The thing with bird feeders is that when they are discovered by the bigger birds, they tend to bully the smaller birds by chasing them away.
If you’re hoping to attract only the smaller birds, then you’ve got to find a bird feeder that best serves this purpose.
When looking for a bird feeder that attracts small birds and keeps the bigger birds away, there are a number of things you should look for:
- Get bird feeders that come with a wire cage around the actual feeder.
That way, only the birds that can fit will be able to fit between the criss-cross lines of the cage and eat the birdseed.
- Get bird feeders that are only for a specific food.
Usually, these are the smaller kinds of seeds or feeds that the bigger birds don’t like.
- Get bird feeders that let the birds feed upside down.
Such a position is uncomfortable for the bigger birds, but can be a completely normal feeding position for the smaller species, such as the goldfinch.
- Get bird feeders that let you adjust the maximum weight that can perch on it.
These are more expensive, but they will automatically close the feeder so that no seeds come out if bigger, heavier birds perch on them.
For this post, we’ll check out the different kinds of bird feeders that fit the descriptions given above.
Below are the best bird feeders for small birds:
Our Top Picks
- Durable steel construction
- Steel grid keeps big birds away and small birds safe
- 6 feeding ports
- Capacity of 1.25 pounds
As mentioned above, one of the best ways to ensure that the bigger birds won’t have access to your bird feeder is by getting one that has a cage all around it to keep those big birds away. With a caged bird feeder, you can be sure that the smaller birds you hope to attract will have a private place to eat.
With the Woodlink Caged Bird Feeder, you’ve got something that not only keeps the bigger birds out but the squirrels as well. This caged tube feeder has a sturdy powder-coated metal grid cage made of stainless steel and one that houses the actual feeder, keeping it away from bigger bird species and other unwanted creatures.
The feeder features 6 feeding ports on the tube with a capacity of 1.25 pounds. The polycarbonate tube, which serves as the feeder, is removable with an EZ-Clean Pop-Out base which makes it easy to clean. A slide-up lid also makes it easy to fill. You don’t need any tools for that!
Its U-shaped handle on the top of the cage makes it easy to hang at any point in your garden or yard. Its recommended hanging height is 5 1/2 feet for easy filling and viewing. With the metal cage, it is also sure to attract different varieties of birds, from goldfinches, finches, and chickadees to nuthatches, redpolls, woodpeckers, and more.
Perky-Pet Yellow Straight Sided Finch Feeder
- As the name suggests, it attracts finches
- Holds nyjer seeds (perfect for backyard birds)
- 1.1 pounds capacity
If you’re looking to feed birds a specific type of feed only (and one that the bigger birds don’t want to eat), you can try this straight finch feeder. The Perky-Pet Straight Feeder can only dispense nyjer seed, also commonly known as thistle seed, which is a tiny black seed that is a more popular type of bird food. The good news about the nyjer seed is that not all birds feed on it, and those that do are usually the smaller species.
It’s sometimes called the No/No feeder as it is neither made of plastic nor wood, as every part of it is made of metal. With a 1.5-pound capacity, this feeder is a perfect combination of durable and functional. The sturdy metal construction helps thwart damage from squirrels. The wire mesh has a powder-coat finish that makes it resistant to rust. It also resists damage while also being low-maintenance and easy to clean. Cleaning and keeping your bird feeder fresh will no longer feel like a chore because of the size and materials that allow for easy cleaning for this bird feeder.
The Perky-Pet Feeder is equipped with Evenseed Technology, which allows the seed to be evenly distributed through its three tiers. Because of its built-in drainage holes as well, there’s no danger of water pooling in the reservoir. The mesh design also provides ventilation so that the wet seed can get aired quickly and remain fresh longer.
With the little roof, or overhang, at the top, this feeder also helps shield the seed, as well as the birds, in case of wet weather. The diamond-shaped wire mesh surface and the metal plate at the bottom attract both clinging and perching birds. This overall dining area can accommodate several birds at once without competition.
Perky-Pet Upside Down Thistle Feeder
- Caters to goldfinches specifically
- Holds up to 2 pounds of seeds
- Durable plastic cylinder
As an alternate option to the product of its same brand, this Upside-Down Thistle Feeder caters specifically to goldfinches in your yard. Goldfinches have no problem with feeding while perched upside down. The long, tube-shaped feeder caters to that unique ability by providing upside down feeding stations where the perches are positioned above, rather than below, each feeding port. With a feeding station of their own that caters to their unique ability, goldfinches can dine in leisurely without being bothered by other birds.
The Perky-Pet Upside-Down Feeder holds up to 2 pounds of thistle seed or finch mix. There are 6 upside-down feeding ports, paired with a perch for each port, that let the goldfinches enjoy their food without disturbance. The feeder also includes a weather resistant cap and feeding tube. You can easily hang it anywhere in your yard, using the conveniently built-in hanging hook.
There’s no need to worry about less than favorable weather conditions, as this bird feeder is made of durable plastic. The bottom, which holds the seeds in, is also easy to remove when you need to clean and refill your bird feeder. With a bird feeder like this, you no longer need to worry about the bigger birds bullying the finches around in your yard.
Brome Squirrel Buster Plus
- Spring mechanism ensures no access for squirrels and big birds
- Weight adjustable
- 5.1-pound ventilated seed container
One way to ensure that bigger creatures won’t access your bird feeder for small birds is by getting a bird feeder that lets you set the maximum weight so you can control which size of birds will feed on your feeder.
With its special, built-in technology, when anything heavier than the weight you set climbs onto the feeder, its weight will automatically force the shroud down, closing the seed port. The creature’s hunt for food is foiled, but they will not be harmed in any way.
Aside from thwarting the bigger birds, the Brome Bird Feeder is also a squirrel buster. In the same way, the feeder closes off when bigger birds try to access the food, the feeder also does the same to squirrels. All feeder parts that are exposed are also made of a special-chew proof material, RoxResin. That makes the whole feeder squirrel proof, so you don’t need to worry about the squirrels messing up your bird feeder either.
No tools are required when assembling or dismantling the Brome Bird Feeder. They are designed and made with a sturdy polycarbonate material that makes it easy to use and easy to clean. The seed ventilation system also keeps the seed fresh longer, which will also attract more wild birds. This bird feeder can hold up to 3 quarts or 5.1 pounds of bird seed.
This bird feeder can accommodate a number of different kinds of seeds, from black sunflower to safflower and other mixed seeds. You can also freely hang up this bird feeder anywhere: in a tree, on your front porch, on the side of your house, in your garden. It is recommended, however, that you place a clearance of at least 18 inches around the feeder so squirrels won’t access it with a nearby foothold on the side, and thus, fail to trigger the closing mechanism.
Note: The Brome Bird Feeder comes with a free cardinal ring to attract Northern Cardinals. Other accessories, such as the squirrel buster pole adaptor, are available for separate purchase.
Alternative bird feeder that is weight-adjustable:
Woodlink Absolute II Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeder – just like the Brome Weight-Adjustable Bird Feeder, this one lets you set the weight to select the size and type of birds to feed. It is also squirrel proof and can hold up to 12 pounds of different bird seeds and mixes.
When scouting around for the best bird feeder for small birds (and one that will discourage the big ones, and possibly other creatures like squirrels as well), it’s important that you determine what kind of safety measures you are going to do.
Are you going to get a bird feeder with a cage all around it so that only the small birds can access it? Will you get one that caters to a specific seed that small birds love (and big birds hate) or one that caters to the way a specific small species type of bird eats? Or will you get one that will help you control the weight of whatever creature lands on and accesses your bird feeder?
There are many different kinds and it all comes down to what are small bird species you are trying to attract and what kind of bigger birds (and other creatures) you are trying to keep away. As soon as you’ve decided on that, you can buy your bird feeder, install it, and enjoy watching a diverse number of birds flock to your feeder to enjoy a feast of bird seed!