, you can use a bungee cord, chain, or rope to secure the feeder to the tree. At the end of one of these materials, you’ll use a loop or S-hook. If you’re using a squirrel guard on your feeder, then it must be hooked onto a cord before you hang the bird feeder. Connect the bird feeder to the hook or squirrel guard and ensure it’s hanging at the correct height. Some guards or feeders will come with an adjustable hanger which will allow you to easily lower or raise them when needed.
If you want to discourage other animals from using the feeder you can mount one of the feeders to your window. Some people prefer to hang feeders near a window in order to see birds visit. You can purchase both nectar and seed feeders that can be window mounted. Both types of feeders will allow you to clearly view birds up close as they enjoy their morning meal. If you do decide to hang your feeder on your window, first, consider what type of mounting hardware is needed. Some will come with suction cup mounts that allow you to quickly and easily hang the feeder or take it down for refills. Another option is using wire, chain, or string to drop the feeder right down below the roofline, which will also allow you to clearly see any visitors.
Make sure you’re prepared to adjust your surroundings in order to protect your visitors. This can include moving planters that predators, such as cats, can use to hide behind, and adding window decals. If you want to bring the birds out into the open and use a window mount, make sure you’re prepared to help protect them by making these adjustments. If you’re not sure if you want to hang a feeder off the roof or on the window, then there are other options that will allow you to still sight them as they feed.
Yard and Deck Hanging Options
A freestanding hook or deck hanger are both great ways to add a feeder anywhere you want in your yard. Some models can accommodate two to five bird feeders and can easily be moved if you want to change up the location or viewing experience. Some birders prefer to move the feeders around their yard based on the time of year. Both types of hangers can also allow you to hang mini birdbaths, which can help to make your yard even more bird-friendly.
Aside from hanging feeders, there are also other types of hanging accessories that you can buy to make your yard more attractive to your local birds. Bird swings are a popular option and they’ll give birds a nice place to rest between meals. Birdbaths and decorative hangers for your bird feeders can also make your yard more attractive. A simple window hanger can turn pretty much any type of lightweight nectar or seed feeder into a window feeder. I also recommend buying nesting supplies to help your local birds in the springtime. With a few accessories and the right tools, you’ll quickly be on your way to creating the perfect haven for your backyard visitors.
Now that you know how to hang a bird feeder, the best locations, and what you can do to make your yard more attractive to your local birds, you can get started making important changes to your yard that will ensure their safety during feeding times, purchase nutrient-loaded bird seed and nectar, or make your own, and get your yard ready by setting up vital feeding stations for birds during the winter and springtime. Remember, location is key. Hanging the feeders, whether they’re nectar or birdseed, in a safe place away from predators, and in a location that’s highly visible to birds flying overheard, will be crucial in terms of whether or not you receive any visitors.