Backyard Chirper

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Best locations in your yard for a bird feeder

Black-headed Grosbeak by Walter SiegmundWhether you’re someone with decades of experience in bird feeding or are a newcomer just starting out, chances are you’ve thought long and hard about where to put up your bird feeder. While it’s possible to put up a bird feeder nearly anywhere in your yard, there are certain spots that will attract more birds and ensure their safety. If you’re thinking about putting up a new feeder (or moving around your old ones), here are some tips for prime bird feeder locations.

Position it close to or far away from windows

The worst sound in the world is that thump you hear against the window when a bird has accidentally flown into it (fortunately, the few times I’ve heard it, the bird was a little stunned but overall OK). You can reduce the likelihood of a bird colliding with your window by placing the feeder far away from your window or within three feet of it. By putting the feeder right next to a window, a bird will be more apt to notice it and if it doesn’t, it won’t have enough time to pick up speed to get injured. Check out this article for more tips on preventing birds from hitting your windows.

Be conscious of the sun

Most seed-eating birds absolutely love perching in the sun for a quick meal, so it’s good to place tube feeders in an area that gets a lot of sun. However, the exact opposite should be done with hummingbird and suet feeders. These two types are more susceptible to going bad quicker when exposed to direct sunlight, so those should be placed in areas with minimal sunlight if possible.

Feeders should be near some natural cover

This is a very difficult one to accomplish because you want to both put your feeder near a natural cover to provide protection for the birds, but you also don’t want to make your feeder accessible to predators and hungry squirrels. The best cover would be something like a shrub or bush that can’t hide any large predators.

Avoid windy areas

Birds really hate feeding in windy areas and who could blame them (have you ever tried eating at a park on a windy day?). So, if there is a particular area of your yard that gets excessively windy, avoid placing your feeders there.

Place the feeders away from danger

Danger is a really subjective thing to quantify because it’s hard to tell what birds perceive as unsafe. There are a few things you can be sure of though. Birds will avoid areas that are frequently stalked by cats or are constantly being swooped upon by predatory birds. If these are issues in your yard, make sure to put the feeders up high and beneath some sort of cover.

Make sure you can see the feeder

While you should definitely keep all these aspects in mind, don’t forget to put it in a place where you can easily observe it, whether from a chair on your porch or from the window of your kitchen. It’s great to feed the birds because you want to help, but you should also reap the benefit of watching the fun and playful behavior of your backyard buddies.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.

12 Comments

  1. There are so many factors that need to be considered in locating the right place. Thanks for sharing 🙂 reading this article helped me to choose the best place.

  2. I liked that you mentioned you need to place your bird feeder far away from your window to reduce the possibility of a bird colliding with it. My husband is thinking about installing a bird feeder in our backyard, and we are looking for advice. I will let him know about your recommendations ton find the perfect place to place our birdfeeder.

  3. I agree that the worse sound you can hear is a bird hitting your window! That’s the last thing you want if you’re trying to draw birds in with a feeder. I like your point about putting the feeder close to or far away from a window. Great points!

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