Best bird feeders: help the birds in style

These best bird feeders will help you support the native bird population – and make a chic addition to your garden.

The best bird feeder: contemporary bird feeder from OPOSSUM design
(Image credit: OPOSSUM design)

On the hunt for the best bird feeder? Bird feeders are a joy in the garden, allowing you to help wildlife and enjoy the soothing and de-stressing activity of bird-watching. And, with so many beautiful versions around, it’s an easy way to add a decorative design to your garden.  

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What is the best bird feeder?

How to stop squirrels stealing bird food

Some people don’t mind them, but hungry squirrels can (and do) eat all the bird food, leaving nothing for the birds. There are couple of methods to remedy this situation, without harming the squirrels:
1. Get a squirrel-proof feeder. You’ll be limited for designs, but it’s a way to prevent the squirrels from getting in. Bear in mind, though, that some clever critters may still find a way to the food.
2. Use bird food squirrels don’t like so much, such as millet.
3. Create a feeding station for the squirrels away from the bird feeder. Nuts and corn are favourites, so put some out for them in a designated area, preferably up in a tree. They may still go for the bird food, but in fewer numbers. 

In our opinion, the best bird feeder is the Gardman 4 Arm Feeding Station, which not only provides space for birds to feed, but to drink and bathe, too.

It’s easy to put together, aesthetically pleasing and a functional way to feed the local wildlife. Simply hammer into the ground and wait and see what you attract. Find out more below.

If you’re really passionate about protecting local birds, you might also consider investing in a box for them to nest in. Browse our pick of the best bird houses to get started.

The best bird feeders you can buy right now

The best bird feeder: Gardman 4 Arm Feeding Station

1. Gardman 4 Arm Feeding Station

Best bird feeder: a large feeding station that makes a feature for your garden

Specifications
Best for: Multiple stations for birds to feed, drink and bathe
Dimensions: Extendable up to 226cm
Materials: Metal
Reasons to buy
+Birds can feed, drink and bathe+Extendable up to 226cm
Reasons to avoid
-Some users suggest this is not a sturdy design

Attract plenty of birds with this Gardman 4 Arm Feeding Station. Featuring four different hanging feeders as well as two water dishes for bathing and drinking, it’s perfect if you’re looking to support local feathered friends in more than one way. 

It’s easy to put together and is aesthetically pleasing as well as being a functional way to feed the birds. Simply hammer into the grass to secure in position and wait and see what wildlife you attract. 

Shop more bird feeders available at Amazon

the best bird feeder: glass sphere shaped bird feeders from John lewis & Partners

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

2. Eva Solo Bird Feeder

Best bird feeder for design: stylish, glass balls that blend seamlessly into any garden scheme

Specifications
Best for: Design
Dimensions: H10 x W11 x D11cm
Materials: Borosilicate glass, stainless steel, silicone
Reasons to buy
+Stylish design+Hangs anywhere 
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for larger birds

Designed to resemble a weaver bird’s nest, these stylish glass Eva Solo Bird Feeders will fit seamlessly into any scheme. Ideal for a garden, terrace or balcony, they make popular feeding stations for small birds. Plus, their glass design means you can see exactly what’s going on with the feeding birds inside.

Shop the full range of bird feeders available from John Lewis & Partners

The best bird feeder: Rowlinson Laverton Bird Table

3. Rowlinson Laverton Bird Table

Best traditional bird feeder: a classic style wooden bird table

Specifications
Best for: Traditional design
Dimensions: H172 x W36 x D36
Materials: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Sturdy and stable +Traditional design
Reasons to avoid
-Could be climbed by squirrels

This Rowlinson Laverton Bird Table is sturdy and looks stylish in any type of garden. It has a platform with a little roof which provides shelter for the birdseed so it doesn’t get wet.

It’s said to be easy to assemble, and won’t need planting into the ground as it has a base which allows it to stand freely. This is great for attracting little birds to the garden and the wood will wear well.

Shop more bird feeders available from Argos

the best bird feeder: white metal bird feeder by john lewis & partners

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

4. Ivyline Cast Iron Bird Feeder

Best bird feeder for decoration: a pretty and dainty hanging feeder

Specifications
Best for: Decoration
Dimensions: H21 x W33 x D27cm
Materials: Metal
Reasons to buy
+Cute design+Can be hung anywhere
Reasons to avoid
-Only suited to small birds

This little bird feeder wouldn’t look out of place in any garden, but we imagine it working particularly well in a small garden, hung from a tree or shed, to attract more wildlife. It could also make a lovely gift for garden or bird lovers.

the best bird feeders: Hoop Bird Feeder

(Image credit: Not On The Highstreet)

5. Hoop Bird Feeder

Best bird feeder for fresh fruit and seed balls: give your local birds the treat of fresh fruit with this minimalist feeder

Specifications
Best for: Fresh fruit
Dimensions: H39.5 x W20 x D6.5cm
Materials: Metal
Reasons to buy
+Takes fresh fruit and seed balls+Minimalist design+Can be hung anywhere
Reasons to avoid
-Cannot be used for seed

Simple yet smart, this Hoop Bird Feeder is perfect if you want to feed fresh fruit and seed balls, as opposed to dried seeds and grain. 

Complete with a matching hook, this bird feeder will hang, almost undetected, among the trees. Plus, it’s hand welded and finished with a matt lacquer, meaning it’s sure to be protected from the elements.

This model comes in a lovely presentation box, making it the perfect gift for a friend, or loved one with an interest in wildlife.

Shop more bird feeders available from Not On The Highstreet

How to buy the best bird feeder

When it comes to buying the best bird feeder, there are a few factors worth considering before making an investment. These include:

Function

First, you’ll want to think about what you’re looking to achieve with your bird feeder. Do you want to feed anything and everything that will accept your offerings? Or do you want to create feeding stations with the specific nourishment preferred by different birds, as well as spots for them to drink and bathe?

Do you have any pets?

If you, or your neighbours, own cats or dogs, you’ll want to consider investing in a bird feeder that’s going to keep the food – and birds – out of harm’s way. Remember, cats can jump and climb, too, so be careful about your bird feeder positioning.

Do you want to make a feature of your bird feeder?

You’ll also want to think about whether you intend to draw the eye to your bird feeder. If your garden is awash with confident birds, you may wish to opt for something that will be both in sight and attractive. However, if you’re trying to encourage birds to explore your garden, aesthetics matter less and something tucked away should do the job.

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