How to hang a bird feeder

If you’re looking for the best location to hang your bird feeder, setting up your first bird feeder, or adding a new bird feeder to your bird feeding station, these bird feeder hanging ideas will set you up for success!

chickadee and goldfinches feeding from tube bird feeder

Black-capped Chickadee and American Goldfinches feeding from Deluxe Funnel Flip-Top Tube Feeder (Model# NMFFB-19)

Where should I hang my bird feeder?

The best place to hang a bird feeder is a location that:

  • Makes the birds feel safe from predators. Above all else, the location of your bird feeder should make the birds feel safe and at home! Birds will not eat from a bird feeder where they feel vulnerable. Place your bird feeder near natural cover like trees, shrubs, or other vegetation. This gives them shelter while viewing their feeding area so they can see any predators while waiting for their turn to feed.
  • You can see from inside your house. The best thing about having bird feeders in your backyard is that you get to enjoy birdwatching from your own home! Think about where you spend your time both indoors and out. Walk around inside your house and position yourself in the spots you spend the most time in. You’ll want to choose a location where you can easily view your feeder through a window to get the most enjoyment out of it.
  • Is in a convenient location. If you’re in a location with seasonal weather patterns and you plan to feed the birds throughout the winter months, you may want to choose a location that you won’t mind walking to in undesirable weather.
  • Prevents pests from easily reaching the seed. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing unwanted critters eating the seed that’s meant for your birds! Remember to keep your bird feeders roughly 10-12 feet from any tree or obstacle to deter unwanted pests from reaching the seed. (We do not recommend hanging bird feeders from tree branches as this can give squirrels and pests easy access to the feeder content.) If you’ll be placing your bird feeder in an area with lots of squirrel activity, a baffle can be used to prevent squirrels or other pests from climbing up a pole or jumping down onto the feeders from above. Head over to our blog for more squirrel proofing tips.

squirrel proof bird feeder

  • Keeps birds safe from window collisions. Millions of birds die each year due to reflective glass on our home windows. To help prevent fatal window collisions, feeders should be hung either closer than 3 feet or farther than 15 feet from a window.

What can I use to hang a bird feeder?

Almost all types of bird feeders come with a built-in hanging hook, allowing you to hang it from your desired location. Whichever hanging method you choose, make sure it’s sturdy enough to support the weight of your bird feeder while it’s filled with seed!

There are an abundance of simple and decorative types of yard poles and hanging hooks available, from a traditional shepherd’s hook to a completely customizable and adjustable hook and display system. You may choose to install several hooks of varying heights for visual interest. Or you could transform an area of your yard into bird feeding statement area with a pergola or decorative trellis with hooks and spaces for feeders to be hung!

Here are some bird feeder hanging methods to help get you started:

  • Shepherd’s hook
  • S-hook
  • Hanging chain
  • Wall mount bracket
  • Deck mount bracket
  • Strong rope

mocking bird at bird feeder

Northern Mockingbird feeding from Farmhouse Hopper Feeder (Model# WWLF2-DECO)

How high should bird feeders be off the ground?

While different types of birds feed at various heights due to the natural location of the insects, berries, seed, and flowers that make up their diet, most wild birds will come to bird feeders as long as they feel safe. Follow the tips at the beginning of this article to make sure your bird feeder is in the ideal spot to attract birds.

The best overall height for bird feeders is positioned about 5 feet off the ground, or at eye level. This height makes it convenient for refilling and cleaning your bird feeders.

Can I hang a bird feeder from my window?

The best way to view birds from your window is to put up a window bird feeder. Window bird feeders typically use a suction cup mounting system to allow you to mount them directly to your window. You can attract all types of birds to your window with a hummingbird window feeder or a seed window feeder – it all depends on what you decide to fill it with! Visit our blog post to learn everything you need to know in order to use a window bird feeder successfully.

house finch pair feeding from window bird feeder

House Finch pair feeding from Clear View Window Feeder (Model# WIN-3)

Should bird feeders be in the sun or the shade?

Birds will feed from a bird feeder whether it is in the sun or the shade. However, if you live in a location where you experience high temperatures, it may be best to place your bird feeder in a shady location, or a location where the feeder receives morning sun and afternoon shade, to preserve the seed or nectar longer.

When should I not put a bird feeder out?

Bird diseases like the Avian Flu, House Finch Eye Disease, or Salmonellosis can break out locally. It is important to remove your bird feeders if your local wildlife center recommends it. Occasionally, it may be necessary to remove your bird feeders temporarily to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria. As always, it’s extremely important that you keep your bird feeders clean so you can protect the health of your backyard birds.

If feeder pests like bears or racoons become a problem in your yard, taking down your bird feeders temporarily and/or at night can help get rid of these unwelcome visitors. Typically, if feeder pests do not have access to your feeders, they will seek out another location and your bird feeders can go back up.

Backyard bird feeding can be enjoyable and beneficial during every season of the year, especially in the winter. It’s a common misconception that birds don’t need to feed from bird feeders during the summer months. While it is true that resources like fruit and insects are plentiful in the summer, birds in vulnerable stages (like molt) will continue to look for easy sources of high protein and fat.


Still not seeing birds at your bird feeder? Check out our troubleshooting tips to help attract birds to your bird feeder!




Comment on this post (2 comments)

  • Nature's Way Bird Products says...

    Hi Stephanie! Thanks for asking about feeding the orioles. My first suggestion would be to visit our blog here: which features the Baltimore Oriole. Here in Ohio, we usually start seeing them in April and then sporadically throughout the summer months. Happy birding!

    February 27, 2023

  • Stephanie Anderson says...

    I put orange halves out on an outside table and was able to enjoy Oriole birds. I forget the time of year this was.
    I can’t seem to attract them again. What am I doing wrong? I live in connellsville Pennsylvania

    February 27, 2023

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